Friday, February 27, 2015

The English Patient (Best Picture 1996)

The English Patient is a very interesting film....IN SPITE of its direction and screenplay! It tells the story of Count Almasy and how he ended up burned over his entire body, dying in an Italian monastery. The story is relatively simple, but because it is told in flashbacks while there are other, parallel stories being told in the present, it is very difficult to follow. The characters' names change or are not revealed, for example, and their true intentions remain murky until nearly the end.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Braveheart (Best Picture 1995)

Braveheart starts off easily enough, with beautiful scenes of Scotland as young William Wallace frolics with his father and older brother. The older Wallaces are on their way to a gathering of leaders to discuss with representatives of the King of England on how to "manage" Scotland. However, all of the leaders are murdered, causing the Wallaces to join the movement for War. They go off and are promptly killed. Young William is sent to live with his uncle, who teaches him French and Latin and takes him around Europe. He returns to Scotland a few years later looking a lot like Mel Gibson.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Forrest Gump (Best Picture 1994)

Full disclosure: I never liked the idea of Forrest Gump, so I never took the time to see when it was actually new. In fact, I never saw it until it came up in this review queue. When it first came out and part of its appeal was that Tom Hanks as Forrest was spliced into footage with Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon as well as with John Lennon, I resisted it. As a fan of real history I did not like the idea that we were doctoring actual footage to include fiction.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Schindler's List (Best Picture 1993)

In my opinion Schindler's List is one of those films that gets worse the more you see it. The first time through everything packs an emotional punch, and it "feels" right. Upon further viewings, however, you start to see the artificiality. The set-up starts to get in the way of the story.
So first of all, let me ask this: why is this film in black and white? What is so artistic about black and white photography that necessitates this film be shot that way? Or put another way, why isn't this film in color? I have seen so many World War II films shot in black and white that I believe that color would help *add* to the realism, not detract from it. After all, these events really happened. They were in color while they were really happening. Why add a layer of artificiality by denuding real-life color? Conversely, if there is an overwhelming reason why the film should be filmed without color, why then is the beginning and ending IN color? It's almost as if Director Steven Spielberg and the producers were saying, "this part in color is real. Look, these are even the real people. The actors are in black and white....because they are only play acting."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

JL #38 "The Yellow Alert!" AFTERWARD

So...what did you think of my newest collaborative effort on "my" Justice League?

I am prejudiced, of course, but I think Andy Kapelusch and I did a pretty good job on it. As I mentioned in the Forward, Andy did the pencils for the majority of the story and I did the inks and dialogue. Andy did supply suggestions or hints to what he was thinking, but I was free to use or over-ride his suggestions. Overall I think the story reads pretty darn well. Shall I go over the parts I am especially happy with?

I love this panel. I think Andy did a great job setting up three people on one side of Green Lantern and three people on the other side. I only wish I did a better job with the green energy aura coloring.

JL #38 "The Yellow Alert!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

JL #38 "The Yellow Alert!" FORWARD

Nearly a year ago, my cyber-buddy Andy Kapellusch and I were chatting about my Justice League series. I was finishing up my JLA-JSA team-up story (#34, hyper-linked on the right) and we talked about how much we both loved the Justice Society. Either he made an off-hand comment about wanting to help create something with me, or I offered him a chance...I don't remember. One way or another, we somehow decided to work together.