The World’s End – Review Dec31

The World’s End – Review...

Just in time for New Year’s Eve, I watched The World’s End, the latest movie from Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright. Thankfully, I somehow managed to avoid the plot twist that the movie hinges upon. To protect anyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet and has also been lucky enough to not be spoiled, I won’t spoil it here in this review. The basic, pre-twist premise of The World’s End is that Simon Pegg’s character, Gary King, has a mission. He wants to reunite his high school friends to reenact their epic pub crawl through town from their teenage years, a pub crawl that they never technically finished. That night was the best night of Gary’s life. Gary, it should be pointed out, is that friend of yours from high school (or college) who never changed…and not necessarily in a good way. The eternal pan, Gary is now nearing middle age, but dressing exactly the same as he did in high school. He’s like a British Al Bundy, but instead of throwing four touchdowns in one game, Gary’s crowning achievement is that he almost drank at every bar in town one night. Gary’s friends have all moved on from their home town, and from Gary, but in a Machivellian scheme, Gary gets the gang back together. If Gary put the effort he put into organizing this pub crawl to making positive changes in his own life, he probably would be in a much better place. But that’s neither here nor there. I’m glad I watched The World’s End before the end of 2013, because this will definitely be in my Top 5 movies of the year. It is such a perfect mix of action and comedy. The special effects are great. ‘There was...

Justice League #26 On Sale Now at Barnes and Noble!...

I was in the TriBeCa Barnes and Noble last night and spotted Justice League #26 on the shelf. I was surprised that I missed it being released on Wednesday, and figured I’d buy it off Comixology when I returned home. But when I arrived home, I saw that the most recent issue available on Comixology was #25. Justice League #26 isn’t supposed to go on sale until this Tuesday, December 24 aka Christmas Eve. Comic book stores received their shipment of it, along with other comics, with last week’s books, and are embargoed from selling it until this Tuesday. Apparently, Barnes and Noble missed that memo, as it is not only the TriBeCa Barnes and Noble at 97 Warren St that is selling it, but also the Barnes and Noble at 106 Court St in Brooklyn. I couldn’t resist the appeal of reading a comic before its official release. Justice League #26 is a great comic, showing the origins of most of the Crime Syndicate. We get origins for Power Ring, Deathstorm, Johnny Quick and Atomica, a look into the mind of The Grid, more in the mystery about the Crime Syndicate’s hooded captive, and a new mystery involving Superwoman.  Ivan Reis’s art is gorgeous, as usual, though whoever inked the pages with the Outsider seems to given the Outsider a shave, as his mustache was nowhere to be found. If you’d like to read Justice League #26 before it’s official release date on Tuesday, you head to your local...

Battling Boy – Review...

For me, the telling sign of an excellent book is that as soon as I finish it, I immediately turn to page one and start all over again, because I just don’t want it to end. I didn’t want Battling Boy to end. It’s that good. And the second read-through was in some ways more enjoyable than the first read-through. The first thing I noticed about Battling Boy when reading it was how kinetic the art is. Paul Pope captures movement in Battling Boy like no other book on the market right now. This helps make Battling Boy work very well, because the story of Battling Boy is that of a 13 year old super-powered boy, who must leave the confines of his cool cosmic super-powered town to go prove himself in battle against monsters before returning home. Spoiler: Battling Boy doesn’t appear on page 1. But when he does appear, Pope mirrors the layout of the first page to introduce us to Battling Boy. I liked this technique a lot, as the mirrored panel layout immediately suggested that what we were seeing was an ordinary day in the life of Battling Boy. As Battling Boy and the reader would both find out, that day would be far from ordinary. I love how creative Paul Pope is with the superpowers he gives his characters. It’s not just the usual super-strength and flying. Sure, there is super-strength and flying, but it’s not just that. In one scene, Battling Boy gets the powers of a T-Rex because of the T-Rex image woven onto his shirt. He has a collection of similar shirts, all with different creatures on them. How cool is that? First Second, the publisher of Battling Boy, has already announced a prequel to Battling...

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Review Dec17

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Review...

As the release date for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire approached, I noticed I did not have any signs of having caught Catching Fire fever. I’d see the posters in the subway and on billboards around New York City, but they barely registered, which is weird, because out of the three Hunger Games books, Catching Fire is easily my favorite I think my lack of excitement can be blamed on two things, the first of which is the poster for Catching Fire. It just looks too much like it could be a poster for the first Hunger Games movie. It’s not just evocative of the first film, it looks like it could be a poster for either film. I get that there are a lot of similarities between the two movies, the biggest being that Katniss and Peeta head back into the Hunger Games arena, but modeling your poster to remind me exactly of a movie I already saw a couple of years ago? At least give me something new! Or else subconsciously I’m going to just think it’s the same movie I already saw. The other source of blame for my lack of excitement was the first Hunger Games movie itself. Don’t get me wrong; I liked the first Hunger Games movie. But it was good, not great, and definitely did not live up to the awesomeness of the book. I get that capturing the magic that made something awesome when you’re adapting it to another medium can be tricky, and changes have to be made. But if the posters for Catching Fire are making me think I’m watching Hunger Games a second time through, then the original Hunger Games movie had to have been amazing for me to get excited for the new...

