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Archive for the tag “the dark knight”

WEDNESDAY WHIMSY

By @hmsbeefnuts

Hello friends, come in, sit down, ice cold glass of Vimto? Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Whimsy, with me Hmsbeefnuts. In this weeks exciting episode… well, I haven’t really planned anything to be honest. I’m writing this on Tuesday morning, the day before I need to post this up, and as I type, I have literally no idea what word will be formed on my laptops screen next, how exciting! Lets just see how it goes shall we?

This month I have not been to the cinema too often, mainly due to the lack of decent films that came between The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises. I did see The Amazing Spider-Man again, and I didn’t hate it as much the second time, although, it was still a pale comparison to the awesome Sam Raimi films, yes, even Spider-Man 3. I obviously saw The Dark Knight opening day, but only in boring normal vision, I had to watch it again in IMAX. I was not disappointed. A second viewing of the film confirmed my feelings about it, and an the IMAX-ness made me fall in love with it all over again. All round top dude Chris Antista (GamesRadar, Laser Time, Cape Crisis etc.) said that the IMAX ‘shook his balls’ and I have to agree with the sentiment. The sound, the picture, can only be described as ball shakingly good, and ladies, I’m sure it shakes other body parts too, so you have no excuse not to see it, you will not regret it.

For me, Bane is the best villain to appear in a Batman movie. In the comics it’s still Joker, and Heath Ledgers performance will go down in history as amazing, but Tom Hardy’s Bane is a tour de force, being the only enemy capable of going toe to toe with The Bat, but also a match for his brains. What Nolan did with Bane is exemplary, and The Dark Knight Trilogy is now surely in the top three trilogies of all time, perhaps even the greatest. I know a few people have a problem with the portrayal of Batman in the latest film, that there is no way that Batman would give up his crusade on crime, and whilst I agree with the point, I’d like to add my own take on it. The movies should be seen as an Elseworlds tale, they are not comic cannon, but more in line with Batman Earth One, or Gotham By Gaslight. They are one persons take on the Batman Mythos, and I think that Nolan’s take is a very interesting slightly alternative version of Batman.

Did I mention Catwoman? I guess not. Wow, Anne Hathaway was so awesome as Selina Kyle, the way she went from frightened screaming girl to total badass in a few scenes was amazing, and THAT suit. I was never a fan of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, but Michelle Pfiefer was hot in the cat suit. Anne Hathaway blows her out of the water. Hathaway looks amazing in the suit, and a few scenes where she is riding the Batpod have made a, hmm, marked impression on me, but it’s her attitude that makes her the sexiest character in any movie thus far this year, sorry Black Widow, you got schooled by the mistress of hotness. Selina Kyle is firmly one of the best things about TDKR.

So, where does The Dark Knight Rises fit in to the trilogy, in bestestness? I still like Begins the best, but  really think Rises is a close second, with a very close third going to Dark Knight. All in all, Christopher Nolan has achieved what few others have been able to, a near perfect trilogy, bravo Sir, standing ovation. I would even be interested in following the story further, even though…well, I don’t want to say too much, but a fourth film would still be worth seeing, at least I think so.

The other film I saw recently was the fantastic Ted. I saw this with a big crowd of friends, and this really is the type of film you want to see with the people you like best. Really funny, very reminiscent of a good Family Guy episode, which is obvious really, but it is better than any Family Guy episode I can remember. Seth McFarlane is a film maker with class. The soundtrack is very pleasant, big band inspired, the direction tight and smooth. The cast, a mix of McFarlane voice cast members is great, and once again, Mark Wahlberg proves that he is best when he is bringing the funny. A few amazingly funny cameos, and some absolutely brilliant, if close to the knuckle jokes. My friend Lucy and I laughed our asses off all the way through. One problem though. Joel McHale. I love Community, but this guy is really getting on my nerves, I cant stand him. He is the shittest thing on Community, and the shittest thing in Ted, however, he does not ruin a fine, funny film.

Anyone else get goose bumps over the trailer for The Hobbit? Skyfall too. It seems that 2012 will be one of, if not THE, greatest years for Geek Cinema, absolutely brilliant so far, it truly is a golden age of geekdom. The fact that The Hobbit is now set to be a trilogy fills me with joy. I can’t wait to see what Jackson has cooked up for us, what are we going to see in this new trip to Middle Earth?

