Archive for November, 2011


Superman Requiem is a film made by fans for the fans… It was released on-line only on 11th November 2011. Please don’t read if you have not seen the film yet, spoiler alert…

It was conceived by producer Gene Fallaize who said he decided he was going to make an independent superman fan-film and thus began writing the script.  Tony Cook and Daniella Pellegrini joined the team in early 2011 and thus pre-production began.

Superman Requiem depicts the life of superman several years after the events of Superman Returns and takes into accounts the events of Superman (1978), Superman II (1980) and Superman Returns (2006).

Basically, to cut a long story short, Superman is tricked into losing his powers via exposure to a manipulated version of kryptonite (strong enough to remove his powers, but not kill him). Alexander Luthor (Lex, Jr.) has done this in order to blackmail the powerless Superman into revealing the location of plots of land previously owned by the late Lex, Sr. For leverage, Alexander plans on using Lois Lane, now living and working in Europe. And that’s about it.

Before this was released there was a lot of hype about it on-line and I was actually looking forward to it. I didn’t know what to expect for a fan made film. I didn’t expect great acting or glossy Hollywood visuals and watched the film with an open mind.

First, I have to applaud people who make a film out of pure adoration, knowing they won’t make a penny off of it. And the effects were pretty good for a fan-film made on a modest budget. Which is helped by the fact that Superman has lost his ability of flight.  You can see that a lot of work went into the making of this film.

The opening credit sequence is particularly good. And the overall look of “Superman: Requiem” was very sharp and, for the most part, bright and colorful with some excellent locations.  The acting was good. The best performance comes from Stacy Sobeski who plays Ali Noels (a character who replaces Lois Lane). Paul Khanna, who also appears in two Harry Potter movies, was good as Alexander Luthor  too.  He had just the right amount of evil and cunning to the role while being just as obsessed with land as his father was.  However, in my opinion, I didn’t think Martin Richardson was a very good Superman. He works well as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent but comes across as a bit lost and physically unimposing as Superman.

As to be expected for a fan film the dialogue was ok and there are some sound issues, especially outdoors. The story was alright (a bit predictable at times) but missed something, I don’t know what but in my opinion something was missing.  The film tried to connect important events from the old Reeve Superman films. There were a lot elements from those previous films, which I felt weren’t necessary.

In my opinion, the film suffers from following too loosely in the footsteps of the other Superman films that have come before and maybe should have been an all-new, original version of the hero.  For example there is the famous line from Perry White about great reporters (Superman: The Movie); an amnesia kiss (Superman II) and Superman sacrificing his connection with his birth-mother Lara in order to regain his powers (SupermanII: with Jor-El). .

My main gripe, however, is that Lois Lane never really materializes as a character and we never see the face of the actress playing her, why?. We’re told earlier that Clark and Lois have since parted ways, but they have tried to include her in the film anyway without actually including her, very strange. In addition the character of Superman’s son (superman returns) was completely ignored.

But on the whole, bearing in mind that this is a fan made film, it’s a very good effort and well worth a watch on a rainy sunday afternoon.  Director Gene Fallaize and his amazing team have done something that I could never do and that’s make a feature-length Superman movie which is something they should be proud of.

What do you think?

If you have not seen the film then here it is….. http://themanofsteelisback.com/

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.


Another film I missed at the cinema and only just got around to seeing on DVD.  X-men: First class is a prequel to the X-men films and tells the story of the formation of the X-men.

Poland, 1944: a young Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents in a concentration camp; meanwhile, in an affluent but isolated stately home in New York a young Charles Xavier happens upon a strange blue little girl who’s able to disguise herself as other people.

Eighteen years later, Erik (Michael Fassbender) and Charles (James McAvoy) have matured into powerful, charismatic men with opposing agendas. At the heart of First Class is the story of how close friends become bitter enemies and of how Charles and Erik become Professor X and Magneto.

The first X-Men movie famously began with a scene outside the Nazi death camps, This new film reprises the image. Young Erik Lehnsherr is a Polish boy who is separated from his parents by Nazi guards in 1944, and dragged towards the camp entrance. Unleashing an agonised psycho-telekinetic shockwave from his outstretched hand, he twists the metal gates from afar. A sinister Nazi functionary called Shaw spots him and takes the boy under his wing. He kills his mother to force him to harness these powers for the Reich.

Fassbender plays the adult Erik in the 1960s, not yet called Magneto, fanatically set on tracking down Shaw for revenge. Vaughn interestingly shows how rage-filled grownup Erik is seething, not merely at how this Nazi had murdered his parents, but also with self-hate at having failed to use his mutant powers to kill him at the time, and also, perhaps, at the way the Nazi has schooled him in the ways of ruthlessness.

Meanwhile, chubby young Professor Xavier is played by James McAvoy as a nerdy, slightly CS Lewis-ish Oxford academic specialising in genetics, who lives with Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), a mutant whom he has been brought up with like a sister.  Xavier and Lehnsherr are both recruited by CIA agents played by Rose Byrne and Demetri Goritsas, to track down the evil Shaw, who has himself engineered the Cuban missile crisis to enforce his own global domination. These two very different X-Men must team up, and recruit a new generation of mutants to bring Shaw to justice.

