An Interview with Bruce Wayne (Part 2)

During the night of the Wayne Enterprises Orphanage Fundraiser, I was able to sit down with Gotham’s favourite son, Bruce Wayne. Supporting Gotham in its time of need, Mr. Wayne has put more money into our great city than anyone else. We may have a vigilante running around calling himself Batman, fighting crime and saving innocent lives. However, without Mr. Wayne, it’s safe to say we may not even have a city. Yesterday, I posted part 1 of the interview, here’s what else Bruce Wayne had to say in part 2. Enjoy!

You just mentioned the kind of problems GPD struggle to handle, since Batman entered the scene he has assisted the GPD handle these more effectively despite them listing him for arrest. What are your thoughts on Batman?
People see him as a vigilante or menace to the city, bringing in more troublesome crime in the process. I can’t argue with them, but in my eyes, sources in the GPD say that crime is on the decrease with Batman in the picture. I think anyone will be able to see that as a positive, however I think Batman is helping the city and hope the people of Gotham will give him a chance, I know I will. Sure he’s listed for arrest, he’s a vigilante, but he is doing good from what I can make out from reading the articles.

Rumors of Batman being half man, half bat are everywhere. Even ones that state he is able to change into a bat. Do you think there is any truth in these rumors?
Well they’re called rumors for a reason, people make this stuff up to get their moment in the spotlight. He’s probably nothing more than just a guy in a suit. I’m sure this Batman reads these rumors and laughs to himself. At least these rumors are giving Batman some publicity and maybe even striking fear into the hearts of the criminals that believe they run this city.

You sound pretty supportive of Batman, but it seems every criminal he sends away, another springs up in their place. Will Gotham ever become free of crime?
I hope so and I know I speak for everyone in Gotham when I say that. We have a large police force and a vigilante fighting crime, yet like you said, crime keeps coming back. With my funding going into helping the GPD grow into a more effective police force, there are graphs showing an expected steady decrease in crime over the next few years. Personally I believe crime will never leave Gotham and that’s why I support the idea of the vigilante, Batman. He isn’t bound by the law and because of this he will have a more direct route to the source of the crime.

That’s what worries the people of Gotham City, a vigilante not bound by the law. Surely this is not sitting comfortable with people?
That’s understandable, I know if Batman broke into Wayne Manor at the middle of the night to question me, I’d be more than a little unhappy. However as I am in support of him, I think it comes down to trust. He’s working outside the law to catch criminals in 24 hours, were as (not to criticize the GPD) it would take the GPD over a week to get all the permits and evidence together.

The GPD has done a lot over the years to help the city, but do you think the GPD and Batman can ever work together?
For all we know, they already are. My sources in the GPD haven’t told me anything to suggest such a partnership, but I believe life sure would be easier for Batman if they could see eye to eye.

Lastly, if you could give Batman a message, what would it be?
I’m sure he has better things to do than read about some rich guy, but if he did stumble onto this I would like to say, “Thank you”.

There you have it, my exclusive interview with Bruce Wayne. For more coverage on the Wayne Enterprises Orphanage Fundraiser, keep your eyes peeled to our website for videos and other interviews. Thank you for reading.

-ast

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An Interview with Bruce Wayne (Part 1)

During the night of the Wayne Enterprises Orphanage Fundraiser, I was able to sit down with Gotham’s favourite son, Bruce Wayne. Supporting Gotham in its time of need, Mr. Wayne has put more money into our great city than anyone else. We may have a vigilante running around calling himself Batman, fighting crime and saving innocent lives. However, without Mr. Wayne, it’s safe to say we may not even have a city. Let’s jump into part one of my exclusive interview with Billionaire, Bruce Wayne.

What compelled you to throw this Orphanage Fundraiser?
Well, losing my parents was a big part of my life, it changed me and made me the man I am today. You might think I lead a perfect life, but those events still hurt to this very day. No amount of wealth can change that, I have to live with this for the rest of my life. So The Orphanage Fundraiser is happening to make sure the orphans get the best possible care and can grow up to their full potential. The last thing I want is for other people to share this pain of mine.

