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books

Has Batman got a new Robin?

It’s been over a month since Damian Wayne, the latest character to put on the icon Robin costume, was killed in the pages of Batman Incorporated #8, but it seems that DC have already announced his replacement. Or have they?
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Ever since his death fans have been wondering if there would be the new Robin or if Damian would recover, while most people thought the title would go to Harper Row, who has been assisting Batman since before Damian’s death, it seems that DC may be taking an unexpected turn by introducing Carrey Kelley into the mainstream DC Universe for the first time.

Carrie Kelley was the first ever female Robin, but until now she only existed in an alternate timeline future were she assists an aged Batman in his fight again a gain called the Mutants. She was created by Frank Miller in his series The Dark Knight Returns, which was turned into an animated film last year. The movie may explain DC’s decision to bring her into the New 52 universe.
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Kelley will be introduced as a college student in the upcoming Batman and Red Robin comic. While DC have not said that she will become the next Robin, writer Peter Tomasi has confirmed that ‘she is here to stay’. Promo pictures have shown her in the Robin costume, but she is at a fancy dress party. This could be a subtle nod to the original story, where she buys a Robin costume to dress up and help Batman.

What do you think? Are you excited to see Carrie Kelley in the New 52? Did you like Frank Miller’s story? Do you think Kelley will become the next Robin? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.

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The Three Musketeers

One muska two muska three musketeers.

Originally a series of books, The Three Musketeers has since been made into a film over twenty times.  The author of the original books, Alexandre Dumas, drew inspiration from an earlier book called Mémoires de Monsieur d’Artagnan.  In this book d’Artagnan first meets the king’s musketeers; Athos Porthos and Aramis.  Also present in the book is Milady de Winter, the antagonist of the first Musketeers book.  However, her background was changed significantly.

Alexandre Dumas’s book, The Three Musketeers, was originally serialised, in France, between March on July 1844 under the name Les Trois Mousquetaires.  The plot follows d’Artagnan who travels to Paris to join the musketeers.  When he is arrested along with the three musketeers they join forces to escape.  D’Artagnan falls in love with a woman called Constance and encounters Athos ex-wife Milady de Winter, who has been paid to kill the Duke of Buckingham who is having an affair with the Queen of France.  The musketeers, and d’Artagnan, must then defeat Milady before it’s too late.

On the 14th of October the latest Three Musketeers film will arrive at cinemas in stunning, and pointless, 3D.  The basic elements of the book are there, by which I mean the characters and the role that the characters play, but the plot is not exactly the same.  Normally things like that bother me, but with this being the twenty somethingth Musketeers movie, I think changes may just be a good thing.  Then again, a loyal fan may want to see the classic tale retold in 3D.  In this version, d’Artagnan joins forces with the three musketeers, who were famous but are currently down on their luck, to stop Milady and her employer from taking over France and starting a war.  As I said, it’s not the exact same plot, but it does have a lot of similar plot points.

The three musketeers will be played by Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans.  Logan Lerman plays d’Artagnan and Milla Jovovich portrays Milady de Winter.  Paul W.S. Anderson, Jovovich’s Husband, is directing the film and congratulations to them for finally making a movie that their daughter can watch, but probably won’t want to.

Though it does not follow the exact plot of the book, the movie looks good.  It mixes action with comedy, but in a way that keeps the tone fairly serious.  It has a great range of actors and then Orlando Bloom for some reason.  The delivery of the lines is also great, it’s not always easy especially with one liners, but they appear to have done it with neatly.  Like most movie goers, I can’t see the point in having the 3D, but it is still the trend in Hollywood so we’ll just have to put up with the goofy glasses.  All things considered, this movie may be entertaining for an action/adventure fan, or for someone who is familiar with the source material, but if you don’t fit those categories you probably should give it a miss.

What do you think?  Is the plot being changed a good thing or a bad thing?  Do you like the cast?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Stephenie Meyer’s The Host is coming to the big screen

With the end of the Twilight saga in sight men everywhere can take a sigh of relief that their girlfriends can no longer drag them to see another film based on a Stephenie Meyer book.  Well actually it’s not over yet.

