FILMS - Comic Book Adaptations
Comic strip/Comic book/Graphic Novels - all adapted into film. Let me know if I've missed any!
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|SirPant's Rating||My Rating|
30 Days of Night 2007, R)
A really good horror film and very pleasant surprise! It's a road well trodden but this feels fresh and original, I might have to seek out the comics on which they are based. It is certainly one of the most visually beautiful horror films I've ever seen and David Slade makes the jump from Warp Music video master to motion picture director perfectly. More please!
30 Days Of Night: Dark Days 2010, R)
300 2007, R)
A History of Violence 2005, R)
Am I missing something here? This is one of the most overrated films ever! William Hurt is crap in this!!! Why does everyone praise him so much, why was he nominated for an Oscar? Did I see the same film? This is not the Cronenburg I love! This is a very average film made worse by the talent that created it.
The Addams Family 1991, PG-13)
Addams Family Values 1993, PG-13)
Adèle Blanc-Sec 2010, PG)
I can't say I've ever heard of the 70's cartoons of The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec but I might just seek them out! The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec is a great adventure film, more for adults than children though, which is probably why I like it even more. It's about bloody time Luc Besson made another live action film and I really hope that this is the first of many adventure films based on the fantastic character, Adele Blanc-Sec - played wonderfully by the very beautiful Louise Bourgoin. It's a bit like Indiana Jones/The Mummy but directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I can see a bit of Besson's usual style here but I wouldn't say it was obvious that it's one of his films. I'm not complaining though, he's back in the game and long may he continue - although I'm baffled as to why this film has been so overlooked!? Definitely worth checking out, I may have been a bit generous with my rating but I really was pleasantly surprised by it and entertained throughout!
Akira 2001, R)
AVP - Alien Vs. Predator 2004, PG-13)
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (AVP 2) 2007, R)
I'm being generous by giving it 2 stars really. It was good as far as an action/Gore film goes but hard core fans of the franchise/franchises will be disappointed. There is no sense of suspense and Its nothing like the comics, which was always this franchises problem in my opinion. I wish filmmakers would think about the original audience before taking on these types of projects. Now, lets join the storeys together over a couple more films and end on a high with Alien vs. Predator vs. Terminator!
Alois Nebel 2013, Unrated)
A faithful graphic novel adaptation is a rare thing. A rare and beautiful thing in the case of Alois Nebel. The wonderful and faithful animation aside, the characters are wonderfully brought to life. There is a certain strength in the subtlety commanded by animation that Tomás Lunák clearly understands, it is evident in each character and each character plays their part. Everything is important to the overall story, the bleakness, the sadness, the slow and humble pace, it all build towards the brilliant climax. It may not be to everyone's taste but everything about this film is faultless as far as film making goes. If the Coen Brothers had their names on it everyone would be waxing lyrical about it, you know I'm right.
American Splendor 2003, R)
Annie 1982, G)
Ant-Man 2015, Unrated)
Art School Confidential 2006, R)
Asterix at the Olympic Games (Asterix aux jeux olympiques) 2008, Unrated)
Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia 2012, Unrated)
Astro Boy (AstroBoy) 2009, PG)
For everything I liked about Astro Boy there were three things I didn't. I hated the choice of voice casting and the story was pretty horrible when you break it down, it's like Pinocchio but without the charm (and with Child death which never goes down well in cartoons). The animation was very nice though and you could still see its Manga roots - albeit only just. Not good enough to warrant a sequel though, not by a long shot.
Marvel's The Avengers 2012, PG-13)
I have to say I was impressed with The Avengers. I honestly thought they were setting themselves up for failure but hiring Joss Whedon was the best decision they could have made. He adds depth to the characters, keeps with the comics and injects just enough of the right humour to make this film work well. Everyone gets their fair share too, including Hawkeye and Black Widow who could have been side-lined. They also got the Avenging part right, how could they be avengers without having something to avenge. Spot on. This one was good but I have a feeling the next one is going to be better and I for one can't wait. Finally, good superhero films that live up to the hype! Please let next years Superman be this good!
Azumi 2003, Unrated)
Azumi 2: Death or Love 2005, Unrated)
B. Monkey 1999, R)
Ba:Bo 2008, Unrated)
Barb Wire 1996, R)
A pretty typical low budget 'Big name' action film of the mid 90's. I'm not sure which looks more plastic, the set or Ms Anderson's knockers. I'm guessing it has a cult following, I can't say I've ever read the comic it's based on but it looks quite good. I dare say the film has ruined it for them somewhat now but who knows, maybe they can remake/re-adapt it in the near future, stranger things have happened. Overall, after waiting this long to see it and knowing its reputation I have to say I was disappointed by the lack of screen time Ms Anderson's boobs had!
Barbarella 1968, PG)
The Batman (An Evening with Batman and Robin) 1943, Unrated)
An interesting historical piece of Propaganda from the 1940's but not really Batman at his best. In fact Batman is a bit of an arse in this mini-series film and he gets knocked out an awful lot to the point where you have to ask 'Is he really a Superhero'? Oh, and it's pretty racist too. Apart from that it's quite good fun, the cliffhangers are often quite good if not over the top silly. The 'Gangster' scenes are pretty good too, I liked it a lot when Bruce Wayne played his other alter-ego, the big nosed 'hoodlum for hire'. Alfred is a bit crap in this version too and the Bat-mobile and Bat-cave a little dodgy. The original Superman film had worse acting but far more charm and also benefited greatly from an origin story. I do love these old Mini-series though.
Batman and Robin 1949, Unrated)
Batman: The Movie 1966, PG)
Batman 1989, PG-13)
Batman Returns 1992, PG-13)
I think Batman returns is a little bit better than Burton's first Batman movie, although Batman seems to take a back seat, the Penguin and Catwoman are far more interesting, possibly Burton's only flaw in the franchise and thankfully, one Nolan hasn't repeated. For me though, it's Walken who steals the show in this one!
Batman Forever 1995, PG-13)
Batman & Robin 1997, PG-13)
Batman Begins 2005, PG-13)
The Dark Knight 2008, PG-13)
A fantastic sequel that is better than the first! Believe the hype! Bale, Ledger, Caine, Gyllenhaal & Freeman are fantastic but for me Oldman & Eckhart steal the show! The Joker was a much anticipated villain and fantastically executed by Ledger but the Harvey Dent story line is the one that really got my heart beat going. The evolution of the Batman story goes from strength to strength. Nolan knows what he's doing, thank God, his political statements (The patriot act) are handled well too, raising debate without bias. This is the best Superhero/Comic adaptation since 1978's Superman! Fantastic! I can't wait until the next instalment but I'm puzzled about how the Joker character is going to continue without Ledger.