We’re nearing $1,000,000 in the Orphanage Fundraiser tonight, what’s all this money going to achieve?
Firstly, a chunk of it will be going towards a newer building. Larger and nicer to look at is what the architect has gone for, the plans are already finalized and approved so once tonight is over, building will commence within the next few weeks. I’d also love to tell you where it’s being built, but the Mayor will be making the announcement shortly (laughs). The rest of the money will go into new interiors for both the current and new (when built) orphanage. As well as more staff to make sure the children are well looked after.

Sounds magical! I’m sure the children will love it. When are you hoping the newer Orphanage to be built by?
With the current contractors we have in place, it’s looking to be about 3 months. We are hopeful to have it finished sooner, but all kinds of setbacks can happen.

You help run Wayne Enterprises, but it’s not exactly a full-time job. What does Bruce Wayne do in his spare time?
I dress up as a bat and fight bad guys (laughs). No, having all this money can actually make life quite boring. In a usual day though, I’ll hop into the gym for a few hours in the morning, it’s not easy looking this good. In the afternoon is when business takes a hold and I become the Bruce Wayne people know. It’s in the evening when things get interesting, if she’s not Swedish, she’s English (laughs). Seriously though, I’ll usually throw a small get together with some unsavoury characters and have a blast. I can definitely feel it in the morning!

So you’re not in a serious relationship at the moment? I’m sure my female readers would love to know!
Being in a serious relationship is hard for me, I feel my lifestyle isn’t suited well for anyone else. That might sound selfish but I would actually love to have someone there who I could talk to about my feelings and be passionate with. Someone to take me out on date, laugh at my horrible jokes and take me back to their house for a coffee. However, there is just no room for that right now, but time is ticking, it always is.

You’ve put a lot of your own fortune in helping build Gotham City into a safer place. Do you feel it has helped?
Yes. All of the money went into helping the GPD expand and grow its task force. Because of that, they are able to fully cover all of Gotham City and help anyone that may be in trouble. I know that when I’m walking in Gotham, I feel safe. I’m aware that there are some ‘issues’ that GPD can struggle to handle. That’s why my next chunk of funding will be going towards better equipment and gear of the GPD.

Check back tomorrow for part two of my Bruce Wayne interview, when I ask him what he thinks of the mysterious Batman.

-ast

Coming Soon – An Interview with Bruce Wayne

Within the next few days I shall be posting an exclusive interview with the one and only Bruce Wayne. At the night of the Wayne Enterprises Orphanage Fundraiser, I was able to sit down and get an inside look into the life of Gotham’s favourite son, Bruce Wayne.

I find out all his dirty secrets, how he’s helping to build Gotham’s future and what he thinks of the sudden increase in crime in the city. Most excitingly, I ask what he thinks of the vigilante Batman. Can he be trusted? Find out everything when I post up my 2 part interview within the next few days. Keep your eyes glued here, you don’t want to miss it.

-ast

Iron Man 3 (2013) Review

I’m Tony Stark. I build neat stuff, got a great girl, occasionally save the world. So why can’t I sleep?

The Iron Man franchise as of now is one of the biggest Marvel properties out there. Even The Avengers felt like more of an Iron Man movie than anything else. Is this any surprise though? They have Robert Downey, Jr. playing the role he was born to play and some of the best actions scenes withing the realm of comic book movies. A lot of audiences, including me, thought as though Iron Man 2 was a step down from the first, so with Shane Black at the helm for Iron Man 3, can audiences look forward to the sequel they’ve been waiting for? In short, yes.

Iron Man 3, under the direction of ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ director Shane Black, is vastly different in tone to previous entries, but it still retains the comedy that the Iron Man movies are known for. In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark goes up against a terrorist called The Mandarin. Struggling to defeat his greatest foe yet, Tony has to rebuild and rethink his legacy as the Iron Man to overcome The Mandarin and save those closest to him.

