“X-Men: Days of Future Past” returns to familiar franchise themes

Iron Man

   Somehow, I think the Transformers franchise started a trend in "look" even to Noah's prehistoric giants.The violence inherent in all the images is more troublesome.   I have always liked the X-Men film franchise. This most recent installment, again directed by Bryan Singer, revisits themes of predestination and free will, courage and hope, intolerance of "the other",  abuse of power, consequences of atomic bomb fallout (but … [Read more...]

‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ explores complex themes (but bring ear plugs)

SpiderMan2

 Of all the comic-book-turned-into-movie superheroes, Spider-Man has always been my favorite. Despite the launch of this new franchise in 2012 with director Marc Webb at the helm, my favorite film about the araneae homo is Sam Raimi's 2004 "Spider-Man 2." It's one of the best interpretations of creator Stan Lee's teenage hero as a young man of character and virtue.Ten years later, we have "The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Rise of Electro," and the title says almost everything about … [Read more...]

“Now You See Me” is a caper film about magic and justice

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“The first rule of magic is to always be the smartest guy in the room” is a mantra that four talented and ambitious magicians keep repeating in director Louis Leterrier’s new filmNow You See Me, cowritten by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, and Edward Ricourt. Michael (Jesse Eisenberg) and Henley (Isla Fisher) used to work together before going their separate ways, but find work entertaining people with their magic. Jack (Dave Franco) and Merritt (Woody Harrelson) take a seedier approach to their prof … [Read more...]

Wolverine the Movie (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)

This prequel to the X-Men trilogy of films is quite a good watch. It runs just under two hours and though very violent, there is no blood (and therefore has a PG-13 rating). It is directed by the Oscar-winning director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi and Rendition). This poster is for the release in France, I think - but I liked it more than the others. The story is interesting from several perspectives, not least of which is Jimmy Logan's (Hugh Jackman) Canadian citizenship! I went to see the film with a … [Read more...]

Gene Luen Yang on the Catholic Church & Comics

Talk about an "Ah ha!" moment! Yesterday I attended a workshop at the Catholic Library Assoication's annual gathering and heard comic genius Gene Luen Yang speak about the Catholic Church and Comics.Yang gave a fascinating history of comics, the roots of comic book heroes in the Hebrew Bible, the Church's iffy relationship with and attitude toward comics from the 1930's on (I know a lot about the Legion of Decency and movies but I had never heard of the "List of Publications Disapproved for … [Read more...]


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