Familiar Formulas

Sometimes things find their way to the top of my Netflix queue and I’m not sure how they got there. The Tournament was one such case. But once it comes in the mail I feel obligated to watch it. So I did.

The Tournament: C+: The premise is similar to several other films, most notably Battle Royale. This film seemed to know about the camp and silliness such a plot entails, but never fully embraced it. Though predictable and jam-packed with cliche characters and trite plot devises, people got sploded and endless streams of bullets riddled bodies in pleasantly non-CG ways.

All-Star Superman: B+: The source material is fantastic, as I’ve stated, and the movie version is almost entirely faithful. That “almost” is crucial, however, as they changed some of the best things about the comic, oddly making Superman less impressive and trying to bring him back to the “just punch the problem” Supes from the standard comics. As expected (and required) they left out a few of the story arcs, but the central story still could’ve been reconstructed a little more clearly.

Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope: A-: I enjoy a good re-imagining from time to time. Infinities succeeds in that it portrays familiar characters in new situations and their behaviors and dialog seem right on key. Except Leia. Leia deviates so much that it’s laughable, and the story is too short to account for all her wild changes in character. Also, “A New Hope” is a poor choice of title since the story begins with the battle of Yavin.

Baltimore vol1: The Plague Ships: A: I love everything about the Hellboy universe. With all the sparkly, ripped, teenage vampires running around in media these days, it’s nice to see a vampire story where the vampires are truly terrifying. Baltimore is a fantastic lead and the monsters he fights (fungus zombies!) are wonderfully crafted.

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