Posts Tagged ‘superhero’

At the San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that the sequel for Man of Steel would feature Batman. Just the thought of a Batman vs Superman movie had fans, including myself, jumping for joy. The big question that followed this epic announcement would be who will play the infamous Dark Knight. Some people thought Christian Bale would return, but unfortunately he turned it down. Well after a few of weeks of speculation, Warner Brothers feels that they have finally found their man to play one of DC Comics’ biggest superheroes.

Ben Affleck

Hold on. Wait a second. Ben Affleck is Batman? Tell me this is a joke. Unfortunately, this is no joke. Ben Affleck is Batman. What’s next? Is Matt Damon going to play Robin?

The internet is buzzing after this blockbuster announcement, but the reaction from fans is rather mixed with more people responding in the negative direction. Where do I stand on this? Well, I have to agree with some of the haters out there who are outraged by this decision. Personally, I have to say that Affleck as Batman doesn’t seem to fit with me. I just can’t imagine him as Batman. To me it would look like Ben Affleck in a Batsuit. To this day I’m still trying to forget his disastrous performance as a certain Marvel superhero known as Daredevil. However, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt since I think he might make a good Bruce Wayne, but we all know that being a billionaire is only half of the total role. You have to do more than just look good in a suit or a tux to play The Caped Crusader.

Now I’m not going to say that Affleck is a terrible actor, however he’s not a great actor either. I mean he’s a little “one-dimensional”, but has shown some range in films he’s personally directed including The Town and Argo. With him playing Batman, I have that bad feeling that the “one-dimensional” Affleck will return and phone it in. Then again maybe he won’t. I will say that Affleck will not go down as the worst choice ever to play Batman. That honor has to go to the “Anatomically Correct” Bat played by George Clooney. Surely Joel Schumacher would have to take most of the blame for the disaster that is Batman and Robin, but seriously bat nipples, a cock piece, and a Batman credit card with no credit limit. I rest my case.

While I’ll agree with the idea that either Karl Urban, or maybe a relatively unknown actor, would’ve been a better choice to play the legendary superhero, I’m going to give Ben Affleck a chance to prove me and the throngs of haters wrong. It’s not this is the first time we’ve hated a particular choice to play a certain role. Remember the hateful response when we learned that Heath Ledger was chosen to play The Joker in The Dark Knight? What happened? Ledger delivered a masterful performance that was an enormous step above what Jack Nicholson brought to the big screen back in 1989. Can Ben Affleck rise to that level? I don’t know, but he’s going to have to. The pressure is solely on him. If he fails, the future for the planned Justice League movies could also go up in smoke. However, if I’m wrong, I’ll be one of the first to praise him.

It’s been four years since The Dark Knight. A film that I consider one of the best superhero movies of all time. I’ve always said to myself “I wonder how Christopher Nolan is going to top this.” Well the wait is finally over. No more teasers. My expectations are at an all time high. Then after about 20 minutes of previews the film finally began. After the nearly three hour showing I concluded that The Dark Knight has risen once again, and the result is nothing short of absolutely amazing. Not only was The Dark Knight Rises the best film of the summer. It’s the best film of the year. Academy Awards committee take notice. This film needs to win some awards.

Eight years have passed since the events of The Dark Knight. Gotham City is at peace. Batman is still a wanted man, but hasn’t been seen. Then again neither has Bruce Wayne. He’s become a hermit hiding in the rebuilt Wayne Manor yet still contributes to society. However, a new threat has made it’s way to Gotham. Bane. This madman is looking to destroy Gotham. Of course let’s also not forget about Selina Kyle who’s causing her own mischief as Catwoman. As things take a turn for the worse the people begin to question “Where is Batman? Will he come back?”

The Dark Knight Rises starts out just a bit slow as the storyline is introduced, but doesn’t take that long for the action to pick up. The first half concentrates more on the story while the second half up to the awe inspiring ending takes the approach of occupation to an all out war for the control of Gotham City with Batman and Bane taking center stage. The ending gives you a satisfying conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic trilogy and in a way leaves a slight opening for more although it’s really not needed.

Christian Bale returns once again as Bruce Wayne/Batman and does an excellent job with the role as usual. While the majority of the film centers around Bruce Wayne more than Batman, I still enjoyed the journey that featured a character going from all- time low in his life to the eventual point of redemption. Gary Oldman played a good role again as Commissioner Gordon. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was outstanding as Officer John Blake.

I really have to commend the performance of Tom Hardy who played the villainous Bane. His presence and physicality was commanding, but it was his voice through the mask that gripped me. From the first moment he spoke, I began to draw back memories of James Earl Jones when he did the voice of Darth Vader. It was both amazing and creepy at the same time. This version of Bane was more than just physically strong. He was also smart and cunning. Much better than the version that was shown in the shitty Batman and Robin where he was a big dumb brute and spoke with one word sentences.