The Dark Knight Rises 2012, PG-13)
*Spoilers* It's pretty much faultless. It's the perfect way to leave it for now, Nolan has been completely unselfish unlike his predecessors and has left the story open wide for who ever takes over to continue the story. I think it's safe to say that people like myself who are into the comics and understand the different threads of the Batman universe are pleased with this conclusion, this Batman isn't really for kids and neither is this film. I like so much of what he's done here, I even liked Anne Hathaway as Catwomen! I especially liked the fact she wasn't a ridiculous character, she's very much a Frank Miller version of Catwoman although she is never referenced as such which I thought was also a great move.I don't want to spoil the story for anyone so I will just say Joseph Gordon-Levitt was brilliant and I'm glad he was in it, Tom Hardy was good although his Sean Connery/Darth Vader voice made me laugh and all other supporting cast where on good form. i liked the Ra's Al Ghul connection, the Dr. Jonathan Crane cameo and most of all, I liked the fact this was a Batman film. The last film was The Joker movie, nothing wrong with that, the Joker is as big as Batman with the fan-base but it didn't make it a 100% bat film unlike this episode. I'd love another one from Nolan but it's always best to quite while you're ahead but the good news is it doesn't look like it's the last we hear of the Dark Knight and that's a good thing.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 2012, PG-13)
One of the most faithful adaptations made for a long time. It really did bring the classic comic to life (again, always read the book first Kids). The brutality of the comic is there as is that 80's comic style, that mini-revolution that was going on. I did wonder if they were going to get the News bulletin parts right and thankfully they did. The Joker is coming, can't wait for part 2!!
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part Two 2013, PG-13)
The concluding part of Frank Millers classic is a must for fans. In stretching the comic over two films the animators have managed to include every glorious frame of the comic, something I was pleased about because if you're going to do something like this, you've got to do it properly. They didn't hold back either, I'm sure many people who had not read the comic were shocked by some of the content. Comics ain't for kids! I would love to see some of this incorporated into the DC films of the future, it would be risky but it's what the fans want.
Battle Royale 3D 2000, Unrated)
Black Mask 1997, R)
Black Mask 2: City of Masks 2001, R)
Blade 1998, R)
Blade II 2002, R)
Blade: Trinity 2004, R)
Blueberry (Renegade) 2004, R)
Odd one this. It?s got a fantastic cast, mind you, not everyone is on good form. Izzard is good, Madsen and Cassel are ok, Morrison gets the job done, Lewis should stick to singing and quite frankly I wanted to see so much more of Borgnine and Hounsou, who where the best characters but had the least amount of screen time. I liked the cowboy and Indian bits and I liked what they did with the SFX, it?s just that there was far too much of it towards the end. It went a little too 'Lawn Mower man' for my tastes but it?s not a bad film.
Bulletproof Monk 2003, PG-13)
Captain America 1990, PG-13)
Captain America: The First Avenger 2011, PG-13)
I'm more of a DC nerd to be honest but I'm really enjoying the build up to the Avengers film (although I bet the individual films turn out to be better). The Hulk was good, Iron Man was very good, Thor was good and now Captain America is good. Not great, but still pretty good. They have kept pretty faithful to the origins too, something film makers often get wrong. The cast were good too - although I guess the Fantastic 4/Avengers cross-over film has been ruled out due to the casting of Chris Evens?. It's an all round does-exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin action adventure superhero film - innocent fun, entertaining enough - will never match the new Batman films or the old Superman films but then nothing ever will in my mind. As long as they keep on trying I'll be happy.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014, PG-13)
Captain America has never been a comic book character that has ever really appealed to me. This is because I'm not American. I'm not anti-America, I just wonder how many American boys read Captain Britain? And yes, Captain Britain does exist, he is even a member of The Avengers but I'm not going into that now. It is fair to say that Captain America was always going to have less global success than the other Marvel Avengers. Marvel know this and so they upped the game accordingly. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is more a Nick Fury/Black Widow/Captain America film to be fair as the other two Avengers get just as much screen time but it works to the film's advantage. If you're one of the few people who are watching Marvel's TV series Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D then your enjoyment will be even more enhanced. It's rare that a franchise actually gets better with each film but that is exactly what is happening here and long may it continue. The Winter Soldier is action packed but it does stop occasionally for intelligent story telling, strong performances and interesting ideas. Superhero films aren't supposed to be this good, thank you Chris Nolan! Favorite scene: Jenny Agutter kicking ass!
Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat 2003, PG)
This was much better than I thought it would be but as you can probably tell from my 1 1/2 star rating, I really wasn't expecting much. Some scenes were funny but this isn't anything like Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat. Sack the props dept for starters! Give me Mike Myers over Jim Carrey any day though! (That isn't a recommendation BTW)
Catwoman 2004, PG-13)
Catwoman is a sultry, sexy and above all cool character...except in this film. It is as awful as everyone says it is. I wonder how much screen time the real Halle Berry actually has because most of the film seems to be of a poorly animated bobble-headed cartoon of her. Compare it to Nolan's Batman films and obviously it fails miserably, compare it to a piece of rotting cat food and still it doesn't compete! Avoid, even and especially if your a Batman fan!
The Confessions of Robert Crumb 1987, Unrated)
Conan the Barbarian 1982, R)
Conan the Barbarian 2011, R)
Conan the annoying, turns into Conan the irritating and then grows up to be Conan the Egotistical and Conan the unnecessarily violent. Violence has its place in film, and maybe I'm just getting old but it was relentless and tiresome and more than a little gratuitous. I know it was to be expected from a film like this but still, there is only so much one can take. The original was 80's cheese and all the better for it, this one takes itself far too seriously and fails because of it. Enough of the pointless remakes please Marcus Nispel!
Constantine 2005, R)
Cowboys & Aliens 2011, PG-13)
When I first heard about this film I immediately thought of my childhood and to those school lunch-break conversations I had with my mates, 'Who would win in a fight between Optimus Prime and He-man'?. If I'm being completely honest, we're still having those conversations now, they still get heated and someone generally get upset in the end. The prospect of having Cowboys vs. Aliens was music to our ears, finally Hollywood was listening, a mainstream B-Movie staring James Bond and Indiana Jones (another great 'Who would win in a fight between' lunch-break debate of the 1980s). It got slated though, I've read nothing but bad reviews of it but then after watching it, I'm still not sure why. It's first and foremost, a decent Western - and then it's a good sci-fi film. I suppose you either think the concept is silly or you think it's cool - if you think it's silly, you're never going to like it. Ok, so it could have been better, it should have been the coolest film ever but it was still pretty cool. The 10 year old kid in me loved it and the 30 something in me agreed. Now that Hollywood is finally on my wavelength, could we please now have Mr T vs. Jaws (James Bond Jaws, not the shark)? Maybe Care Bears vs. Gummy Bears for the girls?
Creepshow 1982, R)
Creepshow 2 1987, R)
Creepshow III 2006, R)
OK, I was not expecting it to be the best film ever but this film is easily the worst film ever made! The makers totally missed the point of the Creepshow franchise and just used the name to boost sales. Damn it, it worked on me! This is punishment for being a completist. The worst thing of all, apart from the acting, direction, storeys and just about everything, is the fact that Ana Clavell and James Glenn Dudelson think they have made a really clever film! Glutton for punishment, I watched the making of and was more shocked and horrified than I was watching the main feature! As if making Day of the dead 2 wasn't bad enough! Talentless idiots! Avoid this waste of time film at all costs, especially if you?re a fan of the first Creepshow movies. I feel compelled to add an extra star to all the other films I?ve rated so far, as this is without a doubt the worst film in the history of cinema! I can't believe I?ve written so much about it!
