Posts Tagged ‘Daredevil’


CTV’s film Critic Richard Crouse speaks with Evan Solomon about the death of comic book icon Stan Lee. Lee helped to co-create some of the world’s best known superheroes, from Spiderman, to the Incredible Hulk, to Iron Man.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

Metro: Peter Parker, Bruce Banner: Why Stan Lee loves alliteration

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 5.07.40 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Despite laying the foundation for the wildly popular Marvel Universe Stan Lee says he is no superhero specialist.

“I’m not an expert of any sort,” says the ninety-three-year-old on the line from his Los Angeles office. “I really try to think of stories that I myself would like to read. I try and think of characters that I myself would be interested in. In other words, I never try to write for a certain segment of the readership. I write for myself and I hope that I’m not that unusual. If I like it other people might also like it.”

When it came to naming his characters he had an unusual habit of using alliteration—think Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Matt Murdoch and Reed Richards—for a very practical reason.

“It’s because I have a bad memory,” he says. “If I could remember one of the names like Spider-Man, if I could remember his first name was Peter then I knew his second name began with a P and it was easier for me to think of it. That is really the only reason. I have a terrible memory for names and by making the first and second letter the same if I thought of one name I had a clue as to what the other was.”

These days Lee, who will appear at Fan Expo in Toronto this weekend in what is being billed as his last-ever Canadian appearance, enjoys superstar status but is humble when asked about his legacy. “I didn’t go out of my way to be enduring,” he says.

In fact, when he began writing comic books over seventy years ago, “I was just hoping that somebody would buy them so I could keep my job and be able to pay the rent. In a million years I wouldn’t have thought I’d be travelling around the country, talking to people like you about the comics. It is incredible what has happened.

“I just hope that maybe I brought some enjoyment to people, and they enjoyed reading the stories.”

And they have. Bolstered by passionate fan—or True Believers as Lee calls them—support Lee’s work has endured in the form of movies, videogames, books and on hundreds of comment boards where aficionados pit superhero against superhero in epic make-believe battles and argue over who would emerge victorious. Lee, however, claims he doesn’t have a preferred character.

“People expect me to have a favourite,” he says, “so I always say Spider-Man because that’s what they expect. I’m really not good at favourites. I really love them all.”

So out of Spider-Man, Hulk, Professor X or any of the other three hundred or so characters he created, who does he most relate to?

“Of course I think of myself as being like Tony Stark because he’s glamorous and intelligent and handsome and all that,” he laughs. “But seriously I think there is a little bit of everybody in all these characters. I think that’s why them seem to be popular. I tried to give hem all hang-ups and weaknesses. None of them are really perfect. They are just like regular people, I hope.”

AUDIO INTERVIEW: Richard CHATS WITH “Daredevil” star Deborah Ann Woll

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 3.55.25 PMRichard Crouse interviews “Daredevil” star Deborah Ann Woll

On her Daredevil character Karen Page: “She starts out quite innocent, quite sweet and a little naïve and towards the end becomes a heroin addicted porn star. It is really quite dark and a little scary. Then she gets redeemed and then she dies. It’s a very tragic turnaround. I like characters that change and have that exploration but I also feel when you do it separately, when she is just the Madonna or just the whore, it’s less interesting. What I like is when a woman encompasses all sides. For my Karen I said, ‘Alright, she’s going to have moments when she’s innocent, sweet and fun to be around. And she’ll have moments where she’s dark and a little addicted to that adrenaline rush and danger, and I want both of those things to love in her at the same time.’ Luckily we didn’t start her as innocent. We started her with a bit of a past, which hopefully, if we get to do any more of Daredevil we’ll find out about. I like that she doesn’t start super innocent. There’s something dark about her already. We’ll see what comes.”

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: 1 STAR. “the film wants you to underthink.”

968b2ea792aef21e5b0f6a706700367dAccording to wikipedia the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a “parody of four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel Comics’ ‘Daredevil’ and ‘New Mutants,’ Dave Sim’s ‘Cerebus’ and Frank Miller’s ‘Ronin.’” They quickly became something of a sensation, but with popularity came an erosion of the subversive aspects of the story. In short, they became the thing they once poked fun at. That self-unaware tradition continues with the release of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” a Michael Bay produced big screen reboot.

The plot of the new film can be summed up by one line from obnoxious cameraman Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett). “Four turtles, one’s fighting a robot samurai. Why not?”

If that doesn’t whet your appetite for this turtle soup, here’s more detail:

Megan Fox stars as April O’Neil, a television lifestyle reporter with pastel blue nail polish who wants to be taken seriously. When she follows a lead on a stolen chemical plot to a dark and rainy dock she discovers the biggest story of her life, the existence of seemingly indestructible vigilantes. Trouble is, no one believes her, least of all her colleagues at the station. “I think you found Superman,” mocks one reporter. Risking her career and her life, she follows the story only to discover the vigilantes are actually sewer dwelling super turtles fighting against the evil Shredder and his Foot Gang minions. As strange as the story is, she soon discovers she may have a personal connection to these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

When people say they hate CGI movies “TMNT” is the kind of movie they’re referring to. A microcosm of what’s wrong with summer spectaculars, it’s a soulless exercise in generation X brand nostalgia that creates an elaborate backstory—one that throws away the original origin story—as an excuse for the TMNT to spout one liners.

But no matter how quippy Leonardo (voice of Johnny Knoxville), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Raphael (Alan Ritchson) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) may be, it’s near impossible to get on side with this noisy, cluttered movie because it’s simply a frantically shot—director Jonathan Liebesman never met a zoom or dolly shot he didn’t love—collection of pixels with very little organic matter on display—other than Megan Fox’s teen dream face; all pouty lips and tousled hair—and when everything is fake, nothing feels real or emotionally connected.

Perhaps I’m overthinking a movie about Ninja turtles, but the film wants you to underthink and that’s the problem. Unlike “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which mixed humor, action and self-awareness, “TMNT” feels more like an exercise in brand revitalization than a movie.