The Host, Meyer’s other book, is about to be adapted into a movie and Saoirse Ronan is going to star in it.  Twilight fans will no doubt be delighted by the news, as the last film in the Twilight saga will be hitting cinemas soon.  However, following in Harry Potter’s shoes, Breaking Dawn will be split into two movies.

The Host does not actually take part in the Twilight universe.  It has its own unique story and is completely free of vampires.  The book tells the tale of an Earth that has been invaded by a race of aliens that take over host bodies and, in time, erase everything about the person and take over the body.  Although most of the world has been taken over, there are still rebels fighting against the alien invasion.  Wanderer, one of the aliens called souls, takes over the body of a rebel named Melanie Stryder, but is overwhelmed by the human mind and quickly learns she is not fully in control.  She grows fond of Melanie’s memories and searches to discover if Melanie’s loved ones are still alive.

As with Twilight, the film will follow the same plot as the book.  Though I’m not a fan of the book, it seems to me that Ronan does not fit the character description very well.  This isn’t uncommon with book to movie adaptations, but the age difference between Ronan and the character leads me to believe that the change was made to try maintain the young girl audience that Twilight brought in.  Ronan is 17 years old and the character is 20, which would probably have made the love story aspect a little mature for a 12 or 13 year old girl to understand.

I have to admit that the plot does sound interesting.  I think it’s clever that Meyer uses the idea of aliens taking over your body to explore body image.  The characters in the book are lucky to even have a body and it is shown that people took them for granted before losing them.  The book has received much praise, not nearly as much as Twilight, but at least feminists haven’t complained about this one, like they did about Twilight.  A release date for the film has yet to be announced, but perhaps the movie will cause a sequel to the book to be written.  Right now The Host is a standalone book and the end does leave it open for a sequel.

What do you think?  Is Saoirse Ronan right for the part?  Should Stephenie Meyer write a sequel to The Host?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Water for Elephants

Robert Pattinson goes from an animal eating vampire to a circus veterinarian as he attempts to take his career in a more serious direction.  Will his plan work or will he always be haunted by Edward Cullen?

Water for Elephants started out as a book by Sara Gruen.  It was Gruen’s third book and was initially turned down by her publisher.  Since publication, in 2006, it has become a bestseller and can be read in 44 different languages.  The story is narrated by Jacob Jankowski, a 90 something year old man living in a nursing home.  Jacob reminisces about his life as veterinarian in a circus.  While working at the circus, he met, and fell in love with, a married woman named Marlena, as if that wasn’t bad enough, her husband is a paranoid schizophrenic.

The movie follows the same plot and stars Robert Pattinson as Jacob, Reese Witherspoon as Marlena and Christoph Waltz as August, Marlena’s Husband.  Both critics and movie goers have criticised the chemistry, or lack of chemistry, between Pattinson and Witherspoon.  It seems that the 11 year age gap may have taken a toll on their performances, which, to be honest, isn’t surprising.  Besides that there isn’t much criticism to be said, but chemistry between characters can make or break a movie.  It really makes me wonder if, when casting for the movie, they were looking for chemistry or just big names.

Though not my type of movie, I have to say that, from the trailer, the movie looks very well put together.  If you’re an animal lover you should be warned that there are some scenes of animal cruelty.  The cruelty toward animals was also present in the book, because it was very common in circuses back then, but no animals were actually hurt it’s all just Hollywood magic.

What do you think?  Does this movie help Robert Pattinson become a more serious actor?  Is the book better or worse than the movie?  Did you think there was chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Titan Comics to Release New Family Guy Comics

Titan Comics are releasing a comic book series based on the hit US TV show Family Guy.  The comics will feature characters from the show, including the Griffin Family, Quagmire, Joe and even Cleveland.  The return of Cleveland indicates that it will not be canon with the shows, though it will follow a similar structure.

