Overthrowing Emperors

For some reason, I thought Ironclad was about the first armored ships from the American Civil War. Instead it was a Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven remake with knights. I have no idea from what strange dream the civil war movie entered my brain but someone needs to make one to sate my apparent self-inflicted interest. (edit: Wikipedia tells me there exists a made-for-TV movie called Ironclads but alas, it is not on Netflix.)

Ironclad: B+: Though I’m not too sure about the historical facts the movie portrays, I am sure that medieval dudes hacking each other up with explosive gore was fun. And frequent enough that I didn’t get too bored. Granted, I was putting together a LEGO Slave 1 (given to me for my birthday by the ever-lovely Naomi) during my viewing so my memory of the mediocre acting scenes is skewed. Better than it should’ve been.

The Last Emperor: A-: Historical epics have always been hit-and-miss with me. They are usually well-made, well-acted, and interesting, but as with everything based on truth, the fiction must be stretched to keep things interesting. I hope I learned a bit about accurate Chinese history while watching this movie. At points it drug, and at others it sped too quickly, but mostly it keep me involved in the main character.

Batman: Year One: C-: Batman Begins took a lot from the same source comic, and did a much better job with it. Bruce Wayne/Batman’s voice was so similar to Gordon’s it was confusing during inner monologues for either character. The art was decent but not great and the story lost all poignancy with the conversion to animation.

Literary comics are just a good idea. There are so many great stories out there and anything that makes them more accessible to today’s “ain’t got time to read” mentality should be welcomed. Gabe has been getting the Oz series of comics and I hope they continue.

Ozma of Oz: A: Like its two predecessors, the story flies along at a breakneck pace. The new characters weren’t as interesting some of the previous ones but they still instilled the seemingly simple character with occasional complexity. The marvelous art designs continued to please.

Two-Step: B: Warren Ellis took a futuristic (actually alternate-reality) setting that he has used several times, most notably in Transmetropolitan, and loosely wrapped an action-comedy around it. There’s a silly romance between the main two characters but the primary function of the comic seems to be to allow Ellis to jam as many wacky things into a three issue series as he could think of. The semi-cartoonish artwork works well with this premise.

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