Gangster Squad Review

Genre: Crime
Action Director
Writers: Ruben Fleischer/Will Beall, Paul Lieberman
Cast: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone 
What’s Unique: A story from the pages of America’s recent history. 
Check It Out If You Liked: Pretty much any other gangster movie…but don’t expect much.
 

SCORECARD:

Plot:7/10                                                   Acting: 6/10
Representation of Genre:  4/10       Cinematography: 7/10
Effects/Environment: 6/10               Captivity: 4/10
Logical consistency:  5/10                Overall awesomeness: 6/10
Creativity: 3/10                                     Soundtrack/Music:  4/10

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2012 ended in awesome fashion.  With films like Django Unchained and The Hobbit, the Hush crew and millions of Americans were left in anticipation for a great start in oh-thirteen.  Couldn’t be a better way to kick off the New Year than with the new crime thriller Gangster Squad!?  Right?… Wrong.  Sad to say folks, this star studded film was as lackluster as Lady Gaga in normal people clothes.  Let’s talk about the basics before I start dishing my beef.

Gangster Squad is about an undercover band of honest, but misfit Los Angeles cops in the late 1940’s whose purpose is to take down the meanest, baddest gangster in the west, Mickey Cohen.  Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) leads this ragtag team – all of whom have a (somewhat) unique background and special abilities – in their dangerous mission to topple this mobster’s empire.  Their pursuits put the lives of their loved ones on the line, all while struggling to achieve a seemingly impossible goal.  Also of critical note is the fact that this plot is inspired by real events.

Now … I’ll go over what is good about this movie; this won’t take long.  This film’s saving grace came from the big name cast.  With a crew like Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, and Robert Patrick (all who’ve had leading roles in some pretty popular films) it’s hard to completely write off this film.  Mix in a bit of Sean Penn and Emma Stone and it’s hard not to be impressed.  I love it when a crack team of cool guys with unique talents are assembled for a specific purpose.  Gangster Squad showcased a duty driven leader, O’Mara (Brolin), the smooth, nonchalant badass, Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Gosling), an old cowboy marksman, Max Kennard (Patrick) and his native protégé, Navidad Ramirez (Michael Pena), a nerdy genius, Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi) and – my favorite – a no nonsense black guy that throws pocket knives like a ninja, Coleman Harris (Mackie).  One would expect to see lots of character interaction, gritty dialogue, and just plain-ol’ great acting.  Well, pour one for the homie “expectations,” because of what little amount of character focus the producers implemented, there was STILL much to be desired come credits.  There just wasn’t enough character development (or Emma Stone) to redeem this vintage 40’s car crash of a film.  In fact, the only memorable action scene from the film (in this Hush-ers opinion) was the solitary car chase scene in which the Gangster Squad attacks one of Cohen’s drug shipments; and even THAT was pretty cliché.  That concludes my “positives” paragraph – get ready for some real talk now.

One word to describe Gangster Squad?  Choppy.  This film was riddled with logic inconsistencies, lack of creativity, action lags and an overwhelming sense of cheesiness.  The only time I like overwhelming cheese is when it’s on my nachos (of which I did NOT have during my viewing).  Movie makers with “inspired by true events” tags on their films already have half the work done for them.  This story already HAPPENED, thus the plot comes wrapped in a pretty bow.  All producers, writers and directors have to do is tell the story and tell it awesomely.  I typically frown on movies with this type of foundation – where creators don’t have to be creative.  But when done well, these bits of history can make for some of the most compelling stories (ergo Argo – HAH!)  Instead I was left with the following thoughts:  Where were all the other cops?!  No one is going to argue that LA in the 40’s wasn’t significantly affected by crooked cops.  But were there really only 5 good cops in all of LA?!?!  And if Cohen was supposed to be this über bad dude, why was his portrayal mostly that of a not so bright, not so scary, not so tough, whinny boss man?  As it turns out, this actually may not have been far from the truth.  A little Google research indicates that Cohen really wasn’t such a self-made crime lord.  He rode the coat tails of other notorious gangsters of the time and didn’t seem to have the know-how to stay on top for very long.  Accurate and boring – the lamest of combos.

