Top Ten comic book movie battles

Action scenes! Part of the parcel that comes with comic book films. Thanks to the rise of computers and new filming techniques we have seen some truly spectacular comic book battles, and to honour Avengers: Endgame let’s take a look at some of the finest brawls presented on the silver screen. To qualify for this list, two or more combatants must be physically battling each other and have somewhat equal strength. Excluded are chase scenes (with warm regards to The Dark Knight’s highway pursuit), one sided demolishing (Wonder Woman kind of thrashes the German Army with no effort in the iconic No Man’s Land scene, despite it being a magnificent sequence) and action scenes that have no actual battles between opponents (take Nightcrawler’s White House sequence or Quicksilver’s standout scene in Days of Future Past). With that aside, let’s look at how the comic book world’s finest slug it out-

10. Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman and Johann Kraus vs Nuada and the Golden Army- Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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The Hellboy film retrospective: The perfect duology

One of my favourite characters is Hellboy, created in 1994 by Mike Mignola. A demon born in the pits of Hell to destroy mankind, Hellboy (or “Red” to his friends) rejects his purpose and instead dedicates his life fighting demons and other paranormal threats. He joins the BRPD (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense) and leads a squad of other magical beings to defend humanity. I love the comics, but I wouldn’t have read them had I not seen the films by Guillermo del Toro first. With the reboot coming out (I will give my thoughts on it at the end of the post), now would be a great time to look back on the two films, and why they remain one of the best adaptations from a comic book.

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Shazam! review- The DC films finally embraces humour to wonderful results

The character of Shazam- sorry, Captain Marvel, no not that one… whatever, is a long and complex one. The character who is mostly known as Shazam predates the creation of modern day DC and Marvel. In 1939 Fawcett Comics conceived the character as, ironically, a rival to Superman. In fact, Captain Marvel was given a film in 1941. In response to the adventures of the Marvel family outselling the Man of Steel, Action Comics chose to first sue then eventually join forces, with DC Comics buying Captain Marvel in the 70’s. Unable to use the name due to obvious reasons, his comic book was renamed Shazam! and his backstory altered, giving the character more distinction from Superman. Within mainstream continuity he was still referred to as Captain Marvel due to Marvel’s Captain Mar-Vell having been killed off. The New 52 relaunch in 2011 however officially christened the character Shazam after Carol Danvers became Captain Marvel, and no one but the die-hard fans know DC even HAD a Captain Marvel. So that’s the backstory. And as I said in my Captain Marvel review, there is no need to compare the films. They are completely different films with two very different characters.

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Every film I saw in March 2019

This month I immersed myself in a huge variety of films. From tentpole releases to classics, from obscure genre films to dramas, March saw this cinephile engage in a lot of exciting cinematic stories. From this month I’ll be stating if I’ve seen each film before and just for fun, how I saw them-

  • Get Out

Have I seen it before? Yes.

How did I watch it? Netflix.

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is one of my favourite horror films. A extremely original and blackly comic take on suburbia and race, Get Out can make you laugh one minute then have you with your mouth on the floor with the bizarre and brutal world Peele concocts. Daniel Kaluuya more than proves he deserved the Oscar nomination for Best Actor with his tour de force central performance as Chris, giving Bruce Campbell a run for his money as greatest “Final Guy” in horror history. It could have been easy for the film to simply be a “racism is bad” message but it’s a lot more complex than that, examining the mentality behind rich white American suburbia and the subtleties of race relations. I cannot stress just how funny and quotable this film is and whilst it is technically a horror film it is mainly a satire and whilst it can occasionally be uncomfortable viewing it is always one step ahead of the game and presents the audience with twists and turns that just captivate you. I highly recommend this film to the three people who haven’t seen it.

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Twelve for Thirteen: Twelve writers I would love to see write for Series 12

Whilst there’s no series of Doctor Who this year, Chris Chibnall and his team are busy working on a fantastic somophore season for Jodie Whittaker and the Thirteenth Doctor for 2020. Whilst her first season wasn’t perfect (I’m looking at you Tsuranga Conundrum) it was a great series overall and the viewing figures have spoken- Doctor Who is a household name again and is dominating the pop culture discussion once again. It is a great time to be a Doctor Who fan, as for the first time in years the average person on the street might know what you’re talking about and the quality of stories have reflected the level of attention the series is now getting (not you Pting). Chibnall’s all-new writing team were great and actually better than the man himself- I wouldn’t mind any of them returning, which leads me to this post. Here are twelve writers I would love to see write for Series 12 and make the next season as good as possible-

