Man of Steel: it steals the show (gross)

Ok, so the title is horribly pathetic but it made you laugh a little bit right? ๐Ÿ˜›

Superman in handcuffs

Man of Steel being “held” by human handcuffs LOL! (Apologies for the LOL, ย just thought it suited the caption)

After the ย mess that was Superman Returns I was scared for the future of Superman movies. I feared the most recognisable comic book hero would fade from public memory, spurned by the ones who once loved him so…but my fears were alleviated when I watched Man of Steel! ๐Ÿ˜€

Christopher Nolan, the director of the Dark Knight trilogy, was a producer for the movie (which is kinda like directing but you get less fame and glory), and the director was Zack Snyder (the man responsible for 300 and the awesome Watchmen). So from the beginning the film was in capable hands. Henry Cavill, the man who plays Superman, does a good job of portraying the god amongst men. Like Batman Returns, it’s a retelling of the origin of Superman. The personal growth and transformation you see Kal-El go through (Clark’s Kryptonian name) is reasonably well done and gets you invested in his story. Lois Lane was perfectly adequate but not anything super special and Lawrence Fishburne’s role as the editor of the Daily Planet is nicely done. The bad guy, played by Michael Shannon, is sufficiently bad but rather well played, as one can almost understand his reasons for doing what he does (despite his rather un-badass haircut).

Ok, so actors – good, story – good. Let’s get down to brass tacks here: is the action amazing enough to be worthy of the Superman legacy?…the answer is a rather resounding yes. There are lots of scenes, too many to mention all of them here but there are a few noteworthy ones: near the beginning Clark is still trying find himself and whathaveyou, and is busy working on a fishing boat near the arctic ocean when the boat gets a distress call from a nearby oil rig. The scenes culminates with Superman saving a helicopter by holding up half the rig, with buckling steel and fire all around it brings out the desperation Superman feels (not being at full strength yet) as he’s trying to save peoples’ lives. The other one I feel is worth mentioning is in the middle of the movie when Superman first encounters the bad guys. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but that was a redonkulous scene, kept my mouth hanging wide open the whole time. So check on awesome action.

Taking into account Superman being…well…super, there aren’t too many glaring inaccuracies, but here are the ones I noticed [SPOILER ALERT]:

  • How did the 20 000 year old scout ship have all that stuff for the 30 year old Superman?
  • Superman punches a hole in the side of a spaceship, resulting in the atmosphere being lost but yet he can still talk to a hologram…hmmm.
  • X-rays don’t work quite like they do in the movie.

[SPOILER ENDED] As always, if I missed any let me know and I’ll edit the post and give you suitable glory and status ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s not much more I can say apart from I feel this would be an entertaining movie to Superman fans and general movie goers alike. It gets my recommendation.

Jeremy

Movie time! Star Trek: Into Darkness

Ok, so I thought I’d better write this post before I forget too much of the movie (I’m also going to watch Man of Steel tomorrow:D).

Alrighty then, down to business: Do, or do you not watch it? DO!…it of course depends on whether you like sci-fi, Star Trek or action. Any of those 3 and you’ll enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a fitting “follow on” (sequel isn’t quite the right word as the plot has nothing to do with the previous one) to the reboot of the Star Trek franchise. It has Kirk, Spock, Scotty, McCoy, the Enterprise and beaming ups aplenty. The greatest addition to the cast though was Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame being cast as the bad guy. He is rather good at it…but he seems to be quite good at playing slightly deranged characters ๐Ÿ˜›ย The action is fast and fierce, and along with the story,ย will keep you entertained for the 2 hours the movie runs ๐Ÿ™‚

SPOILER ALERT:

Ok, there were very few scientific inaccuracies I could pick up (always nice for a sci-fi film), but the notable one was:

  • When the Enterprise is fighting the giant evil Enterprise, the two ships are flying around in space shooting at each other, having a whale of time when suddenly BAM! Good Enterprise gets sucked into Earth’s gravity…unless it had reached orbiting speeds gravity would have affected it the whole time and sucked the Star Ship in sooner, or it would not have affected the ship. Gravity isn’t a binary state.
  • …I watched it a month or so ago and wrote exams in between, so my memory is slightly hazy I’m afraid. If there are others please let me know and I’ll add it to the post ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep a close eye out for the Man of Steel review, I’ll write that one on Sunday! ๐Ÿ˜€

Jeremy

A literary post: I can do reading me

Yes, it may shock you to realise I am in fact literate and that movies are not my sole source of entertainment ๐Ÿ˜› I am in fact an avid reader, and so I feel it is time for a post regarding this.

