Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro Review

***WARNING THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! ONLY READ AFTER YOU’VE WATCHED THE MOVIE!***

Let me start off by saying that it’s been a difficult and testing time being a Spider-Man fan.

On the comics front Peter Parker was killed off in an unheroic shameful way in Amazing Spider-Man, he was also killed off and replaced by a Hispanic Miles Morales in Ultimate Spider-Man and even in Scarlet Spider which is a story about Peter’s clone (that was actually a solid title) he was killed off at the end of December. So basically Marvel made sure he was dead in all the Spider-Man titles which personally was a scrotum slap to fans everywhere who have supported the character for years. Because of this legions of loyal Spidey fans boycott the comics. Myself included.

The Ultimate Spider-Man animated cartoon which was released mid 2012 didn’t fare much better. It was ridiculous in its humour and the flashbacks and “Family Guy-esque” segways became annoying. It didn’t even come close to the ’94 animated series or even close to the ’09 series. After 3 episodes I gave up on it

And on the movie front the last movie made was the first Amazing Spider-Man reboot and you all know how I felt about that. If you don’t you can read it here

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Seeing your beloved hero misinterpreted in all forms of media was heartbreaking and discouraging. It was as though the writers forgot who Peter Parker was and what Spider-Man meant to people even when the fans haven’t. It was frustrating to see him written and depicted as a one dimensional character when there is so much more to him. To say that there was a lot riding on this sequel would be an understatement. I would even go as far as to say it could’ve been the last straw. After watching it last night I’m proud to say it did not disappoint. Finally, FINALLY a movie all Spidey fans can be proud of.

I have always said that the casting of The Amazing Spider-Man was perfect and much more stronger than the Raimi trilogy. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the original trilogy despite its flaws and Tobey Maguire did a good job but when I picture Spidey I picture Andrew Garfield. Physically Tobey was too short and he didn’t display the wit and cockiness that Spidey is renown for. He did a good Parker but the problem was he stayed as Parker even as Spidey, and Spidey and Parker are two separate people. Garfield did a good job at showing that. Kirsten Dunst played a good MJ but Emma Stone really knocked the role of Gwen Stacey out of the park and the chemistry between Gwen and Peter was undeniable. Maybe cos they’re actually smashing each other in real life.

So the problem with Part 1 wasn’t the casting – it was the editing, the directing, pacing and massive holes in the storyline. Just when the movie would ramp up to something epic it’ll switch to something boring. Part 2 seemed to have learnt from those mistakes and the result is a solid enjoyable movie that kept you entertained for the entire 2.5hrs.

When I first learnt that there would be 3 villains in this movie; The Rhino, Electro and Green Goblin I was apprehensive because we all saw what happened with Spider-Man 3. However all the villains got the screen time needed to progress the story. Electro was the main villain so more time was spent developing his character and exploring his backstory which was a good idea since Electro is boring at the best of times. Jamie Foxx played the character well and with the rejigged backstory you actually felt sorry for him. Harry Osborn took a bit of getting used to. At first I was concerned cos he came across as a Leo DiCaprio wannabe but by the end of the 3rd Act/4th Act he was menacing and scary. They didn’t build up the friendship between Harry & Peter like they did in Raimi’s Spider-Man but to be honest I preferred it this way to move it along. In the comics it’s actually Harry’s Dad – Norman Osborn that kills Gwen but it made more sense for Harry to deliver the final blow. More on that later. The Rhino was briefly touched on but it was enough to establish him and set him up for the Sinister Six.

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The theme of Spider-Man has always been his sense of guilt which in turn has been the foundation in which his deep sense of responsibility is rooted in and this movie really shows that. Other than the guilt he still feels from not stopping his Uncle Ben from getting killed, Peter is haunted by the death of Captain Stacey and he sees his face everywhere he goes. This explains the inner turmoil that Peter is dealing with which is whether to keep his relationship with Gwen or to keep his promise to her Dad and leave her alone. It’s this inner turmoil and Peter’s decision to continue the relationship that makes the blow of Gwen’s inevitable death that much more painful.

Which takes us to Gwen’s death. I’m gonna skip all the action sequence and all that cos it was good and it justified the price of 3D. However the core of the movie for me and what makes it such a great movie is the story of Peter and Gwen. If you strip away the Spider-Man aspects from the movie, it will still stand on its own 2 feet cos at the heart of it all is a romantic tragedy about 2 young kids. The Spider-Man layer just adds an extra level of complication to it. I mean a perfect example of this is when Gwen tells Peter that she’s leaving to London before Peter has to abruptly leave to fight Electro. Hes cocky, he saves the city and people are cheering for him but as soon as he’s back at home he’s listening to his iPod in bed feeling emo like anyone else. Take away the Electro fight and you just have a drama which is already engaging. The appeal of Spider-Man to many people is that behind his mask and behind his cockiness he has to deal with everyday problems that we all deal with. That’s what differentiates him from other heroes.

