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April 16th, 2010

Movie Review - Kick-Ass


Staring: Aaron Johnson, Garrett M Brown, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Chris D'Amico

Premise: David, a typical nerdy teenager, ponders why people don't actually try to be superheroes. Not able to see the downside, he decides to try to be one and his life is changed forever.

Review: ***WARNING*** This film is ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT FOR CHILDREN!! *** The R rating is well deserved and though the commercials paint the premise as somewhat light hearted, the subject matter digs deep enough and the violence escalats enough you should see the movie yourself before deciding if it's okay for kids younger than 16 or so.

I'm of two minds about this movie. I've been trying to hash this out in my head for a good half hour plus and I keep vacillating. So let's give it a shot.

For a good, ton of violence, bad guy stomping, comic book quoting movie - it's great! Any male geek and non-geek out there will love it. It has a lot of great lines, there's homage all over the place to comic books and superheroes and villains everywhere.

They don't hold back any punches in things dealing with teenage boys and what they think about and do. And the angst of trying to find your niche in life. Some of the situations are even comedic. But beneath the comedy they also broach deeper subjects.

Yet it is here that I think they failed. Even as they bring out the reasons why we as people do what we do and aren't dressing up in costumes or even putting ourselves in harm's way, they ignored others that directly relate to their subject.

SPOILER ALERT! Big Daddy has his reasons for doing as he has. That he would not hesitate to kill tainted and yet non-threatening people (or have his daughter do the same) was understandable. Yet the fact he crossed a line, not only killing killers but those who just happened to be associated with them, which made them not heroes but murderers was never broached. Kick-ass, as the comic book lover that he is, would have known this. It should have been a point the character should have at least thought of or commented on to us in his dialogues. But it was ignored just so more death could be had.

I'm probably making more out of it than I should, but it soured things for me. If you're going to make a movie about people being costumed heroes, who read about superheroes, you can't ignore this. Even the superheroes who cross the line and kill usually have problems murdering bystanders, regardless of who they're associating with. It was a subtle thing that for my years of comic book loving, I could not believe got overlooked or glossed over like it was. Again, it might just be me and a high moral horse. No one else in the group of us that went even mentioned it. Yet it screamed at me from the screen.

For a film trying to deal with costumed heroes in a realistic setting, they also stretched things quite a bit. To most, however, it probably won't make any difference.

I will say that the performances were pretty good all around, and I especially enjoyed Garrett Brown's performance as the evil mobster. Nicolas Cage was also a hoot. There were also a lot of unexpected turns, which was nice. The action scenes were pretty good, and though some with Hit Girl were way out there, there were still others with her that were definitely believable and very nicely done.

And Hit Girl, sorry, but if you're going to show me grenades and put them on, you really should use them! Two pin down sections could have been easily resolved if she'd used what she had! lol.

With a little more effort, Kick-ass could have really and truly kicked ass. Oh well...

So my advice, don't look too deep beneath the surface and just enjoy the ride. Will make for a better viewing.


Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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