Comparisons to the other Iron Man movies inbound throughout this review. Firstly, a lot of past characters return from previous movies including Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan and of course Paul Bettany as the one and only Jarvis. They all reprise their roles well and it’s hard to fault them, they’ve been these characters enough to play them to the best of their ability. Of course Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark is the highlight of the movie as always. Delivering witty lines by the bucket load and playing a Tony Stark that is trying to overcome the horrors of what happened in New York (The Avengers). This is by far his best performance as Tony Stark, a lot more in line as to how he portrayed him in the very first Iron Man.

Ben Kingsley plays The Mandarin, the main villain in this entry. The Mandarin is one of Iron Man’s most Iconic villains in the comics, and it’s safe to say, he’s great in this movie. Played as more of a modern day terrorist, it fits him in to today’s world and is a nice change from the usual ‘bad guy with a suit’ or alien menace. Ben Kingsley does a surprising job with The Mandarin and was a big highlight of the movie, getting better as the movie goes on. Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian is more of a traditional villain, trying to change the world. He wasn’t as good as Ben Kingsley, but at least by the second half of the movie he really comes into his own and we get some good action.

Now the comedy in the movie is some of the best we’ve had yet. It’s witty and got the audience laughing, Without giving too much away, scenes with Ben Kingsley later on actually got the biggest laughs from everyone. This wouldn’t be a comic book movie if we didn’t have a ton of action to drool to. Iron Man 3 really excels in this area with some truly fantastic scenes. Some are real intense, like the plane scene. In this scene Iron Man has to save 13 people as they are falling through the sky, with only being able to carry 4 at once, Iron Man has to think outside to box before they slam to the ground.

The real standout scene however is the ending. I must admit, the endings for both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were pretty lackluster. Sure they were visually very nice, but with the weak villains, they didn’t really feel epic or like a true final battle. Thankfully Iron Man 3 remedies this by having fantastic villains and throwing loads of Iron Man suits into the mix as seen in the trailer. The Epic-O-Meter shoots off the scale at the end, with Tony jumping from suit to suit fighting whilst also trying to save Pepper.

The special effects are top notch as always, with the newest Mark 42 suit flying onto Tony’s body and snapping together around him. It looks bad ass and reminds me of the scene in Iron Man 2 with the briefcase suit. The pacing of the Iron Man 3 was perfect with the right amount of character development between the action to make sure you never felt bored with the movie. Also giving the down time at the right moment to make sure the action didn’t give off fatigue.

The only complaint I have with the movie is the lack of War Machine. Sure we have Iron Patriot now, and it’s the same as the War Machine suit only different colours. However with War Machine being a favourite of mine from the animated series it didn’t quite sit well with me. This is only really a personal compliant, but one I feel should be noted.

Shane Black has delivered in my opinion the best Iron Man movie to date. Everything fell into place with the darker tone giving Iron Man 3 a more personal vibe. I could not recommend Iron Man 3 any more, you have to see it if your a fan of Marvel in the slightest. Iron Man 4 may seem like it may never happen with Robert Downey, Jr. feeling his time as Tony Stark may be coming to an end, but by god I hope we do get Iron Man 4 in Marvel’s Phase 3 in the far future. If not, then maybe a new Hulk movie would fill it’s place rather well.

9 Iron Man Suits out of 10

-ast

Coming Soon – Iron Man 3

Tomorrow is going to be a great day. Why? Amongst other things, I’m going to be watching Iron Man 3 at IMAX. After seeing The Dark Knight Rises at IMAX last year, making sure to see more blockbuster movies this year at IMAX was a no brainer.

So expect a Review to be up later tomorrow evening. Can the first movie part of Marvel’s Phase 2 kick things off with a bang? Or will it simply feel like a filler for Avengers 2?

Find out everything, tomorrow.

