Catwoman

catwomanSynopsis: The best known Catwoman is Selina Kyle. Kyle has had many storylines throughout the years. Her parents both died when she was very young. Her mother committed suicide due to the abusive manner of Kyle’s father, and he soon died from intoxication. Kyle was sent to a juvenile detention center and was separated from her sister Maggie. Selina escaped and learned self-defense and the art of burglary as she grew up on the streets of Gotham. Selina first donned the name and iconic outfit of Catwoman when she brutally killed Carmine Falcone. Selina Kyle has always had a love- hate relationship with Batman (Bruce Wayne). He is both her nemesis and lover depending on the day. In more recent adaptations Catwoman has been portrayed as an anti-heroine as maybe opposed to her original comic debut in the 1940s.

Powers/Abilities: Selina has been trained in a variety of martial arts and is very acrobatic. Selina is a stealthy thief who has learned to survive on her own. She is lethal with hand to hand combat especially with her dangerous claws and iconic whip. Most importantly, Selina Kyle has a strong relationship with felines. They have proved to come to her aid in time of need.

Real Name: Selina Kyle

Alias: Catwoman

Weakness: Selina is not endowed with any special powers so she is just as vulnerable as any human.

Base of Operations: Gotham City

First Appearance: Batman #1 (1940)

Sidekick: N/A

Nemesis: Bruce Wayne

Affiliations: Birds of Prey, Injustice League, Bat-Family

Love Interest: Bruce Wayne

Who has portrayed Catwoman the best in TV or film? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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Top 5 Films Starring Tom Hiddleston

tom-2In honor of Tom Hiddleston’s birthday here are my picks for the top 5 movies featuring Tom Hiddleston.

  1. Midnight in Paris

Although Hiddleston was not part of the main cast in Woody Allen’s 2011 time travel romantic comedy, his role was a memorable one. The actor donned an American accent to portray the iconic writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, in 1920s Paris. Fitzgerald’s story wasn’t particularly elaborated on but Hiddleston made the most of his screen time. His version of Fitzgerald is charming and refined, but Hiddleston also adds depth to the role allowing hints of the figure’s dark side to surface.

  1. Unrelated

Unrelated marked the big screen debut of Hiddleston. Hiddleston was teamed with director Joanna Hogg in the first of three projects together. Hiddleston took on the role of adolescent Oakley. Unrelated is a fascinating picture of middle aged relationships, loneliness and the inspiration of youth. Unrelated premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in 2007 and kicked off the movie career of Hiddleston.

  1. Deep Blue Sea

Based on the Terrence Rattigan play of the same name, this 2012 British Romantic drama stars Hiddleston as a handsome former RAF pilot who engages in an affair with the wife of a judge (Rachel Weisz). Weisz earned the most award season attention with her performance, but the movie was also a win for Tom who wanted a chance to play a complex vain man all too aware of his own flaws. As Rolling Stone described the film “Hiddleston is an actor of enormous talent, willing to use his good looks to express a weakness that charm can’t eradicate. His scenes with Weisz are electric.”

  1. Archipelago

The 2010 British flick, directed by Joanna Hogg, stars Hiddleston as Edward, a man preparing to leave for a year of voluntary service in Africa. His mother and sister decide to gather the family together on a remote island as a farewell trip. But when Edward’s father is delayed, the unspoken forces of absence and loss bring the family’s buried anger and tension to the surface. The quietly devastating profile of a complicated family has earned critical acclaim (with a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes) and marks another strong performance from Hiddleston, who always excels in subtle, naturalistic roles.

  1. Thor (MCU)

Tom Hiddleston is best known for playing Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor is the definition of a scene stealer when it comes to playing the god of mischief. There is no other current Marvel villain both beloved by fans and critics alike. Hiddleston’s most recent outing in the MCU is Thor: The Dark World which had mixed reviews on the quality of the film with one notable exception; fans and critics loved Loki. This fact led Rolling Stone to begin its review with this all-to-true statement “Not enough Loki.”

Fences Review

fencesFences was directed by Denzel Washington who also stars in the movie along with Viola Davis. Fences is based on the play by August Wilson which carries the same title. This movie is the third film directed by Oscar winner Denzel Washington and it is his second time working with Viola Davis (the first was his directorial debut “Antwone Fisher” which also starred Davis). For their roles in Fences both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis have been nominated for the upcoming Oscars.

