In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite force of protectors for peace and justice has existed for centuries. They are the Green Lantern Corps. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of the Corps’ newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). Bringing the popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, “Green Lantern” also stars Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl”), Peter Sarsgaard (“Orphan”), Mark Strong (“Sherlock Holmes”), Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett and Academy Award winner Tim Robbins.
2011 – Certificate: 12 – American Film
Rating Details: Moderate fantasy violence
8.0 out of 10
I spent about two and a half hours today at work, attending a data protection webinar. So now I’m too scared to write anything here… about anything… What I will say is that one of my colleagues, who will remain nameless (Oonagh), thought it would be funny to send a text to someone else in another office who was also attending it; so we got to hear that person’s mobile beep in the background during the webinar. We all thought it was very funny! It’s good being a grown-up. Here’s something else that’s a bit childish too.
I can sort of understand why so many people trashed this film, but I thought it was jolly good fun. This might be to do with the fact that I lit my lounge with a green bulb to watch it, to help me feel immersed in the action so to speak, of which there was plenty. So it’s a bit camp at times and the plot somewhat wooden (although it does have some good lines in it), but sometimes all we need are a few easy to identify goodies and baddies to have fun. I thought Ryan Reynolds was pretty good as Green Lantern, even though he’ll always be the fat guy in “Just Good Friends” to me. Maybe it’s because when I was young the Green Lanterns were very much B-class superheroes who I never really engaged with much; so I didn’t have any previous perceptions to have spoilt. They actually have an interesting and unusual back story too, which makes them different to most of their super-colleagues. But in the end I guess they’re just another manifestation of the United States, in terms of them acting as self appointed protectors of everyone else. At first I thought the movie was some sort of documentary about environmentally friendly torches. It took me quite a while to realise that it was actually about an arrogant test pilot. I’m not a test pilot, but there’s still a chance that I might one day be selected as a Green Lantern, as I learnt that “In order to be chosen by the ring, it is said that one must be without fear.” I’m pretty sure the discussions I have with my manager every month after I’ve submitted my financial variance report, puts me into that select group.
The soundtrack is pretty good. It’s suitably epic.
The trailer’s okay, but I don’t think it really captures the feel of the film that well. It seems a bit disjointed and not quite sure what sort of film it’s mean to be promoting.
Recommend for test pilots, xenobiologists and anyone who likes the colour green. Not recommend if you don’t like green; this movie will just make you retch.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Hal Jordan’s been a Green Lantern for five minutes when he stomps into the Guardian’s hang-out and gives some impassioned speech about Earth and humans and stuff. I’m not sure about anyone else, but if you get recruited by a Fortune 500 company, are you really going to barge into the boardroom on your first day and tell the directors, who have been there for basically forever, how to do things? He doesn’t get his way but he doesn’t get the sack either. That’s got to be badass behaviour in anyone’s book. I have a feeling he’s going to be on the fast track to a more senior position very soon.
Popular manga comic “Cutie Honey” is brought to life. Honey is an office worker who hides a secret. Developed by her father, Honey has the ‘I System’ a necklace that allows her to transform into the super hero “Cutie Honey”. The evil Claw Gang attempt to steal the necklace and “Cutie Honey” must use all of her superpowers to save the world from hate. With plenty of eye candy and madcap villains, “Cutie Honey” is pure fun and truly wacky entertainment.
2004 – Certificate: 12 – Japan
Rating Details: Mildly sexualised posing
9.0 out of 10
It was back to the dentist for me again yesterday, to finish the root canal treatment on a tooth that was started in January. For over 90 minutes my dentist drilled (as in I could see and smell clouds of smoke rising), filled and generally hacked about inside my tooth. It’s actually really hard to lie still for that long on your back; (which is something that my many, many lovers could confirm). Dentists’ chairs aren’t the most comfortable bits of furniture in the world and I was started to get a bit bored too. There’s only so many times you can count the screws in a light-fitting before you realise that attempting yet another recount is probably not going to yield a more accurate total. The ‘calming’ classical music playing on the CD kept skipping as well, which really started to bug me after a while. The injection at the start was really weird. I felt like it hadn’t really worked, as nothing seemed to go numb. Normally you lose some of the sensation in the side of your face or lips, but this time I had none of that. I was expecting the first touch of the drill to feel like it was boring into the centre of my brain or something, but actually it was fine. Afterwards I had no sensation of the anaesthetic wearing off either. It was like I was just immune to the pain. Maybe I’m a superhero, with the mental and physical power to control my body’s own pain reflexes? (Nope, I don’t really believe that either.) I was starting to think there must be more miles of canals in my tooth than in the whole of Birmingham, when the dentist finally declared she couldn’t do it. Whatever’s blocking my root canal, it’s defeated the best that modern dentistry can provide. (Perhaps I should give the Canal & River Trust or Inland Waterways Association a call?) This was followed by a discussion about what I wanted to do about it. I say ‘discussion’, but as I still had a mouth full of rubber dams and other weird stuff, I was limited to saying ur urggurggh, guhhh urgghhher; so it was a bit one-sided. So now I’m the proud owner of a temporary filling, whilst we see how it settles down. So it looks like there might be a sequel to this horror sometime. Can’t wait… This film is about a superhero who has perfect teeth.