-ast

The Lords of Salem (2013) Review

We’ve been waiting, Heidi… We’ve always been waiting.

With his shackles now broken from the Halloween franchise, Rob Zombie is back once again delivering a truly bizarre and original horror movie. Rob Zombie has always been the kind of director that, in the past, has created movies you rather love or hate. Is his return from Haddonfield a hit? Or has he lost his way?

Friday, 19th April, The Lords of Salem has it’s US theatrical debut. Monday, 22nd April and The Lords of Salem has been released on DVD over here in the UK. Funny world we live in. So this review is from a DVD viewing of the movie, I would have loved to have seen this at the cinema or even on Blu-ray. However, in the famous last words of some voodoo guy from Predator 2, “Shit Happens”.

The Lords of Salem is directed by Rob Zombie and stars the likes of Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips and Bruce Davison. Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record from ‘The Lords’. The record triggers flashbacks of her town’s violent history in witchcraft and seems to have a strange effect on the women of Salem. Will Heidi find out the truth behind the record before it’s too late?

A few actors return from previous Rob Zombie movies like Sheri Moon Zombie, Ken Foree, Sid Haig and Michael Berryman. As witch hunters, Sid Haig and Michael Berryman are hardly used and it’s a shame, maybe they have more scenes that were left out, but the DVD had no special features other than a trailer. Ken Foree is also underused in my opinion, he plays an interesting character but we never really get to know him which is such a shame. 

Starring in all his movies, and continuing to do so, Sheri Moon Zombie get’s the lead role here, rocking dreadlocks and glasses, she pulls off the character of Heidi Hawthorne well. A recovered drug addict and lonely woman, Heidi goes through a rough transformation throughout the movie and Sheri shows how far she has come in terms of her acting by giving Heidi a very down to earth feel. Jeff Daniel Phillips plays Herman ‘Whitey’ Salvador, a friend to Sheri’s character Heidi. The friendship shared between these two is a strong part of the movie for me and I wish we had more scenes with these two together.

The witches in the film played by Meg Foster, Judy Geeson, Patricia Quinn and Dee Wallace give off a very creepy vibe when on screen. It’s almost as if you can feel the hatred these witches feel and this makes them all the more daunting whenever they pop up. Bruce Davison plays Francis Matthias, an author whom ends up taking interest in the record and does some digging only to find some horrific discovery.

Now The Lords of Salem is a very strange movie, don’t expect a simple run of the mill horror movie here. I found it to be very similar in both tone and style to House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie’s first feature movie. From the scenes that felt like they belonged in a music video, to the unique costume and creature design. That’s not a bad thing, House of 1000 Corpses is a great movie, but I feel that Rob Zombie is capable of more. The movie felt like a one step forwards but two steps backwards for him as a director.

That step forward was his ability as a very visual director. Camera shots showed the best of every scene and beauty contained within each of his sets. Stepping away from the violence that has dominated his past movies, this is no surprise. Not being able to rely on gore for entertainment, he had to be more creative than usual to keep the audience interested. I still want to go back and visit the movie a second time just to take in the sights again.

Not forgetting the creature design, this is some of the creepiest in a long time. Not scary, just creepy. From melted face people to a midget demon, being simple designs by nature they still manage to be some seriously freaky designs.

Unfortunately the movie suffers from a weak story, which I feel is rare with a Rob Zombie movie because I think he’s a great writer too. It feels too disjointed and because of that the pacing is all over the place. One minute you find yourself waiting for something interesting to happen and in the next scene, everything is happening at once. The ending of the film is also very sudden with very disturbing imagery, this is when it felt like a satanic music video. If that’s what he wanted to achieve then he did it, but as evident with the ending of The Devil’s Rejects, he is capable of endings which stick with you weeks after seeing the movie.

Maybe we needed another 30 minutes of footage to help flesh out a lot of the characters and relationships? The constant flashbacks didn’t help the film in any way too. Cropping up giving us some back story on the witches was a nice idea, but it could have been better having a shorter edit of the footage the the start of the film to kick things off and set the tone.