Another thing that really irked me was the mechanism (or portrayal, rather) of Cohen’s downfall.  [SPOILER ALERT:] Grace Faraday (Emma Stone) volunteers as a witness to a murder Cohen personally commits.  In reality, Cohen was imprisoned on counts of tax-evasion, not murder [END SPOILER ALTER].  This could have been a function of the deep seeded corruption of the time, sure, but the film never clearly states.  Speaking of deep seeded corruption, one of the biggest mistakes was the gross lack of any behind the scenes, under-the-table, shady dealings.  I love films that take the time to make the non-action scenes as exciting and suspenseful as the gun fights.  The best we ever get in Gangster Squad is a scene where Cohen beats up a cop for not preventing an unpreventable stash-house raid and a scene of him yelling at a Chicago gangster while at dinner.  More points are deducted for failing to clearly explain or emphasize Cohen’s ultimate, evil plan for world domination – which, in actuality, was just a scheme to become the biggest bookie on the West Coast.  Add in really predictable deaths and an otherwise happy ending, and you end up with one bad movie.  I could continue, but this film is really not worth it.

Gangster Squad left a bad taste in my mouth, one that I’m anxious to “rinse out” with some other promising films dropping in early 2013.  Hush Comics gives Gangster Squad a 52% rank on its awesomeness scale.  Don’t waste your money on this film while it’s in theaters.  Wait until this one shows up in the instant queue on Netflix or when it comes on FX in 3-years’ time.  Even then, I couldn’t say with certainty that it’d be worth the wait.

Written by Taylor Lowe

Monthly Movie Preview: September 2012

Well, after a month of mediocre movies and blown expectations, here are a few films we’re excited for in September:

September 7
The Words
Starring: Bradley Cooper (Hangover, Limitless), Zoe Saldana (A-Team, Star Trek, Columbiana), Olivia Wilde (no introduction needed)

The Words follows a struggling writer (Cooper) who can’t seem to find success. This all changes when he steals the work of another man, skyrocketing him to fame. He also falls in love with Saldana’s character somewhere in there (of course).  And I’m sure Olivia Wilde will exhibit her usual hotness. With such great acting prowess, the fact that it has already created a lot of buzz in the independent scene, and also taking into account that Adrian is an English major, makes this one of our most anticipated movies this month.

September 14
Resident Evil: Retribution
Starring: Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil series), Michelle Rodriguez (Fast and Furious, Resident Evil series, Machete)

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Oh God no! Not another Resident Evil movie!” Well, I kind of feel that way, too. Every couple years or so, there’s a new addition to the series. And every couple years or so, I figure that maybe it won’t suck as much as the last one. While there’s no doubt that these newer ones don’t hold up to the original few, there’s always a chance that it could be an awesome display of horror and action with two hot babes spreading the gore. The videogame nerd in me wants to believe that this futuristic/apocalyptic angle will play better than the last few. Hopefully they can deliver.

Perks of Being A Wallflower
Starring: Logan Lerman (Three Musketeers),  Emma Watson (Harry Potter, you may have heard of it), Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd (Friends, Judd Apatow movies)

Another book being made into a movie.  The difference between this and pretty much every other adaptation is that the author, Stephen Chbosky, has also written the screenplay and is directing the film.  Perks is the story of Charlie, a high school freshman, who is befriended by the older brother and sister duo Patrick and Sam.  Charlie falls in love with Sam, played by Emma Watson, and really, who isn’t in love with Emma Watson?  It is a coming of age tale of the 90’s with full of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  The preview makes the movie look slightly comical, which is a change of pace from the novel.  The book was amazingly haunting of trials of teen years, and because it is still in Chbosky’s hands, I don’t doubt the movie will have the same effect, no matter what changes will be made.

September 21
Dredd
Starring: Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings), Olivia Thirlby (Juno, The Wackness), Wood Harris (The Wire, Remember the Titans)

When we were at SDCC, they were handing out free tickets to see a premiere of Dredd, but amongst the millions of other things to do, we opted not to. Well, when this film comes to theaters later this month, we won’t be missing it again. Dredd is set in a dystopian society where only force of order lies with the urban police force known simply as the “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury, and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of a dangerous drug epidemic. It looks really dark and brutal, two things that superhero movies are moving in the direction of nowadays. I’ll definitely go see it.

