Tag Archives: avengers

Movie Update: Avengers | SF: Legend of Chun-Li | FMA: Sacred Star of Milos Anime | Live-Action | My Reviews 16 JUL 2013

The Avengers (2012)

Thor’s brother, the Asgardian Loki encounters the Other, the leader of an extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri. In exchange for retrieving the Tesseract,a powerful energy source of unknown potential, the Other promises Loki an army with which he can subjugate Earth.

In the face of this overwhelming threat, Nick Fury, director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., is forced to activate The Avengers Initiative – and in so doing bring together a group of Earth’s mightiest heroes, namely Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye!

Having recently watching this again on DVD after first catching it in the cinema on its initial release back in 2012, The Avengers by director Joss Whedon remains one of the best comic book movies done right. From start to finish this is an action spectacular, featuring all of our favourite Avengers (and more importantly giving each and every one of them more than enough screen time to shine), pitted against an overwhelming force of aliens in a drama filled story that keeps you fully engaged from start to finish. The perfect balance of action, intrigue, drama and even a couple of laughs makes for one of the best comic book movies ever made, and when you combine it with eye-popping visuals, both camera work and flawless CG, not to mention a pulse-pounding and superbly slick soundtrack, then you truly have a comic book fan’s fantasy movie right there.

And if that wasn’t good enough in itself, then it gets even better when you realize that each and every actor fits their role to perfection, leaving you with pretty much nothing to complain about whatsoever.

Definitely worth watching if you are even the slightest bit of a comic book fan, and easily one of my favourite comic book-related movies of all time!

the avengers movie captain america

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Avengers_(2012_film)

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

As a young girl, Chun-Li’s world was ripped apart when her loving father was kidnapped by a violent crimelord right before her eyes, followed by the death of her mother from cancer. Both a talented concert pianist and skilled fighter, Chun-Li receives a mysterious Chinese scroll which leads her away from the life that she has built for herself, and instead into a world of hunger, suffering, and strife, as she links up with a mysterious kung fu master that holds the key to her unlocking the power within, as well as the path towards challenging M. Bison, the crimelord who may in fact still be in possession of her father taken from her all those years ago!

This is an interesting one to be sure. Despite characters sharing the names of characters from the hit Street Fighter universe, this movie is probably as far removed from the Street Fighter franchise as what you can possibly get. So if you dive in with that piece of info firmly in sight, then all that remains is overcoming the very silly little bit of CG they mistakenly throw in once or twice – and once you’ve done that, then you get a martial arts movie that is in actual fact pretty entertaining, engaging you from start to finish and featuring some good martial arts battles, not to mention the odd gun fight or two.

Kristin Kreuk is actually pretty enjoyable in this one as Chun-Li, as are the rest of the actors for that matter, but I have to say, despite the pretty heavy dramatic elements present in the story, it never really drives the emotional impact home very effectively, meaning that the movie will pass without you necessarily being completely drawn into it.

That said, lush and interesting Hong Kong environments, enjoyable action and fight scenes, and a pretty good soundtrack makes this a good way to pass the time if you’re the type of moviegoer who enjoys a good martial arts movie, and to be fair, I did enjoy the viewing, even if there wasn’t anything to chuckle about.

Just remember, this really isn’t a Street Fighter movie.

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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Fighter:_The_Legend_of_Chun-Li

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)

Table City in the West sits on a raised plateau, surrounding by a deep chasm all around. Occupied by the Amestrian army and threatened by the Cretan military, the oppressed people of Milos, original inhabitants of Table City, lead a difficult and harsh life down in “The Valley”, just scraping by whilst living on the dumping ground that is the bottom of the chasm.

A dangerous prisoner, with the dual alchemist control over both electricity and ice, escapes just weeks before his parole in Central City, leading Ed and Al on a chase that leads them directly to Table City – and intertwines them in a tale of rebellion, wolf chimera, and a sinister plot that would see the birth of yet another blood-soaked Philosopher’s Stone, destined to bring death and ruin to all involved!

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is the second full length animated movie in the popular Fullmetal Alchemist franchise, coming out just after the second season of the hit anime series completed its full run. To get the most out of this particular movie one does need to be acquainted with the franchise as a whole, and that said, it does hit all the right buttons if you are a fan of Hiromu Arakawa’s popular manga.

It’s a fairly lengthy movie packed with the heavy drama that one has come to expect from the Fullmetal Alchemist series, and surprisingly features very few of the light-hearted moments which one has kind of come to expect based on Arakawa’s work. As expected it is a pretty dark tale, packed to the brim with exciting action sequences and loads of twists and reveals, and as a whole, is a very satisfying entry in the Fullmetal Alchemist universe.

