Taking place two years after the original, 'Blade II' finds Wesley Snipes' techno-loving half-human, half-vampire warrior teaming up with his enemies to fight Reapers, a new breed of crack-addict vamps. Something I always think about is when Norman Reedus' stoner sidekick Scud asks "tokage on the smokage, B?" and Blade replies "...later". This leads me to believe Blade is not only a vampire slayer and the one and only Daywalker, but he also smokes doobs, just like the rest of us. The film's dialogue is spiked with bursts of wit, particularly in the combative relationship between arrogant alpha-vampire Ron Perlman and Snipes ("can you blush?"). The plot functions as little more than a loose framework for epic set pieces and energetically choreographed (by co-star Donnie Yen) martial arts sequences. Featuring a groundbreaking soundtrack (teaming hip-hop gentry with hot electronica knob-twisters) and imaginative practical creature design from director Guillermo del Toro, 'Blade II' has several things that the embarrassingly beige modern Marvel movies don't have: charisma, fun and a one-of-a-kind lead. Wesley Snipes doesn't play Blade... Blade plays Wesley Snipes.
First, they were actors pretending to be heroes on TV. Then they were actors pretending to be heroes in real life. And then, in the process, they actually
became heroes... in 'Galaxy Quest'... so really
they're actors pretending to be actors pretending to be heroes who actually become heroes. Just watch the damn movie. It's so good, and
I'll admit that when the word "hero" comes to mind, Barry Egan is hardly top of the list, if on any list at all. And yet, if given the opportunity to recommend a Paul Thomas Anderson film, I will take it. Barry (Adam Sandler, 'Uncut Gems') is a beleaguered small business owner who embarks on a romantic odyssey with Lena (Emily Watson). However, trouble seems to follow Barry, especially when continuously confronted by a sex-line scammer, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman ('Doubt'). It may not appear obvious, but there is plenty of symbolism and imagery throughout the film that strongly hints to Barry being a Superman-like being. I won't address them all here, but I'll mention the importance of it. Ultimately, being inundated with anxiety and problems harm Barry's emotional state, and just like Superman, he will continue to fight for justice and truth throughout. Just because you may be Superman doesn't mean you can cope with your stresses, but it takes a hero to address them in the first place. You can interpret this film in many ways and each extra viewing will add another element, so even if you've seen this before, why not watch it again?
Many great works have broken down the archetype of the superhero, from the ecstatic rigour of 'The Incredibles' to the snarky satire of 'Kick-Ass'
to the dark, towering monolith of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' 'Watchmen'
. With his monumental 1988 anime masterpiece 'Akira', director Katsuhiro Ôtomo placed the tropes of the superhuman into the fractured torment of adolescence and probed into the elemental fury of the collision between the cosmic and the terrified. We have been culturally programmed to see the pursuit of the superhuman as an ultimately positive pursuit, and the negative consequences as a necessary anomaly. In 'Akira', that pursuit is the destruction of our own humanity, both for those who have the "gift" forced into their hands and those who force it into them. Tetsuo is not Peter Parker getting bitten by a spider and taking his power ostensibly in his strike. Tetsuo is made monstrous, unbridled paranoia given unlimited power to protect itself and destroy those that threaten it. In 'Watchmen', Moore and Gibbons present the superhuman as a being next to a god, but Dr Manhattan has been stripped of his essential humanity, reduced to pure intellect. The god in 'Akira' is absolutely, intrinsically, wholly human, with all the fears and pains that come with it, and no human can handle that which can make them godly. 'Akira', unfathomable and primal, is the ultimate expression of what the superhuman means, that deep down it will never be a force for good, but a means for individual survival at absolutely any cost.
CHRIS DOS SANTOS
"Make way, make way," Moana is the ultimate modern-day heroine. Before 'Wonder Woman'
, 'Captain Marvel'
, 'Harley Quinn'
, and maybe sometime soon 'Black Widow' all ventured into their own solo films, but 'Moana' sailed out in front. What's stands out the most is the fact that her story isn't tied to her gender - as she says, "She is a girl who loves her island and a girl who loves the sea and it calls me." Her hero's journey is finding her place in herself and culture, not standing out among the men. Her connection to the sea is what makes her unique, and her power to control it in hand with her courage - and, at times, her naiveite - is what saves the day. 'Moana' took the Disney Princess mould and put it in a blender, did a 360 and changed the game. Following 'Tangled' and 'Frozen'
's modernisation of the classic Disney formula, 'Moana' truly breaks the mould: there is not a love interest to be seen, no more damsels in distress, and no more absent parents. Time and time again, Disney is failing in their live-action department in an attempt to "fix" things to make them more woke, with Belle and Jasmine both weakened in an attempt to appear more "girl boss". While 'Moana' miss-steps some aspects of representation, it becomes one of the best characters for all girls and boys to look up to because she's flawed - she frequently does the wrong thing and has to learn. She isn't a perfect package, and those are my favourite kind of superheroes.READ OUR REVIEW
As someone who is usually not into the superhero scene...Taika Waititi was apparently the only thing that could get me to the cinemas to see one. 'Thor: Ragnarok' is fun, charismatic and witty. It brings me great joy that mainstream Hollywood was ballsy enough to hand direction to a quirky pioneer who loves improvisation, colour, a little absurdity, and playing actors to their key strengths. The other great thing about 'Ragnarok' is its awesome capability as a standalone film. It holds on its own accord, with no need for outside context or recap sessions. It's a bizarre adventure with evident thought put into dialogue, action and humour. The cherry on top is its fantastic cast... and Jeff Goldblum - everybody loves Jeff Goldblum!READ OUR REVIEW
I'm not particularly fond of the 'X-Men' movies - or even Hugh Jackman did that matter - so regarding 'Logan' as my favourite superhero movie ever should speak volumes. In his last turn as Wolverine, Jackman drinks, swears and ass-kicks his way across America, protecting a young new mutant (Dafne Keen, TV's 'His Dark Materials'). 'Logan' abandons essentially all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a typical superhero movie and replaces that with a far more mature and violent storytelling method, a superhero film in a league of its own.READ OUR REVIEW
CHARLIE DAVID PAGE
'E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL'
When it comes to heroes, there's nothing more brave in my eyes than someone who puts aside all superficial factors and helps a stranger out of pure decency. When Elliott (Henry Thomas) discovers E.T., it takes all of Elliott's courage to protect the alien from the adult authority figures that are pursuing him and help him return home, for no reason other than because it is the right thing to do. As a child against the world, one of the most courageous acts is standing up against those who oppose what you know is decent, and an act of heroism speaks volumes about someone's personality. While a wildly spectacular adventure, 'E.T. The Extraterrestrial' showcases the best of humanity and presents an allegory for the way we should treat each other, regardless of how they look or where they are from.
'E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL'
When it comes to heroes, there's nothing more brave in my eyes than someone who puts aside all superficial factors and helps a stranger out of pure decency. When Elliott (Henry Thomas) discovers E.T., it takes all of Elliott's courage to protect the alien from the adult authority figures that are pursuing him and help him return home, for no reason other than it is the right thing to do. As a child against the world, one of the most courageous acts is standing up against those who oppose what you know is decent, and speaks volumes about someone's personality. While a wildly spectacular adventure, 'E.T. The Extraterrestrial' showcases the best of humanity and presents an allegory for the way we should treat each other, regardless of how they look or where they're from.
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Feeling up for something a little different? Make sure you check out our other articles in the Lockdown and Catch Up series below...
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