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Batman Arkham Origins

Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel to the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City from developers Rocksteady. This is the first title in the series from new developers Warner Bros. Games Montreal.

The difference is not a big deal, but I’m afraid Origins feels like a copy and paste of Arkham City with very little added in terms of gameplay. The Bat-gadgets aren’t exactly an upgrade and no new combat has been added. The script is pretty decent, especially when you consider that Batman expert Paul Dini didn’t have any input on it. The voice acting is top notch with Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith making more than worthy successors for Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.

Batman Arkham Origins Penguin

As for other characters, Black Mask is severely and disappointingly underused. I liked some of the re-imaging of characters, such as Nolan North’s Cockney Penguin, who is a joy to behold. The new female Copperhead stands out as well.

I really did enjoy the game, but I felt it was too short. I completed the main story mode in under a week and when I came to load to do side missions I found the main story mode only makes up 30 per cent of the overall 100 per cent completion. Call me crazy, but I find that criminal. Games should be made to last, not just for online value as well as side missions. Like I said, Batman: Arkham Origins was enjoyable, but I couldn’t just shake the feeling that I’d been here and done it before. So I’d give it a…

***½

Posted on November 11th, 2013 by Kris Greet | Leave a Comment (2)
Filed Under Entertainment

 Ben Affleck as Batman - Wait a Minute

So the Batman will back and the man who will be donning the cape and cowl is Ben Affleck.

As expected, when the news hit the internet exploded with mostly negative comments from the fan boys. Then again these are the same fan boys that made the same comments and negative buzz about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in The Dark Knight… and look at how that one turned out. I think this is a brilliant choice and for one simple reason: Ben Affleck is not the same Ben Affleck from mid-2000.

Hear me out here. Aflleck has grown  and matured as an actor and also happened to become one of the best directors around. Anyone who doesn’t believe me has not seen Argo or The Town, which were two of the best films I have seen in recent years. I believe he’s a guy who has learned from his mistakes. I thought he was the right choice years ago when they were going to go with a younger Batman and I still think he’s the right choice, now as the older grizzled veteran Batman. There’s no doubting his ability or look when it comes to Bruce Wayne. I think a lot of fan boys are concerned with his Batman, but again, I say to those people to go and watch The Town. He plays the anti-hero with a mixture of coolness and darkness that could easily translate in parts to the Dark Knight.

I am excited for this Batman and Superman (or Batman vs Superman) movie and to quote a friend; “Man of Steel was like B., It was good, but by no means perfect. Hopefully Batman/Superman will be what The Dark Knight was for the Nolan trilogy.” I think it will be. It can easily build the DC cinematic universe the way it should be and hopefully lead to a Justice League film. I’m intrigued to see where they go from here with casting as well. They are certainly thinking outside the box.  Let’s hope more announcements are forthcoming. Bring on 2015!

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 by Kris Greet | Leave a Comment (1)
Filed Under Entertainment

Superman 23.3, Batman Superman 3.1

It is no secret that I hate that DC Comics relaunched with the “New 52” with little regard to fans or the characters. I get wanting to do something new and big to attract a new audience, and it has been successful in that right. But there was a way they could have done it by taking their time and bringing out ongoing series to natural conclusions, instead of just ending everything abruptly with the “Flashpoint” crossover. Sure, some titles like Batman and Green Lantern kept going like nothing had changed, but character like Superman who were altered greatly did not have a satisfying end. And that is a shame. </rant>

That being said, DC Comics has actually been doing some interesting stuff, including this month’s “Forever Evil” and “Villains Month”, where every title has been taken over by a villain, showing us their place in the New 52, or like for Doomsday above, shedding new light on his 52 Origin. H’el is one of the few new Superman villains in recent years to catch my attention. A Krypton villain who is powerful and ruthless- like ow Zod used to be. I just might be intrigued enough to pick up these two titles. Maybe. We’ll see.

Superman #23.3
Official Description: After his last battle with Superman, H’el wakes up on Krypton years before it is destroyed! Can H’el manipulate the Science Counsel, soldiers and countless others including Jor-El, to save the planet? And what does it mean for the birth of Superman if he succeeds?

Batman/Superman #3.1
Official Description: Long before Superman fought the unstoppable monster known as Doomsday, the beast’s reputation for death and destruction haunted The Man of Steel’s home world of Krypton.