American’s can expect to see the first issue of this comic on the 27th of July, but non-American’s will have to wait a bit longer.  How much longer is, at this moment, unclear, but Titan Comics is a big multinational company that makes tie in movie and TV comics, so it shouldn’t be too long before they have the comic on shelves worldwide.

This is not the first Family Guy comic series, in 2006 a three issue miniseries, 100 Ways to Kill Lois, was released.  The comic matched the style of the show perfectly, which includes the use of cut away sequences.  Family Guy can translate extremely well to comics, as proven by 100 Ways to Kill Lois.  Let’s just hope that this one can also maintain the good aspects of the show, while offering some fresh storylines.

The comic will be drawn by, comic book artists, SL Gallant and Anthony Williams.  No story writers have been announced yet.

What do you think?  Are you excited about the comic?  Did you like the previous Family Guy comics?  Do you like the show?


Rise of the Apes

Imagine a world were apes were the dominant species and humans were just pets.  Lucky for you, you don’t have to imagine, because they’ve made a film about it.  Actually they’ve made lots of films about it, but it started as a book call La Planéte des singes.  It was written by Pierre Boulle and tells the tale of a couple that find a message in a bottle floating in space.  The message explains that two men travelled from Earth to a planet that was ruled by apes.  On this planet humans were primitive servants, but when the apes find out these new arrivals intelligent they decide all humans must be killed.  One of the men escapes with a primitive woman, that he fell in love with, and the child they had together.  When he returns to Earth he finds that apes have taken over the world.

The first film came out in 1968.  In this version the apes planet is revealed to be Earth, which was not the case in the original novel.  The film was a success and has had four sequels, two TV adaptations and a re-imagining, plus the upcoming film, Rise of the Apes.

The re-imagining of the film came out in 2001 and was also a success.  It was all set to have a sequel, but Tim Burton, who directed the film, said he’d rather ‘jump out a window’ than do another one.  The end of this film was closer to the novels ending.  Leo returns to Earth and finds it is ruled by apes.  This ending confused audiences; it was not really done very well.  It kind of mixed the books ending with the ending of the original movie, he made it back to his time but it has to be the same planet because the Lincoln Memorial changed into a memorial for General Thade, the bad guy.

The plot of the upcoming film, Rise of the Apes, has not been completely revealed, but we do know that it’s a prequel (to what I don’t know).  I assume it must be a prequel to the 2001 movie, as it differs from the canon of the older films.  In the film, James Franco will play a scientist who is experimenting on apes.  One of the apes, Caesar, begins to mutate and become intelligent.  The film is said to be a warning about genetic engineering.  This will be the first Planet of the Apes film to us CGI to create the apes.  The movie is expected to hit cinemas on the 5th of August, so be on the lookout for mutated apes.

What do you think?  Do you want the Planet of the Apes franchise to continue or would you prefer if it died out?  Which is your favourite Planet of the Apes film?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Limitless

If perfection was one pill away, would you take it?  Who wouldn’t?  What if I told you it comes with side effects and murderous hit men?  Still want it?  It may sound strange, but this is the plot of Alan Glynn’s book The Dark Fields, which has now been turned into a film called Limitless.  The book itself is being re-released under the new title Limitless.

The film stars Bradley Cooper, as Eddie Morra (Spinola in the book) an out of work writer whose girlfriend leaves him.  He is then offered an experimental drug, NZT (MDT-48 in the book), that increases his focus and confidence.  He is able to remember everything he’s ever read, heard or seen.  Eddie becomes successful and this success attracts unwanted attention, that’s where the hit men come into it.

For the trailer I can already tell I’m going to like this film.  The concept is interesting and it was executed well, I can already tell they’ve made numerous changes from the book, some that seem pointless, but I’m not going to hold it against them.  The really feels like something you won’t mind sitting down and watching for an hour and forty five minutes, which is the running time by the way.

The movie comes out, in Ireland and England, on the 23rd of March.  Be sure to see it if you’re a fan of action and/or Robert De Niro.

What do you think of the movie?  Given the chance would you take the pill?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


I Am Number Four

Today I finally passed my driving test, so watch out other road users no more L plates to let you know I’m coming.