Although I’ve never been a particular fan of Arakawa’s fairly flat and angular character designs, the film really is well animated by the Bones team, and features some particularly slick choreographed sequences and some stunning CG landscape enhancements. The backgrounds as expected are lush and very detailed, and as a whole, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is a very good looking animated film indeed!

All the voice actors from the original anime series are there, and thrown in with a particularly stirring soundtrack and some great sound effects, deliver an engaging viewing experience that will no doubt entertain pretty much any anime fan.

Well worth watching then, particularly if you are a fan of the whole Fullmetal Alchemist experience in the first place!

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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fullmetal_Alchemist:_The_Sacred_Star_of_Milos

Avenging Weekend My Life 09 JUL 2013

Despite the rainy weekend that most of Cape Town seemed to experience this past weekend, we here at Gordon’s Bay enjoyed quite a pleasant weekend weather-wise, meaning that Chantelle, Jess and I actually had a pretty good weekend together.

Friday evening we entertained Monty and Cheryl for supper (they had been here the whole day helping Chantelle out with her baking), and after they left, I ended up playing Fable III well into the early hours of the morning, meaning that in terms of beauty sleep, well I didn’t get all that much of it in the end!

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Saturday morning Chantelle and I first took Jessica out for a stroll along the Bikini Beach road and then on to the harbour wall, before deciding to hop into the car and make the trip out to the Audacia Wine Estate to pay a visit to the popular Root 44 market.

And boy, they sure have been busy over the last couple of months, that’s for sure! They’ve significantly altered the layout for the better, everyone is now in covered tents meaning they can operate come rain or shine, there is plenty of seating both inside and out, and more importantly, they’ve finally managed to make the foot traffic flow such that it’s actually a benefit to the traders – at the start their layout was a little wrong, meaning that most people would in fact bypass the traders completely, one of the main reasons Chantelle and I decided against trading there in the first place!

We strolled around, took in the sights, enjoyed some tasty German food, and just plain and simple relaxed in the good vibe and ambiance created by the very talented live musician plying his trade on the day.

Eventually we headed off home and after a bit of an afternoon nap for Jess and Chantelle (more Fable III for me), we popped into the local Pick ‘n Pay for supplies, returning home to whip up two fabulous homemade pizzas and then settle down to watch the thoroughly entertaining The Avengers (still one of the best comic book movies done right!).

Sunday we took a trip through to Somerset Mall so that Chantelle could go and get a deep tissue massage in order to try and alleviate the terrible neck and back pain she’s currently suffering from. Luckily for Jess and me it turned out that Somerset Mall was actually hosting their charity book event over the weekend, meaning that Jess and I happily strolled from stall to stall, paging through kid’s book after kid’s book, and eventually coming home with a nice little haul of new things to read to Jess!

On the way home we stopped at the Mountain Streams Nursery to partake in some hot coffee and something a little sweet (A scone for Chantelle and a slice of Lemon Meringue for me!) at the homely Garden Café, a visit which little Jess in particular enjoyed, because after she polished off her chips, it was outside to investigate the birds and the fish, not to mention the horses which we spotted on the farm next door!

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Back home, it was more Fable III for me, some Joy Ride Turbo on the XBOX with Chantelle, a delicious lamb and pork braai for supper, and a surprise viewing of Dumb and Dumber (seriously couldn’t remember that movie any more), capping off a good Sunday on what had been a pretty enjoyable and relaxing family weekend.

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Mark Bagley and Danny Miki: Avengers Assemble Vol. 2 #8 Cover (2012) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 26 JAN 2013

The explosive conclusion to the Avengers’ cosmic odyssey! Will the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy be able to stop Thanos from making Earth the throne world of his new empire? The fallout of this story will change one Avenger’s life forever!

Written by Brian Michael Bendis and with interior art from the team of Mark Bagley on pencils and Danny Miki on inks, issue 8 of Avengers Assemble came wrapped in an awesome pulse-pounding action-packed cover featuring Thor and Hulk taking on Thanos, courtesy again of Mr. Bagley and Mr. Miki.

Review: The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – Season 2 (2012) My Reviews 16 JAN 2013

Having thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the first season of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it is pretty awesome to be able to say that I was just as thrilled with 2012’s Season 2, featuring the return of Iron Man, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor, Wasp and the First Avenger, Captain America!