Superman #23.3 hit stores last week while Batman/Superman #3.1 comes out on Wednesday September 25th, 2013. Both from DC Comics. Superman is written by Scott Lobdell with art by  Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund. Batman/Superman is written by Greg Pak with art by Brett Booth.

Have you been following the New 52? What has stood out? What would you change?

Batman/Superman #1

With Man of Steel in theaters, DC Comics is expanding the line of titles with the original superhero. His newest title teams him with The Dark Knight, Batman. Are they sending a subtle message to producer Christopher Nolan and director Zack Snyder about where they should go with the Man of Steel sequel or who he should maybe team up with in the movie? Batman/Superman #1 brings the reader back to the two hero’s first meeting in the “New 52” universe. Did they start out as friends? Foes?

Batman/Superman #1
Official Description: When a young Clark Kent arrives Gotham City in search of answers regarding a series of murders in Metropolis, he runs smack into Bruce Wayne himself. From the moment they meet, these two untested heroes’ approaches to protecting others could not be more different. BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1 launches the reader on an incredible journey that stretches from Gotham to Metropolis and worlds beyond. Featuring a story by celebrated writer Greg Pak and stunning artwork by Jae Lee and Ben Oliver.

The issue hits stands from DC Comics on Wednesday June 26, 2013.

Check out these Batman/Superman related comics…

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
With The Dark Knight Rises now on Blu-Ray, we thought that this would be a perfect time to revisit it with a Mini-Review. The scope here was great and that was my favorite part of it. The cast was amazing, the writing top notch, and the directing was great. I liked this more than The Avengers which I felt became too cluttered as it went along. Lots of recognizable faces in this one. Definitely better then Batman Begins, but just a step down from The Dark Knight.

Overall, this is a great way to end one of the greatest trilogies in film history. Nolan did with superhero films what Coppola did with mob movies. He reached and got to a bar higher than what anybody would ever expect from a film like this. It was definitely worth seeing in theaters (twice) and you should own it on Blu-Ray. I hope Warner Brothers sees what Nolan did and allows for that spin-off to happen, if you know what I mean (and those who have seen it will know what I’m talking about).

If you haven’t seen this one yet, make it the next movie on your list.

****½


Check out these Batman related Blu-Rays for sale…

In Part 1 of my Justice League Movie Suggestions we talked about Story, Villains, Creative, and Personnel. Now lets talk about Casting the Big Three! A film of this magnitude requires a cast that will be able to carry the film, much like Marvel’s The Avengers. This no time to start messing around with the characters and just throwing in people for the hell of it and the star power. I remember years ago when George Miller came to close to making what was being called Justice League: Mortal. He had apparently cast a bunch of, at that time, unknowns in every role. Now with some of the roles I could agree an unknown would be a good way to go, but asking a cast of complete unknowns to carry a film like this would be unfair. Casting one or two and then surround them with better known people has been a formula that has proven to work in the past. Below are a few suggestions for  the big guns of the Justice League.

Superman/Clark Kent
Most Likely Choice: Hell to me this is no contest, it has to be Henry Cavill from next years Man Of Steel. Warner Brothers would be foolish not to use that film to launch their new DC universe, but with it being produced by Chris Nolan there is a chance that they may keep the whole one hero, one universe. I think that this would be a bad move. While it worked on Nolan’s Batman trilogy because Batman has no super powers and it felt like a real world that they created. This is Superman, the story is so more universal. I think Cavill will be there come the start of production.

The only other person I could see them turning to would be Joe Manganiello from True Blood. He has tested for the role before and apparently came very close to winning the role. It seems likely that if Warner Brothers were to replace Cavill for Justice League then they would turn to him. He has the size and actin chops to excel in the role. But I really do think Cavill is the safe bet here.

Batman/Bruce Wayne
The “Robert Downey Jr” Choice: By this I mean an actor who’s been in the spotlight at the top and has suffered a steep decline attributed to either poor film choices or some sort of scandal. This wasn’t actually my personal choice, but I could see it if it happened and that person is Colin Farrell. I think he has the look of Bruce Wayne and could pull of the suave playboy image. I’ve never seen much of his work in darker roles as he always seems to play the hero roles and that could work to his advantage. I actually do like Farrell as an actor. The 2008 film Pride And Glory where he played a corrupt NYPD officer in a family of cops really showcased his talent. He was almost cast as Batman in Wolfgang Petersen’s aborted Batman Vs Superman, so again Warner Brothers must like something about him. That script made it online and I did get to read it and I could really see where they were coming fro. I could really see Farrell in the role at the time.