I am a big fan of Rob Zombie. That’s the truth, every one of his movies up to now I love and will defend until the end of time. Coming away from The Lords of Salem was difficult for me, I wanted to love it but I knew deep down this is his weakest film yet. Maybe with my second viewing I can learn to love it but as it stands I don’t. I can’t. I’m glad he’s got his creative control back and hope future movies are able to stand side by side with his previous work.

5 Old Naked Witches out of 10

-ast

Evil Dead (2013) Review

I can smell your filthy soul.

Take 2 cult classics, The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II. Throw them into a blender with fairly unknown actors and a director being given his big breakthrough chance. What comes from this risky mixture is something quite pleasant and rather refreshing.

This is Evil Dead, directed by Fede Alvarez and produced by the talent behind the original trilogy Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi. Evil Dead focuses on 5 young adults surviving in a remote cabin when a passage from the Book of the Dead is spoken out, Demons are awakened and all hell is broken loose. Funnily enough Evil Dead had been seen as a reboot/ remake prior to release, however it is now understood this serves as a continuation of the old trilogy. This definitely feels like a decision made after the success of the movie as it did feel like a reboot when watching.

I say this because it borrowed many similar scenes and from both The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II. With that said though, the movie kept a lot fresh and always had me guessing what may happen next and to which character this may happen to. That’s the real beauty of the film, the cast. Having only 5 actors to carry a whole film can ask a lot of them, but these actors gave each character such a personality that I really felt for them once the Demon had gotten a hold of their soul.

Jane Levy as Mia was of course a stand out, being the main character with a troubled past. She played such a believable, recovering drug addict whilst also pulling out all the stops when possessed, giving a truly terrifying performance. The real star of the movie though was Lou Taylor Pucci as Eric, in the nerd with glasses role. Delivering some light humor when required and being the voice of reason throughout the whole movie. It’s also worth mentioning that this guy truly exceeded expectations as it seemed nothing could kill his character, no matter what they threw at him, he kept coming back. By the end I was cheering for his character.

Did Fede Alvarez buckle under the pressure? Could he not meet the expectations of fans? No. He did a wonderful job with the film, getting some very beautiful shots during the early daytime scenes with sunlight cutting through the forest behind the actors. It must of been hard to shoot in a cabin too, not a lot of room for elaborate camera shots, but he kept it fresh with techniques like smooth camera pans and quick cuts to keep the audience interested. He also succeeded in creating some fairly suspenseful scenes with jump scares to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Big thanks go out the special effects too, they kept the use of visual effects to a minimum, so a lot of what you see is really there and really convincing. To arms getting cut and ripped off, to tongues getting sliced in half, it was a gory treat and there’s no lack of it. Those not a fan of gore may want to give this a pass because it’s shown by the bucket load.

It’s hard to find fault with such an entertaining movie, whilst being only minor, I did manage. For me the pacing was a little off at the start. The movie kicks off with a bang but then boils down to 30 minutes of not much happening. This is used to build up the characters and establish them within the world, but I feel this is just 10 minutes too long. Maybe some creepy forest shots or a more detailed look at the Book of the Dead could have helped break up those 30 minutes into something with a little more pace. Thankfully, everything after that is a blast moving along at the perfect speed and not slowing down.

I’ve kept spoilers down to a minimum in this review, so I won’t go into detail about the final 10 minutes of the movie. What I will say is that it is a very intense encounter and the absolute highlight of the movie for me. Full of gore, suspense, violence and Evil Dead.

After countless ghost movies taking the lead within the horror genre, it is a very welcome change that we get a gory, balls to wall horror movie not afraid to throw everything at you. I cannot wait to see it again. As for the confirmed sequel, I have high hopes. If Fede Alvarez is back at the helm it’s safe to assume, we’ll be in for another fantastic trip back into the pages of the Book of the Dead.

8 Sliced Tongues out of 10

-ast