Right, that’s it for the time being, I’m off to finish No Man’s Land, or Lego Batman 2, or finally watch John Carter, or Conan, or Predator all on Blu Ray. Time, I need more time…

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Summer Knights: Bat-A-Thon Part 2

By Geeky Gem

Well as we all know the Dark Knight will soon be leaving us again. As a way of honoring him I thought I would sit through all six movies so far and report back to you.  On this journey so far I have watched Batman, Batman Returns and Batman Forever. In this second part of my epic Bat-A-Thon I shall watch Batman and Robin, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.  Shall we begin?

Batman And Robin – 1997

This was a harder watch than Batman Forever, as I am not a huge fan of these to movies but they are worth a sit through if just to refresh my mind in perpetration for the awesomeness to come. Joel Schumacher again was at the helm for this one, along with another new Batman in George Clooney. The debate for the best Batman rages on.

The story line for this one is much the same for all of them so far. Batman comes across an enemy that he must take on with loyal sidekick Robin, in order to save Gotham. This time Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy have their eyes on Gotham. Along with Ivy’s sidekick a very comic and less like himself than he should be Bane. Although Bane is pumped up with Venom he is a mere shadow of the scary man he should be. This Bane could not break the bat.

The main part of the story is that Alfred is dying and there is no known cure apart from that of a cure that Dr Victor Freeze was working on before his accident. Can Batman reason with him and save his friend? Along with is a new sidekick in Batgirl, who in this version of events is related to Alfred not Commissioner Gordon, not sure why but she is. Anyway she joins Batman and Robin in their fight to save Gotham and Alfred, will they succeeded? Well that would be telling wouldn’t it.

Batman Begins – 2005

Now we move on to the good stuff, 8 years after Batman last graced our screens, it was time for a new direction for the Dark Knight, gone was Burton and Schumacher a new age was coming. Christopher Nolan walked in and a new Batman was born. The question on every ones lips was who shall be the Bat? The answer came in the form of little know Welsh actor called Christian Bale. Many people thought, could this guy pull off Batman? We all waited to see.

It would appear that yes, yes he can. I think is helped in part by the script which is pure genius, which was written by Nolan and David S. Goyer. This thing doesn’t give up, instead of using flash backs to tell the story of Batman we are there with Bruce as he trains with Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassin’s not knowing what they really want. On his return to Gotham Bruce has to keep up his playboy life style with that of the Batman. What exactly is Dr. Jonathan Crane up to?   The Batman must find out with the help from Jim Gordon.

The cast in this movie in unbelievable, Bale is joined by the likes of Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Michael Cane, Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy. All of who bring a darkness and edginess to Nolan and Goyer’s screenplay which leaves the comedy camp stuff behind and hits it hard with a much darker Batman. Don’t believe me then go watch it.

 

The Dark Knight – 2008

Somehow it doesn’t feel like four years has passed since I sat in a cinema with Kirkie Chick and enjoyed this movie in such a way that it will stay with me for a long time to come. This time Chris Nolan was joined by his brother Jonathan Nolan in writing, I think, an even darker screenplay than Batman Begins. David S Goyer helped write the story and it grew from there.

Many of the same cast returned for this outing with some frankly brilliant new additions. One of which it saddens me to say is no longer with us. Taken way before his time Heath Ledger’s Joker will go down in history as one of the best role’s in movie history. There was something in Ledger’s Joker that wasn’t in Nicolson’s Joker. Ledger took the Joker to that very dark place; where he should have been all along and frankly out shines in this movie. Aaron Eckhart joins the team as Harvey Dent the DA hell bent on saving Gotham from the inside and from the Batman. But what does the future hold for this humble but hard hitting white knight?

As the Joker plans the down fall of Gotham and that of Batman, Bruce is forced to use a technology that both Lucius Fox and Alfred are not too happy about. Can they pull Bruce and Batman back from the edge of crossing the line? Only time will tell. In the mean time poor Harvey Dent must come to terms with his new face and it’s time for Batman to run as he is now a marked man. Gotham will need him one day, so he will watch and wait for the day that Gotham will need their Dark Knight again.

