Prologue: I was fortunate enough to be able to catch a screening last night (3/3/10) of "Kick-Ass". Below is my review.
"Why hasn't anyone ever tried being a superhero?"
At one point in time or another, anyone that's read a comic book or two has asked that question to either themselves or their friends. Well, the movie "Kick-Ass" asks that question too, and then shows a pretty realistic outcome; you'd get your ass kicked. But being that this movie is based on a comic book series of the same name, that doesn't stop the main character from trying again.
Now if you're going to go into this movie with the mindset of everything needs to be 'real', you're going to be disappointed. Just like you would be walking into a Spider-Man or Batman movie and expecting realism. If you go in with the notion of having fun and have some idea of comic book cliches, well, then you're in for a very special treat. "Kick-Ass" on one level is a pretty funny, action-oriented movie that moves along at a nice pace. On another level, it's written with a wink and a nod to all those fanboys (and girls) out there that know their comic book cliches, and it plays right off of them at once holding them aloft lovingly while at the same time giving them a good-natured mocking. All the while the movie doesn't once delve into parody, which it easily could have.
I could go on to talk about the actors in their respective roles, but I'm really only going to talk about two; Chloe Moretz and Nick Cage. Moretz as Hit Girl absolutely steals the movie. There is no doubt. Hit Girl is a foul-mouthed twelve year old girl that's good with weapons, martial arts, and killing thugs. I never thought it could be possible to make a character like this so likable, but somehow they found a way. Now let's move on to Nick Cage. Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely despise Cage. In my opinion, he single-handedly ruined one of my favorite Marvel characters with his cheesy obsession with Elvis.
I actually liked Nick Cage in this movie. There. I said it. As Big Daddy, he does one of the most subtle, yet dead-on impersonations of Adam West as . Also, his character is truly the only character in the movie that actually follows the comic book requirements for becoming a superhero.
So you've probably noticed by now that I've talked a lot about the movie without really saying anything about the movie. Why? Honestly, I don't want to spoil it for you. Movie trailers do enough spoiling of movies already without having to add some asshole on the internet who was lucky enough to see the movie a few weeks before you spelling out every minute of it. It's fun. It's violent. And yes it does have some limbs being severed, amongst other things. Go see it.
The story moves along at a brisk pace but never feels rushed. Just the right amount of time is spent on the characters as needed. The obligatory sappy scenes aren't overly long (I'm looking at you, Spider-Man), and even add a touch of comedy to them to lighten them up. The details on the costumes are really nice nods to both comics, tv and even movies without having to draw attention to themselves. Specifically, Big Daddy's yellow Batman utility belt, complete with yellow, vertical capsules.
CGI blood, wounds and swords through the chest. Honestly, I'm an old-school guy when it comes special effects. Squibs, fake blood packets, latex prosthetics, that's what makes good special effects. The CGI stuff just looks a bit TOO cartoony even for a comic book movie about people dressing up as superheroes. And one more thing, I know it's part of the comic book cliche, but setting up for such an obvious sequel was just a little too far over the top for me.
This is the footage we got to see at Comic Con. The people at Ghost House were nice enough to throw it up on their site. The clip and trailer do show blood, therefore age verification is needed to make sure the viewer is over 18 years of age.
Over at Comic Con, there was a panel for the new animated Spider-Man cartoon that's coming this Fall to the Kid's WB lineup. Someone filmed it, and put up the link over here:
Check it out. The animation isn't too bad, and I'm digging on the character design (which was done by Sean "Cheeks" Galloway). Not bad. Looks like I'll have to check this one out.
1. Ratatouille. Great Pixar movie with a great message for both those that create, and those that like to snipe the creators. Excellent animation, beautiful set designs, fun characters, and just an all around delight to watch.
2. Ocean's Thirteen. Yeah, you probably weren't expecting this one from me, but this one was just plain fun. This is what summer is supposed to be about when you go to the movies. Hanging out with old friends that are doing crazy things and having fun while they're doing it.
3. Spider-Man 3. Again, hanging out with old friends and seeing some incredible action sequences. Also, this is the first comic book movie to have that comic book team-up feel to it (I'm talking about the last fight scene), and actually have it work well.
4. Day Watch. Yes, the Russian sequel to Night Watch. This was a crazy movie that pretty much showed up any American-made action or special effects movie by doing such a large scale movie for roughly 3% of the cost of its American counterpart. Great story, fantastic special effects, and a hope that we haven't seen the last of these characters.
5. The Host. See what I wrote for Day Watch, because the same applies to this movie. It's a Korean made monster movie that has a heart. Very nicely done.
6. Transformers. Yeah, it's a Michael Bay movie. Yeah, it's based off of a toy line, but it's got giant fucking robots and explosions! Honestly, I was expecting this to be horrible, but it surprised me that it was a fairly enjoyable summer popcorn flick.
And that's about it so far. I didn't get the chance to see Surf's Up, Fido, or Black Sheep, so those could always pop into the list if I get a chance to catch those anytime soon. I'm looking forward to the Simpsons movie, but not really anything else. I refuse to see Die Hard 4 for anything other than free. The Bourne Ultimatium has been tapped out after the second movie. I refuse to watch Rob Zombie's desecration of a Hollywood classic, and while Underdog looks mildly amusing, it has that sellout Jason Lee in it (even if it's only his voice).
Movies that I saw but came far from making this list:
- Fantastic Four 2. While not as godawful as the first movie, it still wasn't great, and Jessica Alba's fake eyes, skin, hair, etc. freaked me right the fuck out every time they did a closeup on her.
- Pirates 3. Wow. Just wow. This was probably the worst movie I saw this summer. I haven't seen a movie that needed to be edited this badly since Quentin Tarintino's Kill Bill 1 & 2. All the multiple (and mostly useless) plots didn't help this turkey out at all.
- 28 Weeks Later. This fared a little better than Pirates 3. At least I wasn't bored silly by this one, I was just motion sick from the camera being in constant movement throughout the film and also being slightly out of focus. No real characters to root for meant that you really didn't care who lived or died, much like a videogame. The only people who liked this movie were those that stay home playing multiple days of videogames rather than getting out in the world and living life.
So I'm hearing rumors (well, I've been hearing these rumors ever since Cap #25) that Cap is going to be back on July 5th.
Marvel has been quietly telling retailers to increase their orders for Fallen Son #5 (acceptance). This is probably due to the backlash that retailers gave them over the secrecy surrounding Cap#25. Since Marvel didn't give retailers any clue that Cap was going to die in #25, retailers didn't order more books, and this created a huge shortage of the book on the market.
Anyway, word is that Cap is back, but speculation amongst those of us that read comics is that it isn't Steve Rogers picking up the shield, but an appointee.
Remember that you heard it here first.