Monthly Archives: December 2012

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Season 2 Review


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Avengers EMH completed its first season and thanks to that I just finished watching the 2nd and sadly last season of the Animated Series.

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I’ve been a long time Avengers fan and it was an awesome experience to see some of the stories that were brought to life on TV. The way 40 years of saga was weaved into a single storyline was really impressive.

The introduction to Miss Marvel was really impressive, teasing Superhero registration act was another good thing they went with. It was really awesome the way they developed Black Panther and Captain Marvel for the series and then introduced Surter and Beta Ray Bill in a short lived subplot which thanks to series’ cancellation is never going to be completed. Other plot about Secret Invasion and Welcome to Kree Empire was pretty well done and took its time to shine.  The way they handled Vision and showed his power in two episodes was seriously effective. Introducing Spider-Man along with Avengers was again like a dream come true, his introduction and then bringing him and New Avengers turned out few of the best episodes in the series.

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Despite all the great stories show had its own issues; the animation was not of the top notch that other shows are running around with. Certain stories especially the finale was forced upon and number of stories rushed into one. Also changing Nick Fury to The Ultimate Nick Fury was never explained.

 

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I think season one was much more stable in terms of storyline and pacing as it was weaved around a single plot but in season two they had to handle so many issues along with it. Red Hulk’s introduction was another forced subplot introduced in the series along with Winter Soldier’s arc, I never found them very much satisfying.

May be the reason being change of authority Jeph Leob whose opinion was that doing two part episodes for a story not being a good idea and all episodes of the series should have a single part story. This resulted that after mid season from where Leob took over single story in an episode became all about force feeding a baby.

Although we got 52 episode of an epic Avengers animated series but still it is disappointing to cancel this show for Avengers Assemble which may start by this fall and I really hope I’ll be able to enjoy the show as I did with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

 

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Best Episodes of the series

Ep23 – New Avengers: Kang Returns and so get introduced the New Avengers, talk about Spidey’s humor and him picking on Wolverine. The episode was A-Grade

Ep 13 – Along Came a Spider: Awesome plot where Spider-Man was introduced.

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Ep5 – To Steal an Ant Man: Hank Pym gives up, Scott Lang takes over and we get to see Luke Cage and Iron Fist, what can one ask for more.

Ep19 – Emperor Stark : Showing Vision powers and capabilities in an effective way

Ep26 – Avengers Assemble: Little bit forced but still powerful episode to end the series.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2: What we know so far.


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Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 1 ended with blockbuster of 2012 called The Avengers with turned out best superhero movie of the year 2012. 2013 is coming and MCU Phase 2 begins with Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World in 2013 along with SHIELD TV series on TV in same year, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of The Galaxy in 2014 and then Avengers 2 finally in 2015 with Ant Man in the same year. Let up see what we so far about MCU’s phase 2.

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Thanos was revealed to be the villain behind the curtains in the End Credits of The Avengers so it’s clear that he’ll be pulling the strings in the upcoming movies, also according to the sources SHIELD’s role will be not as large as it was in MCU’s phase 1 and will be focused more towards heroes personal adventures.

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Iron Man 3

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Iron Man 3 comes out in May 2013 and many fans are speculating it to be the best movie of the year 2013, the stakes are higher than any of the films in MCU phase 1. Iron Man 3 focuses on Tony’s personal battle when his old enemy who were pulling the strings in his first two films The Ten Rings return and the man behind the organization The Mandarin finally reveals himself to make his l                 ife hell. This movie is based on highly acclaimed Extremis saga where Tony gives up his Iron Man suit to something better and comes up with Extremis suit that becomes part of his body and then the virus takes over.

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Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian the mad scientist who release the virus and War Machine get a new suit which in comics is known as Iron Patriot used by Norman Osborn at times. This might be a possibility that Marvel someday moves for Dark Avengers Storyline with Mandarin in-charge in case they don’t get Spider-Man back. Also AIM is going to be a part of this movie, in comics AIM is an evil organization and has a lot of intresting storylines related to Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man and even Punisher. We can speculate that Mandarin will be connected to AIM and it is going to be the part of Ten Rings in the film.

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This film will also focus on Tony’s life after Battle of New York, that start disturbing him on a personal level and he becomes concerned about people near him. This movie is something everyone is waiting after Avengers. Tony almost lost his life in the battle and learned the lesson of heroism and sacrifice and since no Hulk movie is coming so we can assume that we’ll learn about his whereabouts in this film.

Thor: The Dark World

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Thor: The Dark World comes out in Nov 2013 and is said to be an experiment by Marvel Studios if they can go ahead with two summer and a winter movie in future. Thor sequel will focus on what happens after Thor and Loki leave for Asgard. This movie will feature Dark Elves and the king of Dark Elves Malekith The Accursed played by Christopher Eccelston the former Dr Who. While Dark Elves have connection to Surter the Demon it is safe to Assume that they are also going to have links with Thanos, after all Asgard is the place where his infinity Gauntlet is. Also this movie is rumored for a Dr Strange cameo wonder how they’ll pull it off.