The Crow 1994, R)
The Crow: City of Angels 1996, R)
The Crow - Wicked Prayer 2005, R)
The Crow - Salvation 2000, R)
Crumb 1995, R)
I have a love hate relationship with Crumb's work. Most of it I love but the part I hate is explained as the main topic in this documentary. Indeed, everything becomes clear when you learn of his upbringing and to be honest out of the three brothers, it sounds like he got it good. It is shockingly and disturbingly honest, at one point Crumb's brother Charles admits to having paedophilic feelings and no one seems to blink an eyelid. We are told at the end of the documentary he went on to commit suicide just a year later. It is a fascinating documentary, I can't say it made me warm to Crumb much, it's still love/hate as far as his work goes and there is only so much you can blame on your childhood. I believe all three brothers are dysfunctional geniuses but Crumb is the only hypocrite. Selling out is matter of opinion. Brilliant documentary.
Danger: Diabolik 1968, PG-13)
Daredevil 2003, PG-13)
Death Note (Desu nôto) 2007, Unrated)
Death Note: The Last Name (Desu nôto 2) 2008, Unrated)
Death Note: L: Change the WorLd 2008, Unrated)
Death Note: Re-light: Visions of God 2009, Unrated)
Death Note: Re-light: L's Successors 2009, Unrated)
The Declic Years (Les Années déclic) 2003, Unrated)
Dennis the Menace 1993, PG)
Dick Tracy 1990, PG)
Lung fu moon (Dragon Tiger Gate) 2006, Unrated)
Dragonball Evolution 2009, PG)
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night 2011, PG-13)
El Muerto 1975, Unrated)
Elektra 2005, PG-13)
Made by people who have never read an Elektra comic obviously. I'm glad Marvel have got their act together these days as no one wants to see this kind of drivel anymore. It is spectacularly dull. What was Terence Stamp thinking? Rob Bowman is also a better director than this, maybe he's just too used to being told what to do.
The Fantastic Four 1994, PG)
Apart from the advance of special effects, the new films and the 1994 film are equal. Equally bad. To be fair to the 1994 version though, they weren't really trying. It was a legal thing, they had to make the film to retain the rights, so it goes. Roger Gorman is a genius though, he makes not a lot of money go a very long way. The Thing is quite good and Mr. Fantastic's stretching scenes are worth watching the film for alone. The last scene where he waves goodbye to his wedding guests had me in stitches. It's awful but charming, which is more than can be said for the new ones. Maybe I've been a bit harsh on the 2005 version on retrospect but overall, the Four deserve better.
Fantastic Four 2005, PG-13)
Faust: Love of the Damned 2000, R)
The Flash 1990, Unrated)
The Flash II: Revenge of the Trickster 1991, Unrated)
The Flash 2012, Unrated)
Flash Gordon 1980, PG)
Now and again I come across an old film I must have seen 100 times but have forgotten to review. Flash Gorden is the quintessential cheesy action-fantasy and that's saying something because most film in the split genres are very cheesy. It's very quotable, very laughable and very watchable, with an array of 'What ever happened to..' stars of yester-year. The ultimate 70s/80's crossover film too, I was going to say it's Barbarella for boys but Barbarella is kinda for boys anyway. Anyway - You have to see this film at least once, it's the rules!
Fritz the Cat 1972, Unrated)
A real slice of the times bit of satire, Fritz the Cat is a cult favourite and an interesting piece of historical satire. It's a shame that the makers didn't stick to the original or get Crumb's approval but I believe they did manage to bring new and positive qualities to the character. I also liked what Crumb did with the character in retaliation to the film, it all adds to the interesting development of the underground comic movement. To dismiss it as a racist, drug fuelled animated orgy is to misunderstand it completely. I really like this style of animation too, it's what I grew up on.
The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat 1974, R)
A disappointing and unnecessary follow up to Fritz the Cat. I like the story, Fritz is now married with a kid and during one of his wife's nags his nine lives go off and experience new things, albeit under the influence. Unfortunately none of the short stories are that good and the trippy psychedelic moments are fairly annoying. Under the influence I'd imagine they'd be even worse. I can see why Crumb disowned it.
From Hell 2001, R)
G-Men From Hell 2001, PG-13)
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life 2011, Unrated)
Gainsbourg is a refreshing biopic that skillfully avoids all the usual cliches found in the genres. Maybe it takes someone other than a film director to tackle films like this, personally I think getting someone like Joann Sfar, a well known and much loved graphic artists (who knows a bit about Gainsbourg) was a brilliant decision. It is both visually stimulating and beautifully shot, I would argue that you wouldn't need to know anything about Gainsbourg before watching this film, but that said, fans need not worry, the mix of fact and myth suits the legend of Gainsbourg perfectly.There will undoubtedly be things you didn't know about Gainsbourg but all the more interesting 'Half-truths' are all accounted for and the film is all the better for it. Personally I loved it, it's the best biopic I've seen for a very long time and I thoroughly recommend it!
Garfield - The Movie 2004, PG)
The voice actors, esp. Bill Murray did a fine job but I couldn't get why Odie and other characters weren't animated too!? Apart from a few funny moments, this film turns away from any interesting storyline to 'Look what we can do with our fancy computers'. It should have been a 2D cartoon with the original animation. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should! Even for a kids film (even though it should be for original fans!) this is boring!
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties 2006, PG)
Gasoline Alley and Friends 1951, Unrated)
Generation X 1996, Unrated)
Ghost Rider 2007, PG-13)
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 2012, PG-13)
Mark Steven Johnson was an odd choice of director for the first Ghost Rider, I suppose Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor were more obvious choices but they've not come a long way since Crank, they now seem to be the go to guys for 'in your face effects at the expensive of any real substance'. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a better film than the first due to its better effects and darker character. The skull looks better. The story is however and 50/50 balance of ridiculous and dull. Dare I say it, the first film had more going for it story-wise. The only bits of this film I really enjoyed were the comedy moments but then I'm not sure they were intentional. The ending got so stupid and confusing that I just didn't care anymore and I wanted it to end. One star for effects.
Ghost World 2001, R)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 2009, PG-13)
I wish Hollywood would leave my toys alone. Actually, if I'm being honest, I only had one G.I. Joe and I never played with it, I think my sister married him with Barbie and that was the last I saw of him. I was more into He-Man and M.A.S.K. - I would like to see a M.A.S.K. film thinking about it but I'm sure they'd screw that one up too. The cast is..eclectic, I hope everyone was paid sufficiently. It is nice to see a director showing loyalties to actors he's worked with before though, even if it does mean giving them walk-on parts. As for the story, well I think most 10 year old boys have come up with better scenarios with their toys over the years (Ripcord will, quite rightly, now be the first one to be buried in the garden/flushed down the loo no doubt). There are splashes of the greatness like the ones displayed in the Mummy films but they are too few and far between, Rise of the Cobra is mainly a CGI headache and a bit of a tapeworm story-wise.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013, PG-13)
So just a couple of people decided to come back for the sequel and even then one of them doesn't stick around all that long and you know a film is bad when Marlon Wayans doesn't even want to be in it. Instead of writing a story they seem to have just written several action scenes and then tried to piece them together. I don't know, maybe that's action film practice but I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be so obvious. Some of the action scenes are quite good and some of it is mindlessly cheesy enough to entertain but a masterpiece this ain't.
