In the past, I have frantically pitched the idea of a Skulduggery Pleasant film series to Hollywood. The book series by Derek Landy is one of my favourite media properties of all time and since becoming a fan of the books I’ve always wanted to see a film on the big screen. Despite this, I’ve now come to the conclusion that a film would be more harmful to the franchise than good, and here are several reasons why-
Hear me out, hear me out. I don’t have a problem with a female Thor for those reasons. I’ve had this issue for years but with the recent news at San Diego Comic Con it’s time to finally address it. Marvel Studios announced their Phase 4 plans and I’m very very excited. Marhershala Ali as Blade? Yes. The Eternals coming to the big screen? Yes yes yes. A Black Widow film with David Harbour involved? Perfect. And whilst I am very excited to see Thor 4 (or Thor: Love and Thunder, which is a bit silly even by Waititi standards) one piece of news has left me apprehensive. Natalie Portman is set to return as Jane Foster and take on the role of Thor, just like her character in the comics. But here’s my problem- Thor. Is. A. Character. Not. A. Title.
July will be Ben’s Month of Reviews. Whilst I am currently on holiday (in York en route to Edinburgh to be precise), thanks to the magic of the Internet I am still able to write a whole bunch of reviews for recent fandom properties I’ve seen recently. First up, the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, the second solo Tom Holland film and a film that features the big screen debut of one of Marvel’s coolest villains, Mysterio. How does it stack up? One of the best sequel’s Marvel’s ever done.
At last, summer is here. I’ve spent most of this month relishing in the freedom I now have following my exams, which means a lot of films were burnt through. This is in part to make up for next month, which will be lacking in the film front due to my long holiday coming up. With that said, how did I mark the halfway point of the year? Let’s find out.
It’s been a few months since the Infinity Saga came to an end with Endgame. Whilst it isn’t the end of Marvel Studios, it is the end of what we know so far and the film has set up lots of exciting possible futures for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the Fox acquisition and other heroes being established, I’m going to guess where Marvel may take their universe now that the primary heroes are dead. And with Far From Home just around the corner, let’s look to the future of Marvel. Unlike my Endgame review this will be spoiler filled as I think enough time has passed now for everyone to have seen Endgame. With that said, let’s look to the future. For this list, I will be looking at properties that either already exist in the MCU or have been announced/heavily speculated to happen-
The Dark Knight has been around for over 80 years and many great actors have worn the cape and cowl. Today saw a new Batman potentially be announced- Robert Pattinson. Whilst the Internet has of course been moaning and whinging, a look back at all the main actors to don the mantle proves that left field, unconventional choices often result in great results. Nobody thought Heath Ledger could play a good Joker. Nobody thought an unknown Australian could become Wolverine. No one thought Beetlejuice could be Batman. But the fan community has been proven wrong time and time again and just because Robert Pattinson was in that franchise doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a shot at DC. I haven’t seen anything he’s in outside of Goblet of Fire (you will never, ever, ever catch me watching one of those films. Ever) but a brief look at his filmography proves his capability as an actor. If he gets the role, I’ll be up for it. As long as the writing is strong I know we’ll get a great Batman. With that said, let’s look at the other iterations of Batman, in an article I have been waiting ages to write. For this article, I’m only going to discuss the six “main” actors who have played Batman. These are actors who have either played the Caped Crusader in multiple films or have been linked to the franchise in other ways through television or video games. With this criteria, I count six, soon to be seven actors who are considered to be the “primary” Batmen. Let’s start with the legendary-
I didn’t just watch that film (you know the one) this month. I made good use of my Easter holiday to check out some famous, and not so famous, films.
The Silence of the Lambs
Had I seen it before? No.
How did I watch it? Netflix
Famous for being the only horror film to ever win Best Picture, The Silence of the Lambs is an iconic film for so many reasons, chiefly the spine-tingling performance of Anthony Hopkins as the immortal Hannibal Lecter. And no, I will not say he is the lead actor, he is a supporting actor. A well deserved Oscar in the wrong category. The lead character is Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling, an phenomenal film hero who stands up to the most disturbed minds on the planet and still survives. The film is a masterpiece of pacing, writing,acting and directing and nearly thirty years on it still has such a strong impact and effect. The film is primarily a psychological battle of wits between Lecter and Starling, with the two trying to one-up each other at every turn, resulting in riveting viewing. Even though I know a lot of the twists and turns the film still gripped me, which is a credit to the talents of Jonathan Demme. His use of close ups and shot composition have gone down in film history and he masterfully directs the extended sequences of Lecter and Starling talking to each other to create some of the most intense dialogue scenes of all time. This film deserves every award it ever got and more. It’s truly spectacular.
Eleven years ago a film by an untested studio, directed by an indie director with a star who was no longer seen as bankable and based on an obscure comic book character from a company that went bankrupt a decade before was released. From this singular film came the biggest, most ambitious and risky endeavour ever put to film- make Marvel comics cool to the mainstream. Obviously Blade, the X-Men and Spider-Man were all successful but Iron Man kickstarted a decade of interconnected films, bringing obscure comics into the mainstream and changed Hollywood forever. All this leading to the Endgame. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is my generation’s Star Wars, and the hype and anticipation for Endgame has been unprecedented, eclipsing even that of Return of the King and Deathly Hallows Part 2. In my lifetime, only The Force Awakens had this much riding on it. Was it worth the wait? Was Infinity War too high of a bar?
In short.. Endgame surpasses expectations. It is the perfect ending for this journey that started with Iron Man. It’s three hours long but is perfectly paced, never dull and an experience that has to be seen on as big of a screen as possible. Watching this film with a group of Marvel obsessed friends, at midnight, surrounded by a full cinema, in 3D is an experience I will never forget. It is my favourite film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I will have to watch it a couple more times to see if it reaches the heights of my Holy Trinity of Comic Book films (Batman Returns, Spider-Man 2 and Logan if you’re interested).
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