I loved this film. I’ve no idea what demographic the makers were aiming it at, but it was great. Like a Power Ranger on acid, Cutie Honey (and that must be the worst superhero name ever) deals with the Panther Claw Gang, one by one. Based on a manga/anime character, the story is some nonsense about saving the world from hate. As a movie it has many highlights. The opening 15 minutes are as fun as any opening to any film ever. It does calm down in the middle a little and the ending is a bit wimpy, but overall it’s an over-the-top mess of action and fun. I was especially impressed with the Black Claw’s song and dance routine. When I’m involved in a fight to the death, I always like to start with one of those too. My copy came in a vivid pink, DVD case. Don’t think I’ve got many of those.
We see Honey change into her superhero alter-ego a number of times, which comes with a bit of music that wouldn’t be out-of-place in the world’s worst game show.
The trailer is a shambles of colour, noise and imagery. It’s great.
One cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. A beautiful, ginger cat (with a brief speaking part), steals the whole first scene from an otherwise naked (except for bath bubbles) Eriko Sato.
Recommended for police officers, journalists and anyone with an uncle who can invent cool stuff. Also recommended for criminal gangs that want to fill the world with hate, (you know who you are). Good for fans of 60’s Batman; not good for fans of Nolan’s Batman.
Top badass moment? Starring Eriko Sato (Japan’s top swimsuit model). That’s badass. Well that bad just about everywhere really. (Note for ‘old people’: that’s “bad” as in good, not “bad” as in bad). In any case, any film that carries the BBFC Insight “Mildly Sexualised Posing” has got to be worth watching.
Will Smith explodes onto the screen in this action-packed comedy as Hancock, a sarcastic, hard-living and misunderstood superhero who has fallen out of favour with the public. When Hancock grudgingly agrees to an extreme makeover from idealistic publicist Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman, “Juno”), his life and reputation rise from the ashes and all seems right again – until he meets a woman (Charlize Theron, “Aeon Flux”) with similar powers to his and the key to his secret past. A past that will have earth shattering consequences…
2008 – Certificate 15 – American Film
Strong language, sex and violence
9.0 out of 10
I sort of remember Hancock’s comedy genius from when I was young. Not so much directly, but more from my Father, who was a bit of a fan. So I was understandably worried when I first found out that Hollywood was going to make a film about his life; and even more concerned when I found out it was going to ‘reimagine’ him as a superhero and have a Black guy play his part. I like Will Smith, but Tony Hancock lived in East Cheam and I’d hazard a guess and say there weren’t a lot of Black people living in that part of Surrey in the late 50s. Fortunately, this modern film biography captures many facets of his life; his comedy timing, his ‘loser persona’, his personal fight with alcohol, his wife’s attempted suicide, his affairs with other men’s wives. It’s all here. Not only that, but it also cleverly introduces the plot from his most famous film, “The Rebel”. In this, he plays the part of someone else, whilst the title itself is also well reflected by Smith’s superb portrayal of the part in this new movie. It’s a much-see for all fans of British, post-war, kitchen sink comedy. Oh wait; I’ve fucked up again here haven’t I?
For some reason that I’m not fully aware of, I love this film. I guess the idea that a superhero can be a scruffy, underachieving alcoholic who hates people, gives me hope for my own life. The script is surprisingly well observed and it manages to provide most of the elements you’d expect to see in a movie about a superhero, without becoming a parody of one. Will Smith is actually very good in it and manages to make Hancock seem genuinely not very nice, rather than a watered down Hollywood bad guy suitable for kids. For a ‘summer blockbuster’, it does pretty well on the darker elements of the story, violence and language. Then again, I watched the uncut version that basically has ten minutes or so of the good stuff that was removed for the version that was shown in most cinemas. (It was good to see all the “jackass” references replaced with the original “assholes”.) Of course it has a few crappy scenes, (the one with Hancock having sex is an especially cringe-worthy example of a pretty pointless one); and don’t bother trying to count the plot holes either. But overall it’s a brilliant action film with a fun story, original lead character and a surprising amount of gravitas when it needs it. I enjoyed the ending too, even though you sort of know what’s going to happen. Go watch.
