Green Lantern: Secret Origin

gl2 If you caught my previous review of the live action Green Lantern movie, you’ll realize I sorely don’t recommend it. This book, Secret origin, is a much more cohesive , better told story of Hal Jordan’s coming of age into being one of the most powerful Green Lanterns of all time. The story begins much like the movie with the story of young Hal Jordan; a young boy who dreams of growing up to be a pilot like his father. After he dies in a tragic plane explosion, his life begins a slow, lonely spiral of trouble making, straying further from his living family until he joined the air force at 18 at which point his mom disowns him until the day she dies because of his choice to follow this father’s footsteps. Hal is a natural flyer but his smart mouth and rebellious nature cause him to hang onto his job for dear life…Light years away, the great Abin Sur- greatest of all Green Lanterns- is transporting the savage Atrcitous of the five Aversions across the galaxy to interrogate him. Abin has been uneasy and paranoid unto the clasps of utter madness over a prophecy the Guardians of the universe and creators of the Green Lantern Corps may have been hiding. He fears the coming of the Blackest Night. Atrcitious breaks free and because of Abin’s fear, he’s weak to the attack and becomes mortally wounded, and there ship crashes to earth. Atrcitous escapes. Abin commands his ring to find a suitable replacement- Hal Jordan. The story after stays fairly close plot-wise with the exception of Parallax. Inside a rookie Jordan and now dubbed greatest Green Lantern Sinestro must put there differences aside to defeat Atrcitous, whose armed with a weapon fueled by the power of their rings, before he murders young William Hand who he believes is the key to Blackest Night.

Between the live action movie and Secret Origin, I’d would say the general plot is 65% similar. The difference comes with Geoff Johns’s fantastic writing.  The story is fast paced but were able to get attached and sympathize with Jordan, get to see the beginnings of his stormy but true love for Carol Ferris- his childhood friend, old boss, and future Star Sapphire (pink lantern) and well as his tragic relationship with Thal Sinestro- mentor, partner, and rival that would one day turn his back on willpower’s green light and embrace fear’s golden light as the Corp’s greatest threat. The world is more flushed out and what I enjoy about much of John’s writing is it’s a extremely easy book to follow, even if you never knew anything about Lantern lore or even comics in general.

Final score:  9/ 10

May the gaming gods be with you all and til next time, I’m Torsten V and I’ll be back in a few days with my review for Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War.

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Green Lantern

gl1 Ugh, this one hurts like getting a snapping turtle shoved up my ass. I’m 98% sure this film is the reason Green Lantern won’t appear in the upcoming Justice League (JLA) movie this November even though he’s been in the Justice League since it’s original inception. Green Lantern- Jon Stewart in particular- is my second favorite DC hero. What I love is that unlike most comic book heroes, Green Lantern does not pertain to one singular person but several diverse characters: Hal Jordan, Jon Stewart, Guy Gardener, Kyle Raynor, Simon Baz, Killowog, Arsya, and hundreds of others in a universe full of rich lore. Ideally, Green Lantern could be an amazing film franchise; Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films proved that there is a market for cosmic themed superhero films and can be well done. That being said, this movie has bright spots in my opinion both as a critic and a fan of the comics but what’s terrible murders this movie. The film follows the story of Hal Jordan, ace air force pilot and smart ass who is trying to live up to the memories of his father who died in a flight accident when he was a kid. One night, hes sees what he takes to be as a meteor crash or some kind of aircraft crash nearby him so he goes to investigate. He comes upon a mortally wounded purple alien named Abin-Sur, a great warrior of the Green Lantern Corps; he reveals to Hal that his ring guided him to him, so he can take his place. Hal takes the ring and Abin dies, before handing him his ring and a green lantern, instructing him to “speak the oath”. After he does he’s taken to planet Oa and brought into the Green Lantern Corps. The lanterns are intergalactic peacekeepers given rings forged from the concentrated willpower from throughout the universe with the ability to construct there thoughts into reality, fly, have access to knowledge collected from throughout the known universe, with the ability to travel in deep space. Hal discovers an ancient Entity of fear called Parallax was responsible for Abin’s death and has his sights set to destroy the Corps while being signaled by mad, mutated scientist Hector Hammond. So Hal has to face his fears and fight this seemingly unstoppable force and become the green lantern.

