So, I Saw Transformers 2

TRANSFORMERS
This is supposed to be Optumis Prime

Yup, I saw Transformers 2, and it was a cinematic abortion. A phrase I have used on Twitter, and Facebook when asked about the sequel to the first live action mistake that Micheal Bay directed in 2007.

Now I know I have said I would never pay to see Transformers 2. I started saying that shortly after seeing the first film. Truth be told I didn’t. A good friend of mine paid for my ticket to see the movie. Partly as a joke. Partly because of the friends we went with like to see me rant and rave about it. But mostly to celebrate the birthday of a good friend.

The movie so rudely, and blatantly went against the 25 year history that Hasbro has with Transformers. Micheal Bay probably can’t tell you a thing about the Transformers mythology. Rather then reading up on it, he reinvented it, changing just about every single aspect of the Transformers story line. He would talk on his website, and forum, explaining his process of auditioning a couple of the original voice actors for the movie parts. It came off as if he was doing all the fans of Transformers a huge favor. As if auditioning them, and giving the voice actgers a roll in his movie would make all his  re-imagining of a 25 year old beloved mythology, acceptable to the fans.

I think not.

With the release of Transformers 2 I can easily say I am not the only one who was disappointed with this movie. Professionals in the industry are also not happy with it.

…a horrible experience of unbearable length.”  “The day will come when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will be studied in film classes and shown at cult film festivals. It will be seen, in retrospect, as marking the end of an era. Of course there will be many more CGI-based action epics, but never again one this bloated, excessive, incomprehensible, long (149 minutes) or expensive (more than $200 million).” Roger Ebert

Transformers 2 has a shot at the title Worst Movie of the Decade. Peter Travers of Rolling Stones

for the uninitiated, it’s loud, tedious, and at 147 minutes, way too long. Ray Bennett of the Hollywood Reporter

it is Bay’s worst-reviewed movie, topping Pearl Harbor. The Washington Post

As I have said before I hope that these Transformers movies bring some interest to people to go back and read and watch the original stories. I hope before I die someone comes along and makes a Transformers movie that should have been made.

Batman: Night Cries

Batman: Night Cries
Batman: Night Cries

I have just read a graphic novel called “Batman: Night Cries“. This DC Comc’s book that I found the other week at a local used book store was written by Archie Goodwin with art done by Scott Hampton. It uses the graphic book format to spread awareness of child abuse. I can’t help but feel like it falls short in it’s attempt.

The reality is that Batman fans know that he is not out fighting the Joker every night or trading battles of intellect with the Riddler. In between these epic battles, he is fighting everyday crime. Muggings, robberies, vandalism, to name a few.

Night Cries tries to show this with a  child abuse story, and falls short. It falls short because the story feels like it’s trying so hard to get the message out that child abuse is a bigger issue then we all realize. Because of this it takes away from this being batman story and ends up feeling more like a Public Service Announcement. In-fact, Scott Hampton’s art work was the only thing keeping me turning the page at one point.

The book also contains a subplot involving Commissioner Gordon having been abused himself as a child. This gave the book multiple child abuse stories and presented us with a different look at Commissioner Gordon that has never been told in past comics or since. It only adds to making the story that much harder to accept.

You can pass on this book.

Superman: Red Son – Book Review

Superman: Red Son Cover
Superman: Red Son Cover

What would have happened if the rocket ship carrying the child Superman had left Krypton just twelve hours later? Because of the Earth’s rotation, Superman would have landed in the Soviet Union‘s Ukraine region. Rather than fighting for truth, justice, and the American Way, Superman is described as the Champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.

At least that is the theory behind the DC Comic’s, Superman: Red Son. The result is a very different world then we are used to thinking about in regards to Superman comic books.

This was a great read. I really enjoyed it cover to cover.

Kingdom Come Review

This last weekend I finished reading “Kingdom Come“. Which is a comic book mini-series that takes place in the future with an aged Superman and Batman. The story is great and the art is nothing short of amazing. I have been reading a lot of these comic mini-series lately and so far have enjoyed them all.

Kingdom Come is a four-issue comic book mini-series published in 1996 by DC Comics. It was written by Mark Waid and painted by Alex Ross, who also developed the concept from an original idea. Set some 20 years into the future of the then-current DC Universe, it deals with a growing conflict between “traditional” superheroes, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League, and a growing population of largely amoral and dangerously irresponsible new vigilantes. Between these two groups is Batman and his assembled team, who attempt to contain the escalating disaster, foil the machinations of Lex Luthor, and prevent a world-ending superhuman war.

I think of this story as a big “What if” story. It’s wroth the time to pick it up and read it. I would like to talk about it in more detail. I am just worried about ruining it for people who have not read it yet. But it’s a good book and if you get the chance I hope everyone will read it.

The comic dose such a good job of letting the reader know each characters personality as well as their abilities. Even if you don’t the back story of each character, the book dose such a good job of making you feel like you do from page one.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Book Review

I just finished reading the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. It’s a comic book mini-series written and drawn by Frank Miller and published by DC Comics in 1986.

Bruce Wayne has retired from the Batman mantle after the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd, and becoming an alcoholic. Ten years pass, during which Gotham City is overwhelmed with crime and plagued by a violent gang called “The Mutants”. Bruce retakes the mantle of Batman after he encountered Mutant gangs in the alley where his parents were murdered. Batman is aided in fighting this menace by a new Robin, a young girl named Carrie Kelly.

This was a really hard book for me to put down. The art and the writing is very impressive and keeps you wanting to turn the page and look ahead at what is going to happen next. I flet that this book contains a lot of the things Batman fans want and like to see in a Batman story. Epic battles with friends and foes alike. How being batman affects Bruce Waynes life.

There is so much about this book I really want to write about. I could talk at leanth about several of the battles that occure in the comic because of how monumental they are. But i really don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has not read the book. Even if it is over 20 years old.

Just know the the comic is dark. The writing is dark. And the Batman is a dark character. Since he is much older in this story the Batman has only gotten darker with age.

Watchmen Book Review

I recently finished reading the “Watchmen” graphic novel. It was written by Alan More, with artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins and came out between 1986 and 1987 as a 12 issue comic book by DC Comics.

I wanted to read the Watchmen because of the movie coming out based on the graphic novel. I found most of the book very difficult to read. It’s a very wordy book with less action then your average Batman comic book would have.

Along the way of reading Watchmen, I found through out the book supplemental fictional documents about characters, or just random back story elements that really did help me tie the whole Watchmen story together. Things like this in a graphic novel really do separate it from all the others on the book shelf.

The whole thing for me really didn’t pull it’s self together till the very, very end. It truly was a mind fuck that you don’t see coming. I found myself suddenly pulled into the story and mentally putting all the mixed up pieces together. The closest thing I can compare this book to is the movie “Unbreakable“.

Watchmen is set in an alternate reality which closely mirrors the contemporary world of the 1980s. The primary point of divergence is the presence of superheroes. Their existence in this iteration of America is shown to have dramatically affected and altered the outcomes of real-world events such as the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon. In keeping with the realism of the series, although the costumed crime fighters of and the presidency of Watchmen are commonly called “superheroes”, the only character in the principal cast who possesses obvious superhuman powers is Doctor Manhattan. The existence of Doctor Manhattan has given the U.S. a strategic advantage over the Soviet Union, which has increased tensions between the nations. Additionally, superheroes have become unpopular among the public, which has led to the passage of legislation in 1977 to outlaw them. While many of the heroes retired, Doctor Manhattan and the Comedian operate as government-sanctioned agents, and Rorschach continues to operate outside of the law.