The relationship between Peter and Gwen is endearing and it makes you hope that they both find the happiness that they deserve, and after defeating Electro for a brief moment you think maybe, just maybe this could happen. Then you see the Leo wannabe come in on his hoverboard and your heart drops. Spidey fans know what’s gonna happen next and all we want is for it to be done right and respectfully. The non fans have no idea but at the end it doesn’t matter because the scene was done so well that it was a king hit to the ovaries no matter what. Remember what I said about Peter’s sense of guilt? Well in the comics when Gwen died it was discovered she died of a broken neck. Peter is left wondering whether GG broke her neck before she was chucked off the bridge or if it was his webline that snapped her neck and this torments him forever. In the movie it seems more obvious that Spideys webline did snap her neck but she woulda been fucked up from the fall so she was screwed either way. The slow mo fall and the look on Gwen’s face and the scenes afterwards at the cemetery made me jizz from my eyes I ain’t gonna lie. It was a sad sad moment indeed. Marc Webb did a great job bringing that iconic scene to life…that motherfucker

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And that’s what made this movie so much more personal and it really tugged at the feels. From the opening scene where it shows Peter’s parents cop it to the D&M between Aunt May and Peter, all the Feels were there. The pacing was perfect and the humour was spot on. Scenes where the camera pans to Spider-Man and he’s wearing a fireman hat or him wearing a beanie and scarf when he’s sick is classic Spider-Man and I cracked up like a lil kid reading my first comic all over again. Him having problems with his web shooters and using his science background to solve problems, this is the Spidey we know and fell in love with. There was some nice updated touches as well like Aunt May obviously knowing that Peter is Spidey and not treating her like a doting old bat.

The movie was also littered with more teasers than a titty bar for all the fanboys. There was the Vulture wings, Doc Ocks tentacles, and they introduced Felicia Hardy who later becomes Black Cat who could be a replacement for Kraven the Hunter in the Sinister Six. They even planted Alistair Smythe (played by Ryan from the Office) who creates Spider Slayers and eventually becoming a SS himself. It seems like they’re fleshing out the Spider-Man universe like they did with the Avengers. Also the X-Men snippet during the after credit scene shows that they’re open for a possible collab even though it’s different movie studios. The possibilities are endless and it’s exciting especially when 2 more Spider-Man movies are confirmed

It’s been tough being a Spidey fan lately but with this latest Spider-Man movie capturing the humour, wit and the essence of who Peter Parker really is, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

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ACE’s top 20 MUST SEE Documentaries

So when my workmate asked me to recommend him some documentaries to watch I barred up cos I get the biggest hard on for documentaries. I used to watch shitloads of them but stopped when I decided I didnt want to die a virgin. Now that Im married with a baby ACE on the way Ive recently gotten back into them and Im rediscovering my love for knowledge through sitting on my ass and turning on the TV. So I told him I’ll give him my top 10 list. After looking through the list and realising how many docos Ive actually seen and how many awesome ones Ive seen, I HAD to make a top 20. So here they are. As you can see they range from all kinds of subject matters cos I dont discriminate like my n!%&a Big PUN (RIP homie). Even if you dont watch them all, at LEAST watch the first 5. This is in order of my favourite documentaries

1. King of Kong – About 2 dudes fighting to get the top score in Donkey Kong

2. Dear Zachary – About a dude making a doco about his dead best friend addressed to his dead best friend’s son. (SPOILER: You will cry like a bitch)

3. Spellbound – About nerdy kids competing in the National Spelling Bee

4. Waiting for Superman – About the US education system. (SPOILER: Its fucked up)

5. Air Guitar Nation – About lost kients competing in Air Guitar competitions

6. Sicko – About how fucked up the US Health System is

7. Street Fight – Follows the story of a young dude running to become Mayor and how corrupt it is

8. Love me, Love my Doll – About dudes who cant get laid so they get with dolls

9. Tyson – About Mike Tyson. You’ll have respect for im after seeing his doco. Then lose it again after watching The Hangover

10. Bigger Stronger Faster – About the use of steroids in competitive bodybuilding and how common it is. (Fun Fact – I dont use steroids)

11. Food, INC – It’ll open up your eyes about the food industry and about whats in the food you eat.

12. Good Hair – Chris Rock’s doco on the Hair Industry in the States and the pressures African American women face

13. Turin Shroud – The new evidence – About the Shroud of Turin i.e the piece of cloth that was supposedly used to wrap Jesus in after he died and the imprint of his face on it. This doco reveals new evidence about it and whether its genuine or not

14. King of Pastry – Every year theres a competition to find out who is the King of Pastry and it is hardcore. Make sure you have something in your mouth while watching this cos it will make you hungry. Preferably not cock

15. Bowling for Columbine – An oldie but a goodie. Michael Moore’s doco on gun control in the states. It will really blow you away. Pun obviously intended

16. The September Issue – About what goes into the biggest issue of Vogue released every year.

17. Somm – About Sommeliers who are wine connoisseurs and the very very difficult test they gotta do to become a Master Sommelier. In the 40 years the title has existed only 110 have passed.