First off, some very sad news: Ian M. Banks has been diagnosed with gall bladder cancer! It is heartbreaking that anyone should suffer this disease, and the possible loss to the science fiction genre (I never really read his mainstream novels) is also concerning. Obviously though if he were to recover and not write another book I would still be overjoyed. But Ian M. Banks, the man responsible for The Culture novels, is a great asset to my favourite genre and my prayers are with him.

Consider Phlebas and Look to Windward

My two favourites: Consider Phlebas and Look to Windward

Onto more cheerful news, I have recently had what can only be described as the privilege of reading the two latest books from Ken Follet: Fall of Giantsย andย The Winter of the World.ย This man is a literary genius I tell you. He’s responsible for the two critically acclaimed novelsย Pillars of the Earthย andย World Without End.

Fall of Giants cover

Fall of Giants cover

Both books form part of The Century trilogy, which is based around the 20th century and the wars fought during it. It’s historical fiction, which means that the main characters are fictitious, but the events they witnessed are real and accurately portrayed. The first one is based around WWI and the second around WWII. The books follow families dragged into the war on both sides, and the books follow the same families and the new generations born into each.

Both are incredibly well written books. They have romance, action, historical facts interestingly told, as well as drama, intrigue and excellent character development. And both being around 800 pages long will keep you busy for a while…and books of that length make you look all intelligent-like! ๐Ÿ˜›

So yes, in conclusion I would definitely recommend the books to anyone for they really are superb.

Jeremy

Fast & Furious 6: Fantastic

Ok, so months ago I said I’d be back after my hiatus…I’m sorry I blatantly and out-right lied, fibbed and deceived with that statement. But I’m here to tell you I’m back. This time for good (for realsies though, exams are coming up which means I’ll be in prime blogging mindset :P).

I’m here to kick it off with a bang. The biggest, baddest bang I’ve seen for a long time: Fast & Furious 6.

Fast & Furious 6 crew

Fast & Furious 6 crew

Let me start by saying that this was the awesomeness I had hoped for from Iron Man 3 (but more on that in another post). It really is my favourite movie of the year so far (Django Unchainedย included).

Quick review: the crew from Fast 5 are all back (excluding two smaller parts) and in tippy top condition here. It has The Rock delivering a fine performance as maverick secret (not really though) agent in charge of looking after Vin Diesel and his crew. All the man characters in the cast give a fine performance in fact. No one is going to win an Oscar, but I didn’t cringe at any point either, and Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot (the ex Mossad agent) all coming across as badass. The story line is what you’d expect from a Fast and Furious movie, quite an adequate excuse for all the action.

And with regards top the action: it’s there in spadefuls. Explosive, fiery, awesome spadefuls. The first half of the movie works more on the story, with a few car chases thrown in for good measure. But when the action starts off in the second half it goes all out, surpassing even Fast 5’s final sequences in intensity and scale (yeah, including the safe-dragging bit). I don’t want to give too much away because half the fun is the incredulity you experience at what they get up to next, but the tank scene blew. My. Mind. And the final fight was filled with so much testosterone that it makes any Rocky or Ramboย look like girl scouts selling cookies on a lazy Sunday.

In conclusion: it won’t win any Oscars, but it’s escapism at its finest. But more than that, it’s just plain fun. Definitely recommend it if you like action, are moderately into cars and/or enjoyed any of the previous ones.

Right, now onto the scientific inaccuracies (SPOILER ALERT):

  • Just before the tank scene the cable slung across the road would not have stopped that truck. Momentum people!
  • The cable attached to the tank would not have flipped it over, not in a million years. Battle tanks weigh upwards of 50 tons, a little 2 ton car on a rope is going to do jack.
  • The runway at the end of the movie by my calculations (assuming a takeoff speed of 250km/h based on a plane of that size) the runway would have to be about 63 km long…yeah right. Even though I’m not an aeronautical engineer I can’t be off my more than 10 km either way. To put it into perspective a fully laden Galaxy requires 2500m to take off. And the world’s longest runway is 5,5km long.
  • And in the runway scene about 5 cars manage to hold down a Galaxy sized airplane…pull the other one mate, a Galaxy can take off with 380 tons.

