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Name: Scott Hawkes



And here are the X-Men I remember so fondly. Aaron breezes into this first issue with a cavalcade of smart,…

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The Avengers lick their wounds and Cap opens the discussion about just who will be on the roster. One would…

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Fear Itself comes to an end (as far as I’m concerned), and the “writing by flow-chart” is still painfully evident….

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Jaredan's Recent Comments
January 19, 2013 12:24 am Sincere congratulations to both Ron and Paul. It's amazing how sometime hobbies become passions become our lives. See you in San Diego. Well, if my bloody press badge arrives.
July 20, 2012 9:55 am For the sake of ensuring spoilers aren't in the comments on the front page I'll open with a TL;DR: I thought The Dark Knight Rises was an enjoyable film that is by no means a disaster but is certainly not the best of the three films from Christopher Nolan. Too often is it easy to see the "wires" holding the plot together in a script that lurches from brilliant to downright clumsy. There were aspects of the film which were enthralling. Tom Hardy was a terrific physical presence, his brutality was palpable in the first fight with Batman particularly. I thought Anne Hathaway did a tremendous job and Christian Bale gave probably his best performance of the three films. Michale Caine was tremendous as Alfred and his scenes with Bale were beautifully crafted and brought emotional heft even in the midst of exposition. And was there a lot of exposition. I enjoyed the film and think it rounds off the series which is no mean feat. But I felt there were a lot of missteps and obvious moments of "moving the plot along" at the expense of sense. I honestly think JGL is meant to say "Dick Grayson" at the end, as it's nonsensical for the administrator of Bruce's will to not recognise the name of John Blake if it is legally John Robin Blake or John Blake Robin. It feels like a not was passed down for that line. Things happen to allow plot beats too often, Gordon being delivered to Bane (along with his confession, purely to bring Batman's public opinion back to the level he can lead the army later) felt clumsy. The whole aspect of every police officer except two being in the tunnels when they are leveled was nonsensical, as was them being unable to escape from anywhere but the caved in tunnel and one of the thousands of manholes around the city. Keeping them alive for five months was another bit of utter daftness. Why did Bane keep them alive? Why so they can lead the counter assault by rushing a wall of machine guns, of course. The reveal that it was Talia was a bit hard to hide seeing as it's incredibly hard to cover Tom Hardy's physicality in either his face mask or the rags he wore when it was obviously him protecting the child in the pit in one of the maaaaany flashbacks of the film. Too often I was thinking "oh so that's next," such as the wasteful signposting of Bruce's "death." The sleight of hand employed with the autopilot only works based on the Scooby Doo principle. You mention something or someone important early and hope that the length of the film and the many incidents between fade into memory until the bomb goes off or even better when Fox's assistants make the discovery. Instead, Nolan et al seem to worry that the audience won't get it, and just before Batman's assault on the city, we have the ponderous scene of Bruce telling Fox it handles pretty well "even without the autopilot" and then "That's what you're for." Clunk. The reveal that Talia did it all and then her resolution was too quick, oddly in a film that suffers for poor pacing in the middle. She goes from the femme fatale that shags then stabs Bruce in a hurry, which only works if you emotionally tie in to the fact that she was behind everything (more flashbacks), which in turn diminishes Bane's impact as a character. As I said there were moments when I was utterly absorbed in the film, but too often the script devolved into convolution and bluntness in ways the first two films never did. Some of the choices seemed to forced, such as the close up on Alfred at the end, if we would have simply gone to Blake after the breaking of that perfectly judged smile by Michael Caine (without seeing Bruce Wayne and Kyle seated opposite) I think it would have been much more deftly handled than what we saw. Keep that sense of legend about Batman's "death," we know he's alive, we don't have to be shown it. And on that ending, I know some have said that Nolan leaves the door open, but I feel bad for anyone trying to rebot this franchise. Not only because of the overall quality but because I'm not sure where you go tonally to make such an endeavour worthwhile. Is there anything really left to say in the universe Nolan created? And if not where do you go from here to make any other films stand out? More realistic? More gritty? Or Joel Schumacher? I exaggerate the spectrum of options of course but still I'm not sure where they might go with it. If anything The Dark Knight Rises suffers from contrast with the fun of the first film and the utter brilliance of the second. By no means a failure, but certainly not quite the triumph I was hoping for.
May 4, 2012 4:29 am I could have leaped up and kissed someone at that moment. Taking my wife to see it Saturday so I'll be able to then ;)
May 4, 2012 4:28 am I laughed my arse off at that, and of course so many other moments. Between being ridiculously excited. What a jam-packed 2 hours and 40 mins.
December 2, 2011 1:43 pm In regards to Smith's work; his eye for design is fantastic and there are very few who can match him for being so dynamic and having such "weight" to his figures while employing clean lines. Both detailed and sparing, he really is a marvel.
December 2, 2011 1:40 pm I wholeheartedly agree about Claremont & Smith's run. I think Wolverine is at his strongest throughout this era, his fight with the Silver Samurai is fantastic and his moment of self-sacrifice with Rogue (used in the first X-Men film of course) cements her place in the team and Logan's nobility. Wonderful stories throughout.
October 28, 2011 1:12 pm Poor Rogue. Poor, poor Rogue (and the reader).
October 28, 2011 1:10 pm In my personal life I have no problem in being immediate in calling out something with brevity. My response was intended for the context of Josh and being a professional reviewer. If my wife asked me what I thought of Fear Itself I would tell her it was a load of bollocks, but if I'm writing a review I'd feel obliged to write about characterization, narrative structure and so on. Then call it a load of bollocks.
October 28, 2011 12:57 pm An interesting column and you bring up a number of points that bother me a lot reading around the web. I have to say though the reason you called Fear Itself "fucking garbage" is because the description fits. If that was the only thing you had said then you could be accused of being reductive, however you gave detailed, sensible reasons why the book was such a total failure. Using hyperbole due to exasperation after being clear with your reasons is fair enough in my opinion. You didn't talk personally about the writer (I still suspect Fear Itself was a multi-person editorial disaster), and you may have been dismissive, but only after providing reason to be so. I can't stand illogical arguments where the only reason for venting expletives is "I don't like it". I understand a hesitancy to be bombastic when communicating through a medium which seems to be full of deranged howling, but I don't think you should ever be self-censoring beyond common sense. Or be afraid of using forceful imagery when the subject deserves it. I don't think there's anything wrong with being dismissive, as long as you've already given the reason for your rejection.
October 27, 2011 11:53 am I think that makes perfect sense, though the problem with fully buying Logan's motivation is that the aspect you mention was fully realized in the book itself. Still, I thought Schism did a good job in changing the status quo while still delivering a good story. Bloody hell, as soon as I type that I get Fear Itself flashbacks and cold sweats.