Green Lantern 2011, PG-13)
I have a feeling that the makers of The Green Lantern sacrificed the story for a PG-13 rating - I guess they've got to make money, but the question remains, if you're going to do something, why not do it properly? I'm a big comic fan but not so much a fan of Green Lantern. He/they would pop up in other DC publication from time to time and I would buy a few just to answer a few niggling question and to complete various series - eek I'm a geek! I've always liked the idea of many different alien members of The Green Lantern corp and although I'm glad they featured here, they really needed more of them. The film could have been an introduction to the corp only. The sequel could have been the first fight - this just felt too formulaic, we've seen it all before, same film different uniform. The use to the green power here is also appalling, it felt like a cartoon, which is dangerous considering the less than brilliant CGI. Also, Ryan Reynolds is in it. Need I say more?
Guardians of the Galaxy 2014, PG-13)
Hardware 1990, R)
Heathcliff - The Movie! 1986, G)
Heavy Metal 1981, R)
The epitome of cult. It's an odd blend of so bad it's good sci-fi, tongue in cheek amnie and 'crumb' style pornography. Add to the mix an 80's rock soundtrack, popular 80's voices (John Candy, Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis) and some of the funniest dialogue in cinema history and you're on to a winner. Believe everything you've heard, it's as good/bad as it sounds and very much worth a watch!
Heavy Metal 2000 2000, R)
The first Heavy Metal film was so bad it was good but then never tried to be anything more than it was. Heavy Metal 2 is so bad it's bad. It has none of the charm of the first film and has very little in common. The story is dull and is devoid of humour, the 80 mins felt like 80 hours. Huge disappointment.
Hellboy 2004, PG-13)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2) 2008, PG-13)
There was something not quite right with Hellboy 2. I can't put my finger on it, I can't seem to find any fault, it just didn't feel right, a little disjointed perhaps. That said, I loved the end scene and the creatures etc. Having been a fan of the comics for many years, I can say that it's a brilliant adaptation, I guess I just didn't enjoy it as much as the first!
Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! 2008, G)
The Horton hears a Who I remember was much less preachy and didn't have all the religious connotations that this film hinted at. Maybe I got that wrong but still, this Atheist thoroughly enjoyed this version, I'm so glad it was animated rather than real life, Jim Carrey you are almost forgiven! The only thing is, I really hope kids don't stop reading the books! Anyway, great stuff!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas 2000, PG)
Howard the Duck 1986, PG)
Howl's Moving Castle 2005, PG)
The Incredible Hulk 1977, Unrated)
The Incredible Hulk Returns 1988, Unrated)
The Trial of the Incredible Hulk 1989, Unrated)
The Death of the Incredible Hulk 1990, Unrated)
Hulk 2003, PG-13)
The Incredible Hulk 2008, PG-13)
Koroshiya 1 (Ichi the Killer) 2001, R)
Iron Man 2008, PG-13)
This is a pretty good comic book movie. Much better than a lot of the crap that's been made from comic/video game franchises. I can almost forgive Mr. Favreau for Daredevil now! One thing though, film makers, please warn us if there is something at the end of the credits! That was a very nice surprise!!
Iron Man 2 2010, PG-13)
'If it ain't broke don't fix it' seems to be the motto here but unfortunately I wanted a little more or should I say, a little less. There were too many sub-plots going on here and as much as I'm looking forward to The Avengers, i found this to be more of a franchise set-up than the sequel Iron Man deserved. I hate it when an actor is changed too, although I did like the way Don Cheadle was introduced to the film. I also really liked seeing Iron Man drunk. Not as good as the first but then again, are they ever? This is still a very entertaining film that does exactly what it sets out to do. Bring on Thor!!!!
Iron Man 3 2013, PG-13)
*This review may contain spoilers* Handing over Iron Man to Shane Black was a good move. The Batman films have forced the Superhero film to grow up somewhat, The Avengers took it that bit further and found the perfect balance and the rest is history. Iron Man 3 is a grown up Superhero film that some might find hard to adjust to. Tony Stark the Movie might have been a better title but then when you have Robert Downey Jr. as your lead, you don't want to see just 5 minutes of him and then a whole load of CGI. I have to say though there were elements I didn't care for, the whole 'Starting again' story-line I thought was a bit tired and also the inclusion of a Child just for the sake of it (or to appeal to a younger audience - like they're not already interested). Mostly though I found it to be a breath or fresh air. Keeping the action to a minimum and then including all of the Iron Men in one big fight was a brilliant idea. Saving the falling people was also pretty cool, as was Iron Potts. Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall provided some excellent supporting characters with Kingsley just edging ahead and nearly stealing the show. I really hope we see more of him, I'm sure we will. The big question is What happens now? Is Iron Man just going to be in the Avengers now or will he get another film, it is hard to see where he can go from here.
Jane and the Lost City 1987, PG)
Jonah Hex 2010, PG-13)
When it comes to comics, I'm more a DC man (Vertigo) - until it comes to film adaptations that is. When reading my favourite comics, Transmetropolitan, The Boys, DMZ, 100 Bullets, The Invisibles...the list goes on, I think to myself 'They should totally make this into a movie' - then a film like Jonah Hex and Green Lantern come along and you think, actually some things are best left in comics. That said, I've never been much of a Jonah Hex or Green Lantern fan so I'm not that bothered. They messed up with Constantine which was pretty unforgivable, so for now I reckon comics like Scalped and Preacher are safe but Hex was expendable and worth the risk. For all it's negative reviews though, Jonah Hex isn't a terrible film, some parts were quite good and I especially liked the 'Talking to the dead' scenes. Unfortunately the entire film is just completely forgettable..what was I talking about again?
Josie and the Pussycats 2001, PG-13)
Judge Dredd 1995, R)
Dredd 2012, R)
The slow motion photography was absolutely stunning but I'm not sure it really worked within the story or style of Dredd. Dredd was my first love when it came to comics. The early 90's was all about 2000AD for me and I became obsessed with Dredd and to be honest, I had low expectations for the film. So many great stories to choose from and they went with this? It's not terrible but it's not great, I really hope that this is just an introductory thing and that they will make a few more based on classic story-lines. I would never expect Hollywood to understand what Dredd was really about, it's satire, dark humor, social comment etc but I also didn't expect the level of violence and gore. I thought Karl Urban was great though and I'm glad he kept the helmet on throughout. I thought Olivia Thirlby made a good Anderson and Lena Headey was great as Ma-Ma. Personally I want to see the likes of Judge Death and Judge Fish, Otto Sump, Father Earth, Don Uggie Apelino.... the list goes on. I just don't know if they could ever appear in this relatively grown-up version in the future. Although, I can't tell you how trilled I was when I saw the Chopper graffiti, he was one of my favourite characters and I'd love to see him in the next film. I want another film, I just want to see more of the comic Dredd. Also, the bikes looked rubbish and Mega City One didn't look futuristic enough but this can (and should) be fixed. Where was the giant Judge statue? Where were the White Cliffs of Dover? We hard-core fans need a little more please...