 

That Brings us to the end of our epic Bat-A-Thon, I for one have enjoyed watching all the movies again in order to bring this too you. I will no doubt be seeing The Dark Knight Rises a number of times. As Nolan’s time is over as the man that bought back the Batman we have to thank him for these truly fantastic movies and for showing the world that Batman can be dark.

SUMMER KNIGHTS: BEST BAT VIDEO GAMES

By @hmsbeefnuts

 Lets face it, video games based on licensed properties are usually a big bag of dog vomit. There are exceptions of course, for every piece of shit like Superman 64, we have a Goldeneye 007. As we are knee deep in the glory that is AGTM’s Summer Knights, it falls to me to write about the greatest Batman video games of all time. Obviously there are two that I could not fail to mention, and don’t worry, they are included, but there are also 3 more on the list, so lets check them out immediately shall we?

BATMAN – NES

 

A  fun  little platformer that I can barely remember, except to say that it was mega fun to play. I never owned this game for some reason, but played it over a friends house a lot. OK so the graphics are nothing to write home about, but nothing looks good on the NES these days. Joker was the main bad guy to take down, and I seem to remember the game reminded me of Castlevania, which can not be a bad thing really, can it?

BATMAN RETURNS – SNES

 

The kind of beat em up that they just don’t make any more. The graphics were beautiful, and unbelievable at the time. The fighting which was fun, especially the grab two bad guys and smash their heads together, was spread out between fun mode 7 batmobile sections. Good use of the grapple gun as well. I don’t care for the movie, but the game is awesome, and I would play it all through right this instant.

LEGO BATMAN

 

You either love or hate the Lego games, as they are all pretty similar, no matter what property they are representing. Batman Lego drew me back to Lego Games after I had had enough of Star Wars Lego. They are basically collect em ups, sometimes are very frustrating, but for some reason, they are quite addictive. I’m currently playing through Lego Batman 2, and the added Justice League members have made it a little bit more exciting. At the very least, these games are dripping with Batman-ness.

BATMAN ARKHAM ASYLUM

 

The best Batman game released at the time, Arkham Asylum wasn’t just a great Batman Game, but a fantastic game in its own right. What Rocksteady managed to do was finally get Batman right. The combat was awesome, but they also got Batman’s brain. As the worlds greatest detective, Batman isn’t just a meat head who punches people, this game got it so right. Just bashing bad guys with fists won’t do you much good anyway, even Batman can be shot, or overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Luckily then that Arkham Asylum got the fear of Batman right, keep to the shadows, take out bad guys stealthily and sneak around being a stealthy ninja, and Arkham Asylum was simply the best Batman thing outside of comics, well until the sequel arrived.

BATMAN ARKHAM CITY

Arkham Asylum was great, I liked the fact it was kept in the sprawling grounds of the Asylum, but how to make it better? How about turning a large section of Gotham into an open prison? That’s a start. The open world of Gotham was stunning, there was so much freedom, yet things were kept tight by Rocksteady’s brilliant story telling ability, thanks Paul Dini. What the Arkham games have got so right is the mix of Batman elements that they used. The realism of Nolan, the voice cast of Batman: The Animated series, a whole host of villains and a story that escalates to brilliance. If you haven’t played this game, you must, you really must. It is the closet thing to being Batman, without having to have your parents killed, leaving you millions of pounds/dollars in order for you to disappear for a few years, learning to become the ultimate badass, and then swearing revenge on crime, dressed as a flying rodent. Probably easier you just play the game really.

WEDNESDAY WHIMSY

By @hmsbeefnuts

 

Welcome to another weekly dose of whimsy, prescribed every Wednesday by yours truly. This week, I shall only deliver a small dose, as I am rather busy with work commitments. But we shall see how far we get. This week has been a sad one for the Geek community as a whole, and the Batman Geek community in particular. I refuse to give any publicity to anyone who commits an atrocity such as the one that happened last Friday, and it sickens me that the news agencies are seeking to exaggerate matters by referring to this sick individual as ‘The Batman Killer’ or ‘The Joker’. Please refrain from using such phrases, it only adds to this guys infamy.