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This movie may lead us to Guardians of The Galaxy and Iron Man 3 to Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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In Captain America: The First Avenger, Bucky falls from the train but unknown to Captain America he was captured by the Russians and in the movie he’ll be returning as The Winter Soldier who was kept in Suspended Animation. It is said that What Black Widow and Hawkeye were talking about Budapest it is related to The Winter Soldier. This movie introduces The Falcon played by… and SHIELD is going to be a part of the film. Chris Evens did an unexceptional job as Captain America in TFA and Avengers and it would be interesting to see how he’ll face his friend from the past.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

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Guardians of the Galaxy is the first solo movie in MCU Phase 2 has direct ties with introducing Thanos in his full force. For those who don’t know this team it consists of Drax The Destroyer, Star Lord, Groot the talking tree, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, Major Victory, Gamora, Quasar and many non- Earth based heroes teamed up with responsibility to battle alien threats. This movie may be the mode to introduce Miss Marvel in Avengers and a reply to DC what they could have done with The Green Lantern. All we need is to wait till 2014 and some proper casting news to come out before assuming anything.

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Avengers 2

This movie is already something everyone is waiting for and it comes out in 2015. It is said along with big 6 this movie will introduce Ant Man aka the genius Hank Pym and his girlfriend Wasp in the team along with Miss Marvel and few other big names. Another speculation is that Clark Gregg who played Agent Coulson in Avengers will return as Vision. Lets see how much these rumors come true with time.

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Ant Man

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Ant Man is another first part movie that’ll come out in 2015, Ant Man and Wasp were the original Avengers and have a long storyline and history with them. Hank Pym made Ultron who is one of the best villains that is a must in an Avengers movie. His girlfriend and wife Janet aka The Wasp is supposed to debut along with him. The question is if Ant Man will be a part of Avengers 2 or is going to starting point in MCU’s Phase 3

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Real Men Wear Skirts…In Pictures.


Darkseid could rock his skirt, but he’s not the only comic book tough guy who can make the look work. Here are the heroes and villains who are able to make this look work

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Dredd 3D (2012): Film Review


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So finally I got to watch Dredd 3-D. Pete Travis-directed and Alex Garland-penned movie based on the character from the comic book 2000 AD. I’ve always thought that the anarchic world of Mega-City One would make an amazing backdrop for one of the myriad stories penned by Alan Grant and John Wagner.

Does the new Dredd live up to the original comic book standards or is it simply a flop?untitled61

in May, where he stated: “this is Dredd as it should be done – true to character, visceral, unrelentingly violent

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Dredd is a bloody, violent and gory movie. In starting scenes, we get a scene scene where people are being skinned alive along with scenes of someone’s head being cooked. later on the movie, limbs are flying, brain matter leaks through noses, heads get blown, faces sliced and so many more which was actually needed as a part of story.

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In a post-apocalyptic USA, 800 million people lived in a walled land separated from the toxic wastelands that covered the rest of the country. One such city was Mega City One, where our story took place. People lived in fear and so fought against each other. Poverty gave birth to rampant criminality where organized crime ruled everything. The ‘peacekeepers’ were these Judges who worked for the Justice Department. These Judges were also Jury and Executioner. Calls and punishments – were made on the spot. Naturally, they were mistrusted and even hated. While the story might not hold up to be the most significant thing in the movie, it’s the over-the-top action that truly delivers. Dredd uses a wide variety of ways to kill enemies such as throwing them off 200 foot story buildings, lighting baddies on fire, ammo piercing bullets to the face, gas grenades, and even punching people until they beg for mercy. All the action is ultra-violent, bloody, and incredibly enjoying.

untitled22    I’m also impressed with the way Dredd was presented. Dredd was a man wearing a mask who carried out justice. And that mask covered his face except for the mouth and chin. Behind the mask, there was a man; the story teased us a little bit of the man’s background but didn’t elaborate on it. A lot of times when they are filmed, superheroes or comic book characters have origin stories. But Dredd didn’t get one. The narrative on this man’s past was cut off because the characters had to move on with the story. And yet, we can still feel something for him anyway, solely based on what he had to do in this story. For an actor to be able to make something like that happen – make us feel something for him without showing us his face or his reasons to be – that was a damn good job. Excellent, even. I doubt anyone else but Karl Urban could pull that off. He has truly owned this character.

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That quibble aside, I liked the interior set design of Peach Trees, as it managed to conjure something of the ’80′s cyberpunk style used throughout the comics, with a big emphasise on large scale to make the film feel bigger than it probably was. The overhaul given to the Judges equipment and apparel was also appropriate: Dredd still keeps his traditional helmet, but gone are the large gold pauldrons and chain, in favour of sleeker, more utilitarian combat suits.dredd-movie-image-thugs

In summary, from a 2000AD fan’s point of view, Dredd 3D successfully executes a manageable story with flair, while generally keeping true to the source material. There is definite room for narrative improvement, which I hope to see in subsequent sequels, along with a better redesign of Mega-City One; though when I consider how badly they could have fucked this up, I have to conclude that Dredd 3D is an unassuming victory.