18. Exit through the Gift Shop – Doco on street art and street artist Banksy

19. I Am Bruce Lee – Doco on Bruce Lee and interviews with shitloads of Celebs

20. 911 Loose Change – About 911 and the conspiracies surrounding it

Honourable Shoutouts – 2pac Resurrection, How to get rich selling drugs, Pressure Cookers, Gordon Ramsays Boiling Point, I cant stop masturbating, Comic-Con Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, Michael Jordan His Airness

If theres any other documentaries you guys recommend shoot them my way. Peace yo!

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The Ultimate Olympic Superhero Dream Team

Since the Olympics is on and everyone is getting a hard on for the USA Basketball team, Ive decided to come up with my own Superhero Dream Team. This is my starting 5 that I believe covers what’s necessary for a Superhero Dream Team

Leadership: Batman – A master tactician, expert in numerous forms of hand to hand combat and trained under Ras Al Ghul and Lady Shiva. Theres no one better suited to lead the team than the Billionaire orphan himself. He has proven hes capable of leading a team of Superheroes by getting the JLA out of all sorts of intergalactic shit. Not to mention hes nurtured and trained more young boys than a Catholic priest. No one has more contingency plans than Batman. The dude is motherfuckin’ insane! So insane he probably doesn’t even trust his own teammates which makes him the Kobe Bryant of the team.

Bench: Captain America. Cable.

Magic: Doctor Strange – In this day and age you need someone to protect yo ass from magic attacks. Doesnt matter if you hit as hard as the Hulk or you run as fast as the Flash. When magic’s involved you dont know what to expect and for that reason you need someone like Dr Strange on your team. No one knows more about magic than the Master of Mysticism himself. Doesnt hurt that hes a hot looking kient as well…..in that Richard Gere/George Clooney kinda way.

Bench: Warlock. Zatanna

Strength: Thor – See this one was a tough one. I woulda automatically drafted Hulk but after careful consideration the question came down to reliability…..and security….and sanity. Sure hes the strongest there is but can you really fight alongside someone who you constantly have to watch your back from? The guy has more mood swings than a chick on her rags with no chocolate in the house. He’ll probably smash all the enemies and when you’re going in for a high 5, he’ll probably smash you too. And smash your wife as well just cos he can. Such is the fury of this unpredictable beast. He’s too unreliable. Thats why the Asgardian God of Thunder is perfect as the heavy hitter of the team. Hes almost as strong as Hulk, he can also fly and commands the power of lightning so hes got the trifecta.

Bench: Thing. Colossus

Aerial: Superman – As well as a strong ground game you need to dominate the air as well. Supes is the all rounder of the team. With his power of flight, X-Ray vision and super hearing – he’s an asset when it comes to reconnaissance. His only downfall is he chokes under pressure. Or if hes around Kryptonite

Bench: Green Lantern. Iron Man

Manoeuvrability: Spider-Man – I cant have a Dream Team without my boy Spidey. He’s there to get in and out and for the quick hits. If something needs to be done, hes the guy to get it done. Plus hes smart as well.

Bench: Nightcrawler. Flash

So thats a quick run down of my Ultimate Superhero Dream Team. With a team like that, they cant be beat. Feel free to comment and post your Superhero Dream Team even though it wont come close to my one cos my one is insane. And that my friends is my Unbeatable Ultimate Superhero Dream Team

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Documentary: Jiro Dreams of Sushi Review

Bruce Lee. Jordan. 2pac. They all have one thing in common and no it wasnt their love for white chicks. It was Passion. Bruce Lee dedicated his life to learning different styles of fighting from boxing to fencing, all the way to wrestling to create his own unique style Jeet Kune Do. Jordan’s pursuit of excellence made it impossible for him to just be content with 6 rings. He constantly needed to be challenged which saw him play Baseball, Golf even Table Tennis. He wasnt someone who was born with natural talent but someone who was uneasy with the thought of being “just good”. He always wanted to be the best. 2pac coulda retired in 2004 after going down in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful rapper of all time. He coulda just enjoyed his success, lived past 30 and jumped on a Katy Perry track and make millions. He didnt have to write song lyrics at a party celebrating his album going triple Platinum or record up to 6 songs a day or go to the Ghettos and do talks at community halls. And thats the thing – he didnt have to. They all didnt have to. They could just stop what theyre doing and no one would bat an eyelid cos they were on top of their respective game. They kept doing it and they kept doing it as though they were doing it for the first time. They were passionate. You can see it in their eyes and voice in interviews. They didnt just master their craft – they lived it. Add to that list a 85 year old man from Tokyo named Sukiyabashi Jiro.