I thought this was a pretty good film! And one of the best of the year. I thought it was explosive and eye-dazzling with some excellent special effects. In addition I thought Mcevoy and Fassbender were superb as friends who turn enemies. And for me Kevin Bacon steals the show as the villain. There is even a cameo role for Wolverine which was a nice touch and made me laugh.

So well worth a watch in my opinion

What do you think?

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On saturday 12th November 2011 I visited the Golden Orbit science fiction comic and card trade fair in Manchester.  It was my first time going to such an event and so I did not know what to expect.  Normally I buy comics from Ebay or car boot sales.

Before going I was pretty nervous as I thought I wasnt going to enjoy it.  I had the preconception of a room full of anoraks/nerds (like comic book guy from the simpsons) skulking around the room but was pleasantly surprised. Instead there were all kinds of “normal” people (both adults and children) buying and selling comics and other collectables.   You even had children involved helping their mum or dad selling comics.  There were a lot of dealers. In fact I was told that dealers attend from all across the UK and sometimes abroad, selling thousands of science fiction, film and comic related collectables both old and new.  There were comics, trading  cards, toys, tv/film magazines, posters, books, graphic novels, games  and all kinds of sci-fi/fantasy collectables.

But mainly there were comics, and believe there were a lot of comics.  Everywhere I looked, more comics.  But there were a hell of a lot people buying them as well.  Like a pack wolves they looked through the hundreds of comics available (some checking there lists to see which comics they needed to complete their collection). I had a good look through myself and I bought 2 comics.  I had a very enjoyable time there.  The only downside is paying £2 to get in.  But this event has made me realise that I am in pretty healthy niche market and given me the incentive to go to more trade fairs. And also it has taught me a valuable lesson and that’s be carefull of preconceptions you may have about new things as you may miss out on opportunities if you rely on preconceptions which put you off.

So, have you been to any comic fairs, what are your experiences?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.


Are you Self Employed? Why don’t you get a proper Job?

Have you ever been asked this? I have. “Why don’t you get a proper Job?” is probably one of the most common questions self-employed people are often asked (in my opinion).

Well….

First, what is a “proper” job. As companies continue to merge with competitors, downsize and cope with the continuing recession  a “proper” job is not what it used to be.  No job is safe is these days.

And secondly I could never go back to a “proper” job now and work for somebody else or some faceless organisation, why, well to start with no one tells you what to do. I have been self-employed since april this year.  I’m a dealer in science fiction and horror comics, books and other collectables. I am in total control and can decide when to work and when not too. I mean yesterday I just took the day off with no hassle of having to ask permission, just like that. And more importantly I take the credit if it goes right and at the end of the day its going to be me that is rewarded instead of some manager who doesn’t know what he/she is doing……

I love what I do but it’s not been easy and in fact it’s been very hard.  Starting a business is a pretty big change for starters and takes a lot of balls and courage. And growing the business is even harder, as it takes a lot of hard work and patience. You have to continually see what isn’t working and make changes in order to continue on the path. There have been a lot of hard times with very little money as there was no secure regular income but I always think if you didn’t have these hard times you wouldn’t appreciate the good times.  But not everybody is cut out to do it. And I guess those people can get very jealous because they cant do it, which is probably why they ask “Why don’t you get a proper Job?”.

I knew this first year would be extremely tough, especially having very little money, and sometimes I did wonder if I am doing the right thing but I only have to listen to others who have a “proper” job constantly complaining about their job to make me realise that I am blessed and that I have made right decision.

Take my brother for instance who works all the hours god sends and has forgotten I have existed.  He is contracted to work 9-5, monday to friday, doesn’t get overtime pay but normally works all day and doesn’t get home till late.  He also works at the weekends.  Does he get any thanks, probably not. Then for what, why does he do it, money. Dont make laugh, whats the point of money if you are always working and can’t enjoy it with your loved ones.

My parents are another classic examples of this.  I don’t have much memory of them in my early childhood as they were both working very hard (they worked all the hours under the sun) and when I did see them after school they were very stressed.  And even though they worked hard we still had very little money. When I was around 11 or 12 my father had to stop working due to ill health from a heart attack. He had Angina (heart disease) and so my mother had to stay at home and look after him. And so my main memory of my father is that of a stressed argumentative ill old man who drank loads, smoked and ultimately died of cancer and heart disease when I was about 17.   It’s not a nice memory to have and I don’t want my son to go through that. By the way my mother eventually passed away in 2006 from cancer.

Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 12 years I used to be one of those who put in extra hours just to get noticed on the hope I would get a promotion or pay rise.   But it never happens, instead it is expected of you that you work extra and you are asked to do more and more.  It was one of these places where unpaid overtime was an unwritten rule. And the only people who are rewarded are the senior managers who get big fat bonuses.

So, in answer to the question “Why don’t you get a proper Job?” No, why should I?

Never again will I work for some body else. Now if I work hard I will get rewarded. In addition, because I work from home I can spend as much time as I can with my family and choose my own hours to work.  And that’s whats important to me :).

What do you think, what are your experiences?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.