First, the positives. Overall, the acting is fairly good. Ryan Reynolds tries his ass off to pull the part of Jordan off. The supporting cast of the late Michael Clarke Duncan as Killowag, Geoffrey Rush as Toma ree, and Mark Strong as none other than Thaal Sinestro- one of DC’s most infamous villains ( which the after-cred scene reveals) are the best part of the movie. Problem is these actors would’ve shined but the script isn’t good. Its condensed to shit, the villain layout is wrong, and it tries way too hard to be other, more popular superhero flicks. The CGI is an atrocity, it’s everywhere and it shows; especially in Jordan’s costume and Parallax…and the race car. Oh the race car scene makes you want to drink.  I don’t recommend this movie if you want to learn about Green Lantern. Because of this movie, I rushed to find out more about the character. If you are interested in some epic lantern action I suggest Green Lantern: Secret origin by Geoff Johns or Blackest Night: Green Lantern. I’ll be covering some lantern books soon in the near future so stay tuned and let the gaming gods be with you all

 

 

 

Split

Split I’m not a huge Shyamalan fan; he reigned supreme at a time when gore, boobs, and bad language made a great movie to me…cut me some slack, I was 10. Like most, I’ve watched his descent into crap with The Happening and his awful adaptation of The Last Airbender and thought his time was over. From youtube, I heard a lot positive feedback on the movie he did prior to Split, The Visit, but still didn’t think much about it. When the trailers for Split started to drop, I became intrigued at the concept alone: three young women being held captive by Kevin, a man suffering from Split-Personality Disorder. Kevin’s mind is split into 23 personalities ranging from Hedwig- a playful 9 year old boy, Dennis- the rigid, disciplined captor repressing his sexual urges, Barry- the fashion loving face he shows his Psychiatrist, and Patricia- a stern companion to Dennis and fellow believer in “The Beast” that all 23 parts of Kevin fear, and soon will his captives. First, I command the astounding performance by James Mcavoy who plays Kevin. Each character he plays is unique and realistic; easily he’s a great villain but a sympathetic supporting character all at once. As for his doctor, who treats Kevin with the intent of proving people with  his condition can potentially lead to greater abilities, and Casey, the quiet of his captives with her own dark backstory. I didn’t find her friends memorable but not annoying; each tries to break free of Kevin’s grasp, proving Dennis and Patricia’s cunning and devotion to bringing forth the Beast. I don’t want to get deep into spoilers with this, it’s a movie that needs to seen and heard but I will say it has some thrilling moments, a great main character and a pretty epic post credit scene that links it to another Shyamalan classic.

Dark souls 2…oh my

ds2 Damn. Just damn. Much has been said about the Dark Souls trilogy from From Software- some say invigorating challenge, other say total bullshit; I say a little bit of both. Dark Souls I cannot say much about but I got my ass kicked all the way to level 160 in the sequel so let’s go with it. Graphically, it’s beautiful. The scenery is breathtaking and easily sunken into with all of it’s hidden nooks and crannies. Speaking of nooks and crannies, every souls player knows that there’s a threat behind every twist and turn; sometimes you can overcome the evils that can spring forth, but unless you dodge, dodge some more, keep a ass load of Estus Flasks at hand and can hit like a locomotive, you will probably die. In fact, you will die anyway. Many, many, times. My advice to most newbs- choose the sorcery class for your character because its a hard start but damn it becomes epic later on. I do have one major issue with this game, regardless of the difficulty. If you played the other 2 games in the trilogy or Bloodborne, you came to love, hate and respect the bosses. Many of the bosses of Dark Souls 2 feel dull or simply mob bosses that aren’t so much a challenge but a royal rat vanguard pain in the ass! Another complaint I’ve heard is many of the bosses bare a striking resemblance to those in the previous game. Overall, it’s a decently fun game and well, it’s dark souls, but its not the best of the series.

Sinister

sinister  I’m bored to shit with possession films and even more fed up with found footage movies. What the hell is it with this decade and found footage ghost stories? BUT, though Sinister has the seeds of both of these genres, it fuses both of them into one creepy ass final product. From the opening credits were introduced to the messed up imagery of a family being hung from a tree, kicking away there last breaths while we hear the old Super 8 projector rolling. I immediately dropped the F bomb.  And oh this is just he beginning. Some of these later Super 8 reels are alarming as hell, but refreshingly not too gory. I ODed on pointless gore somewhere between Saw 5 an 6.

The story’s opening premise starts a little predictable. A once famous crime writer named Ettison, played by Ethan Hawke, moves into a house with his family where his latest book just so happened to have taken place- the family who got hung in the opening credits, and trying to uncover what happened to the daughter of the family. His family doesn’t know what happened in there new house but the town and family themselves don’t take very fondly to Ettison’s profession. His oldest son is teased at school for it, people glare at his wife, and the police try persuading him to pack up and leave. While in the attic, Ettison finds a box of old Super 8 reels, labeled like home movies and a small projector to play them on. Believing there is something to help with the case, he picks up the first reel titled “Hanging with the family.” and plays. At first it is a harmless family scene; then the hanging. Hes understandably alarmed. Scared even. He goes to call the police but stalls; wanting to see what else he can find, wanting the fame for solving his house’s dark past. One by one the videos get darker, more disturbing, each another happy family executed in some barbaric and elaborate scene. “Pool party” and “Lawn work” got me the worst. Because of the vintage way they are filmed, it gives these scenes a rough sort of snuff film kind of feel, as opposed to a Hollywood produced feel which makes them much creepier and believable. Ettison neglects his family throughout his obsession with these tapes and the mystery I don’t want to spoil because frankly the best way to enjoy this movie is go into it with a blank slate. Don’t watch the trailors and try to ignore the poster because the poster will spoil some things for you. I can say I expected a A to B ghost story, a Rip off of the Shining/Amityville Horror, or R-rated Insidious. Sinister is not any of these things thankfully. It’s a very subdued psychological/supernatural chiller about obsession, home movies, and the dangers of neglect. I seriously recommend catching it on net-flix or picking it up at your local Wal-mart for $5.