  • Toby Whithouse

Would I really say no to the writer of my favourite Doctor Who story returning? Toby Whithouse is a Who veteran, first contributing the amazing Series 2 story School Reunion which still holds up as the strongest story from that series. His main contributions were to the Eleventh Doctor era, where his vision of the Doctor as a dark, mythical figure cropped up first in the underrated Vampires of Venice and then the magnum opus of the entire show, The God Complex, which masterfully deconstructed then reconstructed who the Doctor is. A Town Called Mercy and the Fisher King two parter are both great too, and whilst Lie of the Land was incredibly… not good I can’t really blame that entirely on him due to the difficult behind the scenes circumstances surrounding that arc. In short, any season without Whithouse is poorer off without him and his idea of the Doctor is one that I support 100%. I would have preferably wanted him as showrunner but if that’s not the case, another story would do just fine. Whithouse is a master of genre storytelling and is one of the finest writers this show has had and Lie of the Land is such a poor way to end a fantastic collection of stories.

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5 great TV bottle episodes

Television is a vast and varied format, and it’s often the episodes that break the norm of their shows that often end up being the most acclaimed. By stripping the show down to its base elements, some of the most beloved episodes in television history are “bottle episodes”. These episodes take place in a single location and only feature the core characters, or even less. These episodes are devised to save budgets and reduce the need for vast locations or guest stars, although sometimes it’s due to a desire to try something different. These five episodes from television shows I love prove that sometimes less is more, and have been responsible for some of the finest outings for their respective shows.

  • Doctor Who- Midnight

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Captain Marvel review

With Endgame just around the corner, one key Marvel character has yet to be introduced- Carol Danvers. A very long and complicated comic book history including an alien who dies of cancer , a period in a coma when Rogue of the X-Men steals her powers, multiple identities and a long stint with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Carol Danvers FINALLY became Captain Marvel only recently in the comics, leaving her former moniker of Ms Marvel to be inherited by Kamala Khan. Carol Danvers is one of Marvel’s most high profile and important female characters and no matter what the comics are trying to do to her (Civil War II? Really?) the fact remains that a film with this awesome character is long overdue. The latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe does an excellent job streamlining the insane and convoluted backstory of the character into an accessible film and the result is a really fun time at the cinema that leaves you wanting more. And with Captain Marvel set to appear back on our screens in just over a month’s time, it’s great that her solo film has given audiences a taste of what Thanos will be feeling.

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5 DC characters Idris Elba could play instead of Deadshot

Well this is unexpected news. As James Gunn’s sequel/reboot/spinoff of Suicide Squad called, um… The Suicide Squad (the “The” is very important) goes into production we’re hearing interesting things such as how literally everything barring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is being jettisoned. Ok, an interesting approach but given the tepid reaction to the film I don’t blame Warner Brothers. Personally I liked Suicide Squad but oh boy was it flawed (glares at Jared Leto doing a weird Jack Nicholson impression and the absolute wrong villain) but still fun overall. Deadshot was played by Will Smith initially and whilst I personally didn’t mind him in the role it was more Will Smith than Deadshot. As Smith is busy making even worst career choices it appears WB are looking to not do the sensible option and remove Deadshot from the next film but recast him. Who are they considering? Idris Elba.

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The Umbrella Academy is weird, wonderful and well worth a watch

As we are enjoying the golden age of comic book adaptations, it’s worth remembering not every superhero property is Marvel or DC. We have the Incredibles, Hellboy, Dredd and many more making the genre interesting and diverse. Netflix’s latest smash hit (you can how much of a success a show is based on the amount of memes, which this show has lots of) The Umbrella Academy is such a property, based on the Dark Horse comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba that presents a family of super-heroic characters who are so dysfunctional the X-Men look like a perfectly functioning team in comparison.

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Every film I saw in February 2019

Alrighty righty let’s get straight back into my monthly list of every film I saw in 2019. I still didn’t see anything at the cinema (although that will have changed in a month’s time) but I still saw plenty of quality films. Let’s dive straight in-

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street

One of the most iconic horror films of all time, this timeless 80’s classic is often imitated, never bettered. Focused on a group of teenagers being haunted in their dreams by the mysterious Freddie Krueger, the film gave birth to one of horror’s greatest heroines- Nancy Thompson. We all know who Kruger is now after endless sequels and saturation but in this original film he is an enigma and a terrifying presence brought to life by the great Robert Englund. This film is also known for being Johnny Depp’s first film and even if you haven’t seen the film you know what happens to him- it’s a memorable and brilliant scene. If there’s one film that captures the 80’s suburban nightmare, then this is it. It’s been referenced so much, most memorably in Rick and Morty, but the impact is still immense. The best way to watch this film is when you’re on the verge of sleeping, and it’s how I’ll watch it next time. It’s one of the great slasher films and any horror fan should watch it.

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