As always, if I left out anything or you have anything to add leave a comment please ๐Ÿ™‚ my next post will be up soon!!

Jeremy

Zero Dark Thirty: Nitty, gritty…great

Soldiers about to breach

Real-life super heroes

I can’t do the movie justice in a short blog post, but what I can say is this: if you ever wonder why the US needs the CIA, NSA, Marines, Rangers or most of its other “bands of rough men”, watch the movie. It’s from the same director as The Hurt Locker, but this isn’t a tale about unwanted guests, it’s a tale of persistence, heroism, and the unwavering urge to see justice done. It is quite long, but I wasn’t bored for a second, and if you don’t like thrillers then it isn’t for you. But boy, I’d recommend it.

As a Christian I could have moral objections to war, and the actions stemming from it. But honestly, I haven’t been there so I should just shut it, and God couldn’t have too big a problem with people defending themselves if He allowed us to defeat Facism during WWII. But honestly, this quote from George Orwell sums it up nicely:

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. ”

Jeremy

 

Lincoln: Heroic or humdrum?

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president, from the White House’s website

Quick review: very, very good movie. As the story of Lincoln ended slavery it deserves most of the Oscars it has been nominated for in my opinion. It’s moving, it’s dramatic, it’s well acted, it’s suspenseful despite you knowing how it’s going to end; the lot. However the review was the not the purpose of this post. That’ll be explained now:

I’m a bit of a Yankophile (apparently the most common term on the internet for USA (henceforth referred to as America for simplicity) the American equivalent of Anglophile).

They helped win WWII, a war my granddad served in, so I’ve got a bit of emotional involvement there. I’ve also been raised on modern television, movies and media which is dominated by America. Apart from England (God save the Queen! I’m an Anglophile as well), they’ve been the longest running stable democracy (that I can think of offhand: I’m sure a few European countries have been “civilised” for a while as well), and have MIT.

And their second-most famous president is the titular Abraham Lincoln (after George Washington, a slave owner (although he kinda freed them after his death) and a proponent of scorched earth tactics, even against non-combatants). Ok, I promise no more parenthesis now: old Abe has until recently ranked in my top 5 favourite leaders of all time which is including Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, King David of Jewish fame, and King Leonidas of Spartan fame. So obviously I was very excited to watch Lincoln.ย 

And to bring everything together: due to my exposure to America I’ve always thought Lincoln was a saint, the sole saviour of the enslaved black population of the pre-civil war United States, progressive thinker, the lot. And that’s what the movie shows. However I found this article from the Daily Mail, and it kinda shattered my universe a little bit:
Was Lincoln racist?

I won’t lengthen this post further, but I just recommend you read it, and judge for yourself how skewed history can get.

Jeremy

An amateur scientific look: Django Unchained

Django wallpaper

A badass Jamie Foxx in a badass movie

Ok, so it’s taken me a while to get back to writing, but I saw this movie and had to write about it ๐Ÿ˜€

Quick review: it’s Quentin Tarantino. You either like his work or you don’t. As far as his films go, my favourite is Pulp Fiction ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s a classic, with Samuel Jackson giving a sterling performance alongside Bruce Willis and John Travolta. I enjoyed Kill Bill Vol. I & II. I enjoyed Inglorious Basterds. But Django has got to be my second best. It’s a spaghetti Western, so lots of blood, a harsh but realistic use of the word n*gger, and some sweet action scenes ๐Ÿ™‚ Jamie Foxx is brilliant as the titular Django, along an excellent show from Oscar winning Chrisoph Waltz as his boss/sidekick.

Scientific inaccuracies:

  • Human bodies do not contain that much blood.
  • Human bodies do not fly like that when hit by bullets.
  • That amount of dynamite would not create that big of an explosion
  • Guns of those days were not that accurate

You’ll understand those four points when you see the movie ๐Ÿ™‚ And hopefully they help explain what the movie is like ๐Ÿ˜›

Die Hard 5 is coming out this week, on Valentine’s day I think, John McClane will keep me company ๐Ÿ˜›

Jeremy