Season Two depicts the Avengers as they track down the remaining members of the Masters of Evil and end up facing the secret invasion of the Skrulls in the first half of season, followed by the Kree in the second half. Intertwined with this is a number of other story plots that get opened up and then closed again, making for an enthralling, overarching storyline that is guaranteed to satisfy any long time comic book fan, never mind the people getting exposed to the Avengers for the very first time.

The amount of characters drawn in from the Marvel Universe over the course of the series is staggering, with the likes of Ms. Marvel, The Vision, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Scott Lang, Heroes for Hire, Doctor Doom, Surtur, Crossfire, Thunderbolt Ross, his Red Hulk form, Guardians of the Galaxy, Falcon and Beta Ray Bill all making an appearance.

The show is cleverly written, the characters well handled, the touches of humour are all in place, but above all else, the unrelenting superhero action is without a doubt what makes this such a pleasing watch.

Whilst the voice actors all do a terrific job with their respective characters, and backed by an outstanding musical score and soundtrack, I remain a little disappointed with the chosen animation style – the stylized designs are just a little too square for my liking and although visually The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes does stand out as its own animal, I can’t help but feel that a stronger, more streamlined animation style could have been employed, something similar to say what Young Justice and ThunderCats is currently doing.

But this is a minor gripe because I really can’t fault Avengers in terms of keeping me on the edge of my seat and entertaining me all the way through. Plenty of twists, action and drama, and more than enough superheroes to make even the hardest to please comic book fanboy happy!

Well worth tracking down and watching then.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avengers:_Earth%27s_Mightiest_Heroes

Comic Book Art: Scarlet Witch by Travis Charest Comic Book Art | Comic Books 15 DEC 2012

Travis Charest is a Canadian comic book penciller, inker and painter, known for his work on such books as Darkstars, WildC.A.T.s, Grifter/Shi, WildC.A.T.s/X-Men: The Golden Age and The Metabarons. He has also done extensive cover work for many other books, such as various Star Wars series from Dark Horse Comics.

I am particularly fond of his meticulous pencils, attention to detail and just sheer atmosphere that his art seems to evoke, making Travis one of my definite all time favourite artists.

His latest online project is that of Spacegirl, which you can find on his conveniently named Travis Charest’s Spacegirl website. Spacegirl aside though, below is a marvellous illustration he put together of Marvel’s reality altering mutant, the Scarlet Witch, an absolute bewitching visual don’t you agree?

Joe Madureira: Avenging Spider-Man #1 Cover (2012) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 23 SEP 2012

Because you can never have enough Spider-Man titles stocking the shelves, Marvel kicked off 2012 by launching Avenging Spider-Man, featuring a kick-ass Spider-Man/Hulk story from writer Zeb Wells, featuring a host of characters from the current Avengers line-up including the likes of Hawkeye, Spider-Woman,Wolverine, Thor, Steve Rogers and Iron Man, never mind the Red Hulk himself!

Handling the pencils for this 22 page story is the ever popular (and perhaps one of my personal favourites) Joe Madureira, who also stepped in to create this awesome piece of cover art, featuring some pretty angry meta-humans!

Manning the Stall, the Avengers and the Hillcrest Berry Orchards My Life 12 MAY 2012

Wow, for a change I got to pretty much spend the entirety of last weekend in Chantelle’s company, something which probably hasn’t happened in literally months! :)

After working from home on Friday (official office move was still in progress, meaning I was getting more done from here than what I could achieve over there), the evening was pretty much dominated by me rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in with helping Chantelle finish off all the preparations for the Willowbridge Market the next day.

Saturday kicked off like most market Saturdays, with Chantelle bolting out in the wee early hours of the morning, leaving me to take care of Jess until early afternoon before joining up with the family in Bellville, though this one took a sharp twist as instead of taking Jessie with to visit mommy at her stall as per usual, I dropped her off in the capable hands of Rob and Monty and headed out solo to the market, where I joined up with Cheryl and Chantelle in their stall, muscling my way to the front before donning my gleaming salesman demeanour as I worked the available foot traffic and in the process, managed to net quite a number of sales as well as the incredulous stares from a rather astonished pair of Chantelle and her mom!

After closing up shop following a now rather successful market, next on the weekend stop list was a spot of shopping at Ackermans in Tygervalley in the hopes of finding some replacement pyjamas and long sleeve tops for Jessie, following the accidental permanent disposal of some of her clothes by Rob the previous week.

As it turned out Ackermans once again didn’t let us down, meaning that the next item on the agenda was to drop Jessica off back with her Ouma and Oupa and Chantelle and I prepared to head out to meet up with the posse Evan had managed to round up in order to catch the awesome Avengers movie at Cape Gate.

