Film Review: Zulu (1964) starring Stanley Baker, Michael Caine

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Film: Zulu (1964)
Director: Cy Endfield

Producer: Stanley Baker, Cy Endfield

Starring: Stanley Baker, Michael Caine

Introduction: A dear friend of mine recommends past films to me that I should watch. He tends to pick older films that I might not have heard of or wouldn’t see hanging around the local big brand shops that sell movies. He lent me Zulu so I could see Michael Caine in his first big role, and I couldn’t say no! I remember my Father used to love this movie, so I felt a little sentimental watching it for the first time.

Quick Plot: The film follows the British Army’s 24th Regiment of Foot in 1879. During this time, there was a battle against the Zulus – where the British army gets defeated. This movie chronicles some of the events that happened.

Review: I wasn’t sure if or how I would like this film. I never enjoyed war films and it had always been hard getting into them. While watching this film, I did tend to lose a little focus, but that was because it wasn’t a genre I typically enjoy watching. I wanted to watch this movie to see Michael Caine in the beginning of his acting career, since I find him one of my favourite actors.

This film moves slowly, but it is filled with extravagant details and imagery. The Zulus walking through the fields of the dead bodies of the British soldiers and theĀ  waves of Zulus and soldiers attacking each other,

Overall, I found this film to be beautiful but slow. This film was definitely not a film made for me – I prefer fast moving, action packed and sometimes mysterious movies. This film was more a fictional documentary of the battle of the Zulus. But, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fantastic. It is definitely a movie I suggest to film goers. Seeing Michael Caine in his prime, the beautiful imagery, and the way the story was captured within this film is a real treat!

I give this film 85% out of 100%.

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Batman: The Killing Joke – Book Review

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Batman: The Killing Joke is an excellent graphic novel following two of comics leading stars: Batman and the Joker.

Introduction: I have always loved superheroes – Adam West’s Batman was a key staple of my childhood. Slowly as I got older and Marvel and DC were the beckoning lights at the movie theaters, I became totally obsessed with everything superheroes, super villains and comic books. I began collecting them, reading them, and trying to get my hands on every adaption possible. So, I decided to watch The Killing Joke animated movie. I was so enchanted and enthralled with the film that I had to see the famous comic/graphic novel it was based on. It was a short search – a local store had it in stock the first time I went to look for it, and the rest is history.

Review:

This comic is so simple in theory, but so complex in art. A joker origin (of sorts), a splash of James and Barbara Gordon, some tragic ultimatums, Batman, and beautiful art.

The introduction to the Joker’s “back story” is so interesting. The Joker has always been this mysterious character, and the reader is welcomed into one theory of how the joker came to be. But the joker says it himself – he prefers his past as multiple choice. So is anything he tells us actually true? That’s up to you to decide.

The Joker is cunning and intelligent, as well as insane and wild. The reader gets to see his thought pattern and how truly manipulative he is when he takes control of the plot and causes his destruction. But then, he makes it worse by not only physically torturing his victim, but try to mentally destroy him as well. How can someone be to cruel yet so smart? It’s an incredible reading experience for fans of the Joker.

The ending leaves viewers with many questions – one that we may never know the true answer to. This cliff hanger wasn’t as troubling as other cliffhangers have been for me in the past. It leaves it off at the perfect ending – the reader questioning the events that happened. This leaves the reader to interpret the ending in their own way. What truly happened and what are we to believe?

Brutal is one word to describe this novel – there are graphic scenes, ones that changed DC comics dramatically – and it’s not for the lighthearted.

Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It changed my views on the Joker and Batman, and I really appreciated the little splash of Barbara Gordon (one of my personal favourite characters DC has ever created).

For those who are fans of the film / want to watch The Killing Joke animated film: The plot is very similar, but there are a few changes. These changes don’t impact the end of the story, but it may change some of your personal feelings/understandings of the characters.

Five out of five stars.