I Am Number Four is the latest book to be transformed into a movie, and this time it’s happening in 3 dimensions.  The book series, which now only consists of one book, is proposed to have six parts, the second set to release in August.  Whether or not the movies will follow suit depends, as always, on the box office.

The story is about nine aliens that are sent to Earth, each with a guardian, because they are a special breed and must be saved from their doomed planet.  These aliens, from the planet Lorien, are numbered from one to nine.  All nine develop powers, called Legacies, as they get older.  Most of their powers are not the same, except telekinesis, which is common to them all.  Not surprisingly, Number Four, who goes by the name John Smith, is the main character.  The aliens are being hunted by other aliens called the Mogadorians.  The numbers can only die in sequence and each time one dies the others get a scar on their arm.  Numbers one to three were killed, three dies in the opening chapter, so now the Mogadorians are after Number four.

Confused?  Come on Harry Potter in one paragraph would have been way worse.

Number four is played by Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron, who you may remember as Quinn from Glee, portrays his love interest Sarah Hart.  It’s strange, in the trailer a bunch of cool things are happening, but I’m just not interested.  I can’t put my finger on it, but something seems to be missing.  Bare in mind, I’m basing this on the trailer alone, the actually movie may be amazing.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but it won’t be a long wait as the movie comes out on the 23rd of Febuary.

Leave a comment and vote to prevent aliens taking over the world.


Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho

Don’t worry it’s not another remake of Psycho, it’s actually a movie about the making of Psycho.  Antony Hopkins will star as Alfred Hitchcock and Sacha Gervasi is the director.  The movie is based on the book ‘Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho’.  The book contains interviews with cast and crew members and uses information gathered from Hitchcock’s records.  The book is non-fiction which is why it’s difficult to know how the film will turn out.

Gervasi is best known for his documentary film Anvil! The Story of Anvil, so it could easily be assumed that this movie will also be a documentary.  However, there is a problem with this theory; if it were a documentary then actors would not be cast to play the people.  Maybe it’ll be a mockumentary. 

The story follows Hitchcock; who decides to make a low budget horror movie, despite the fact that he had an established career.  This isn’t the first time someone tried to adapt the book for film.  Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee, was, at one stage, going to direct a film version of the book.  A miniseries was also on the cards once.

It looks like this time the movie will actually be made and I hope it is, because, in a world full of remakes, it would be nice to see a follow-up movie that adds to the original.  On another hand, I know for a fact that there are people, not me, who can’t stand things like this, when a movie’s over it’s over and that’s the end of it.  For people like me, who religiously watch the DVD extras, this will be a good thing.

What do you think?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Read it or Leave it

It happens to everyone, don’t worry about it, it has nothing to do with size or how hard it is, sometimes you just can’t finish that book.  I’ve been reading the Lord of the Flies for… a while now and the end is nowhere in sight.  Yet I can’t stop.  I’ve never been able to stop reading a book, even Portrait of the artist as a young man, before I make it to the end.

I’ve been reading books ever since I was a kid and it’s only ever happened twice.  One was the first Lord of the rings book, but I decided that since I stopped reading so early into the book, and had no idea what half of the words meant, it was okay to skip it.  The other time was Reaching the Heights.  I read most of it in school when I was twelve, loved it, but when the school year ended we hadn’t finished it and I just sort of never got around to it again.  However I still have the book and have decided to do with Desmond, from Lost did, and make the book the last one I read before I die.  It does kind of put a damper on the excitement of reading it to be honest.

I’m not a fast reader, by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t usually take months to read a book.  I have set myself the target of finishing it before Christmas, which is pathetic because Lord of the Flies isn’t very long, but I just don’t have the drive to finish it.  There have been occasions where I thought a book was really bad until a point, then it picked up and I sped though the rest.  I hope that happens, but either way I’m in it ‘til the bitter end.

Comment and vote below to let me know what you think, but spoiler comments about any of the books mentioned will not be approved.