Synopsis: Fences focuses on an African American family during the 1950s and the struggles they face. Troy (Denzel Washington) is a hard-working father and husband who provides for his family. His wife, Rose (Viola Davis), is a loving and loyal wife and mother. On the surface, Troy and Rose have a strong marriage but when drama and temptation ensue their true colors show. The plot of this film is intriguing and develops slowly as we watch events unfold in the lives of Troy and Rose. 9/10

Direction: Some would argue that to call Fences a “movie” is an overstatement. Although I agree that Fences feels like someone simply recorded a Broadway play, I still enjoyed the thematic element that Washington brought to the screen. This film is held in confined spaces and we spend a majority of the film in Troy and Rose’s house. For some this may be distracting, but I found that the story and especially the performances were greatly emphasized by the fact that the audience never leaves the house. You feel as if you are standing in the living room or the kitchen while Troy and Rose share intimate moments and heated arguments. There is no doubt that Washington directed Fences in limited locations for this specific purpose. The direction, although confining, brings intensity and closeness to this drama. 8/10

Characterization: There is no doubt that Fences is held up by Denzel and Viola’s spectacular performances. They both give so much life and emotion to these roles that I couldn’t imagine any one else portraying them. Although Troy and Rose are spectacular characters, the rest of the characters lack in development. Troy and his son Cory have intense dialogue towards the end of the film but because Cory is never given an full arc its difficult to connect with him. Fences really only shows you two viewpoints, one from Rose and the other from Troy. All other characters seem expendable in a movie that is clearly Washington and Davis’ film. 7/10

Conclusion: There is no denying that Fences includes two of today’s finest actors who give explosive performances that we’ve all come to expect. However, for those who went to watch a thrilling three act drama they will probably leave a little disappointed. Fences has four acts and is completely directed and filmed in a way that emphasizes its “stage play” predecessor. I am personally predisposed to plays so this was a treat for me, but in the effort to be unbiased I can completely understand why some would deny that Fences is a true film. Thankfully Fences makes up for this by including inspiring performances and a heart wrenching plot.

Final Score: 8/10

 

Cyborg

cyborgSynopsis: Although Vic Stone is a star athlete he yearns for his father’s approval. However, his father was too focused on his experiments. One day Vic suffers from a grave injury and his father saves his life by replacing half his body with cybernetic parts. Now Cyborg is plugged into every computer on Earth and no firewall – or brick wall can keep him out. While his cybernetic enhancements provide superhuman strength, speed and endurance, that same technology destroys his chances to live as a professional athlete. Now flourishing the digital realm, Vic is desperately alone in the physical world.

Alternate version: Although Victor Stone’s scientist parents encouraged Victor to pursue academic interests, he found athletic activity far more to his taste. During an experiment, Victor’s mother accidentally unleashed a creature from another dimension that killed her instantly and badly wounded Victor. While his wife died, Victor’s father managed to save his son by grafting cybernetic parts to Victor’s organs and computerizing synthetic nerve bases to his spine. Now half organic and half molybdenum steel, Victor feels alienated because he can no longer compete athletically.

Powers/Abilities: super strength, advance technology, instant weaponry, genius-level intellect, control over technology, computer hacking, durability, teleportation, adaptive evolution, tecnomorphic healing factor, cyberspace emersion

Real Name: Victor Stone

Alias: Cyborg, Vic, Cyberion, Robotman, Technis, Bionic Man, Cyborg 2.0, Omegadrome, Sparky, The Man with the Iron Fists, Tin-Man, Silver Fists

Weakness: “Trying to stay human” and many people know how to shut him down, overconfident

Base of Operations: Detroit

First Appearance: DC comics Presents #26 (1980)

Sidekick: N/A (Most notably a member of the Teen Titans)

Nemesis: N/A

Affiliations: Teen Titans, Justice League and S.T.A. R. Labs

Love Interest: Sarah Simms

 

Top 5 Wonder Woman Villains that should be in the DCEU

ares5. Doctor Psycho: It would be an understatement to say that Edgar Cizko, a.k.a. Doctor Psycho, has issues with women. His hatred for females stems from the fact he was picked on by them at a very young age because of his small size. Despite this deep-rooted misogyny, Cizko did fall in love with a woman named Marva Jane Gray while at medical school, but unfortunately, Ben Bradley, the man she truly loved, framed Cizko for a theft at the university’s laboratory. Once he escaped prison, the now-named Psycho killed Ben and mentally forced Marva to marry him, thus kicking off his supervillain career. While Psycho was originally a skilled hypnotist, he was changed in the post-crisis era of the comics to be a skilled telepath who uses his psionic abilities to torment those who stand in his way. If the DCEU is looking for a villain who does not rely on brute force Psycho is an excellent pick. His presence would especially work in a period piece. In Psycho’s early comic book appearances he tried to prevent women from helping in the war efforts.