September 28
Looper
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (everything awesome), Bruce Willis

Ahhh, the movie we have all been waiting for! If this movie is not the most badass movie all summer, TDKR & Avengers excepting, I will kick and scream and never go out to the movies again. This action flick puts JGL in the starring role as a hitman for a future mafia company that sends its targets back into time to be “disposed of” where they cannot be traced. Things seem great for Levitt’s character until one of the targets is…him. Can’t wait for some Willis/Gordon-Levitt action!

Monthly Movie Preview: August 2012

While the biggest blockbusters of the summer happened last month, with The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spiderman, August has the most movies I want to see. Dramas and comedies, action flicks and documentaries, there is a large variety of movies to go see. Check it out!

August 3
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Starring: Andy Samberg (SNL, Lonely Island, That’s My Boy), Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreaction, I Love You Man, Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings, Eternal Sunshine)

Celeste and Jesse Forever features two best friends become spouses that decide to separate, but still remain best friends. Both decide to try to move on and see other people, but once Samberg’s character actually does, the conflict really begins. Both characters must decide what’s really worth fighting for, “being right…or being happy.” I’m usually not a fan of romantic comedies, but there’s no way one starring Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones won’t be awesome. While both traditionally only comedic actors, the chemistry they show in the trailer makes it seem genuine. It looks like a genuine movie and I can’t wait to see it.

Craigslist Joe
Craigslist Joe is a documentary about a man who sets off on a journey to live off Craigslist for an entire month. The point he is trying to make is that the technology and social media that we use to disconnect ourselves from the world can actually connect us in ways that couldn’t imagine. It looks like an amazing tale that kind of makes you want to follow in his steps. With all the other movies going on, it’s doubtful I will have time to see it in theaters, but it seems like a very inspirational tale and, right now, we could sure use one.

Total Recall
Starring: Colin Ferrell (Phone Booth, Miami Vice, Daredevil), Kate Beckinsale (Underworld series), Jessica Biel (A-Team, 7th Heaven, Blade Trinity), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Drive, Malcolm in the Middle)

This remake of Ahh-nold’s 1990 film has all the special effects and science fiction grandeur you would expect from a film 20 years later, and definitely the acting prowess and hot babes that the original lacked (three-boobed girl notwithstanding). So what’s stopping this film from being the best non-comic book based movie of the summer? Coming from someone who has never actually seen the original, I can say that the previews make it look pretty badass, but I can’t say that I am excited about it like I am about other movies on this list (again, three-boobed girl notwithstanding).

Can’t be this bad, right??

August 10
Red Hook Summer
Starring: Clarke Peters (Lester Freamon in HBO’s The Wire), Thomas Jefferson Byrd (Spike Lee joints)

This movie came as sort of a surprise to me. Not counting the recent surge of documentaries he’s done over the past few years, there really hasn’t been a good, modern Spike Lee joint since Inside Man in 2006. And while the movie only stars just one of his “regulars,” it’s great to see The Wire crew get some love. From what I gather in the previews, it seems like this will shed a lot of light on the inner-city relationship between strong, God-serving men and the communities they’ve watched deteriorate. I’m very excited for this, but doubt it will even be released anywhere but independent theaters.

Bourne Legacy
Starring: Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, Hawkeye in The Avengers, Edward Norton (Incredible Hulk, American History X), Rachel Weisz (The Mummmy trilogy)

A few months ago, people were crying in outrage that they were making a Bourne movie and snubbing Matt Damon for the role. I think two things saved this movie and made everybody into it: Jeremy Renner acted his ass off as Hawkeye and the storyline puts an original spin on the trilogy that has come to pass. It’ll be hard for me to pass this up, but like the slacker I am, I have not finished the trilogy, so may be waiting to see this for a while.

The Campaign
Starring: Zach Galifinanakis (Hangover series, Due Date), Will Ferrell (Zoolander, Old School, Anchorman, The Other Guys)

Finally, a movie to make a mockery of how meaningless and full of shit our political campaigns are. Two of the funniest actors today square off as the apathetic front-runner (Ferrell) is challenged by the little guy (Zach G). I don’t even cares who wins, but I need to see Will Farrell punch a baby in the face.