OK so Im a sucker for Documentaries, especially ones about random shit. I mean I watched a doco on a dude trying to beat a 20 yr Donkey Kong record and the next day I went and bought an Arcade machine. So when I heard of a documentary about a hole in the wall restaurant in Japan which is the ONLY sushi restaurant in the world to have 3 Michelin Stars, I had to watch it. The restaurant is owned and run by Jiro – a man who has been making sushi for 75 years and even at his age he manages to still get a hard on for Sushi. For me Sushi is Sushi. I havent really walked out of a Sushi restaurant and been like “Man that was some shit sushi.” I mean how hard can it be right? Its raw fish on boiled rice and you drench that shit with soy sauce and eat it. Unless you find a pube in your soy sauce or you somehow lost your ability to cook rice that every Asian is born with, theres not much that can go wrong. I think its safe to say thats what most people would think as well. Some French chefs travel around the world learning under famous chefs and struggle for decades to win just 1 Michelin star, this motherfucker has 3! And remember theres not nearly as many components to sushi as French cuisine. So what makes him deserving of 3 Michelin Stars?

What I find amazing about Jiro and his restaurant is that theres no real radical ideas or gimmick. The sushi he puts out are ones you can find at any Sushi Train on George Street. Nothing new. To him its just making the stuff he knows and making it well. He says its all about repetition and having pride in your work and you can see the pride in his work. He’s the first dude at the fish market making sure the tuna he rejects is the one that John West gets. He cuts each fish so meticulously and he tastes every fish that any of his apprentices cut. In fact apprentices work up to 10 years in his restaurant for free! Fark thats some insane work experience. He mentions in the doco the cliche “If you love your job you will never work a day in your life” and Jiro hasnt worked a day in his 85 years. Like fuck man I wanna retire next year and this guy is older than my Grandma and my Grandma retired 30 years ago! And that brings me to my opening point, for Jiro making sushi isnt a job to him. He says money aint a thang to him. Sushi is his life. He thinks about it day and night and even has wet dreams about it hence the title of the doco. Some nights he dreams of different kinds of sushis he can make and jumps out of bed and writes down the ideas. Its just a treat to see the passion in this old man’s voice and seeing his eyes light up when he talks about what he loves the most. Its enough to make me envy him and people like him.

However what I find interesting in this doco isnt Jiro himself, its his 2 sons Ken and Ryu (Thats not really their names but lets just say it is for ease of reference…even though I dont reference them. RACIST KIENT!). One of the people interviewed is a food critic who says that the problem of having a father that is as successful as Jiro is that nothing you do will be able to surpass him. Being as good as your father isnt good enough, you have to be TWICE as good as him to be seen as his equal. Most times when the Chef that made the restaurant successful leaves, the business usually fails soon after. And man its fuckin sushi so unless his son knows how to make Crack Sushi – good luck homie. In Japanese culture the eldest son automatically takes over the father’s business and so Jiro’s youngest son started his own restaurant. Its interesting to see the sons try to get away from their father’s shadow. It really hit home cos I think about my future children and the pressures they’re gonna face growing up with a famous father. I mean Jnr wants to do tap dancing? BOOM Daddy was a number 1 multi-platinum DJ (As voted by the Viet Society in ’04). Lil Snookums got a Participation award in School? BOOM Daddy LE got a Credit in Computer Ethics in University (after doing a case study on himself). So I gots all the bases locked down.

So yeah its a doco about a guy that is passionate about making sushi and the relationship with his 2 sons, mainly the eldest one as he fights to be seen as his father’s equal and prepares for the inevitable when he has to take over the business. Its all in subtitles and some parts are a bit slow and so people may find it uninteresting. You really need to sit there and concentrate to get the most out of it. I recommend this documentary for anyone who is into sushi, food or if you just want to watch a documentary about an ordinary man with extraordinary passion and be inspired.

And that my friends is how you end a review on a documentary about sushi.

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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES REVIEW by Jon Bling

Lets start off with a bit of history. I’ve been following Christopher Nolan’s film career for the past 10 years and have watched him progress as each movie he releases have become bigger and better with budget, characters and the most important, storytelling. Fate as it would seem that he would take over the Batman franchise from Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler) back in 2004 and reboot it in a way that every comic movie would consider as the starting point and soon to follow.

The announcement of TDKR (The Dark Knight Rises) back in early 2011 was inevitable. There was no way Nolan was going to leave the franchise with just two movies. A complete trilogy not only would please the fans, but also the studio. This film wasn’t going to be made, it HAD to be made. I had been following the production reports for the past 2 years. Everything from where they were filming to who was eventually cast. The actors that he has re-used time and time again is simply amazing as you would not even notice that TDKR is basically a mash-up of ‘Inception’ and the latter. And in the months leading up to July 2012, with multiple teaser spots, official trailers and marketing posters, the story itself on how Batman would save Gotham City once again remained a mystery.

By preparing myself, I had watch “Batman Begins” the night before once again to refresh my memory and was fortunate enough to watch “The Dark Knight” on the big screen just hours before the premiere of TDKR. In doing this, the storyline made much more sense to me. As any fan would do, I overhyped it for myself, and I had been disappointed in the past with the results eg. The Avengers, Amazing Spiderman But this film has something they didn’t. This film has Nolan.

