This has been the summer of some very huge blockbusters, many of which were films with comic book origins. Who would have imagined that in 2008 we would see an Iron Man, Hulk and Batman movie all in the same summer.
Here, I break down for you what I think are the top 5 greatest comic book movie adaptations. Iâ€™m sure that some of you might argue that the Superman (1978) should have been on the list or that X2 should have made the cut. This is just one manâ€™s opinions.
1) The Dark Knight (2008)
If you didnâ€™t like this movie then you have to either be blind, deaf or both blind and deaf. The Dark Knight is now the movie that all other comic book movies will be compared to. Christopher Nolan was a brilliant choice for director, and the best choice to progress from the previously campier incarnations in the Batman franchise. But letâ€™s not kid ourselves here, Heath Ledger stole the show and churned out the best performance. He was the Joker that we have been waiting for. Forget Jack Nicholson, Jackâ€™s Joker has got nothing on Heathâ€™s Joker.
2) Iron Man (2008)
If not for The Dark Knight, Iron Man would have gone down as the best summer 2008 movie. It was everything a comic book movie should be, action packed and filled with smart humor. Robert Downey Jr. portrayed billionaire arms dealer and playboy, Tony Stark, to the tee. Having fought his own demons in real life, Downey was a sure bet for the role. He brought a level of authenticity to the character that I donâ€™t think audiences have seen before in a comic book film.
3) Sin City (2005)
Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City not only broke tradition by having duel directors but by being the first comic book movie (or simply movie for that matter) in recent memory to be shown [mostly] in black and white. Casting was another strong point for Sin City, Bruce Willis as Hartigan made complete sense and having Mickey Rourke as Marv was equivalent to the comic character stepping right out of the pages of the comic book. Much like 300, Sin City stuck to its comic book origins and looked and felt like the graphic novel it was based on.
4) 300 (2006)
More so than any other comic book film, 300 has to be considered the one that stayed most true to its comic origins. Iâ€™d say using the actual graphic novel as the storyboards worked out just fine. By filming entirely in green screen, the filmmakers were able to create sceneries that were epic and grandeouos in scale. Extra kudos to the cast for killing themselves in order to achieve the 300 look and feel.
5) Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 2 is in my opinion the best out of the three films in the Spider-Man franchise. Sam Raimi mixed in the right amount of humor to compliment the web-slinging action. The scene where Peter sings-a-long to Singing In The Rain was such a scene stealer. Doc Ock made for a fantastic villain, and one that the audience could actually sort of feel for. I did not really care for Willem Dafoe but Alfred Molina made for the perfect Otto Octavious.Â
How does your top 5 looks?
Thereâ€™s a new hot (or should I say cold) spot in Manoa and itâ€™s called Yogurtland. Located at the former Volcano Joeâ€™s location, Yogurtland has been attracting a lot of buzz as of late from Manoa residents. A mainland chain, Yogurtland serves up the decadent desert by the ounce (32 cents per ounce). You can expect to spend a little over three bucks for a nice serving of yogurt along with a bunch of toppings.
There are tons of flavors to choose from, including classics like strawberry, vanilla and chocolate as well as more exotic flavors like pistachio, mango, taro, green tea and New York cheesecake. There is also a mix of tart flavors and no sugar flavors. Flavors rotate so donâ€™t get too attached to any one flavor.
Walking into Yogurtland is like walking right into a Crayola Crayon box, you know, the one with over a hundred different colors. From the colorful seating to the well-dressed walls, Yogurtland is one colorful experience. The wide selection of toppings add to the color flair at Yogurtland. There are dozens of different toppings to choose from, including the basics like granola and almonds to fresh fruit and other sweet treats.Â
Iâ€™ve already been to Yogurtland at Manoa twice and have been more than satisfied on both occasions. This cheap desert can make for a great fruit and granola filled breakfast, fast lunch for the penny-pinching college student or the perfect desert after a night out. If youâ€™re looking for a nice escape from the boring TCBY fair, than definitely make the trip out to Manoa at serve yourself up some yummy yogurt.
1810 University Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96805
(808) 951-4444Â Â
Things have been going pretty well with the blog so far. I’ve been keeping up with content, something that I have never consistently done with previous blogs of yesteryear. The one thing that has been lacking, however, has been a proper logo! And finally, I have one! Thanks to a good buddy, who also happens to be a great designer! Tim (BunnyDojo.com) was able to come up with this splendid logo for the site. I told him a few of my interests and he pumped this bugger out like there was no tomorrow.
The logo features a brain because of my love for neuroscience and an elephant because, well, elephants are special to me (not because I am a conservative since in fact I am quite the liberal!). Anyhow, hope you guys like the logo and thanks again, Tim!Â
PS: Be sure to check out Tim’s site. If you need a design job done, he’s the man. He also has a slew of design samples that you can peruse. As an added bonus, he’s a ninja rabbit. How cool is that?
If youâ€™re looking for quality pizza in Hawaii then skip all of the chains like Papa Johnâ€™s, Dominos, Pizza Hut and even California Pizza Kitchen and instead opt for some great tasting, traditionally made pizza at Mamaâ€™s Island Pizza.
Mamaâ€™s Island Pizza has been serving the Kailua community since late 2005, and recently underwent management changes in early 2008. Even though thereâ€™s a new mama in town, the staff is still just as friendly and the pizza is the same cheesy and meaty goodness that customers have come to expect.