Kick-Ass 2010, R)
Kick-Ass 2 2013, R)
The original Kick-ass did indeed, kick ass. It was the perfect adaption of what made the comic so good. Kick-ass 2 is a continuation of that story and in my opinion is just as good. The initial impact has now past but the character development continues. I have to say this is a breath of fresh air in the comic superhero heavy climate. It's funny with serious notes and serious with funny elements. Essentially it is once again about all those problems superheros have; Identity crisis - are you the hero or are you the secret identity, superpowers - they don't exist, are you a hero or a vigilante? etc etc. What this film brings above the other is the exploration of the origins story. Every superhero has to have a cool origins story. For this reason alone, this is more a The Mother*ucker film than it is a Kick-Ass film. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is brilliant as the struggling super-villain. He and Chloe Grace Moretz's Hit-Girl rightfully get as much of the screen time as Kick-Ass. If you're a fan of the comics and a fan of comics in general you will appreciate this being one of the few adaptations that get it right. Jim Carrey is right, it is very violent - more than I expected but the it is called Kick-Ass and it does exactly that.
Kriminal 1966, Unrated)
Lady Black Mask 1999, Unrated)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2003, PG-13)
Dr Seuss' The Lorax 2012, PG)
I much preferred the recent Horton Hears a Who! but it's still a million times better than Jim Carrey's How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the God awful Mike Myers The Cat in the Hat. It's perhaps a little over-complicated and not as pure and simple as the original story, the message is still there but as much as I loved the Bears and the Fish etc, they really should come second to the classic story but they don't, they are the best bits.
The Losers 2010, PG-13)
I'm a big fan of Vertigo comics but The Losers is one of theirs that seems to have passed me by. I can see how it probably works as a comic though, the humour and action is there but also the edginess that makes Vertigo so good. The cast are likable and the pace, action etc was always consistently entertaining. I couldn't quite believe that was Jason Patric as the bad guy though, what a great villain he's become! Overall, pretty good and lots of fun Sequel? Yeah, why not! But Vertigo please, make The Invisibles, DMZ and Transmetropolitan! Actually, don't make Transmetropolitan, that should probibly remain a comic.
Lucky Luke 2009, G)
I feared the worst when I got wind of this film but luckily James Huth nailed it. It's about as good an adaptation of the classic Belgian comic you're going to get in my opinion, Jean Dujardin being the perfect choice in the lead role. The costumes and props didn't convince me at first but as soon as I revisited the comics I could clearly see that all involved had done their homework. Most importantly, it was just as cool and funny as the original. A very pleasant surprise.
Man-Thing 2005, R)
The Mask 1994, PG-13)
Son of the Mask 2005, PG)
Marmaduke 2010, PG)
I love the Marmaduke comic strip. My Grandma used to cut it out of the paper every day and we would read them together. This film does resemble that comic strip in the slightest. Not a surprise, if fact, I sat down to watch this film with the understanding that it is a modern interpretation of the character, I was fine with that and so I wasn't too surprised or upset when it turned out to be a rubbish film. However, I had no idea just how awful it was and so I still got a little bit upset. After so many terrible talking animal films, there really isn't an excuse, the filmmakers should have at least got something right! People have stated that this one is purely for the kids, well I disagree. My kids will never be allowed to watch this bile, I'd rather they watched the Saw movies to be honest. It's incredibly preachy, it's moral stories are convoluted and contradictory and the humanising of the animals is just horrid. Dogs are quite fun as dogs, they don't need to surf/dance/date/copy every 'teen' film made in the last 40 years for us to enjoy them! Avoid this film at all costs, unless you're the kind of person that thinks cutting a dogs tail off and sticking lolly sticks in its ears is acceptable and 'cute', then you will probably like it. You bastard.
Men in Black 1997, PG-13)
Men in Black II 2002, PG-13)
Men in Black III 2012, PG-13)
The first Men in Black film wasn't really my cup of Tea. That was actually all I wrote in my review, a bit lazy I know and at 2 stars a little bit stingy too. I think it was the production, the Will Smith theme song etc that didn't interest me and ultimately put me off before I even saw the film. The second film was a soulless cash in. So I can't say I was that excited when I heard they were making a third film, I thought that Smith, Jones and Sonnenfeld probably needed the money. I'm glad to say I was not just pleasantly surprised but shocked at how good the film turned out! It seems that it takes three films for people to really sort themselves out these days, the third film is supposed to be the rotten one but not so of recent years. Everyone was on good form but Josh Brolin as a young Tommy Lee-Jones was an inspired choice and I didn't even realise it was Jemaine Clement as Boris until right at the end, what a character! Michael Stuhlbarg was also a really good inclusion to the cast and a great character. It's the strong characters and little details that the previous films were lacking that this has in spades that make MIBIII not just the best of the trilogy but a brilliant film in its own right. I think they should leave it alone now, it was such a great ending and the story has sort of come full circle but if the writing is as strong as it is here long may it continue.
Model by Day 1994, R)
Modesty Blaise 1966, Unrated)
Monkeybone 2001, PG-13)
My Neighbors the Yamadas 1999, PG)
Released between two of Studio Ghibli's best and most successful films to date (Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away) My Neighbors the Yamadas is a strange addition to the portfolio of work but a welcome change of style. Without wanting to sound stupid and obvious, it is very Japanese. Based on a popular comic strip, Isao Takahata wisely keeps a short story format to keep up momentum and to give each character their fair share of screen time. Each story has a moral tale attached to it, some are clearer than others and some are just completely unfathomable. The animation is simple and charming as are the stories but this sin't quite what hardcore fans of Ghibli want or come to expect. It's a nice one off but probably my least favorite from the studio.
Mystery Men 1999, PG-13)
Oldboy 2005, R)
Over the Hedge 2006, PG)
Persepolis 2007, PG-13)
The Phantom 1996, PG)
Aside from the bad script and the fact that the story doesn't really ever go anywhere, The Phantom wasn't all that bad. I thought Billy Zane was perfectly cast, as was Treat Williams. It was in essence a tribute to The Phantom series of 1943 starring Tom Tyler, doing all the things they couldn't afford to rather than modernising the story for the kids. I think they made the right decision. It just needed a better story, a bigger budget and a few tweaks here and there and it would have been great. I think it's time the Phantom was resurrected, I think Billy Zane would probably still do the role justice too but it's never going to happen.
Popeye 1980, PG)
The Punisher 1989, R)
The Original Punisher film is a cheesy 80's action film, who would have thought with Dolph Lundgren in the lead role! Lundgren is Frank Castle, a cop gone rouge, how can you tell he's bad-ass? He's got stubble on his earlobes, that's how! It's the 80's, cue rock-synth music, a grunting muscleman, Jeroen Krabbé being villainous, Louis Gossett Jr. being cool, comedy side-kick (Barry Otto in a very curious role), Yakuza's in suits, in depth explanations of what Yakuza means, etc etc. It's love and hate really, I love the cheese but hate the adaption.
The Punisher 2004, R)
The Punisher isn't all that bad but it isn't great. As an avid comic fan I have to say Punisher was one of my least favourite characters. The cast are pretty good here but ultimately wasted, it was a pleasure to see Roy Scheider as Daddy Punisher but I'm just not sure it was worth the five seconds he was in it for. The story is based on the original story of how Frank Castle became the Punisher but it is full of holes, there are hints of great ideas (Harry Heck was ace but again, only in it for 5 seconds) but there are just too many awful ideas. Why was so much time spent with his stupid neighbours? Should have been a lot better but it could have been worse. I'm not to bothered though as I said, I was never a big fan in the first place and it was entertaining enough for a bit of silly action.