There was of course very happy news in the world of Batman too. The Dark Knight Rises is a fantastic end to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. I will not review it here, at least not in any detail, until a few more people get to see it. I know Geeky Gem has yet to watch it, as soon as she does, I will write up some more detailed thoughts. I’m happy to say I thought it was fantastic, all the cast were amazing, the storyline was strong, and thankfully I avoided spoilers, which I urge you to do, as at times I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. A very satisfying end to a very satisfying trilogy. I do not envy the guy who has to reboot the Bat now, but I am looking forward to the results. My vote would be to go for a less realistic universe, one in which Superman, Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman can co-exist with Batman, because I want a Justice League Movie.

The Olympics starts on Friday, and to be honest I couldn’t give less of a shit. However, look out for a special series of Geek Olympics that we will be featuring on All Geek To Me, as soon as I can find the time to write them. Time is becoming a real problem at the moment and I am struggling to fit everything in. I had to quit my regular Sunday article at GameNTrain.com due to time constraints, a shame, as I did enjoy writing solely about video games, even if I was having trouble thinking of stuff to write about. I honestly considered The Top 5 Shoes in Gaming. Yeah, I was scraping the barrel. I would like to say thanks to everyone for giving me the opportunity over at GameNTrain, and Eric in particular. Always helpful, always supportive, good people.

I am currently reading Batman : No Man’s Land, which I am enjoying very much, I really need to make a dent in my comics pile, it is getting stupidly huge. I am also still reading Hunting The American Werewolf by Linda S. Godfrey, and yes I have been reading it for far too long. Once again, time is a factor here.

Games wise, I have been having a go at playing Lego Batman 2, and although I enjoy it in parts, it shares the problems that all the Lego games do, i.e., it has an awful camera system, it is very frustrating, and at times down right unfathomable, there are parts that are so obtuse as to be ridiculous. It is all made worthwhile however, by the fact that when you play as Superman, the John Williams theme plays when you fly, and you can shoot down baddies with your laser eyes!!

August is almost here, and we seem to have hit a bit of a movie low point. Most of the big action blockbusters are already out, and there seems like there is nothing really spectacular out  until The Hobbit in December. Of course, I will always find something to watch, practically every week, but all but one of the films I was really looking forward too this year have come out, roll on December.

Well that’s going to have to be it for one week, I have work to do.

SUMMER KNIGHTS: THE DARK KNIGHT’S NOBLE STEEDS

By @hmsbeefnuts

Here we go again with another Batman related article, in celebration of The Dark Knight Rises. In this exciting episode….we look at the various vehicles that Batman has employed throughout his crime fighting career. As he has no super powers, apart from being a super bad ass with a bad attitude, Batman has to rely on various modes of transport to get around Gotham, in order to beat the crap out of the latest escapees from Arkham or Blackgate. Who didn’t dream about owning the Batmobile as a child, who doesn’t want their own Tumbler today? Batman is awesome, and as we all know; ‘its the car right? Chicks dig the car?’. Of course they do, so lets discuss some of Bruce Wayne’s wonderful toys.

THE BATMOBILE

How is a vigilante with no super powers supposed to get around town? Sure he could zip line, but it seems so undignified. What said vigilante needs, is a car, and someone of Bruce Wayne’s means can afford one hell of a car, or 17,000. Every iteration of Batman has had a Batmobile, and they have all been awesome in their own unique ways. For my choice though, I have gone for the 1989 Batman Movie Batmobile, a sexy, curvy, badass ride for any man about town. Features? Well the front looking machine guns might not be your typical Batman gadget, but add a self driving feature, shields that turn it into an impregnable cocoon and super cool bat wing spoilers. I think you’ll agree, it is a striking looking town car.

THE BAT BOAT

Villains don’t just ply their trade on land you know, they are a wily bunch. There are times when Batman may need to take to the high seas to tackle a bad guy. What better mode of transport to use then, than the Bat Boat. It’s important that your boat matches your outfit, and the Bat Boat is an excellent example of co-ordination. A sight that will put fear in the hearts of any watery ne’er do wells, and also impress the ladies, the Bat Boat is the premium ocean based crime fighting tool, accept no substitute.