They offer seven types of Hawaii themed pizzaâ€™s, from the Kailua supreme with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, green peppers and sweet red onions to the Island Veggie Spectacular which is topped with a slew of top quality veggies. My favorite pizza has to be the Hey Brah Meat Delight, it is definitely the pizza for the meat lover in you. It comes with a colossal combination of Portuguese sausage, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, and meatballs. Another favorite of mine at Mamaâ€™s are the Midwestern style chicken wings.
One of the best things about Mamaâ€™s other than the great tasting and high quality pizza is that they accept competitorâ€™s coupons. If you bring in a coupon from Pizza Hut, Papa Johnâ€™s or any other pizza company then they give you a discount on your pizza order! The discount ranges depending on the size of pizza you are ordering, from three to five dollars.
Be sure to make the trip to Mamaâ€™s Island Pizza the next time you’re in Kailua town, youâ€™ll be greeted not only by friendly people but by the best pizza on the island.
Mamaâ€™s Island Pizza
108 Heikii Street, Suite 107 (Foodland Plaza)
Kailua, HI 96734
Noted Chef Nobu Matsuhisa recently opened his 15th restaurant at the Waikiki Parc Hotel this past year in Hawaii. Iâ€™ve been wanting to visit a Nobuâ€™s for over a year now, ever since I researched eateries for the east coast trip that I took last year.
Having wrapped up teaching my first course at UH, Michelle thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the milestone with dinner at Nobuâ€™s. Never one to turn down fine dining and fine company, I said yes.
After a little trouble locating the Waikiki Parc Hotel (Itâ€™s across the street of the Halekulani Resort) we finally found our way through the doors of this trendy new fine dining eatery. We had a 7:45 reservation and made it just in time. The restaurant was filled with a mixture of tourists and locals (okay, maybe more tourists than locals). The ambience was nice and the restaurant had a contemporary Japanese feel to it which is fitting since they do serve â€œnew style Japanese.â€ Once we checked in with the concierge, we were immediately seated. We sat in the couples section, meaning, all tables within our proximity were for seating for 2. The tables were parked closely to each other, especially the tables for 2, but I guess this goes with the Japanese experience. In Japan, everyone and everything is shoulder to shoulder! We could clearly hear the conversations of the couple seated to the right and left of us. The food more than made up for this slight annoyance.
Less than 5 minutes after being seated we were greeted by our very friendly and knowledgeable waiter. We decided on some edamame as a starter along with some spicy tuna, California rolls and a platter of oysters. For my entrÃ©e, I had the organic chicken with anticucho and teriyaki sauce (I couldnâ€™t decide on the anticucho or teriyaki so my waiter gave me both, score!). Michelle chose the tempura plate for her main entrÃ©e. Both of our entrÃ©es came with a hearty serving of miso soup, a bowl of rice (nice serving of rice but might not suffice those who are used to plate lunch portions) and tsukemono (vegetables such as daikon pickled Japanese style). Other vegetables that are traditionally pickled in the tsukemono style include umeboshi (ume plum), turnip, cucumber and cabbage. To supplement these wonderful delights, I ordered some Kirin Ichiban. I love Japanese beer!
Service was quick, our edamame arrived a few minutes after placing our order as did a surprise serving of greens with Matsuhisa dressing. Kitchen staff (and not our waiter) deliver the food, so you know that your food is served as soon as it is prepared. The edamame was served just the way I like it, slighted heated and with a dash of salt. Next came the miso soup and tsukemono. The miso soup was indeed tasty, and to my surprise was not flooded with green onions! Iâ€™m not the biggest pickled vegetable fan, but I did have a taste of the daikon, again, not the biggest fan. The oysters, oh the oysters. I love raw oysters, and these oysters were splendid.
Our appetizers shortly followed the miso soup and tsukemono. The California rolls were as good as any that I have tasted. Of course, it was far superior to Cal rolls served at Genki Sushi but on par with the cheaper Sushi Man (located on King Street). I didnâ€™t get a chance to taste the spicy tuna (raw fish is not a favorite of mines) but Michelle did say that it was tasty.
We were both stuffed by the time our entrÃ©es came out, but like the good eaters that we both are, we trucked on! The tempura plate was quite a large portion. It was filled with a variety of tempura items, from the large pieces of shrimp tempura to the crunchy asparagus and the always interesting lotus root. Finishing off the tempura plate was a challenge, albeit a tasty one! The organic chicken with anticucho sauce was such a delight! I love my chicken and the chicken at Nobuâ€™s did not disappoint. Again, the serving was plentiful. It was grilled to perfection. The jalapeno on the side was unnecessary for me.
No fine dining experience is complete without dessert. We sure did dessert! Rather than settling on one desert we haphazardly splurged on two delights, the milk chocolate â€œcremosoâ€ (based on the waiters recommendation) and a pistachio desert whose name evades me at the moment. The milk chocolate cremoso came with a lilikoi curd and gelee, Nobu cabernet caviar and peanut butter powder. The cremoso did not disappoint. The finely grated peanut butter powder was amazing when combined with the cremoso. If heaven exists, then they must serve Nobuâ€™s cremoso.
We left Nobuâ€™s both satisfied with the service and stuffed with the food. The restaurant validates so parking is free if you park in the hotel lot. No valet service at the Waikiki Parc, but thatâ€™s no biggie.
If youâ€™re interested in tasting great food in a nice ambience with good and fast service then definitely give Nobuâ€™s a try. And donâ€™t forget to ask for the cremoso when its time for desert.
2233 Helumoa Road
Honolulu, HI 96815