Punisher: War Zone 2008, R)
Wait a minute, the original Punisher was a cheesy 80's action film that had little to do with the comics, the remake had a big name cast but a terrible story and again, had little to do with the comic. Punisher:War Zone, the sequel to the remake should be worst of all right? Well, it's not. Not at all in fact. It's got the story right, it's got the feel right. Ray Stevenson is a believable Frank Castle. Wayne Knight looks just like Microchip! (It's also great to see him in film again). Dash Mihok is Martin Soap, Doug Hutchison is great as Loony Bin Jim but it is Dominic West who steals the show as Jigsaw. He relishes the the opportunity and the freedom that wearing a mask can give you. The film is action packed and quite violent and gory, just like the comics. It's a pretty good adaptation and I'm sure hard core fans must be happy. I thought it ticked all the boxes for what it is and then some. More please.
Red 2010, PG-13)
RED is a fun action-packed popcorn comedy, nothing more, nothing less. Although I would say it is one of the better of the genres. I can't really criticise it to be honest as I really enjoyed it. It's got a good cast too, I particularly enjoyed seeing good old Ernest Borgnine, he's hardly aged at all, not bad for a 94 year old eh! John Malkovich steals the show somewhat but everyone is on good form. I'm a big Warren Ellis fan too, I've not yet read the Graphic novel but I can definitely see enough of him in this film to be satisfied. Good fun!
Red 2 2013, PG-13)
What made the original RED film so enjoyable is that it was something we'd never seen before, so obviously being a sequel, RED 2 suffers somewhat because we know what to expect. I still believe that RED 2 delivers more of what we all loved about the original, although it does wander into 'seen it all before, formulaic action film' territory in places. But so what, this is what we expected and wanted no? I think it's a shame that the film was panned on release, it's a fun action packed pop-corn film, above average and actually pretty funny.
Red Sonja 1985, PG-13)
After the success of the Conan films the genre really took off but no film ever matched John Milius passionate Conan. Richard Fleischer directed the sequel, kept Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sandahl Bergman in the production as different characters and hoped everyone would get behind it. It's fun for sure. It also has a big Asian influence about it, Babycart among many other films come to mind. I think that is why it's enjoyable, it's stolen loads of great scenes from other great films; The water creature was from Star Wars for example, just elaborated. To be fair most of Star Wars was stolen, again from Asian films so I guess at best Red Sonja is a good example of fantasy/action film evolution. Lets not take it that seriously though, it's classic 80's fantasy cheese. We all fancied Brigitte Nielsen as Red Sonja, any guy that tells you he didn't is lying.
Red Sonja 2012, Unrated)
Richie Rich 1994, PG)
Richie Rich's Christmas Wish 1998, G)
Road to Perdition 2002, R)
The Rocketeer 1991, PG)
The Rocketeer fits into that early 90's 'They obviously spent a lot of money on it but not quite enough' category. That said, it's got a lot going for it and the parts that have aged haven't aged that badly. There are lots of plot holes, nonsensical happenings and things that just don't add up but nothing that can't be forgiven for being silly fun. The one big thing I would change if I could would be swapping Bill Campbell for Bruce Campbell. That would have been very cool and at least worth another star.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch 1996, PG)
I enjoyed the odd episode of the TV program but it's quite unbelievable that it was green-lit after this terrible pilot/feature length edition. I can only imagine that kids TV was struggling a bit back in the mid-90s, apart from casting Melissa Joan Hart they seem to have changed everything anyway, I guess credit due for seeing the potential but for what it is, this made for TV film is just mind-numbingly horrible.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 2010, PG-13)
Bloody hell, Ritalin anyone? Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has got to be the most original, fast-paced and successful adaptation of a comic in recent years. Wow. It was hard to keep up at times but as much as this film made me feel old, it was a real kick to the retinas - and I mean that in the best possible way. Edgar Wright very much doing what he does best, with a brilliant cast of young talent - I enjoyed it very much and is probably one of my top favourites of 2010.
Sheena 1984, PG)
Sin City 2005, R)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 2014, Unrated)
The Smurfs 2011, PG)
The Spirit 2008, PG-13)
I understand why many didn't like The Spirit. It's fair to say it's not the greatest comic book adaptation ever made, surprising as it was directed by one of the greatest comic book authors of all time but I guess that answers the question 'Do great comic book authors make good film directors'. That said, it's not a bad debut for any director and it's certainly not the visuals that let it down. I think what really lets it down is that it is never clear what kind of film it's supposed to be. I appreciated the quirky humour but was this film meant to be serious with a few jokes or is it 100% spoof? I guess some things just don't translate well from comic to screen. Still, I quite liked it, it really isn't anywhere near as bad as everyone says, dissapointing because of what it could have been but give me this over The Fantastic Four any day of the week. Looking forward to Sin City 2 but my dream come true would be to see Martha Washington made into a film!
Spawn 1997, PG-13)
Spawn 2 2010, PG-13)
Spawn 3: The Ultimate Battle 1999, Unrated)
The Amazing Spider-Man 1977, Unrated)
The theme of mind power techniques was quite prominent in most of the episodes of the short lived Spider-man series starring Nicholas Hammond. The origins of Spider-man aren't explored particularly well here and Peter Parker is more of a scientist than a news paper photographer but the special effects are pretty good considering the low budget and era. I think Nicholas Hammond was a pretty decent Peter Parker too although he looked more like a children's entertainer that had just soiled his costume when in Spider-man mode. It's not very good but I love it, old American 70s/80s TV shows are awesome.
Spiderman: The Deadly Dust 1978, Unrated)
The deadly dust is by far the better of the two films compiled from the original series. I think replacing David White with Robert F. Simon was a big mistake but Chip Fields and Robert Alda more than made up for it in their respective roles. Mr. White is an excellent bad guy, would have been nice to see more of him.
Spider-Man 2002, PG-13)
Spider-Man 2 2004, PG-13)
Spider-man 2, I feel, was much better than the first. Alfred Molina was a fantastic Dr. Octopus and the story progressed quite nicely. It also stuck close to the comic which was appreciated by us comic fans (Who knew quite quickly, and got over the fact quite quickly, that the film was never going to live up to what we'd hoped for).