4. First Born: Introduced in the New 52 comics, First Born is the child Zeus had with Hera. Zeus learned of a prophecy that said his newborn son would kill him to take over Olympus. Thus, Zeus tried to murder the infant, but Hera had pity and exi led First Born from Olympus. Despite his banishment, First Born remembered his heritage, and after failing to get Zeus’ attention while growing up he decided to take over Earth. After that fails he tries to invade Olympus, but Zeus stops his forces and imprisons him within the earth. Thousands of years later, First Born finally broke free of the Earth and builds a new army to take the mountain of the gods. It has been confirmed that Wonder Woman’s DCEU origins will be based off the New 52 so using First Born as the main antagonist gives Wonder Woman not just a demigod to battle, but also provides a special antagonistic familial relationship. (Thor and Loki)

3.Circe: Circe has the same basic magical abilities as the Greek goddess with whom she shares a name. Specifically, she can cast illusions, teleport and turn others into animals (famously seen in Homer’s Odyssey). Although she made her comic debut in 1949, Circe has become more prominent as an antagonist to Wonder Woman since the 1980’s. She frequently targets Diana as well as other mythological DC characters. One of her more notable schemes was initiating the war of the Gods, which pitted deities against each other. She has also helped empower members of Wonder Woman’s rogue’s gallery so that she can have an indirect hand in defeating the Amazon heroine. Like Doctor Psycho, this is another foe who requires more than simple brute force to defeat. However, in Circe’s case, her magic is just as capable of causing Diana mental harm as physical harm.

2.Ares: Like Circe and other Wonder Woman villains, Ares was one of many characters to be reimagined when writer George Perez started writing comics about the superheroine in the 1980’s. Born as the God of War, he embodies all the negative aspects of conflict. As expected he is one of the DC’s greatest warriors, but he has proven very dangerous through his shadowy manipulations and intricate plans. Although Wonder Woman and Ares now have close, familial-like ties in the New 52, it is better that he stays a villain in this ecosystem. Even if Ares does not appear immediately in the story, the DCEU should find a place for him at some point.

1.Cheetah: Batman has the Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman has Cheetah. Priscilla Rich, a debutante with a split personality, was the first Cheetah. However, if Cheetah is to join the DCEU they would be better served using the third Cheetah, Barbra Anne Minerva. Minerva was a selfish archaeologist that drank a potion (changed in the New 52 to cutting herself with a knife) that transformed her into The Cheetah. Her early obsession was trying to steal Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, but eventually changed to her simply wanting to defeat the Amazon in combat. Cheetah is Wonder Woman’s greatest villain and will likely be adapted in the DCEU.

Nintendo Switch News

switchThe Nintendo switch is set to arrive in stores on March 3. The Switch is Nintendo’s follow up to its least popular system (outside of the Nintendo boy) the Wii U. Due to fewer sales of the Wii U the Nintendo Switch may have restricted production like the recently released NES classic console, and this could drive up its already $300 price tag. According to Nintendo the online mode will be free for a trial basis, but will become a subscription based model by the fall of 2017.

The Good

The Nintendo Switch has an innovative design that in many ways hearkens back to the Wii (the bestselling console of all time). Also, the switch console itself has a built-in screen and can be used as a portable gaming device. Unlike the Wii U the Nintendo Switch has some great launch titles as well as a great upcoming slate:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild promises to be Link’s grandest adventure yet. The new trailer showed off its dazzling landscape, from classic Hyrulian fields to snow-capped valleys. Voice acting, implemented for the first time in the franchise, appears to be a prominent fixture in the game. Set to be the most sprawling entry in the series, Breath of the Wild features more than 100 puzzle-filled places, designated as Shrines of Trials. The game will also come in one of three editions: a standard edition, Special Edition, and Master Edition. The Special Edition ($100) includes a Switch Sheikah Slate Carrying Case, a Sheikah Eye Collectible Coin, a Calamity Ganon Tapestry, a Weather-Worn Map, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sound Selection CD. The Master Edition ($130) includes everything in the Special Edition, as well as a Master Sword of Resurrection figure.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

A definitive version of the popular racing game for the Wii U, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers local multiplayer with up to eight players. All tracks from the Wii U version, including DLC tracks, come inside the box. Five characters join the roster, including Splatoon‘s Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy, King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr. Balloon Battle and Bob-omb Blast join a reworked battle mode, too, which adds additional courses — both new and old — into the fray. Additional gameplay tweaks, such as the ability to hold two items at once, and a Smart Steering feature round out the deluxe edition. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be available in April.

Splatoon 2

Everyone’s favorite, 4-on-4 turf battle game is coming back for more paint-splattering action. Slated as a full sequel, Splatoon 2 adds new stages, fashions, and weapons, including dual-wielding. Multiple control schemes also take advantage of the Switch’s diverse hardware; splat-fest enthusiasts can play on the portable unit, with the Joy-Con gyro controls, or with the Switch Pro Controller. The game features local and online multiplayer, as well as voice chat with Nintendo’s smart-device app. Nintendo plans to release additional DLC as well, just as it did for Splatoon, after the title’s launch this summer.