Another actor I could see in the role who would rock it would be Mad Men star Jon Hamm. His career doesn’t need much of a boost, but his only main exposure is television right now. He has had very few movie roles and Justice League could be the one that makes him the next George Clooney. No, not in the sense of being a bad Batman, but in the sense of being the next television star to make the transition to Hollywood A-List movie star with ease.

Wonder Woman/Diana Prince
The Popular Choices: MMA star Gina Carano just burst onto the film scene in the action flick Haywire, which has led to a lot of fans calling for the WB to sign her to don the bullet proof bracelets. Personally I love the choice, Haywire was a fun action flick and she did a lot of her own stunts and fight scenes. I think she would fit well in an ensemble and possibly lead to her being one of the breakout stars of the film.

Another choice I could get behind would be Castle star Stana Katic. I don’t know what it is about her, but I just could totally see her as Wonder Woman. She has the look and the skills to portray an Amazon princess. I would love to see Wonder Woman have a bit more of a feisty side to her like in the new Justice League comics, but she still needs to have that authority of a warrior about her. That’s why I think Carano would probably be the better choice.

In Part 3 of our Justice League Movie Suggestions I’d take a look at casting Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquaman!

Finally Warner Brothers and DC Comics are getting their act together! The behemoth that was The Avengers this summer seems to have lit a fire underneath the suits in Burbank. First Gangster Squad writer Will Beall was given the task of scripting the film that will finally (hopefully) bring all of the big DC comics Titans together on the big screen for the first time. Last week the studio was reportedly eying Ben Affleck to direct with Harry Potter alum David Yates next on their list. Could we be finally seeing this happen? If it does here are some suggestions that I think WB/DC should take into consideration.

Story and Villains
Give the Justice League a full on challenge, not just something like the Injustice Gang plotting to take over the world. Put the whole world in danger and have this be the reason for why they have to team up. Don’t team them up simply because Joker, Luthor, Trickster, and Star Sapphire have joined forces so that means Batman, Superman, Flash and Green Lantern should team up. Throw the team together because Earth is being invaded by Darkseid and his forces from Apokolips. The story from the recent reboot, DC’s “New 52” is perfect for that. Have the Earth be in serious trouble from a real threat. Give us the full fight of the league vs Darkseid. That was my biggest complaint about The Avengers. When you took away all the geek factors and other story parts you essentially had an Alien Invasion movie with no real pay-off at the end. Instead it was a mid credits teaser where the big villain was revealed and now you have to wait presumably until The Avengers 2 to see it. Don’t do that here! Make the league face Darkseid individually and fail then lead up to them fighting together to stop him.

Creative and Personnel
Get the right people involved on the production, Hire Paul Dini and Bruce Timm from every recent memory DC Comics animated series and features to look over scripting and story details. Get Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, and Dan Jurgens to make sure DC’s interests are kept true to the comic universe. These are key to the process. Warner Brothers need to do what they been doing wrong all these years. Make this a collaborative film, pick the right storylines from the comics to help inspire the story. Now we’ve seen Ben Afflec’sk name come up already in line for the gig though his rep’s reportedly say he has passed (which I don’t believe). My gut tells me he is probably still talking to them. Yes he turned down the Man Of Steel allegedly, but he is obviously impressing people at Warner Brothers with his work. I’m a fan of his directorial work, Gone Baby, Gone and The Town were two of the best crime films I’ve seen in a long time. The guy knows his stuff, but the question remains can he do a big action film. My answer to that would be yes he probably can. He’s worked on those type films as an actor, so he would have had to picked up something along the way (good or bad). He is also a comic book geek so he will know what kind of audience he has to aim the film for as well. I think Affleck’s previous work has earned him a shot. I would also be happy with Warner’s rumored second choice, David Yates. He can make a solid film and has huge spectacle film experience. Some of the action sequences from the Harry Potter films he has directed have been nothing short of excellent. I would hope Warners interviews or talks to a few more directors before anything is made official and I hope we get to hear who they are.

Check out Part 2 of my Justice League Movie Suggestions: Casting the Big Three.

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