******For this review, I apologise in advance as to review it properly, I have to divulge in the many story points of the film which may spoil it for some******

THIS IS NOT YOUR ORDINARY COMIC BOOK MOVIE…

As I was walking out of the cinema, I began to wonder, this was not your typical movie that involves a comic-book hero. This was something different. Nolan had given us a story that not only defeats the hero mid-way through but basically destroys nearly all hope. Almost every scene, whether it involved John Blake planning an escape to the trapped police officers or Commissioner Gordan tracking the nuclear bomb, we are given a slight chance that they could save themselves without the help of Batman. And once our hopes are raised to almost that point of satisfaction, we get brought back to Earth. Only then, with our final breath, do we wish that Batman would just come and beat the crap out of everyone.

There’s a moment in this film that shocked me. And to me was the turning point of the whole film. People would say it was when Bane broke Batman’s back because seriously, it seemed there was no coming back from that. To me, it was the moment the CIA special forces got caught and killed. Bane suffocates the Captain and tells his men to ‘…hang them so the world could see”. Even though it was on screen for literally 4 seconds, I cannot stop picturing the image of the 3 men hanging off that bridge. I mean, the city is in total control of Bane. It’s already in terrible conditions. But what does Nolan do to make sure that we don’t forget just how bad the city can get and what these mercenaries will do to anyone that tries to fight against them? He gives us a shocking moment that amplifies the horror to the point of no return.

Apart from the scenario of Batman being thrown into a ‘war’ movie like “Black Hawk Down”, the film itself has some positive moments. And by that I mean nearly every scene that involves Catwoman, with or without the Catwoman suit on. Catwoman and Batama’s banter, even as Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne had more chemistry than Gwen Stacey and Peter Parker. Even as they’re fighting, you can obviously tell this couple is DTF.

I COULDN’T HELP BUT NOTICE YOUR PAIN… IT RUNS DEEP… SHARE IT WITH ME

As stated by Nolan, each Batman film has a theme.

Batman Begins = Fear.
The Dark Knight = Chaos.
The Dark Knight Rises = Pain.

Even though we are focused on Bruce Wayne/Batman, the theme of pain flows through every one of the main characters. Some more than others. The pain of Alfred having to watch Bruce almost kill himself for something he believed. The pain of Talia having to endure living in Gotham City for 8 years while masterminding a scheme to destroy it. Bruce Wayne comes into this movie full of pain. It’s been 8 years since he lost Rachel, nobody knows he saved the city from a crazy psychopath and he just took the rap for Harvey Dent’s crimes. And you wonder why this guy even bothers anymore. This moment of pain doubles when he finds out that Alfred had been hiding the secret “letter” that Rachel had written to him back in TDK. I don’t care if you’re Batman or not, finding out that your love of your life didn’t want you anymore is enough to kill you. And only hours before Bane broke his back. Maybe it was a broken heart that let him down.

Nolan has also mentioned the word “Consequence” in many interviews leading up to the movie. As to my knowledge, I actually thought that this was the theme. And it actually suits it more than “Pain”. With Bruce, you don’t need Alfred to tell you that you should give up the bat-suit and concentrate on being the man beneath the mask or have Catwoman tell you that you’re trying to save a city that hates you. He paid the price and he had to deal with it. In a way, I see “Consequence” and “Pain” almost neck and neck. To compliment the other, one must feel the other. For example, he lost Rachel, the love of his life, so he must deal with the pain and by dealing with that he put the suit back and tried to defeat Bane. And failed.

HOPE IS SOMETHING WE CANNOT SEE

I talk about the themes of TDKR but I believe there’s another theme. Hope. The characters mention this a lot. Especially from the Gordan and Blake. Hope is something that we all believe in and something we can’t live without. Blake had hoped Bruce would put the mask back on and help him, Alfred hopes that Bruce would return to normal and stop the crime-fighting and Batman was Gotham’s only hope to save their city. Even though they turned their backs to him. Let’s focus on that for a second. In TDKR, Gotham City is basically your average city (which closely resembles New York City) but with a terrorist and a masked vigilante. Take away your Batman and you’re basically got no hope of ever being rescued. I mean the army can’t even get into the city. What hope does Gotham have left? It almost feels like that Batman was the ‘second coming’ and the ‘saviour’ to us all.

I WILL BE YOUR FATHER FIGURE… PUT YOUR TINY HAND IN MINE

There’s a lot of references to the “Father” element in TDKR. It’s actually something in all of us that we deal with everyday. A ‘father figure’ can determine the actions of a particular character and change our way of thinking. There’s 3 elements of this ‘father’ mentality.

1) Listen to your father and all will be restored. I mean the whole film would basically not even exist if it wasn’t for Talia trying to finish off her dad’s final plan of destruction.

2) A ‘father’ can protect you and lead you to paradise. Bane is considered not only a leader but a ‘father figure’ to the mercenaries.