August 24
Hit and Run
Starring: Dax Shepard (Idiocracy, Let’s Go to Prison), Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, When in Rome, Couples Retreat), Bradley Cooper (Hangover series, Limitless, A-Team)

Hit and Run is a comedy/action that puts co-director and star Dax Sheppard in a dilly of a pickle as he tries to escape his past as the getaway driver of a bank robbery, and the gang seems to think that he kept all the money for himself and ratted them out. It’s very familiar to Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day, but I don’t doubt it will be hilarious. Plus, Kristen Bell is way hotter than Cameron Diaz.

Premium Rush
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, Dark Knight Rises), Mike Shannon (Take Shelter)

I don’t know too much about this movie except that JGL has to get a pretty important package somewhere in some given time. The trailer is full of fast-paced awesomeness and extreme BMX stunts. As always, there’s no way you can go wrong with a Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie.

August 29
Lawless

Starring: Tom Hardy (Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Warrior), Shia LaBeouf (Transformers trilogy, Even Stevens), Gary Oldman (everything), Guy Pearce (Momento)

I’m picking this to be the surprise hit of the summer. Set during prohibition times, a group of brothers are making loads of money in the bootlegging business when a group of corrupt cops come in and demand a cut of the profits if they are going to turn their backs to it. Needless to say, the brothers decline and all hell breaks loose. I’m a huge fan of this era and I think all characters do a great job of blending in, from the trailer. Even little Shia LeBouf looks comfortable in front of his juggernaut co-stars.

Happy goings, y’all!

The Dark Knight Rises Review

Genre: Action/Drama/Comics
Director: Christopher Nolan (Momento, The Dark Night, Inception)
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
What’s special about it: The epic conclusion to the Nolan Batman saga, Anne Hathaway in tight leather
Check it out if you liked: Anything Nolan, Sin City
SCORECARD:

Plot – 8
Acting – 9
Representation of Genre – 9
Cinematography – 8
Effects/Environment – 9
Captivity – 8
Logical consistency – 6
Originality/Creativity – 7
Soundtrack/Music – 8
Overall awesomeness – 9

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It’s very difficult to write this review, considering all that happened last night. We are still in the process of reaching out to those we know who were there and trying to make sense of this event. I cannot shake the gravity of this situation and we will address it in a separate letter.

I will try my best to get through this review without letting the events at Century 16 in Aurora influence it, but it is nearly impossible to separate the two events. I’ll also do my best not to spoil anything about the plot or character development.

The Dark Knight Rises is Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, and a terrific conclusion to the trilogy. Rises takes place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, where Batman took the fall for the murder of Harvey Dent AKA Two-Face, and thereby ruining Batman’s name and keeping Harvey Dent a hero. This allows the Dent Bill to be passed, keeping all organized crime members off the street and in prison. Nobody struggles with this decision more than Commissioner Gordon, bearing this truth by himself and forced to lie about Dent’s true ugly side (no pun intended). Batman, and therefore Bruce Wayne, have been “retired.” However, as Catwoman states it, “a storm is coming.”

In terms of acting, this is the best of the series. My Cocaine (imagine Michael Caine saying his name in his own voice) did a terrific job as Alfred, bringing a lot of emotion to the role, in addition to his subtle, dry, British humor. Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman performed expectedly well as their former roles as Bruce Wayne, Lucious Fox and James Gordon, respectively. However, it was newcomers Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway who stole the show.

Levitt plays a beat cop, John Blake, who shares a similar past with Bruce Wayne, an orphan who shares Wayne’s constant anger and pain. His role is one similar to Dick Grayson in the comics – a poor, well-meaning and strong orphan who always sticks up for the little guy. Tom Hardy plays a very convincingly scary Bane. His story is similar to his comic book origin. He was born in a prison, a hell. He is very intelligent and brutal. My only gripe on his character is that I genuinely felt his image was as important as his character. The luchador mask, Venom addiction and Mexican accent was vital to his character. So, to hear this gentlemanly British voice was almost comical to me. Anne Hathaway did an amazing job as Selina Kyle AKA Catwoman. Her previous roles as a princess were soon forgotten after her first scene. The chemistry between her character and Batman was played very well. Oh, and the cat ears I thought were ridiculous actually serve a technical purpose; they’re pretty rad.