THE BAT COPTER

Who doesn’t want to own their own helicopter? Who doesn’t want to own their own helicopter, that is styled in the fashion of a bat? Exactly, everyone. The Bat Copter is used in a different way to the more commonly seen Bat Wing, but is no less essential to the modern crime fighter. Used as a reconnaissance device, or as a rescue vehicle, The Bat Copter is without doubt, one of the coolest pieces of kit in The Bat Cave. Oh, and don’t forget the Bat Shark Repellent Spray.

THE BAT WING

Crime is world wide. Batman’s base of operations is Gotham City, but there are times when he may need to travel the world, enlisting Batmen for his fight against global crime, or he may need to travel to see his friends in the Justice League. Easy enough for Bruce Wayne to get on a plane, but who wants airport staff looking through your bags and finding your tights/utility belt? It is clear that Batman needs a private plane, obviously in the shape of a giant bat, that he can travel around the world quickly and quietly. Just watch out for ridiculously huge hand guns…

THE BAT CYCLE

When traffic on the busy streets of Gotham becomes a problem, Batman can always substitute the impractical, for parking purposes, Batmobile, for the sleeker Bat Cycle. The Bat Cycle can also be fitted with an optional side-car, for any side kicks that one may have. The Bat Cycle looks the part, is easy to park, and when the bad guys are weaving in and out of traffic, it can be the difference between them getting a severe beating, or getting away. They deserve a severe beating.

THE TUMBLER/BAT POD

I have saved the best till last. In modern times, a car that looks like a bat is, well camp and garish, and how is one supposed to instil fear in the hearts of the criminals of Gotham, driving around in a mixture of a bat and a canal boat? What the modern day, realistic vigilante needs is a tank, or bridging vehicle, that can handle even the toughest urban situation. It also helps that if your ride gets totalled, a Bat Pod can be ejected, that is perhaps even cooler than the Tumbler itself. The Tumbler/Bat Pod combo is clearly the best thing Batman has ever driven around the dark streets of Gotham City, and quite frankly, I want one.

SUMMER KNIGHTS: MY FAVOURITE BATMAN GRAPHIC NOVELS: PART 1

By @hmsbeefnuts

I am kicking my Summer Knights series off today, and have decided to give you a run down of my personal favourite Bat based graphic novels. There are quite a few, so I shall not procrastinate here, except to say, Batman is my favourite super hero, and as such, I read more of his comics/graphic novels, than any other character.

BATMAN: YEAR ONE

Frank Miller tells the tale of the first year of Batman’s war on crime, and also Gordon’s first year in the GCPD. A gritty, dark, more realistic tale, this is the story of a man’s war for revenge on the criminal underworld that took his parents. The art work is stark and bold, but fits the tone perfectly. Any body looking to jump into the Batman mythos, would do well to look at this first, it is the perfect introduction to the character.

THE LONG HALLOWEEN

My personal favourite Bat story, this is set chronologically after Year One. Batman is now established, and his war on crime continues, with a serial killer on the loose who kills on holidays. The Holiday Killer is not The Dark Knights only problem, his continuing war on Gotham’s Mob families and super villians is also a large part of the story, and Harvey Dent is also becoming a problem. The Long Halloween has great artwork and is a great read, I urge you to check it out.

DARK VICTORY

Dark Victory picks up where The Long Halloween left off. The Holiday Killer has been put away, but Gotham’s problems aren’t so easily solved. This is also a Robin origin story, and is probably the best one I have read. Usually I’m not a fan of Robin, but Jeph Loeb manages to create a narrative that fits in very well with Year One and Long Halloween, and doesn’t make the character of Robin too ridiculous. Great art again, this book is well worth a read.

GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT

The first Else-world book I ever read, Gotham By Gaslight is set in Victorian era Gotham City. A city that has been visited by the most notorious serial killer of them all, Jack the Ripper. Batman, in a vintage awesome costume, must face the Ripper and protect the ladies of the night that populate Gotham. This really opened my eyes to what Batman could be when I first read it. The Batman mythos is so strong, he can be placed in different eras and situations, and still work, and still be awesome. The fact I’m kind of fascinated by the mystery of Jack the Ripper was the cherry on top of the Batman sundae.