Spider-Man 3 2007, PG-13)
After the fairly decent Spider-man 2, I had high hopes for this film, especially when the villains were announced and the fantastic looking poster/Trailers were released. Unfortunately, it turned out to be all gas and no fire, and possibly the biggest disappointment in the last 10 years of cinema. I did like this Bruce Campbell cameo though!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2012, PG-13)
I thought Marc Webb's version of Spiderman brought a lot to the story that was lacking in Raimi's version but I also think Raimi's version better represented the character of Peter Parker. They are pretty much equal because they are pretty much the same film. Thus, Raimi's version is better because it was the original, Webb's version is already a bit tired and feels like a bit of a cash in, neither have got it spot on in my opinion. It also slumps in the middle massively, and the beginning of the film takes ages to get going but the transformation sequence happens within minutes. Overall I was disappointed, Killer Croc was a bit of a disappointment too, everyone has their favourite Spiderman baddie (mine is Mysterio) but I thought he looked a bit rubbish. He also didn't wear his lab coat long enough. Andrew Garfield has yet to convince me either. More action in the 2nd film please, I guess it can only get better.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014, PG-13)
Steel 1997, PG-13)
The Storm Riders (Fung wan: Hung ba tin ha) 2000, PG-13)
Fung wan II (The Storm Riders 2) (Storm Warriors) 2009, PG-13)
Supergirl 1984, PG)
Superman 1948, Unrated)
Fifteen glorious 17min serials, I can only imagine how excited young boys of the 1940s would have been to go see each weekly instalment. The acting is crummy, the effects pretty bad, most of the action scenes are repeated again and again, the story makes no sense, the props are the same in every shot, you can see the reflection of the camera man, you can see the shadow of the boom stick, Superman looks directly into the camera when he changes, I could go on and on about the problems with this series but it would take a whole lot longer to tell you why I love it so much. Might be quicker to just watch it for yourselves. You can quite clearly see Richard Donner was a fan and where he got a lot of his ideas from. I'm so grateful that this is available on DVD and has been reproduced so well. The Spider Lady was quite the vixen, she could definitely be updated and brought back for the new films. A must for Super fans!
Atom Man vs. Superman 1950, Unrated)
The second Superman mini-series is just as cheesy as the first, nothing much is new as far as the characters, pace, story etc is concerned but it does feel like Kirk Alyn has toned it down a bit, maybe a sign he didn't want to do it again quite early on. Noel Neill and Tommy Bond are still on form as annoying sidekicks though. The only thing that puts this series slightly higher than the first is the introduction of Lex Luthor (Atom man) played rather well by Lyle Talbot. The repeat of old footage does get annoying but it's B-movie making at its best.
Superman and the Mole-Men 1951, Unrated)
Obviously Superman fans and fans of the old Cinema reel series are going to love this but others may be disappointed. The Mole-men (although they are only ever referred to as the 'strange creatures') aren't exactly Superman's biggest foe (excuse the pun). This tale is more about acceptance and understanding over violence, which to be fair has always been Superman's biggest opponent. Dated for sure, but a great short film. Phyllis Coates was a great Lois Lane, I think I preferred her to Noel Neil if I'm being honest.
Superman 1978, PG)
Superman is by far the best Superhero movie of all time. Sure the new Batman films are excellent but they're not a touch on Donner's classic. Reeve is the quintessential Superman, even though he the 3rd (or is it 4th?) person to play him. I just can't express how much I adore this film, it has been my favourite since childhood and I must have watched it over 100 times. I love everything about it and can find no faults with it. Brilliant!
Superman II 1981, PG)
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut 2006, PG)
Superman III 1983, PG)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace 1987, PG)
Superman Returns 2006, PG-13)
I hate this film, I don't know what gave Bryan Singer the audacity to sat 'Forget the last 2 films, I've got a better idea'. How dare he! Start again, you wont be able to top the first film but put your own mark on it! Its just so painfully crap, Singer is very overrated and the actors all do a pretty lousy job with their characters (apart from Spacey who is the only saving grace). My biggest problem with it is the storyline. Suddenly a whole continent of Kryptonite can't stop Superman ever though a pebble of the stuff nearly kills him. Don't get me started on the whole 'Superboy' scene. At least Superman fans are united in condemning it, I just hope it has not killed Superman's chances in the future. I'm watching Smallville from now on!
Man of Steel 2013, PG-13)
The original 1978 Superman film is my favourite film of all time. It's the film that made me into the film obsessive I am today. I'm not just a fan of the film though, I am a collector of Superman comics and TV series. To look at the 1978 films and the 3 sequels in a critical and technical way is pretty tough for me to do, that old lady called nostalgia will always tell me those films are brilliant no matter how good or bad they really are. Superman Returns was awful - see my review for why I think that. It was time for a change and I welcomed a new beginning and quite looked forward to one. They took various ideas from contemporary Superman graphic novels but without using one directly which I thought was a great idea. The casting was great, Henry Cavill did well and I thought Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner were brilliant as the two fathers. I expected more from Michael Shannon if I'm being honest and I'm afraid I don't really see anything special about Amy Adams. She, I'm afraid to say, was totally wrong for the part. I also didn't like this version of Lois Lane, they got it totally wrong in every way in my opinion and I found her (and the fact she'd just pop up out of nowhere, sometimes even though she was 50 miles away in the last scene) annoying. I was also surprised by the inclusion of all the spaceships. Fights and spaceships. That, I'm afraid wasn't really Superman for me. Maybe in some of the comics but I thought it was too much on screen. Apart from those few things I found no fault with it other than it didn't quite feel like Superman. The absence of Clark Kent was probably the biggest reason why but as we saw towards the end, this will be rectified in the sequel. The blink and you'll miss it Lex Luther reference also makes me think that now that they have got the origins out the way, the real return of Superman can begin, albeit in 3 years time.
Surrogates 2009, PG-13)
Surrogates is a sci-fi thriller very much in the style of Phillip K. Dick but is much better than most of the films based on his work, certainly the ones of recent years. It's had a lot of bad press, most of it unfair in my opinion. Maybe many felt let down because of the low budget vs. huge potential but then I think you can spoil a story like this with overblown budgets, for me the balance was right. Many people still haven't forgiven Jonathan Mostow for Terminator 3 but then again, I also didn't think that deserved the bad press it received. It's better than most of the garbage Hollywood churns out trying to master this genres.
Swamp Thing 1982, PG)
The Return of Swamp Thing 1989, PG-13)
Tales from the Crypt 1972, PG)
Tales from the Crypt 1989, Unrated)
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight 1995, R)
Tank Girl 1995, R)
I?m not so sure how it all went so wrong? The comic is fantastic, a favourite of mine growing up in the late 80?s early 90?s. They don?t seem to have understood any of the characters and have cast it accordingly. I can?t think of any redeeming feature in this film apart from the little snippets of the comics but at the end of the day, they only highlight how badly the film has adapted. What a stinker!
Tamara Drewe 2010, R)
Tamara Drewe isn't the film I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised by many elements but overall disappointed considering all the hype it received. First off, I've not read the Graphic novel, I love my comics but I can't say this was on my 'Must read' list and it still isn't. Basically, Tamara Drewe the character (and in many ways Gemma Arterton the actor) are not the prominent or even the important elements of this film. It almost feels like a pointless character, one that has very little to do with the others and is certainly the least interesting. The, quite unfairly treated, supporting characters (and actors) are the real reasons to watch this film, two words; Tamsin Greig. Watch it for the wonderful Tamsin Greig alone. Roger Allam, Bill Camp and Dominic Cooper play their parts well - the young Jessica Barden is also brilliant and is definitely one to watch. The comedy turns black for the grand finale which is very welcome but unfortunately you have to sit through a pretty gentle comedy to get there. Definitely worth a watch though!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie 1990, PG)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III 1993, PG)
TMNT 2007, PG)
Thor 2011, PG-13)
I was a big fan of the Thor comics when I was younger, before I discovered 2000AD. It's because I'm so familiar with the comics that I can appreciate that this was never going to be able to be the new Batman. That's the thing with the Avengers films, the comics are a bit crap. Ironman did so well because the comics were improved on in the film - something that most superhero films born from comic characters fail to do. Seriously, who read the Ironman comics? Thor had a little bit more to prove as he has a bigger fan base; he is a great character but with a very difficult story as far as tying in with the other characters/films. Based on that criteria, they did well. It also warranted the humour it contained but I can see why some didn't favour it. The problem is that the story is so simple, there really isn't anything to grab you. The acting was pretty good, Chris Hemsworth was perfect casting as Thor but for me Portman grated a little. I'm not sure all the CGI suited Kenneth Branagh's directing style either and as for the editing, it's very obvious that a lot made it to the cutting room floor as to much of what we don't see is referenced. Thor - directors cut anyone? Anyway, it did the job and set the scene. It was entertaining enough and I'm sure the second one will be better. Captain America and the Avengers had better be good though because to be brutally honest, this should have been better considering all the hype!