The story was very dynamic in Rises. Instead of focusing on Batman’s development and struggles, the film spreads the love between all the main characters and we really get to see how the Batman and the terror that is plaguing Gotham affects everybody, from the President to the orphan paupers. Comic book fans will also be satisfied by the amount of homework Nolan does; TDKR feels like a compilation of Knightfall, The Dark Knight Returns, No Man’s Land and, dare I say, even a little hint of Batman, Inc. The Dark Knight Rises also threw a lot of plot twists to keep even the keenest comic book fans off Nolan’s scent. However, a lot of these twists were so predictable that you guessed wrong because it was “too predictable.” I’ll cut Nolan some slack, though, since, being a definitive movie with a definite ENDING, there aren’t too many other options for an epic conclusion.

While saying that Nolan had a political agenda may be stretching it, to say there were no political themes in the movie would be just plain ignorant. From “The Star-Spangled Banner” to the tattered American flags, all evidence pointed in the direction that Nolan was trying to say something. It could be a lot of things. In a conservative viewpoint, it could be the representation of the 99% becoming the 100%, the symbol that Bane could be the leader of the Occupy movement and that instead of pushing for equality, the Occupy movement would be a dismantling of the system. More liberally, it could be a scream for gun control. The issue of guns and armed violence is bought up repeatedly throughout the movie. More realistically, it may be a representation of the idea that money does not make a person just; we should not let money have power over us and it is the actions we take that define who were are as people. To me, this movie laid the foundation, and the subsequent massacre at Century 16 has cemented it, that truly terrorism succeeds when the people become oppressed. As a people, we must decide that this will not be tolerated.

Overall, this movie was a roller-coaster of emotion. From the heart-wrenching story to the terrific acting by the entire cast, Christopher Nolan does a great job of putting the viewers directly in the fire. It’s a fitting end to the best trilogy ever made (I see you, Star Wars) and there is absolutely no way you should let the actions of one keep you from seeing this inspiring film.

written by Sherif Elkhatib

Monthly Movie Preview: July 2012

While this summer has been pretty quiet in terms of great movies coming out, July will be packed with box office hits! Here’s a preview of what’s due in theaters this month:

July 3 – Amazing Spiderman
Starring: Andrew Garfield (Social Network) as Spiderman, Emma Stone (Superbad, Easy A, The Help) as Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans (The Replacements, Little Nicky, Notting Hill), as well as Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May, respectively.

This movie looks very promising, and has been advertised to death in the last couple months. The inclusion of Gwen Stacy should make many comic book fans happy, since she had been excluded in all previous incarnations of Spiderman. I know a lot of people didn’t care for Tobey Maguire after Spiderman 3, but I felt he did a great job in his role as Spiderman and Peter Parker; I’ll be excited to see if Andrew Garfield can do better. Check the preview below!

July 6 – Collaborator
Starring: Martin Donovan (Insomnia, The Opposite of Sex), David Morse (House, The Green Mile, Hurt Locker)

Collaborator is about a failed far-left wing writer (Donovan) who goes back to his hometown to sulk in his shortcomings. While there, he is greeted by an ex-con neighbor who invites him into his home for a few beers. Soon after, the police arrive and the con (Morse) holds the writer hostage. It’s later discovered that the police came looking for the con after he had shot a store clerk and ultimately killed him. The con begins telling the writer fascinating and terrible stories, which sparks inspiration for the writer. It could end up being a great movie, already creating buzz in the independent film world. I’ll wait for more reviews to come out.

July 6 – The Magic of Belle Isle
Starring: Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy, Bucket List), Virginia Madsen (Sideways, The Number 23), Kenan Thompson (Fat Albert, SNL)

The Magic of Belle Isle is a story about a wheelchair-bound author moves to a rural town, where he befriends a single mother and her three kids, who help reignite his passion for writing. It’s an inspirational story that Morgan Freeman could easily pull off, while Kenan Thompson can be expected to add welcome comic relief. You can currently see it On-Demand from YouTube.

July 13 – Ice Age: Continental Drift
Starring the voices of : Ray Ramano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah and Sean William Scott return, as long as a plethora of new guests; Jennifer Lopez, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Aziz Ansari, Alan Tudyk, Wanda Sykes, Patrick Stewart, Nick Frost, and lots of others.