Super Mario Odyssey

Mario is returning to sandbox glory in Super Mario Odyssey. This time, though, Mario will be making his way outside of the Mushroom Kingdom, as he treks through a plethora of environments, including real-life locales like New Donk (York) City. With the help of an airship, Mario looks to be headed on his most diverse adventure yet. He can even throw his hat, which has a mysterious pair of eyes on it. Super Mario Odyssey hits shelves this holiday season.

The Bad

The Nintendo Switch will be up against very stiff competition. Nintendo has elected to use cartridges as opposed to discs. This means the Switch will not be able to utilize DVD/Blu-ray. Also, the switch will be the only console without 4K capabilities. Unlike the Xbox One the Switch will not be backwards compatible. The biggest strike against the Switch is likely its price point. The Switch lacks a DVD/Blu-ray player, 4k capabilities, backwards compatibility and has the least amount of storage, (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wind takes up 40% of the memory per Gamespot.) but still cost as much as an Xbox One S. Also, the controllers for the system are $70 to $80 depending on whether you use a Nintendo Pro or the new Joy Con.

My Take

Unless you are just a hardcore Nintendo fan, I would wait on this system. While these games do look amazing this system seems incredibly overpriced for this market. It amazes me that a system that came out so quickly would not be backwards compatible. At the same time the price point is disturbing. The Switch lacks most of the features that an Xbox or Playstation offers but still costs the same price, and not to mention the controllers are more expensive than its competitors.

Passengers Review

passengersPassengers is a sci-fi film starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Passengers was written by Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange and Prometheus) and directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Games). This film has quite a bit of talent and star power involved however it has been met with less than stellar reviews.

Plot/Summary: At an unspecified point in the future, five thousand passengers leave an overpopulated Earth aboard the starship Avalon. They embark on a 120-year voyage to colonize the new planet Homestead II and give humanity a fresh start on another world. Thirty years into this journey, the ship begins to experience system malfunctions, and two passengers- Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) – awake from their hibernation pods long before anyone else. Coming to the harrowing realization that they will spend the rest of their lives alone together on the Avalon, Jim and Aurora attempt to make the best of their situation, forming a connection and befriending the ship’s robot bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen). Unfortunately for Jim and Aurora the Avalon seems to be plagued with breakdowns which continuously puts the lives of everyone on board in jeopardy. The first act is rushed as Tyldum hurries through to get Pratt and Lawrence together – yet when the two are on-screen there is not much for them to do. This film also toys with some moral and ethical questions that sound intriguing on paper, but are ultimately poorly executed. Certain themes are touched upon, and the creative team deserves some credit for taking a risk with a big-budget film, yet it does not pay off in the end. Some moviegoers (like myself) will be unable to look past the multitude of issues this film brings to the surface. Spaihts fails to fully develop these core concepts (which are integral to the narrative), meaning key emotional beats are unearned as the film builds to a problematic and messy conclusion. The potential was there for a captivating sci-fi drama but Passengers is unsettling, and instead of focusing on its primary themes it meanders frequently leaving the audience uninterested. 7/10

Cinematography: The production design team (spearheaded by Guy Hendrix Dyas) do a good job of crafting the world of the Avalon. Passengers takes place entirely on the Avalon, but the ship never feels small scale. The filmmakers do an excellent job making the most of the location and building a place with the aesthetic of a futuristic high-end cruise ship. This film is thankfully not as dependent on visual effects as some other sci-fi works of the past, but when they’re called for Passengers delivers. The zero-gravity scene in the swimming pool is stunning. Passengers is a visually appealing film however that cannot overcome its many flaws. 8/10

Characterization: While the acting in passengers was great, the script did not give these stars much to work with. As one would expect Pratt and Lawrence make for a likable pair and have solid chemistry with one another. The second act is where the romantic element starts and the two use their charm to play off each other in a manner that feels natural. Pratt has a more layered character, carrying Passengers for stretches while also showcasing his action hero chops. On the flip side Lawrence, does not have a whole lot to do as Aurora besides serve as a love interest. The Oscar winner tries to elevate what is on the page, but Aurora ultimately is not at all interesting, and her motivations and actions are more for the service of the story than realistic. The supporting cast is obviously small although Sheen is amazing as Arthur. Arthur is an android that is an obvious call back to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. However, Arthur is possibly the most memorable character in this film. 6.5/10

Conclusion: Passengers had all the makings of the next great sci-fi movie, but it ultimately cannot deliver on that promise. If the core idea (and main catalyst of the story) had been handled in another way, the movie could have been a thought-provoking piece that challenged viewers instead of the flawed tale it turned out to be. If you are looking for a good sci-fi film set in space lucky for you Rogue One is still in theatres.

Final Score: 7.2