This is the ‘action’ orientated trailer; there’s a ‘comedy’ one out there too. It’s okay, but it doesn’t really sell the film especially well, unless you’re just into big explosions and stuff. It’s a far more multi-layed movie that this makes it seem.
I really like the soundtrack to this film. It’s everything a soundtrack is meant to be, enhancing what’s on-screen without ever taking over.
Recommended for superheroes, losers, rebels, drunks and PR consultants.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? It’s a film about a superhero. Go figure.
Award-winning actress Sharon Stone (“Sphere”, “Casino”, “Basic Instinct”) and Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) star in this uplifting motion picture that’s received overwhelming critical acclaim. With his loving and supportive mother (Stone), 13-year-old Kevin (Kierin Culkin) moves in next door to another teen, Max. Though both have problems that label them as outcasts, Kevin and Max discover that by proudly combining their strengths and uniting as one, they can overcome their individual limitations and triumph over any adversity. As this pair sets out on a series of courageous adventures, they find the mightiest treasure of all: friendship. With Gena Rowlands (“Playing By Heart”) and a stellar supporting cast.
1998 – Certificate: PG – American Film
Rating Details: Threat of violence
8.0 out of 10
Had a bit of a scare this morning, when I woke up to a cloudy sky. Was that the end of summer for another seven years? Fortunately, things have got sorted out this afternoon and it’s now lovely and sunny again. We seem to have temporarily lost our Level 3 Heat-Health Watch status, but it’s still managed to get to 32C in my living room this afternoon. It was 33C in here yesterday, a new Cactus World record and a long way from last winter’s ghastly low of 14C. This film has inspired me to reach for new heights too.
Almost everything about this film annoys me, from the entirely unrealistic plot, through to the emotionally manipulative ending. You’ll find more realism on the front page of the Daily Mail than in this movie. It even manages to ‘Disneyfy’ two characters from “Mad Mad: Beyond Thunderdome” and turn them into two ‘kids with issues’. Even the ‘bad guy’ gets a Disney-like make-over and ends up about as threatening a red traffic light. It’s also got Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson and Meat Loaf in it too, yet fails to turn in a single, sexually provocative scene, alien or overwrought rock anthem. What a waste; that latter lot would make a great film. Now I’ve trashed it I will say that this is actually a really nice and enjoyable movie. You know how when someone complements you and you know they don’t really mean it, but somehow you still like the fact that they said it anyway? Well this movie feels a lot like that. It’s like they vivisected all the great family movies to identify what makes them ‘work’ and then injected it into this one. You know it’s not really that good but you still secretly like it anyway. The two youngsters at the centre of the story manage to be the heroes they’re destined to be, without being too annoying in that ‘Hollywood way’; I found myself wanting them to succeed, despite the stupid plot. What’s worse, the film borrows from Arthurian legend and I found myself thinking, why do I watch Batman etc when I could be lusting after the original superheroes? And they’re Brits too. Never mind the Justice League or The Avengers, here’s King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; questing and kicking bad guy butt hundreds of years before Captain America had even been conceived. Suitably horrified by my own lack of patriotic pride, as soon as I’d finished watching it I went and bought myself a copy of T. H. White’s “Once and Future King”, the definitive version of the story of King Arthur. It’s a book (well sort of five really), that to my shame I’ve never read. I’ve also burnt all my Batman and Superman DVDs too. (Okay, so I made that last bit up.) At work, I will no longer do funding-raising. Instead, I will go on quests, to seek wisdom, resource further adventures and bring clarity of mind to the unbelievers. True, it’s exactly the same thing, but it sounds a hell of a lot more exciting this way. I will cease to fill in application forms; instead I’ll become a seeker of truth, enlightenment and the pathway to justice. My armour with protect me from the blows of my enemies, whilst my heart will vanquish over adversity, as I rise a hero from the flames of battle. I will walk to the office no longer; instead I will ride into combat! A knight proves his worthiness by his deeds! Or something like that anyway.
I have to admit I do like the soundtrack, despite Sting’s presence. It’s a combination of the restrained and the epic, with some sub-Irish folksiness thrown in for good measure.