3) And then there’s Alfred. He’s like you’re average dad that tells you not to smoke even though he smokes. Or to not get a tattoo even though he’s got like 2 or 3 hidden somewhere. But in this case, he’s your dad telling to stop fighting crime and save the city like a normal person. And what do we all do when our dads tell us NOT to do something, we do the complete opposite.

ISSUES

Like every film out there, not everything is perfect. Even this film has its flaws.

1) TIME – Time seems to be a factor that is all over the place in this film. For example, Gotham City was taken over for 85 days before Gordon and Blake made the rounds. And then it was nearly 2 months later when Batman made it back to Gotham. Even after 5 months and locked underground, I’m sure the first thing Gotham police officers would do is shave. And also, 5 months of being locked down in a city run by mercenaries, the traumatic effects of this situation doesn’t really seem to faze anyone. Even the US government didn’t seem to be trying their best.

Also, how did Bruce get from the pit to Gotham within days?

2) IDENTITY – It seems that some people know who Batman is and some don’t and some just plain forget. The speech from John Blake to Bruce Wayne may have tried to tug at the emotional strings of a character but it just seems to be a faster way to move the story along. If you really think about it, did John Blake really need to know who Bruce Wayne/Batman was? Because it wasn’t necessary information for him to begin with other than also being a police officer. Also, how the hell did Bane know who Batman was?

3) ENDING – As soon as the credits rolled, I thought to myself. Fuck! That was literally unbelievable. It was the ending that we all hoped for and the ending we all got. Or was it. To me, this is your typical Hollywood ending. A satisfying ending. Something that would please the audience and therefore leave many questions open ended it but won’t be questioned for a while. This satisfying ending was actually done 12 years ago in “Good Will Hunting”. Check it out and see it if you can. If Nolan really wanted to end it, the auto-pilot would not have been fixed. My actual heart-attack moment was when I thought Bane pulled the trigger.

4) IMAX – Watching this film in IMAX was both interesting and a headache at the same time. After Transformers 2, I knew that there might be a problem by watching a film combining both 70mm and 35mm. But since TDKR was filmed with IMAX cameras and the footage doubled to 50 minutes since TDR, I decided to give it a go. And I wish I hadn’t. The problem with watching in IMAX is basically the switching between the two types of film. Which can be tricky in editing and therefore quite annoying. In fact, many parts of the film in IMAX was the shot of the nightlife Gotham City or a Lamborghini driving away into the distance. Establishing shots are important to a narrative structure but to film the shot in IMAX, clearly wasn’t my cup of tea.

5) UNEXPLAINED PLOT POINTS – So Bane has decided to announce to the world that Harvey was the actual person behind the murders of TDK and therefore, the prisoners must be freed. So what happens now. Does anyone even care anymore? Also, does a prison pit even have guards anymore? And with a city that is crazy on law enforcement, you would think Alfred would do background checks on catering staff.

6 ) Doesn’t anyone in Gotham City notice that Bruce Wayne and Batman disappeared… at the same time???

These points are just small factors. The biggest issue I have… is Talia. As pointed out by the Dirty Dex crew, I was informed that Bane is a genius. A smart intellect and an expert strategist. Whenyou find out that Talia is the mastermind behind everything, this shatters this theory and therefore makes Bane look like a mere henchman. A frontman for the real evil leader Talia. You could say that he could’ve had some part in the process but how are we to know. The twist was definitely shocking but it just made everyone else feel like a pawn to Talia. Which I wasn’t very happy with. It made Bane look like a helpless romantic with muscles. A man who would do anything for the woman he loves. Also, if you get a chance and re-watch TDKR, you’ll start to wonder just how evil and devious this chick can be. She’d been planning this scheme for 8 years already. She used Daggart to influence his way to the head of the company, she slept with Bruce TWICE when he was at his most vulnerable and she knew she would gain Bruce’s trust afterwards. Very manipulative. Very evil.

YOU SEE ONLY ONE END TO YOUR JOURNEY

My overall rating for this film changed after each viewing. As of today (25/7) I have seen it 3 times. And as of now I give it 9.0 / 10. The exact same rating as ‘The Dark Knight’ from 4 years ago. You may question this and say that the Joker was a better villain in TDK and therefore better but I believe that story is the be all and end all. And TDKR is up with the rest of them.

P.S I don’t care what people say. The character ‘Robin’ was NOT present in this film. To me, it is just a coincidence that his name is Robin John Blake. It does leave an open-ended question of whether or not a ‘Robin’ film will happen, but according to Nolan, not in his lifetime

TDKR TRIVIA

– When the broker gets his shoe shined and we pan to a woman walking into the stock exchange, the woman is Talia.
– Actor Josh Pence portrayed a young Rah’s Al-Gul. the same actor who played the twins in “The Social Network”
– Bane’s coat took two years to make.

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5 things to do to prepare for Dark Knight Rises

Ok so this is a quick guide of 5 things you should do to properly prepare for the biggest movie of the year – Dark Knight Rises.