As the eventuality of extinction draws closer, Pangea splits and the continents form. This promises to be a great installment, just like the previous three. The premise behind it is that Manny loses his family in the continental drift (ahhh, I get it!) and spend the movie tracking them down. Along the way, they meet tons of new life, some friendly and some… are giant crabs. I can’t wait for this!

July 20 – Dark Knight Rises
Starring: Christian Bale (American Psycho, Batman Begins, Dark Knight), Anne Hathaway (Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada, Alice in Wonderland), Tom Hardy (Inception, Warrior), Michael Caine (Secondhand Lions, Batman Begins, Dark Knight), Gary Oldman (everything…), Morgan Freeman (everything…), Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose, Inception, Midnight in Paris), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Angels in the Outfield, 10 Things I Hate About You, Inception, Hesher, 500 Days of Summer)

There is also word that there will be several actors previously unmentioned in the movie. Can’t wait!
I can’t even see the trailer without freaking the hell out!!!! This is be the greatest movie ever made… I mean, no pressure or anything. The comic storyline, Knightfall, when Bane breaks the Bat, is one of my favorite story arcs. Bane proves to be not only physically superior to Batman, but mentally capable of plotting out the Dark Knight’s demise. And he seems to do so with incredible ease. Forgetting the horrid Batman & Robin bastardization, this will be the world’s first time to really see what Bane is like. I’m not too sure about Bane’s mask; I’ve always been a big fan of the luchador mask. But I love the casting of Tom Hardy, an underrated actor who I feel will rise in stock greatly after this movie. I am also starting to love Anne Hathaway in this movie. At first, I felt that the Catwoman role just didn’t suit this princess (I mean, just look at her previous movies), but after seeing enough of the previews, I think this movie will turn her into a certified badass, much like the way the Bourne series did Matt Damon, or Breaking Bad did Bryan Cranston

I’ve actually tried my best to stay away from spoilers and trailer easter eggs. I want to be able to watch the movie with no pretense or expectations, but I think it’s safe to say either Batman or Bruce Wayne will have to go to end this trilogy the right way.

Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter Review

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review

Genre: Action/Fantasy/Biopic
Director: Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted)
Screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith (the author of the novel)
Executive Produced by Tim Burton
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who also played Romona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim)
What’s special about it: It’s a very unique storyline about one of our great presidents.
Check it out if you liked: Read the book. Skip the movie altogether.
Hush Comics gives it:

This movie hasn’t really gotten a lot of buzz, with Brave also coming out last weekend… but that might not be a bad thing. While there are some promising moments throughout the film, it falls flat of anything close to what the novel promised. There are also a lot of WTF moments in the film, making it unsettling for both fans of the novel and those who have not read it. For those of you who have not read the book yet, I strongly suggest it.

When a friend of mine recommended I read the book over a year ago, I laughed it off, thinking it would be another goofy story by another goofy author. However, when I heard word that Tim Burton would be involved in a film adaptation of the book, I figured I would be worth a read. I am not a very avid reader, but when I find a book I love, I read it dedicatedly. It was about 400 pages and took me about two days to read it. It was the best read since the Hunger Games, with a reading level that never made it too drab, but was still a constant reminder that Abe Lincoln was a smarter man than I. Now, I hate to come across as a book snob, but it’s really just because the book is that dang good.

The premise of the film and book is just as ridiculous as it sounds; our nation’s beloved president, Abraham Lincoln, had his mother murdered by a vampire and swore to avenge her by ridding the world of vampires. Oddly enough, this is not really addressed at all in the movie. He spends the first half of the movie tracking down his mother’s killer. This is a key element in Abe’s development and changes the air about the movie from the beginning.

Benjamin Walker does a convincing job as Abe, certainly carrying the physical stature; unfortunately, his character often comes across as juvenile and whiny, not the unwavering anchor that the novel and other books have described him as. Aside from that, the movie really gives us nothing to cling onto in terms of character development or attachment.

Flaws aside, this movie was not a waste of time. There were still plenty of impressive action sequences, and the vampires looked legitimately frightening. They also managed to explain a few things that I felt the book was light on. However, it all felt forced and laughable by the end of it.