May the gaming gods help you if you find old home movies in your new house.

30 days of night

30 days 2  30 days  It’s summer in Scranton so what better to keep me cool than to bundle up with my trusty box fan, pour myself a cold drink, and thank the gaming gods I’m not being attacked by pissed off vampires of the non-sparkly persuasion with a great graphic novel. By the title and pics you can tell I mean 30 Days of Night.

This series has spawned multiple graphic novels, full on novels, and a movie in 2007 I personally consider well underrated; this all being said, I’m going to talk about the first book that started it all. 30 days of night takes place in Barrow, Alaska, where once a year it is night time for a full thirty days; and a group of vampires, hearing about this naturally phenomenon journey there to enjoy themselves consequence free of the sun. I love the vampires in 30 days; they are cold, ruthless, terrifying beasts that vaguely have any human characteristics any more, just the craving for blood. Book one revolves around the dwindling amount of towns people trying to outlive the monstrous vampires until the sun comes up. Our main characters are Eben and Stella, a husband and wife at ends with each other; Eben is the town’s sheriff. The vampires systematically shut the town off from the rest of the world by killing there power, stealing cell phones and burning them miles away and in one cruel swoop slaughter a majority of the town. They are ridiculously strong, swift, and act like bullet sponges; the only way to kill these bastards is to decapitate them or expose them to either ultraviolet light or the sun. Eben, Stella, and the other survivors go about for weeks playing cat and mouse with the creatures, moving from one abandoned house to another, crawling out of uncertain sanctuary for food and water, dealing with each other and there claustrophobic predicament. One moment that personally haunted me is during a visit to a quik mart for food, Eben hears a quiet sobbing in one of the isles and finds a little girl crying over the bodies of who could’ve been her parents. She turns towards Eben, exposing her large black eyes and bloody shark tooth grin before attacking him. Perhaps as cruel as there viciously brutal attacks, is that the vampires mockingly use the survivors humanity against them. Eben does bring himself to kill the girl but not without regret. For the climax, one the final night the lead vampire decides to burn Barrow to the ground to ensure no survivors and the continuation of there secret existence; Eben is drawn into a final choice: give into fear and let Stella and a few others die or sacrifice himself for them and become the monster to kick there asses out of Barrow once and for all.

The art of 30 days is the highlight of the series. Its hauntingly distorted and blurry, making the monsters seem like you are seeing them in your worst nightmares. The book is short and the writing isn’t very deep but the art carries it. The movie does a fair job of bringing out some depth while staying pretty close to the source material. I recommend this to the people who love vampires, want to get into comics but aren’t into superheroes, or love creepy ass artwork. So in conclusion, stay cool this summer and be glad you aren’t hiding from vampires.

Me and Injustice 2 so far…

injustice2 For the past few months I’ve found myself riding a hardcore DC kick, reading dozens of there comics, trying to duck into the break room at work to catch the latest episode of Flash or Arrow, and drooling over the utter epicness of Conroy as Batman and Hamill’s Joker in Batman the Animated Series. As far as fighting games go, I was a cool fan of the first Injustice game, neither loving nor hating it. The roster was fairly predictable but understandably so; the story was bleak but fitting given Superman’s descent into tyrannical madness after the death of Lois Lane at the hands of the Joker; and gameplay was fine- fun as hell for some characters but DAMN playing as others made your teeth grind, especially the bulky fighters. So what about the sequel? I’m happy to say Injustice 2 drastically improves on the gameplay and brings a much wider variety to the character roster. Combos are more fluid to the touch as well as the characters themselves. Fighters like Bane and Atricitous have there own kind of heavy grace, while Swamp Thing has a longer range to his attacks. Every character has there feeling of individuality which was one of my favorite aspects of the game. The scenery and character designs are stunning and the voice acting and sound is solid.  I’m sorry to say I haven’t actually been able to play the game’s story because I don’t own the game (special thanks to my friend Autobot who let me play this much at his house.) but the plot revolves around both dimensions coming under attack by Brainiac and having to come together. The games only flaw I’ve found so far is the new gear system. I haven’t used it personally but I saw glimpses of where it could go wrong with the premier skins that turn characters aesthetically into others without changing there move sets: like Captain Cold can be become Mr. Freeze, and the Flash can be Reverse-Flash. I saw micro transactions for some of the gear available and that bummed me out a lot…In the end, I highly recommend Injustice 2 to any Dc fan and I will post again after each dlc pack. So until next time, may the gaming gods be with you.