1. Watch Batman Begins & The Dark Knight…and Warrior

This one is an obvious one. Watch the first 2 movies again and get familiar with the characters. Know who Ra’s Al Ghul is from the first movie, what role he plays in Batman’s life and what happened to him since Liem Neeson is credited to be in this movie. You dont want to be that dumbcunt in the cinema who is like “Oh shit its that dude from Taken! Shit just got real.” Shit got real a long time ago son and hes not the main badass in this movie. DKR takes place 6 years after TDK so its worth knowing how The Dark Knight ended and how Gotham views Batman and where the movie picks up. The first movie was based on the primary emotion – Fear. The second is Chaos. Not sure what the theme is in this final movie. Also if you have time watch Warrior to see Tom Hardy the actor playing Bane at his physical peak. You will be able to grasp how powerful the villain he portrays is and how he was able to break Batman’s back (More on this in the next point.) It’ll also please the wifey seeing him with his shirt off so she doesnt bug you during the movie. Whatever you do though steer away “This means War” not only cos your friends will call you a bitch but it’ll also tarnish the image of who Bane is.

2. Read The Knightfall TPB

Back before 92-93 when n*ggas didnt give a damn about Warren G (or Tommy Le for that matter) – a graphic novel called Knightfall was published. Back then I was down with only Marvel and I was fiercely loyal. I wouldnt even wander over to the DC section of the comic store. My brother brought home the Knightfall TPB that he borrowed from his friend and since I had nothing to read in the toilet I picked it up and it is the TPB that got me into Batman. The story of Knightfall is about Bane not only being a physically powerful villain with the aid of a drug called Venom, but also one of Batman’s most smartest villains. Instead of going straight in like a dumbkient and getting bested by Batman cos that motherfucker thinks of everything, he strategically planned out Batman’s downfall. He broke out the inmates of Arkham Asylum and set it up so Batman would fight villains non-stop starting from the not so deadly all the way to the Joker. So for like a week straight Batman was going around rounding up these villains with no sleep, and not knowing Bane was watching him and was behind all of this. When Batman captured the final inmate he was mentally and physically exhausted and since Bane knew his true identity, he waited for Batman to come back to the Manor and thats when shit went down. Bane easily defeated the weakened Batman and to humiliate him, he broke his back. Literally. Like snapped his vertebrae and shiet, not pulled his pants down and “brokebacked” him. But yeah the story arc is the best depiction of Bane as an intelligent and powerful villain and why its exciting to see how Nolan will interpret him. Even from a story standpoint its an amazing read so check it out.

Bane giving Batman some brokeback

3. Get a job so you can afford to watch it in IMAX

Being Asian size doesnt matter… I like to watch movies how theyre intended to be watched. Chris Nolan filmed approximately an hour of the total 2hr 50min movie with an IMAX camera and so its worth seeing this in an IMAX theatre. This will probably be the second time Im going to IMAX and man I forgot that ticket prices are $31! Shiet homie that could feed a young boy in Thailand with money left over for him to suc….go to school. So yeah if you’re planning to go to IMAX, start saving or else find yourself a job!

4. Get your hearing checked

Not only is it bad enough that Christian Bale sounds like he’s got lung cancer as Batman, but Bane will be just as difficult to understand since he’ll be wearing a breathing apparatus for the majority of the movie. Plus to make matters worse he’s got a Pommy accent. So make sure you get your hearing checked before the movie or else you better quickly fly your ass to the Philippines and watch that shit with subtitles.

5. Go on a Media Blackout until you see the movie

This is what Ill be doing as of Wednesday midnight. Im gonna be avoiding Facebook, Twitter, news and any form of human interaction if it means theres a chance of someone David Letterman-ing my ass. For those of you who dont know David Lettterman basically revealed the ending of the movie on the Late Show while interviewing Anne Hathaway. Ive had so many quality movies and shows ruined for me – The Sixth Sense, Marley & Me, Fight Club, Project Runway and the list goes on. Ive waited too long to watch this movie and I wanna experience every surprise and twist it throws at me and I dont want no fool on Facebook that I dont even know to update his status with shit like “So did that guy from Taken snap Batman’s neck like a BAWSE? I dont get it.” Fuck it.

So yeah thats a quick guide Ive just written up before dinner. Hope you guys enjoy the movie and check back here for a review of the movie. I’ll probably get my homie DJ Sensation from my crew Dirty Dex to special guest and write that shit cos after my Spider-Man thesis I just wanna point form everything these days. And that my friends is my 5 things to do to prepare for DKR!

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An Asian’s guide to Scientology

The recent divorce of TomKat got me intrigued and curious about Scientology so I started finding out more about it. So last night I watched a BBC documentary on it, on the train to work I watched the South Park episode on it and this morning at work I read the Scientology Wikipedia on it, so I would consider myself somewhat of an expert on the matter. With that in mind let me break it down for all my homies in the 2196 and write about what I took away from my crash course.