Recommended for King Arthur, trailer trash with a heart of gold and over and under-achieving kids.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? In a film highlighting the actions of two kids fighting adversity, badass moments abound. But the most badass of all is Max ripping the radiator off the wall, before telling his father ‘the truth’. After a lifetime of shit, turning on ‘the beast’ is pure badass. Well done Max!
Watching the Power Rangers is a bit like standing on a bridge over a motorway and watching the traffic, secretly hoping you’ll see a crash. You know you shouldn’t do it, you know you don’t really want anything to happen and you know it’s going to be really horribly if it does; yet you stand there, staring at the road, as the cars, vans and lorries pass under you. The sad truth is, the Power Rangers are awful in just about every way that science has so far come up with to measure awfulness. They’re so nauseatingly wholesome; I can’t express in words the desperate, primeval need I have to see one of them, just once, swear, or something, anything. They’re so cheery, positive and supportive of one another, in the worst sort of way that only Americans can truly articulate. And why, in such a closely knit group of teenage friends that seem to basically hang out together 24/7, is there less sexual chemistry between them than you find in a row of teddy bears on a supermarket shelf? (The ‘relationship’ between Kimberly and Tommy doesn’t count; that’s just embarrassing.) If there’s a porn parody of the Power Rangers, it’s probably got a U Certificate. (Okay I just checked and yes they do exist). And in a series that’s featured more than its fair share of Yellow and Pink Power Ranger babes, why have they never managed to put any of them in something truly figure-hugging? A hugely wasted marketing opportunity if you ask me. However, I’m nothing if not balanced in my world view. So in an effort to see both sides of the story, I probably should collate the evidence for the defence, however pitiful that might be. So what do we have here? Well, as superheroes they don’t do a bad job; as of today they’ve been consistently on TV in one form or another for 19 years. It has to be said that they’ve probably saved the world more times than Batman or Superman, so for that alone we probably do owe them our thanks. That long, overarching story-arc does give them considerable gravitas too. And in the world of superhero franchises, which is ruled by a duopoly of DC Comics and Marvel, the Power Rangers are very much the Liberal Democrats. And let’s be quite honest here, who hasn’t moved their arm quickly through the air and made that “swoosh” noise that only the Power Rangers can truly make their own? Going on, admit it, you have haven’t you? And who doesn’t think it would be at least just a little bit cool to be able to fly a Zord or (even better) a Megazord? And finally, who hasn’t ever had a crush on one of them at some point? For the lads, the Pink Ranger has always seemed to be the focus of this, er, respect. In this case, tiny ex-gymnast Amy Jo Johnson; I doubt anyone in the history of superheroes has ever looked less likely to win in a fist fight than she does.
1995 – Certificate: PG
Rating Details: Language: infrequent, very mild. Sex/nudity: none. Violence: some, fantasy. Other: none.
Oh, the film itself? Well it’s pants of course, from the sky-diving start to the fireworks finale; but them being so nice and everything, I just can’t bring myself to hate it, even though that’s what it deserves. It has got a bikini-warrior babe in it. I saw this film when it was first released at the cinema. I saw it with someone called Tracy, who I think fancied me a bit; (look, it was a long time ago okay). So I do have a bit of a soft spot for it. And I bought the CD single of the soundtrack too. I also have to admit here that I’ve recently purchased Season 1 of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, with a view to buying all of them in the end, right up to next year’s Power Ranger Megaforce and beyond. Fact is, the Power Rangers may well be my most guilty secret. Blimey, I could write so much about this!
Recommended for grown-ups who’d rather not grow up anymore, (a bit like some sort of breakfast cereal, but I can’t remember which one now).
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws. (Wow, big surprise there…)
Top badass moment? Ninja Megazord, power up! Ninja Falcon Megazord! It’s morphin’ time! Sabre-toothed tiger! Etc! Taking time out to say stuff like that really, really fast in the middle of a fight, is definitely badass.