HUSH

I was drawn to Hush by Jim Lee’s outstanding amazing art work. It’s been said time and time again, but Jim Lee is the best at what he does, I simply love his art work. Hush is a story about a character from Bruce Wayne’s past coming back to cause Bruce, and Batman problems. To be honest the story isn’t that great, it’s not bad, but there are better Bat stories out there. But when you turn each page and are faced with art work of this awesomeness, sometimes, the story doesn’t matter so much. Hush is a work of art.

THE KILLING JOKE

I’ve always been more of a fan of Frank Miller than Alan Moore, but it must be said, The Killing Joke is phenomenal. At it’s heart it is an origin story for the Joker, but is so much more. We get to see a glimpse at the complicated relationship between the greatest hero and villain in comic books, and a surprising last few panels. The Killing Joke is an important book in the Bat library, that I don’t want to spoil here, just check it out, you won’t be sorry.

So that’s it for part one, I will be concluding my look at the best Bat Graphic Novels later this week, I hope you will come back and check them out.

My Top 20 Movies

By @hmsbeefnuts

All Geek To Me has been running for almost 6 months now, and I thought it was about time that I sat down and tried to write something about my Top 20 Films. I think that an individuals Top 20 Films gives you an insight into that persons personality. It is a quick, but largely useless way admittedly, to decide whether or not that person is your kind of person. I have chosen a Top 20, simply because, a Top 10 didn’t seem appropriate, I love Movies way more than that. Also, these films are in no particular order, I consider them all excellent, and I love them in different ways, perhaps not all equally, but I could watch all of them, and have, numerous times, and still feel the same way about them. This is going to be a bit of a long one, so with out further ado….

JAWS

I have loved JAWS for as long as I can remember. I never really found it scary, but always found it fascinating. The film is perfectly cast, wonderfully acted, beautifully shot, and surely in the top 2 adventure films of all time. The music, the story, the USS Indianapolis speech, Quint. I can watch this film endlessly, although I probably wouldn’t take it to a dessert island, it would certainly put me off swimming. The Father of the modern blockbuster, this film, and the next choice, are, for me perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

It is a hard choice for me to choose between Raiders and JAWS as my favourite film of all time. For me, they are the finest examples of action cinema available. Raiders is responsible for certain decisions I made in my life. Along with another film on this list, Raiders began my love of ancient history, which I went on to study at University. Raiders cheers me up when I’m down, makes me forget about shitty things, or just takes me away for 2 hours for. No matter how much I watch it, it’s still perfect. I wanted to be Indy, I still do, he is the greatest action hero ever created. Spielberg really knocked it out of the park here, in fact I want to watch it now…

KING KONG (1933)

I can remember watching this when I was very young on TV. The black and white perfectly capturing a fairytale nightmare world of Skull Island, and the amazing stop motion work of Willis Obrian. Fay Wray is beautiful, who could fault Kong for falling in love with her? So sad, so exciting, hard to believe it was made in 1933. The Peter Jackson remake is good, but this is better. If you haven’t checked it out, you need to.

THE WOLF MAN (1945)

About 10 years ago I got into the Universal Monsters Classics. I had always liked monsters etc. but had never seen the old classics. My favourite has always been The Wolfman. I loved the look of the Jack Pierce make-up. When I finally saw the film, I fell in love. It’s brilliant, tragic and once more we have a monster doomed by a pretty blonde, is their a pattern emerging here? All the old classic monster films are worth watching, but The Wolfman is my favourite. I liked the recent remake by the way, few others did.

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES

This is another film I happened to see when I was younger. Peter Cushion as Holmes is perfect, the story is slightly racier than other adaptations as this is a Hammer film. I love the black and white Basil Rathbone Holmes too, but Cushion in this role will always be my favourite. Very atmospheric, perfect rainy Sunday afternoon movie.

13TH WARRIOR

I love Vikings. This is my favourite Viking Movie. Based on a Michael Crichton book, Eaters of the Dead, itself a reinterpretation of Beowulf, 13th Warrior perhaps should be considered a guilty pleasure. No way, why feel guilty about a film this exciting and fun. Vikings vs cannibals? Why aren’t you watching this now?

