laughing man

Super 8 Review

So I went into this movie, hoping for a great movie. I wasn't disappointed.

I'll try not and spoil anything which hasn't already been in the commercials and trailers.

The movie is bested described as a cross between E.T. and Cloverfield, and the lens flares from the last Star Trek thrown in.

Normally I worry when the movie main characters are kids, but for the most part the kid actors were great. Of the core 6 kids, 4 of the were fully developed characters, 2 of them were basically set decorations and could have been left out and no one would have missed them.

The movie takes place in 1979, and focuses on a bunch of 12-14 year olds as they film a zombie movie on a super 8 file. As I would have been 13 in 1979, this movie really hit home. They did a very good job of making me feel it was actually 1979.

The train accident near the beginning of the movie was great, it blew me away. Not sure how the kids survived, but you wouldn't have had a movie if they died.

You don't get to see the "monster" until probably 2/3 of the way through the film, the way they handled it until then was very much the same way they handled the "smoke monster" in the early seasons of Lost. You see the damage it is causing, but you never quite see what it causing it. The special effects on the "monster" were very good, especially in the scenes were it is not zooming around and you actually get to look at it.

The really only bad thing I can say about the movie it they used way to many Lens Flares. Not sure what the point in all of them was, but it has become a "signature" of JJ Abrams films.

I would not take small children to this, as there are points in the movie which will scare them. My guess is 8+ should be ok, but it will scare them at points.

One nice tough is during the credits, you actually get to see the super-8 movie the kids were filming during the movie.

I would give this 4 out of 4 stars, it is a movie I plan on seeing again.
laughing man

X-men: First Class review

So I got to see a sneak preview of the new X-men movie last night. To be fair in this review, I went into this movie expecting to hate it. I have been reading x-men comics for almost 35 years. I have basically every issues since 1980, and a number of them before then. I get upset with Superhero movies when they dramatically change the "established history" of the characters I have grown to love.

So now that you know my biases, lets talk about the movie.

Overall I actually enjoyed it. Not a great movie, but a fun popcorn type movie. Yes they did things with the continuity I did not like, but for the most part it was done in a way which worked.

The movie is mostly set in the early 60s during the Cuban Missile Crises, and they did a good job with the time period. As the original X-Men came out in the 60s, this actually made the movie more enjoyable for me. The end credits remind me of the 60s bond flick, which I thought was a nice touch.

The plot basically deals with the early history of Prof X and Magneto, the rest of the X-Cast are basically there to allow that story line to develop.

The characters were for the most part was reasonable, only a few of the mutants were 2 dimensional. They tried to at least give the rest of them some back story. Some were better than other.

Most of the mutants sort of matched their comic-book version. The big exceptions to me were Moria MacTaggert, who was turned into a CIA agent. And Alex Summers, not quit sure how Cyclop's younger brother would now be old enough to be his father.

The one character change I did like was Azazel, is now a mutant instead of the devil. In the comics his only real claim to fame is he is the father of a certain X-Men, which make that certain X-man a hell spawn instead of a mutant.

Acting was spotty in places, I enjoyed the performances by the actors which played Charles, Erik and Raven.

Some of the bigger name mutants in the movie: Prof X, Magneto, Mystique, Havok, Beast, Banshee, White Queen (Emma), Black King (Shaw).

They included a number of minor characters from the X-Universe as well: Riptide, Darwin, Angel (female version), Azazel.

There are 2 special non-credited cameo from the earlier X-men movies, but I won't spoil them.

No reason to stay through the credits, there was NOTHING after them which was disappointing.

I think I would give this movie 3 stars, UNLESS you are a hug x-men fan than I would drop it to 2 1/2 stars as the changes to continuity will drive you nuts.
laughing man

THOR - no major spoilers.

So has sneak preview tickets to Thor last night. Got to watch it in 3D on a digital IMAX screen.

This movie was MUCH better than what I was expecting or hoping for. I would pay to go see it again.

For non comic book fans I would give it 3 out 4 stars, for all you Marvel Zombies this is a 4 star movie so get in line now.

This movie is really more based on "Ultimate Thor" instead of the main marvel world Thor, but that should be no surprise since most of the Marvel movies have been closer to their Ultimate line of comics.

The 3D effects were actually quite good, none of the "in your face" 3D effects which to me ruins the experience, just makes the movie look much more life like.

If you have read any of the pre-release press on the movie you know that they have changed Asgardians from "gods" to "aliens". This was done to make sure that it played in middle America. I was extremely worried about this when I first heard about it. It was not that bad, you can actually walk away thinking they were "god like" beings or if your religious views don't allow that they are "aliens with fantastic powers". For you DC fans, think of them along the lines of the "New Gods".

So the number of people involved with this movie which have won major Awards in the past is staggering at least 3 actors, the director and one of the writers. Mentioning writers, the story (but not the script) is credited to J. Michael Straczynski.

Stan "the Man" Lee has a brief, but funny Cameo. Look for it around the "Crater".

Lots of minor references to : SHIELD, Stark, Gamma Ray Scientists , etc

One other Marvel hero is in it, but he is not referenced by his hero name. Does the name "Clint Barton" mean anything to you?

They were able to slip in a reference to "Donald Blake" which made me happy.

Make sure you stay all the way through the credits. About a 2 minute clip which is being used to setup the Avengers movie (and MAYBE the Captain America movie), it has every ones favorite S.H.I.E.L.D director. A major Marvel "artifact" is shown in this clip.

Also when in the Adgardian War room, look very carefully at the glimpses of the artifacts, many famous Marvel artifacts are shown. From interviews I know the infinite gauntlet is there, but I missed it.
laughing man

From Twitter 05-01-2011

Tweets copied by

laughing man

From Twitter 04-24-2011

  • 20:07:29: #nwc34 As chairman of norwescon I want to thank our guests, members and staff, for one of the best conventions ever.
  • 20:09:53: #nwc34 if you have any comments on the convention please email me at we love hearing from our members.
  • 20:11:05: RT @norwescon: You can also send us your #NWC34 Onions and Roses via Twitter by using the #nwconion and #nwcrose hashtags.

Tweets copied by