04-jan-2011 + restrepo + superman/batman apocalypse

Last night I dreamt that we were getting in to an SUV, it’s a black one this time, with a lot more gear on top.  Feels like we’re in the post apocalypse, the building we’re coming out of looks like a city hall, but we’re in the loading dock area.  Maybe not city hall, but a federal building or something like that, white walls with pillars and steps.  Looks like we’ve raided it for supplies and we’re loading back up to hit the road.  By we I mean the group that goes on the Osh Kosh road trips, but the SUV isn’t Chester’s green suburban, it’s a black one, like the one’s you see in movies.

At Rob’s recommendation I saw Restrepo.  It’s a documentary about Army troops in the Korangal Valley in Afghanistan.  Two reporters were embedded in with the 173rd Aiborne Brigade Combat Team, and they document a whole year with this unit.

Some may recognize the location of Korangal, Staff Sgt Salvator Giunta received the Medal of Honor last year for his actions in the valley in 2007.  The film documents events that took place during Rock Avalanche operation.

The good; the filmmakers are embedded, they’re there dodging the bullets right there with the soldiers.  The interviews are… rough?  Anything documentary dealing with a combat situation is tough for the interviewees.  The film really shows the difficulty in occupying enemy territory, especially a valley.

The bad; it’s a standard documentary, follows most of the conventions so there’s not too many negatives.

The story told in this film is great.  How do you fight an enemy when they could be walking down the street with you?  Or they could be your neighbor because you just killed their cow accidentally?  Restrepo is streaming on Netflix, check it out.

Superman/Batman Apocalypse is adapted from the second story arc in the Superman/Batman comic line.  It introduces Supergirl to the modern DC Universe.  No more is Supergirl this amorphus shapeshifting blob, she’s back to being Superman’s cousin from Krypton.  But they don’t only keep her to Superman’s cast, this new version written by Jeph Loeb opens her to the DC “Trinity,” Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.  This straight to DVD movie is that adaptation.

The good; the action is always great in this movies.  They have no lack of covering action well.  The character design for Kara/Supergirl is very much like Michael Turners art, it’s amazing how they captured her in moving pictures.

The bad; the story, as a comic, this is a great story, but in adapting it to the screen it loses something.  One example is the scene where Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman go to enlist the help of Big Barda.  That scene is not as all as great as it is in the comic book.  Superman and Wonder Woman talk Barda in to going to Apocalypse with them to help Supergirl, while this is going on, Batman casually walks in to the back room and brings out an apocalyptian duffle bag and just says something like, “mind if I take a few things?”  That great moment is vastly diminished in the movie.

Read the comics of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Superman/Batman: Supergirl, they are far more enjoyable and definitely page turners.  Hopefully the poor adaptations won’t deter new comers in to reading the source materials.

The only real reason to get this latest movie is for the Best Buy exclusive with the Superman figurine to go with the Batman figurine that came with Public Enemies, sadly Superman has eluded me… so far…

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