Watching this film I felt a great deal of empathy with Mr. Incredible. Here’s a guy who used to be a superhero, who regularly demonstrated death-defying feats of skill and bravery, saving people from certain doom on a frequent basis. Then stuff happened and 15 years later he’s a fat old bloke pushing bits of paper around on a desk for a living and secretly sneaking off with a mate to do the odd bit of superheroing (I just made that word up) in the evenings, without telling his wife what he’s up to. 15 years ago I used to save the planet on a regular basis, working as I do for an environmental charity. 15 years on I’m a fat old bloke who spends his time pushing bits of paper about on a desk, (well electronically via e-mail these days), who secretly sneaks off do to the odd bit of ‘planet saving’ as and when I can, without telling my employer. It’s true, I don’t have any super powers, but then neither does Batman and he seems to do okay most of the time. I also don’t have a skin-tight superhero costume (don’t go there), an extremely flexible wife (wish I could go there), or a room at home that I’ve covered the walls of in ego-flattering magazine articles, newspaper cuttings and pictures of myself; (although I do have some pictures of me ‘in action’ pinned on a cork-board at work behind my desk and a file of stuff from old newspapers in a desk-draw somewhere). I didn’t have a fan-club either, but I do have a fan by my desk that’s useful in the summer. So I guess what I’m really saying is that I should have been a famous hero and adored by everyone. Having to have a secret identity can suck sometimes.
2004 – Certificate: U – USA
Rating Details: Mild violence and peril
I watched this film on a Blu-ray disc and it looked great and sounded amazing. It’s funny, but not that funny. It’s good, but not that good. It’s a detail and realistic fly-on-the-wall pseudo-documentary that takes a no-holds-barred look at what happens to real-life superheroes once they retire, examining the physical and mental effects of this on them and their immediate families’ well-being; a searing indictment of the treatment of minority groups by the media and public in post-war America. Actually it’s not. It’s really just a fun way to spend 115 minutes of your life and being impressed by how good animators are getting. It’s Pixar, so you know what it’s going to be like.
No cats and no decapitations.
Recommend for people who watch films to be entertained by silliness. (I also found myself finding Elastigirl just a little too sexy for my own liking; I guess it’s my age.)
Top badass moment? Dude, it’s a film about a family of superheroes. Do I have to do everything for you?
You never know what life’s going to throw at you. Today for example, I got talked into going to see a rugby match in March, the day after my birthday and the day after I’ve been to a gig; (the New Town Kings, amazing ska band). I have zero interest in rugby. In fact, I’ve less than no interest in it, I’ve actually got anti-interest in it. The idea of paying £20 and then sitting in a cold, half empty football stadium, watching a load of blokes carrying a stupidly shaped ball around for 80 minutes, fills me with the sort of dread normally reserved for exams, opening my bank statement and getting a bollocking at work for not doing something I should have done. Anyway, here’s a mental challenge for you. Please first think of the Power Rangers in a typical episode. Okay, hold that image. Now replace them with two Japanese schoolgirls in school uniforms. Still with me? (Oh for goodness sake, keep your focus on the relevant details here.) Good. Now replace the ridiculous baddies the Power Rangers were fighting in your mind with a sinister organisation called The Clown, which wants to take over control of the Earth; (unless you have a different copy of this film, where you may find that that for some reason the translation turns The Clown into The Joker, although not the Batman one). If you’ve managed that successfully (and well done if you have) then you’re part way to conceptualising this Japanese action movie. (Well I say movie, but it’s only actually 45 minutes long. It does feel very much like a pilot episode for a TV series that’s never existed.)
2008 – Certificate: Not Rated – Japan
Despite this being an entirely absurd film it’s actually quite entertaining, for both intentional and unintentional reasons. Join best friends Anne and Eunice (the names of the heroines in my translation of the film), as they do battle with The Clown. We never really find out a lot about The Clown and the motivation of the girls’ games teacher makes zero sense to me too. And I’m sorry to say this and I know it’s kind of sexist and everything, but Anne really does ‘run just like a girl’ the first time she appears in the consolidated armour. It wouldn’t inspire me if I saw her run like that and was waiting for her to come and help me fight a group of ‘henchman’ and the weird guy in the mask and leathers. (And before I forget, note for translators. We normally call it “bust size” okay? Also, you don’t have to bother to keep adding subtitles to “Mmmm”, as that’s much the same in any language). There are plenty of silly laughs to be had in this movie and it’s really quite sweet in its own way. I’ve not checked but I don’t suppose it was nominated for any Oscars.
Recommended for anyone who likes films at the “Dude, Where’s My Car?” level or below. Not good for people who think a film needs any sort of depth to it. No one’s going to drown in this movie.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? Waking up chained to an under-lit table, surrounded by weirdos and finding out that you’ve had your body transformed somehow and you’re about to be brain-washed so you’ll do the bidding of an evil organisation know as The Clown, I imagine is a tough situation to accept. Then finding out soon after that you’re going to have to fight to destroy this organisation before it kills you, probably makes things worse. Still, Anne more or less takes it all in her stride. That’s got to be badass at any age.