A quick round of McDonald’s before the start (well, he had the group of 12 assembled an hour before the screening just to be safe!), and after a lengthy queue to grab some popcorn and drinks, it was into the cinema where we proceeded to all marvel at the fantastic Joss Whedon spectacular that is the Avengers movie (in 3D!).

Jaw-droppingly satisfying comic book action film is perhaps the only way I can explain it – truly Avengers cannot be criticised on any level, bringing with it an intensely enjoyable mix of fine actors, awesome visuals, action, humour and a great story. (To be quite frank, I haven’t stopped gushing about the film and it has been a week now!)

Being parents now for the most of us meant no hanging around to chat after the group filed out of the cinema, but it did mean that Chantelle and I got a good night’s sleep in, unexpected and rather pleasing considering that two weeks ago Jessica had made it almost impossible to sleep with whatever was paining her so on the night!

Refreshed, we tackled Sunday morning by getting stuck in to the packing up adventure, before heading out in convoy (Chantelle was driving her Dad’s car, Monty and Cheryl were in the Tucson, Mom and Dad were in their Lexus SUV and I of course was in the Getz), winding our way out into the Cape Winelands region, targeting the interesting sounding Babylonstoren Farm for an afternoon out and about.

Of course, we should have picked up something fishy when GPS revealed a POI named Backsberg/Babylonstoren, as it first lead us to Backsberg wine estate, before allowing us to reach a closed due to over capacity Babylonstoren farm. Not wanting to waste time by sitting around and doing nothing, the Lotter/Montgomery convoy opted to continue the journey out to Pniel, targeting the always fabulous Hillcrest Berry Orchard, where in the end we feasted on some of the most delectable scones, cream and jam you’ll find anywhere in the Cape!

After an enjoyable kuier, it was time to part ways, meaning a trip back to Gordon’s Bay for Chantelle, Jessie and I, which really brings me to the end of this little weekend update post.

Nifty.

Review: The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes My Reviews 24 NOV 2011

Thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable animated television series. Thanks to a fantastically engaging, overarching story that sees plenty of mysteries presenting themselves on the way and bringing our heroes into battle with the likes of Hydra, Aim, Loki, Enchantress, Kang, Baron Zemo and even the Skrull, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes initially focuses on the original Avengers roster, meaning Iron Man, Giant-Man, Hulk, Thor and the Wasp, before cleverly expanding to include Captain America, Black Panther and the grouchy archer, Hawkeye.

Released in 2010, the first season consists of 26 episodes with a tight continuity but enough variety from writer Christopher Yost to give you stories focussing on each of the individual team members making up the Avengers whilst still bringing the team up against an absolute slew of instantly recongnisable Marvel villains. The stories are all action and adventure-packed, emotionally charged, and at the same time maintain a good sense of wit and humour around them in order to keep the series feeling fresh and enjoyable by a wide range of audience. And let’s not fail to mention the genuine unexpected surprises Yost likes to keep tossing in at us!

The animation is handled by Film Roman and although the lines are simple with a bit of a square look which does take a little while to get used to, the series definitely carries its own style and in the end comes out looking pretty good, capturing the action-packed sequences very fluidly in the process, with some great special effects to boot!

Bad City’s “Fight As One” opening theme track is an absolute brilliant fit for the series, and the good start is continued with a great selection of voice actors who fill the boots of these big time heroes and villains, as well as a music score which effectively conveys the tone of the story throughout.

Overall, there is very little NOT to love about The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It is action packed, fun, gives us all the superhero action we could possibly want, wrapped up in its distinctive look and an edge-of-your-seat, engaging storyline that simply does not disappoint at any step of the way. Very easy to recommend to anyone who enjoys their animated fare, be it kids or adults who simply refuse to grow up! ;)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avengers:_Earth%27s_Mightiest_Heroes

Jim Cheung: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 Cover (2010) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 05 NOV 2011

The search for the Scarlet Witch is finally over as the Young Avengers find Wanda. But is she a hero or a villain? Is she still the Scarlet Witch? The battle over Wanda rages on as Avengers go up against the Young Avengers, Magneto clashes with Quicksilver, Wonder Man battles Wolverine, and the most powerful villain in the Marvel Universe conspires against them all so that he can possess Wanda himself.

With Marvel’s other big hero team being put through their paces by writer Allan Heinberg, with interior art from Jim Cheung and inks by Mark Morales, it was left up to the distinctive Jim Cheung to produce this stunning bit of cover art to wrap up all the goodness inside!

Related Link: http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers:_The_Children%27s_Crusade_Vol_1_3