As a huge fan of the book, it would suffice to say that the film did not fail by itself, but rather failed against the potential that it had. The strategies, the conspiracies, the death and pain that Abraham Lincoln had to go through, they all bled through the pages of this book. The author took a gimmicky-sounding concept and turned it into a brilliant fictional biopic. The movie failed to move past being a gimmick, and for the screenplay being done by the author, I would consider this movie one of the biggest bastardizations of a book to film transitions I’ve seen.

written by Sherif Elkhatib

Comic Con Episode IV

A project “Presented by Joss Whedon and Stan Lee,” Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope takes you into the world of San Diego Comic Con, the largest comic book convention in the world. Comic book conventions and cosplay (dressing up like fictional characters) have always been looked at as a sort of weird, taboo thing that only freaks and geeks do. But hopefully this film will bring light to the culture that has taken the world by storm, and that it’s okay to be yourself, even if you’re not yourself.

This one will be worth buying on DVD since each collector’s edition will come with miniature action figures of Joss Whedon and Morgan Spurlock (or Stan Lee and Harry Knowles, depending on where you purchase it). Below you’ll find a trailer of the movie.

Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope will arrive at exclusive retailers and Toys’R’Us on July 10th, a bad before San Diego Comic Con.

You can find more details here and purchase it here.

Still not convinced by our recommendation? Read this review by IGN.

written by Sherif Elkhatib

Prometheus: Movie Review

Genre: Sci-fi, action/horror
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce
What’s special about it: Deep and mysterious outer space; awesome spaceships and futuristic tech; creepy alien lifeforms – what’s not to love?
Check it out if you liked: Aliens, Pandorum, Sunshine, Chronicles of Riddick, Predator, Independence Day, Starship Troopers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, chances are that you’ve heard something about one of the first blockbusters to hit the silver screen this summer – Prometheus. Hush has the scoop. This space thriller opens with gorgeous shots of what is supposed to be earth before human evolution began. Enter a mysterious alien-like, sentient being on the edge of a gigantic waterfall. He proceeds to pull out an intergalactic thermos with the newest flavor of space Gatorade. As he drinks, a strange reaction begins to occur within. The being is rapidly torn to pieces and plunges into the waterfall, where something amazing happens…LIFE!!! The alien visitor fulfills the role of sacrificial host for the purpose of creating intelligent life on earth – suck it Darwin. From here the main story line develops. A team of archeologists, geologists, biologists and other smart sounding professions are gathered to travel across the universe to explore the potential origin of human life – one that may lie with a sophisticated race of aliens. As it turns out, they’re right!!! Yay for the viewers, boo for the Prometheus (also the name of the ship) team.

Our explorers come across some strange and interesting discoveries in their search. Discoveries that usually result in glorious and entertaining death. The movie does a great job of keeping the viewer wondering, even though we already know the origin of us! The film is packed full of action, with some pretty original sequences. This film loses some points in believability, and yes, I realize how stupid that sounds. What I mean to say is that the protocol for dealing with the first discovery of intelligent life outside of Earth is pretty lax. I don’t know about you, but if I were to find a severed alien head on a foreign planet, my first course of action would NOT be to pump it full of electricity.

Good performances are put on by all the actors and actresses. I especially enjoyed Idris Elba’s (Heimdall in Thor, Moreau in the newest Ghost Rider, Stringer Bell in HBO’s the Wire) portrayal of the smooth and carefree captain Janek as well as Michael Fassbender’s (young Magneto in X-Men First Class, Stelios in 300) spot on performance as the android David. You’ll also recognize Charlize Theron (Aeon Flux, Ravenna – Snow White and the Huntsman), Guy Pearce (Leonard – Momento, Staff Sergeant Matt Thompson – Hurt Locker) and Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series). On screen technology is up to par with expectations – get ready to see some original and really neat equipment and gear. The end of the movie delivers just as the rest of the film did. I won’t spoil anything for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but my absolute favorite part of the film happens in the last 30 seconds so be sure to stay planted in your seats until the credits start to roll.

Hush Comics gives Prometheus an 82 rating. Check this one out before it leaves theaters. You won’t be disappointed.

written by Taylor Lowe