BATMAN BEGINS

Many people would pick The Dark Knight alone as the best Batman movie, I disagree. The Dark Knight is an amazing movie, but for me, Batman Begins is where it’s at. I couldn’t believe how right Christopher Nolan got this film. After years of Tim Burton weirdness and campy rubbish, Batman Begins was the perfect antidote. Bale is THE Batman, a stellar cast, and great action, and the best teaser for a sequel ever.

JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS

This is the other film that forged my love of ancient history. I have loved this film since before I could talk, and would watch it on a loop. It is in my opinion the finest example of stop motion work ever created, and by the master Ray Harryhausen. It is testament to his skill that he could make you care about, or fear the creatures he created, something the modern remake of Clash of the Titans was so poor at. JATA is a fine adventure film, and wow, that skeleton fight scene.

GOODFELLAS

Goodfellas is, in my opinion, the best crime drama ever made. Great performances, a great story and fantastic music, it is Scorsese at his best. All the casts career best performances. Goodfellas has never been bettered in the mob film genre.

ANCHORMAN

The funniest film I have ever seen. It stands up to repeat viewings and the cast is once again spot on. So good, many of the lines are cliché, how amazing the most of the film was improvised. Can’t wait for the sequel.

HOTROD

Have you seen Hotrod? You really must. It is the other film on this list that I can watch endlessly, and it makes me laugh every time.

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

When I was 15, this film was the coolest film ever made. Clooney was the fucking man in this, and I don’t think he has ever been better. Two films in one, this is a cool crime thriller and a vampire horror all in one tasty package.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY

I know it’s cheating to pick all three, but you can’t really separate the greatest achievement in cinematic history. If I was forced to pick just one, it would be Fellowship of the Ring, but they are all triple A classics. I was a fan of the books since I was 11, and was very worried that the films wouldn’t live up to my high expectations. I needn’t have worried. Peter Jackson created a masterpiece of fantasy cinema. This is the best trilogy ever made, and I can’t wait till December to see The Hobbit.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE

I always mention this film to friends etc. as one of the greatest of all time, and I always get funny looks. They obviously don’t understand. The greatest sword fight ever, Andre The Giant, pirates, monsters, true love, death, resurrection, evil, good, and friendship? As you wish. One of the best films ever made… that is defiantly not inconceivable.

GLADIATOR

Russell Crowe is immense as Maximus. I love Ridley Scott, and here I believe he delivers his greatest film. I’m fascinated by The Romans, and Gladiator is a great look into ancient Rome, although it is perhaps not 100% accurate. The return to the swords and sandle epic was well over due when this came out, and for me, this eclipsed all other ancient world films that had been made before it.

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF

Based on a true story of the beast of Gevuedan, this French film is an amazing cocktail of monster film, period drama, kung fu epic and thriller. I love love love this film. Take a pinch of Last of the Mohicans, a spoonful of Hound of The Baskervilles and pour in a large drop of Enter the Dragon, and you have a great, unexpected epic about a real life event, that remains unexplained.

300

I am very much aware that this film is style over content, and I don’t care at all. Based on a Frank Miller Comic, which is based on one of histories greatest events, 300 is a comic come to life. Bloody, violent, homoerotic? Awesome. I happen to love Zack Snyder, and I think this film showcases his style perfectly. This is SPARTA.

THE AVENGERS

I know this only came out recently, but I just bloody love it. For me, it is the greatest, purely comic book movie ever made. This was so much fun and the end result of a 5 year plan that seemed impossible at the time. To bring 5 films and their characters together in one giant superhero slugfest was a huge risk, but Joss Whedon and Marvel managed it perfectly. I can’t wait to own this on Bluray. It needs to be in my collection.

THE DARK KNIGHT

Yes I preferred Batman Begins, but The Dark Knight was almost it’s equal. Ledgers Joker blew Nicholson out of the water, we had a great plot, great sequences, Two Face!! Perhaps 20 mins too long, but when a film is this accomplished and excellent, who cares. Surely The Dark Knight Rises will be as good, I do hope so.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

I love Arnie. This is my favourite Arnie role. Conan isn’t a perfect representation of the Cimmerian conqueror, in fact, the recent Jason Mamoa film was closer to the Robert E Howard stories, but I love Arnie’s take. This, along with The Princess Bride, was my favourite classic fantasy film, until The Lord of the Rings. Crom!!

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