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‘Say No to Slo-Mo’ – Hall of Justice anti-narcotic broadcast

Final rating 9/10

Hulk in animation


The Hulk is one of the most used characters in the Marvel Universe, having had three series based on the character as well as guest starring in five other shows and starring in four direct-to-DVD movies!

Which one is your favourite?

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The Marvel Super Heroes Show – Incredible Hulk (1966)

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Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends – Spidey Goes Hollywood (1981)

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The Incredible Hulk (1982)

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Fantastic Four – Nightmare in Green (1995)

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Iron Man – Hulkbuster (1996)

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The Incredible Hulk (1996)

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Ultimate Avengers: The Movie (2005)

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Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes – Hard Knocks (2006)

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Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (2008)

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 Wolverine and the X-Men – Wolverine vs. The Hulk (2008)

      hulk09aHulk vs. Wolverine (2009)

hulk09bHulk vs. Thor (2009)

TThe Super Hero Squad Show (2009)

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Planet Hulk (2010)

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (Review)


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I’ve owned a copy of The Dark Knight Returns for nearly 20 years and I must’ve read the thing dozens of times. In the past couple of years, DC has released some amazingly entertaining animated films, and like many fans I was excited to hear that TDKR (returns) was getting the same treatment made me more than happy. I was already disappointed and pissed off the way Dark Knight Rises turned out to be a mediocre Rip-Off of this epic so when the news came out I was more than excited.

Animation:
The Dark Knight Returns is one of the most important books in the history of Batman, and the reason is because in 1986 this gritty, mature “graphic novel” re-introduced characters to the Batman. When I watch something that’s animated I want it to look crisp and clean, with some animated films or cartoons. It almost seems like they’ve cut corners or just rushed through the process to get the product out on time. With this movie however the animation is amazing! It really has the Frank Miller feel to it, if you’ve read any of his comics or graphic novels, you know exactly what I’m talking about and you’ll feel right at home watching this.

Story:
The graphic novel was a very story-driven piece. Much of the plot advancement was in the form of narratives given by each character, sometimes many all at once merging together into a jumbled chaos of “voices”. This resulted in it coming off as almost more of a psychological thriller than a superhero action piece. The overall story arc of the book is broken into 4 chapters or volumes – each dealing with a significant milestone of Batman’s return. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading the graphic novel, here is a breakdown of the major plot for each volume:

  • Volume 1: The aging Bruce Wayne returns to the mantle of the Bat when a supposedly rehabilitated Harvey Dent appears to have reverted back to his criminal ways. After a decade of retirement, Batman begins taking the city back from the increasingly violent criminal element.
  • Volume 2: Having come to terms with his role as the Batman, Wayne now concentrates on a plan to wrestle control of Gotham back from the vicious gang of criminals called The Mutants. It also marks the last time he works with Commissioner Gordon in any official capacity. Lastly, thanks to the re-appearance of Batman in the media, a near-catatonic Joker returns to his old self and starts working on both his escape from Arkham and his final battle with Batman.
  • Volume 3: Joker proceeds with his plan to finally force Batman to cross the line he swore he never would. While eluding the Gotham Police – who are now pursuing Batman under the leadership of new commissioner Ellen Yindel – Batman and his new sidekick must unravel the Joker’s plan and stop him at all costs.
  • Volume 4: Following the events of the previous book, the federal government can no longer overlook the vigilante of Gotham. Their solution is to send their enforcer – none other than Superman – to deal with the situation. While planning for the inevitable showdown, Batman begins taking steps to secure his legacy once and for all… and no spit-curled Kryptonian is going to stop him.

Now, TDKR Part 1 covers primarily the second volume of the four, which leaves the first part with Harvey feeling kind of rushed. From what I’ve read, there will only be two parts to the film, but I really would’ve liked to see at least a trilogy so that each story element could get the attention it deserves.

When it comes to the story in this film, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It kept me entertained and kept my attention and it was just about the perfect length, it wasn’t too long and wasn’t too short. There was just the right mix of action and dialogue as well. All and all this was a great film that I’m glad I picked up and I’ll definitely be watching it again!

Voice Work:

The story and voice acting in this film is another place that this film shines. The cast they got to voice some of the characters are phenomenal. Peter Weller does a great job as Bruce Wayne/Batman, for me he’s right up there with Kevin Conroy from The Animated Series which is the Batman I grew up watching. He just does a great job voicing Batman and giving him that gruff and tone that keeps that keeps with the style of Batman but changes it just enough to show the age in Batman. Another great voice actor from the film is Ariel Winter (who is mainly known as Alex Dunphy on Modern Family) she plays Carrie Kelley/Robin. She does a great job in this role; she gives the character of Robin that perfect mixture of young and innocence. I couldn’t see anyone else voicing this role the way she did.

 

Overall Rating 8/10