I also enjoyed Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Sure some people didn’t like the outfit when it was first revealed, but when I saw her on screen in her tight costume I immediately said “Holy shit! She looks so hot!” Then again no matter what Anne wore she still looked amazing. Her performance had just a hint of Michelle Pfeiffer when she donned the catsuit in Batman Returns, but the rest was her own interpretation making it both fun and original.

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is an amazement to behold. These films were a big improvement over the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher movies from the late 80s and 90s. The Dark Knight Rises is a thrilling final chapter  in the Batman story that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Once I left the theater during the ending credits I wanted to sneak into another showing just to get another fix. I can guarantee that I will be seeing this film again before it’s eventual release on Blu-Ray later this year.

Since Spiderman 3 sucked how do you fix the popular Marvel franchise? Reboot! Wow, the common solution to make everyone forget that the previous movies never existed. All I want to forget is that Spiderman 3 ever happened. The other two movies were actually pretty entertaining. Oh well, it’s time to start over from the beginning with The Amazing Spiderman. After seeing the movie, the only thing that comes to mind is was whether this reboot is really needed?

As with any reboot, you have to start with some sort of origin story. In this movie, the story of Peter Parker becoming the heroic Spiderman takes a long time to develop. Seriously, a long time. Now I took my nephew with me to the movie because he really loves Spiderman. During the movie I can tell he was getting a little antsy wondering where Spiderman was. I was wondering the same thing. I already knew the origins of Spiderman so why do I need to go through the same thing over and over again except slower? Get to the point already! I want some action! Basically the pacing in The Amazing Spiderman crawls at an extremely slow rate. Too slow in my opinion, and that’s not good.

As for the rest of the movie as a whole, I felt like there was something missing. Sam Raimi’s Spiderman movies really had a sense of humor along with a charm making them unique. I couldn’t find that here with this movie. Everything had a very serious tone to it. Spiderman was never really known for that. Most of the antics that took place fell flat with me. In some scenes you almost feel as if a joke was ready to pop out only to get nothing in return. Also for a summer blockbuster, the action that I would expect in this type of movie was lacking. Besides you can only give so much story before the audience gets bored. That’s exactly how the moviegoers in the theater with me were.

The one good thing that The Amazing Spiderman had was the star power, but for some strange reason they lacked the punch that I know they can deliver. Now I’m not looking for Oscar worthy performances, but for a summer movie I expected better. Andrew Garfield was not bad as Peter Parker/Spiderman. His confusing demeanor in the role of civilian/superhero was quite believeable. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy was not that good. Emma clearly fits in the attractive female role, but she had better performances in some of her other movies. Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Conners/Lizardman kind of had me bored with him until he became the scaly lizard. Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field (is she really that old?) round out the cast that feel like they’re adding one more movie to their long list of credentials.

Sadly, in a summer filled with two other superhero movies (The Avengers & The Dark Knight Rises) The Amazing Spiderman just feels like superhero overload playing third fiddle to the other movies. Overall, The Amazing Spiderman is nothing more than a forgettable movie. That’s saying a lot with The Dark Knight Rises releasing in the next week. The Avengers and The Dark Knight currently sets the bar for superhero movies. The Amazing Spiderman doesn’t even come close, however it is better than the disasterous Spiderman 3.

A fun platforming game with multiplayer in mind
Everything you love about the television show is well represented
Coon and Friends

Playing in single player could lead to some frustration
Character selcetion mid-level would be nice
Where’s Butters as a playable character?

Previously on South Park:

Eric Cartman buys Scott Tenorman’s pubes. Cartman gets screwed. Cartman tries to get his money back only to get humilated by Scott. cartman then exacts his revenge by having Scott’s parents killed and placed in chili. Scott eats said chili only to later find out that he ate his parents. Scott cries in front of his favorite band Radiohead who eventually calls him a pussy. Cartman then enjoys the simple pleasure of Scott’s tears. (Season 5, Episode 4 “Scott Tenorman Must Die)

With his teenage life now in shambles, life for Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny eventually went on in South Park. Scott however had different plans in mind. It’s obvious that he knew the ancient Klingon proverb of “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” He starts out by stealing the hard drive from Eric Cartman’s Xbox 360 containing the gang’s game saves, and the travels to the future. There he creates a ginger robot army to keep Eric and company from getting it the orecious hard drive back. This begins our adventure.

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge, from Microsoft Studios and Other Ocean Interactive, takes you on a platforming adventure spanning some of the memorable moments of the last fifteen years of the television series. From the opening cinema to the end credits, the game gives you everything you love about the show and holds nothing back. It’s action packed, funny and uncensored. However, the game is not without it’s faults which may turn off some, but fans of the show are not going to care because it’s quite fun to play.

