Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Illusionist - 3 Stars

The Illusionist is like the last ten minutes at the bar, right when bartender screams, "Last Call!" You're talking to a chick, so you think, you're chatting it up and doing great and floating on air...than the house lights come up. No. Cover your eyes, she's not so hot, not even a woman!

A good movie starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel and Rufus Sewell in a story about a magician that challenges the Prince of Austria for the love of a woman. Norton plays a celebrated illusionist Eisenheim, who's in love with a Duchess, Jessica Biel, but she's about to wed the prince, Rufus Sewell. The two lovers plan to deceive everyone and run off forever.

The first half sets everything up and the second half shows us the con of the prince unfolding before us. If you like magic, than this is the film for you...well, for the first half of the film. Norton starts conjuring up ghosts and the city of Vienna rallies behind him because they think he's a spiritual leader. All the while, Sewell wants him shut down because the people like him.

Two things I have against this film. Eisenheim seems to be such a good magician/illusionist that he doesn't fail at all...ever. The movie becomes a showcase of Eisenheim's skills and we're left with watching him pull off this con of making his love, the Duchess, disappear. Which you figure out if you had a half of a brain. Which brings me back to why I compare this to the last the minutes at the bar. You think it's great but once you start thinking back and breaking it down, the movie doesn't look good under the house lights...too much smoke and mirrors for me.

A good film if you like period pieces, magic, mystery, strong performances by Ed Norton and Paul Giamatti and a good con. Better than most.

3 stars

Superman/Batman annual #1 - 0 stars

If you're Bruce Wayne, a billionaire, and you're on a Cruise ship and they overbooked. What would you do? Before you answer that. They don't have a room for you and suggest that your only option is to room with mild mannered reporter Clark Kent. And it's a single bed.

I don't know what you'll do but if I was a billionaire, I'll do a number of things...none of them involve being in the same room and bed with another guy. You're Bruce Wayne for cow sake! You can buy the ship and then some.

It is with this scenrio that Joe Kelly starts the comic in Superman/Batman annual #1. I know it's a comic and you're suppose to suspense your disbelief but at least make an effort. After this lazy plot device, I was willing to march on. What a mistake. Bad dialogue - everyone sounds like they're in high school, ridiculous plot and even more stupid ending make this the worst comic ever!

I don't really want to go on but I do want to leave you with this. If you're thinking about buying this, burn your four dollars. You'll have more pleasure in watching your money go up in flames than having this comic ruin and waste 10 minutes of your life.

0 stars

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ultimate Spider-Man #100 - 5 stars

To say that Ultimate Spider-Man #100 is a great comic would be an understatement. To say anything would be...the point is I can't say enough about the issue without giving away the enjoyment of reading one of the best comic I've ever read. The clone saga itself is turning out to be one of the best arcs in the Ultimate run - in fact - in any run.

There's a shocking ending in ever issue of the run so far. It's a literal thrill ride. I'm going on and on. I do have to say that Mark Bagley is doing a fine job of penciling and he's due for another 10 issues (till issue 110).

I was collecting comics back in the late 80s and got out of it in the mid to late 90s when comics became crap. Ultimate Spider-Man is what brought me back to comics. I wish I bought 10 copies of issue #1 of Ultimate Spider-Man when I saw it on the newsstand but I didn't want to waste my cash on another new title of Spider-Man that was going to go to crap (remember Spider-Man in 1991).

I can't wait until the next issue to find out what happens to Mary Jane. I hope this story ends well because I have no idea how spidey's getting out of this one.

5 stars