The word Scientology is a pairing of the Latin word scientia (“knowledge,” “skill”), which comes from the verb scīre (“to know”), and the Greek λόγος lógos (“word” or “account [of]”). That basically has shit all to do with anything but I added that in to give this article some much needed credibility. So basically the “religion” was created by Science Fiction writer L Ron Hubbard and in a walnut shell it teaches that people are immortal beings that have forgotten their way and their bodies need to be purified before they can become Super Saiyans. They do this with a number of techniques one of them being through the use of a lie detector called an E-Meter. So a person holds onto 2 dildos connected to a meter while another person “audits” them which means they spill out all their confessions as a way of alleviating past pains in their former life. There are different tiers and levels to Scientology which reveal more about their “scripture” but a premium has to be paid to unlock them. The premium being upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars (Or else you can just read it on Wikipedia, but you cant really if you’re a Scientologist cos the Internet is censored to them). Scientology is the only “religion” where the entire teachings are locked away from followers and money has to be paid to reveal them. The reasoning behind this is because they believe if you access this information without being ready, your body will self destruct….in 3,2,1. Tehehe that was a Mission Impossible reference by the way. So if refinancing your mortgage to be able to learn more about a “religion” doesnt sound like a scheme the Egyptians came up with many years ago then go and buy yourself a few miracle weight loss pills.

So yeah when your powerball number finally comes around and you can afford to get to Tier 3 – known as OT 3 – you get to learn about Xemu (also known as Galactus to comic fans). Xemu (pronounced “Zeeeee mooooooooOOOOooOo”) was a meglomaniac tyrant who got his hands on the cosmic cube and enslaved all these poor aliens (for some reason Im picturing Kif from Futurama) and sent them on a crash course into the volcanoes of Hawaii. The souls (XP points) of these poor aliens got absorbed by the cavemen and the baggage has been passed on ever since. So if thats OT 3 then Im dying to find out what happens in OT 7. I guess Ill have to wait till 2015 when Avengers 2 comes out.

Alright so you may think Im recapping an episode of Stargate but basically thats what its about and after seeing the BBC Doco last night and then watching the South Park episode, its no bullshit. The BBC Doco are accounts from Scientologists who have defected from the Church and thats what they believe in. Check out this youtube link (http://youtu.be/T7EEOMbBIO8) for the actual audio from the founder L Ron Hubbard and clips from the South Park episode. Same shit but depicted in cartoon format for easy consumption.

See Im a liberal dude. You can believe in whatever the fuck you want I dont really care. If you want to believe in the teachings of a SciFi writer that has the same name as my local Leb Kebab store owner then be my guest. You can make a church based on Nikki Minaj’s ass and Ill be cool with it. In fact I’ll even go just to check it out – for research purposes of course. The scary thing about Scientology however and what I reckon labels it a cult is the lengths they’ll go to rid itself of any bad press and what they do to members who decide to leave. See any other religion if it aint for you, then you can leave all good. With Scientology if you decide to leave, they seperate your family from you and convince (brainwash) them that you’re a defector and not to be trusted. They send your family out and have them abuse you on the street to break you down. Disconnection is a big form of punishment for them like as if disconnection from Youjizz wasnt enough. Those “auditing” sessions where you’re confessing like Usher are published in newsletters and sent to your neighbours.

In the BBC documentary it shows the camera crew being followed around filmed by people from the Church of Scientology. Its actually quite scary. The creators of South Park were actually being followed and they tried finding dirt on them but they were unsuccessful because they were already dirty kients. Its a church built on intimidation and has strict guidelines on how to live their lives. Kids as young as 5 are sent on Scientology Boot Camps known as Sea Org and are made to watch propoganda and undergo auditing. This is what people are claiming is the reason for Katie leaving Tom because she was against Suri from being sent to these camps. Personally I reckon she just saw Mission Impossible 4 and said “fuck this.” Even the way the Church goes about recruiting new members is devious. You know those “Free Stress Test” you see on George Street? That device they use is an E-Meter and after 2mins of sitting down they’ll hand you a book on Scientology. If you werent stressed before you sat down, you’ll be stressed by the time you get up.

Free stress test my ass

Free stress test my ass

If you’re gonna base a religion around Science Fiction, then theres much more better ones which are less intimidating and peaceful to base it on. Here are my top 5 –

1) Church of Star Wars – Their belief is the Force is all around you and that its OK to make out with your sister

2) Church of Matrix – Are we living in a matrix and is real life much more sinister? And can the Nokia Banana phone really slide out like that cos I had one and it was nowhere as cool

3) Church of Professor Xavier – Based on the teachings where mutants exist and humans coexist and where bald dudes still get bitches

4) Church of Kratos – It teaches you that no matter how many times you die, you can be resurrected again as long as you defeat Hades the God of the Underworld

5) Church of Aceology – Send your next pay to my account and Ill tell you what its about

And that my friends, is my crash course on Scientology. I just felt that it was my moral duty to break it down for my non-English speaking homies in case they thought Scientology was a Uni course and they tried applying for it and then left wondering why their wife is divorcing them and Baby Trang is taken away.

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