Playing as a side scrolling platform game, South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge is well executed with plenty of jumping, weapon usage and special abilities for each of the four characters you get to play as. At first, I felt like I was playing Super Mario Bros. as I would jump on Ginger kid robots to destroy them. Along the way you’ll come across other enemies that will need something other than a jump or two to defeat them. Weapons also come into play as you’ll wield baseball bats, crowbars, etc. to swing away at enemy characters. Each character also has a special ability like Cartman busting through walls with his belly and Stan throwing footballs. Another interesting feature is the time system where you collect time orbs to keep the game clock down to a minimum. Besides you only get ten minutes to finish each level. Boss battles also take place on each level allowing you to take on Scott Tenorman and his creations and dare I say the return of ManBearPig!

Each of the game’s levels are themed to some of the popular episodes of the series. Levels include the future world based on the two part epic “Go God Go” to places like Peru from the two part episode “Pandemic” complete with wind flutes. Everywhere you look on each level has the authentic South Park look and feel filled with plenty of humor that you would expect. The boys also can transform into their superhero alter egos from “Coon and Friends” allowing them to access areas of each level that the other characters cannot reach adding for some fun moments. Cartman as The Coon can climb walls, Stan as Toolshed can dig holes on the ground, Kyle as The Human Kite can fly, and Kenny as Mysterion can die and access hidden areas unaccesible to other characters.

With all the fun you may be having, there is one major drawback. This fault is the fact that Tenorman’s Revenge is more of a multiplayer game which could impact some who prefer single player. Let me just state that multiplayer is great featuring drop in drop out co-op for up to four players locally or on Xbox Live. This is clearly fun with friends. Single player is a different story which at times could lead to frustrating moments when it comes to timing jumps, taking on hordes of enemies with little life to spare and dying a lot. It’s almost enough to drive you crazy. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but there will be times where you wish you had a friend helping out in the three to five hour adventure.

I do have another beef with Tenorman’s Revenge and that has to do with character selection. A good idea would be to allow the player a chance to select another character in case they die or possibly try to reach another area as their superhero form. Sadly, once you choose your character before the start of the stage that’s who your stuck with for the duration. I also wish there was more characters to select from to play the game. The previous South Park tower defense game had multiple characters to play as. This is the type of game that I wish I had fan favorite Butters to play as along with his alter ego Professor Chaos. That would be fun.

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge is clearly a game dedicated to fans of the series. The game is not perfect, but it’s still fun to play with friends even if you throw your controller down and yell obscenities at your television in fits of rage. The game is like it’s own episode which is a nice addition. Platform game fans should also give it a shot. I suggest downloading the demo first and see for yourself. Oh, and to Other Ocean Interactive, let’s work on bringing in Butters as DLC.

Controls Flow Well With The Game Action
Excellent Multiplayer

Game Is Too Short
Asking Price Is A Little High

In a world where a mad bomber is hell bent on destruction, one man will be charged with saving the day. He must be strong. He must be brave. He must be fast. He must also have a grappling hook. Let’s welcome Speedrunner to the latest batch of original superheroes. The latest title in the Xbox Live Indie Games Summer Uprising brings us a battle of good vs evil. Sadly, this adventure is over as soon as it starts.

Speedrunner HD, from DoubleDutch Games, is 18 levels of fast paced action as you make your way from Point A to Point B in the quickest time possible. Each action packed level  is an obstacle course filled with jumps, slides and grapple points. along with that comes dangers like gaps, spikes and other obstacles meant to slow our hero down. In between all the action is comic book inspired cutscenes to get you involved in the story. At first I quickly passed through this to go to the stages just to play the game. Later I went back to get myself involved with the story and found the comic fun to read.

As I was literally going balls to the wall through each level, I saw myself getting into the action. Each move you make is fluid and flows nicely with the game. I’ve also had no signs of hiccups in the jumps and slides which is a big plus. With all that said you would think that I thought the game was easy. Well your wrong. The early levels feel more like a tutorial, but the later levels are a true test of patience. Get ready for some trial and error in Speedrunner HD because your going to die quite a bit almost to the point of wanting to throw down your controller in fits of rage.

One area I really enjoyed is multiplayer. You and three other wannabe heroes can jump into some local multiplayer action. Just having a few friends by to play the game made for some interesting competition. I will tell you that the multiplayer action almost felt reminiscent to Mario Kart as everyone was running for their lives in mass confusion while also trying to figure out where to go to reach the goal. This makes for some great party game action.

If there was one thing that I had a problem with in Speedrunner HD it would have to be how quickly the game ended. With the fast paced nature of the game, Speedrunner’s heroic adventures end almost as quickly as it begins. Around 30-45 minutes is all it takes to master this game which made me wonder if players are willing to accept the 240 Microsoft Point ($3.00) asking price. At 80 Microsoft Points however, this game would be a steal.

While the single-player campaign may not be up to speed in terms of length, Speedrunner HD does have an addictive multiplayer component that will make players not think about the inaugural asking price. The game is a lot of fun to play, but don’t expect a lot of replay value unless your a real completionist by saying to yourself that you must achieve that gold medal. In the end, Speedrunner HD is a fun game, but I wish there was more to enjoy.

A big thank you goes out to Casper Van Est of DoubleDutch Games for providing me a review code for the game. Thanks Casper! BH