Agents of SHIELD S1E10 “The Bridge” – Review...

The marketing push was in full force this week heading into Agents of SHIELD’s mid-season finale. The Agents of SHIELD Facebook, Twitter and TV commercials all announced that in this episode, “Everything comes together!” I think there was a conscious effort in the advertising to engage the fans who may have fallen off the bus and bring them back into the fold with this episode, The Bridge. Sorry Rob Liefeld fans. If you saw the title of the episode and thought X-Force side-character G.W. Bridge was making his Agents of SHIELD debut, you’d be disappointed. If the last episode you watched of Agents of SHIELD was The Girl in the Flower Dress, you could jump right in this episode without a problem. Well, you’d have one problem, which is missing the FitzSimmons awesomeness in F.Z.Z.T.  Not to mention seeing SHIELD deal with Dr. Janoch Pohaaa in The Well. The Bridge does bring everything together. Centipede? Yup. The girl in the flower dress? She’s here. The creepy dude stewing in prison? Him too. The Bridge also brought back Mike Peterson, the super strong freak of the week from the pilot. Mike is now working with SHIELD. Centipede is surprised to see that Extremis didn’t burn his system out and now wants Mike so that they can dissect him to reverse-engineer his powers stabilizing. Anyone else think that Mike Peterson is the Lando of Agents of SHIELD? He signs on to help Coulson’s team and then betrays them when the villain gains the upper hand. Coulson is Han Solo in this example. The helicopter is the carbon freezing chamber. Work with me here, people. Mike makes the complete Lando turn when he then tries to save the person he screwed over from the very same people he...

Director Jay Oliva Talks Justice League: War Dec02

Director Jay Oliva Talks Justice League: War...

In the third and final installment of my interviews with the crew from DC Animation at NYCC regarding the upcoming Justice League: War animated movie, I sat down with Director Jay Oliva. Jay is no stranger to directing animation, as he’s already directed Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and the excellent Batman: The Dark Knights Returns Parts 1 and 2, among other things. Jay explained what makes Justice League: War different from Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. “It’s much more ensemble than Flashpoint. In Flashpoint, Flash was clearly the main one.” Cyborg does have a major arc in Justice League: War though.  “In this one, Cyborg is the one the audience can empathize with more, because you see him as a regular guy, and then you see him become the hero he eventually does.” But from the sound of it, unlike in Flashpoint, the story will be more divided among the League members and not mainly focus on one hero. Jay explained, “(Cyborg) has more of an arc. Batman shows up and he’s Batman. There’s no Batman arc…He’s just Batman from beginning to end. He’s just a bad ass all the way through.” I asked Jay if Geoff Johns, the writer of the Justice League comic that Justice League: War is based on, was involved in the script at all. Unfortunately, Jay didn’t know how much involvement Johns had with the script. “When I start, it’s usually after the script has been written. Then I take over and try to do my adaptation of that,” Jay went on to elaborate. When you sit down with Jay, the first thing you’ll notice about him is that he very energetic. I think this comes from the huge level of enthusiasm he has for his work with Warner...

Agents of SHIELD – S1E9 – Repairs...

This week’s episode has an interesting title. Repairs. It wasn’t until the end of the episode, with May smiling in the cockpit, that the meaning behind the title became clear. Repairs didn’t refer to a what, but to a who. Melinda May is the resident BAMF of the Bus. We finally learn the meaning of her nickname, “The Cavalry,” in this episode. First FitzSimmons give Skye a bogus, over-the-top story as part of their pranks, but we later find out from Coulson that the true story is much darker. We also learn that before “The Calvary” incident, May was much more lighthearted, but changed and darkened a lot from that experience. It was nice to see May’s lighter side come out at the very end of Repairs. The B-story of FitzSimmons wanting to prank Skye was my favorite part of the episode. I liked that there were callbacks to their pranks, even after the shit hit the fan. Fitz’s scream when the mop fell out of the closet as the closet door opened was priceless, made even funnier by the fact that Fitz was the one who rigged the mop to fall. We get some follow-up on last week’s ending. Ward and May definitely slept together. May out-dudes Ward when she leaves the hotel room without him as he’s in mid-explanation about them staggering their exits so as not to arouse suspicion. I think we’re going to see an interesting triangle between May, Ward and Skye going forward. Skye and Ward definitely have chemistry. It  will be intriguing to see what Skye’s reaction will be when Ward and May are outed, and this being television, they will definitely be outed. I liked the two-part twist to this week’s threat. Not only was Hannah Hutchins...