Thor: The Dark World 2013, PG-13)
Thor: The Dark World improves on the original vastly, as it needed to do. I still don't like Natalie Portman's character much but I can live with it. Apart from there not being enough Jaimie 'Should have been cast as Wonder Woman' Alexander screen time, it was pretty much spot on. The character has really captured the essence of the comic and has improved on it. The final showdown was intelligent and breathtaking, not since the grand finale of Superman 2 have I been more thrilled at the end of a Superhero film. Marvel really are on a roll, I'm a DC man myself and I'm hoping my team will sort themselves out and give them a run for their money (but out of passion rather than financial one-upmanship. Loved that Cameo!
Timecop 1994, R)
Timecop 2 2003, R)
The Adventures of Tintin 2011, PG)
Tintin was always going to be a tough film to make. It's got a huge global fan-base, which I myself am a member, I grew up reading and loving all of the Tintin books and I have kept every single one in mint condition (next to my Asterix collection). So it was a relief to see that it wasn't a complete mess but to be honest I am disappointed. The computer animation is very impressive and all, I just don't know if it suited the original animation style - it only felt right when the characters were in profile. I think it was all a little too heavy handed, not just the animation but the action too. The characters aren't exactly as I'd imagined them as a child either and why they couldn't have just stuck to one story is beyond me. It just didn't feel like the work of someone who was a particularly big Tintin fan, I know films have got to make money but I think Steven Spielberg is rapidly loosing his magic and getting lazy.
V for Vendetta 2006, R)
Vampirella 1996, R)
Virus 1999, R)
Wanted 2008, R)
Wanted is very over the top, quite silly and often completely ridiculous. So it is a pretty good graphic novel adaptation and Bekmambetov was a good choice of director. I've not read the comic yet, it is on my list, and I can totally see how it would read. For me, this is a pretty decent action film, tongue firmly in cheek and a lot of fun - albeit, very violent and often gory fun but fun all the same. A nice surprise I have to say as I was fearing the worst.
Watchmen 2009, R)
If you have not read the graphic novel, you probably won?t like the film. You probably won?t really care or understand it! For those of us who have read and absolutely love the graphic novel, it?s a different story. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how well Snyder handled it! I would say that 85% of it was spot on! The only real problem that I had was that so much of the good stuff was cut out. I know it would be impossible to adapt it properly into a film, I would have just liked it to have been made into a mini-series, a 12 episode series if you will. Also, the ending. well, that took a lot of balls changing that but I have to say, it was changed for the better!
Tales of the Black Freighter and Under the Hood represent the two sub-plots left out of Zack Snyder's 2009 version of Alan Moore's classic Watchen. I thought Snyder did a great job of filming the un-filmable. There is no way he could have left Tales of the Black Freighter in the main story, it just wouldn't have worked. So I'm glad they made a separate animated version. Could you imagine a real life feature length version though? It would be the darkest film ever made if done properly. I liked Under the Hood too, much of it has been touched upon in the new Watchmen comics but a TV series would be awesome. Moore isn't interested though, so I'm a bit torn. Anyway, two great companion pieces but you really should read the book!
Weird Science 1985, PG-13)
When the Wind Blows 1988, PG)
Whiteout 2009, R)
Whiteout is based on a graphic novel apparently. I'm a bit of a comic buff and I have to say that one passed me by. I'm not going to bother looking out for it though. Whiteout is a decent enough middle of the week popcorn film. The questionable special effects used in the flashback scenes are generally made up for in the snowy scenes and with the non-CGI gore. It doesn't take a genius to guess 'Who dunnit' when there are only 5 characters to start with but it doesn't matter, it's no work of art but it serves its purpose.
Who's Harry Crumb? 1989, PG-13)
X-Men 2000, PG-13)
X2: X-Men United 2003, PG-13)
X-Men: The Last Stand 2006, PG-13)
After Singer left the franchise in the lurch it was all downhill (Superman was shit by the way). Brett Ratner didn't do too badly but the biggest crime was to kill off some of the much loved characters. X4 looks unlikely, which is a shame because after X2 I was getting quite excited about the whole thing. never mind, I'll get over it!
X-Men Origins - Wolverine 2009, PG-13)
I think this was a wasted opportunity. The film flashed past the interesting bits in the opening credits, it would have been great to have seen a little more of the brothers at war and then to see more of the special team of mutants on a few more missions. There was a trilogy here but now there isn't even enough for a sequel. Gambit, my favourite of the comics, was also a let down. There were a few nice surprises though and Hugh Jackman is always a joy to watch, not bad but should have been much better! 9The SFX were for the best part quite good but the scene were he's looking in the old folks mirror is truly awful!) They can't mess up on the story of Magneto though, that has to be done well!!!
X-Men: First Class 2011, PG-13)
As an origin movie X-Men: First Class is pretty impressive. Apart from a couple of factual errors regarding dates, it's pretty solid. I liked the fact that they didn't get ahead of time with their technology, it was very fitting with the classic comics of the time. There was also an element of tongue in cheek about it that I think only an Englishmen could deliver, I think it worked rather well here when more than often it doesn't. The cast is ace, McAvoy and Fassbender are brilliant, the only bit of re-casting I would do would be to replace January Jones but only because I can't stand her and the character of Emma Frost deserved better. Twenty something Beast was a bit of a let down too, he looked like one of the monsters that would always be in the back ground in The Muppet Show. Also, and I'm a full on comic nerd so bare with me, if Magneto and Mystique know where the X-Men base is having trained there, how do they spend the best part of the first and second films looking for it? I'm sure all will become clear in the many sequels this films deserves. If you really have to re-boot a franchise, this is how you do it!
Gu huo zi: Zhi ren zai jiang hu (Young and Dangerous) 1996, Unrated)
Gu huo zi 3: Zhi zhi shou zhe tian (Young and Dangerous 3) 1996, Unrated)
Comic Book Villains 2002, R)
The Masters of Comic Book Art 1987, Unrated)
Comic Book Confidential 1999, PG)
Comic Book Collector 1990, Unrated)
Cartoon Crazys: Comic Book Heroes 2000, Unrated)
Comic Book Pajama Party: Women Who Love Comic Books! 2004, PG-13)
Comic Book - The Movie 2004, PG-13)
Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked 2005, Unrated)
C.B.D.: The Comic Book Diaries 2006, Unrated)
Comic Books Go To War 2009, Unrated)