Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Dec 15 2014

Regret Nothing: Seconds is a Worthy Successor to Scott Pilgrim

Published by under Comics,Reviews

seconds

I could cry for the time I’ve wasted
But that’s a waste of time and tears.
And I know just what I’d change if went back in time somehow
But there’s nothing I can do about it now.”

-Willie Nelson

But what if there was, Willie? It’s been four long years without anything new to read from Bryan Lee O’Malley. This absence has been conspicuous because in that time, the film adaptation of his instant classic Scott Pilgrim series has become the epitome of the kind of awesome cult flick that geeks can still call their own. The dreaded mainstream has taken Marvel and DC’s heroes out of nerdville and made them into pop culture prom kings and queens, but we’ll always have Scott. Some things just weren’t meant for the mainstream.

Nonetheless, Scott Pilgrim was that rare work of art that perfectly melds self-aware pop counterculture sensibilities with deeper themes and metaphors that are somehow both extremely relatable and ingenious on a level that too few works are even willing to strive for these days. I’m still kicking myself for being stupid enough to put off reading it for as long as I did just because the drawings were cartoony (it took the film to convince me). Bryan Lee O’Malley is one of a kind and it’s about freakin’ time he gave us another helping. Seconds, if you will.

Seconds is that follow up four years in the making. No pressure, though. It’s only got to blow my mind, make me laugh, get me thinking deep philosophical thoughts about the nature of life, and make me feel deep human emotions from looking at little chibi people the way the once in a lifetime epic that preceded it did. Easy peasy. How do you follow up Scott Pilgrim? You give the reader something they would never have expected. Again. Continue Reading »

4 responses so far


Dec 12 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Cosmic Avengers

Published by under Movies,Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy Lineup small

In case it wasn’t obvious by now, I am a fierce fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the shared-continuity, meta-franchise that includes, among others, the Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Avengers films. Seeing as how I’ve already reviewed both Captain Americas and the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the weeks surrounding their DVD releases, it should really come as no surprise that I would do the same thing with Guardians of the Galaxy – the summer’s breakout hit that everybody, and nobody, saw coming.

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Dec 05 2014

The Days When Men Were Men and Santa Claus Conquered the Martians

Published by under Movies,Reviews

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians Poster

The perennial problem with Thanksgiving is the holiday’s utter lack of suitably themed holiday movies.  True, we have Trains, Planes and Automobiles, and then there’s Thankskilling, I guess.  Really, though, that’s it.  I’m so starved for seasonal films that I’ve taken to watching The Nightmare Before Christmas in November (since it’s not quite Halloween and not quite Christmas, but something in between).

Christmas, however, has the opposite problem.  There is an absolute glut of holiday films detailing every facet of the season.  The best of these are rewatched ad nauseum every year – Christmas Vacation, A Christmas StoryIt’s a Wonderful LifeMiracle on 34th Street, Home AloneThe Santa Clause - so much so that even lesser efforts (such as Elf and The Polar Express) are sought out to help mix up the holiday movie roster.  There is respite, however, for the listlessly unchanging Christmas movie lineup, since the holiday’s omnipresense in the film industry has lead to a series of truly bizarre, enigmatically entertaining and generally unwatched gems.  My favorite of these a-typical Christmas films is the timeless classic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

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One response so far


Nov 26 2014

Let’s Talk about Gotham’s Fall Finale Fail

Published by under Reviews,Television

Gotham

Ok, I need a show of hands here, who was unimpressed by Fox’s “Fall Send Off” for their popular upcoming show, Gotham? The show ended and the credits rolled with what I thought was next week’s upcoming episode but it wasn’t. No, come to find out, amidst the preview they make mention that the show will be returning in the winter where we will find Jim Gordon in his new surroundings at Arkham Asylum. What the hell!? I’m sorry but if this was supposed to be any kind of finale at all, it failed to give that impression.

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3 responses so far


Nov 26 2014

Sunset Overdrive Just Isn’t Good, Period

Published by under Reviews,Video Games

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My favorite games – Mass Effect, Uncharted, Hungry, Hungry Hippos – tend to have strong stories, lead by memorable characters (you go, Pink Hippo!). But I can appreciate and often enjoy the mindless action of a multiplayer shooter or a sports game, etc. So when Microsoft celebrated Xbox One’s first birthday with some giveaways, starting with their unforgivingly colorful Sunset Overdrive, I was thrilled. It was only free for 24 hours, but it was the full game, complete with achievements and carry over save points. So best cases, I love the game and finish it before time runs out, or love it and decide to go out and buy the disk. Worst case, it sucks, and I saved myself a £50 experimental purchase.

Unfortunately, I’m writing to you with a crinkled £50 still in my pocket, looking for something worth the investment.

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36 responses so far


Nov 24 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Movie Review

Published by under Movies,Reviews

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Part 1 of the series finale feels like nothing more than a lengthy lead in to what we all know will be a stunning conclusion to Katniss Everdeen’s story. I’ve read the books so this review will contain spoilers, little FYI for ya. If you’ve been watching each film not knowing what’s going to happen next and are in full appreciation of this, then perhaps you should skip out on my little review. What I don’t plan on doing is writing something that utilizes “big” words in order to illustrate an “educated” perspective on the source material or the movie itself. Nothing annoys me more than trying to read a movie review only to know if the movie is good or not while being bogged down with words that seemingly have no purpose. I will tell you that Mockingjay Part 1 is nothing more than ok and I would almost warn the Unrealtors that it’d be worth holding off on this one until Part 2 is set to release.

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2 responses so far


Nov 21 2014

Reviewing Foxcatcher Before it Comes Out

Published by under Movies,Reviews

Foxcatcher

It’s no secret that I was a fan of Foxcatcher after watching that first teaser trailer. (you’ll find me gushing about it here, here and oh here) Hailing it as my most anticipated movie of this year and giving it accolades like “Oscar winner” etc. was something that I had grown accustomed to and still hold firm on. It had a limited release on November 14th of this year but now for whatever reason they’re releasing the film as a “slow opener” across the US in January of 2015. They just want to see me squirm, I know it.

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Nov 20 2014

Is Constantine the Best Comic Show on Television?

Published by under Comics,Reviews,Television

constantine

Comic book culture is on a major roll these days with an almost constant stream of films and television series making household names out of their characters. But let’s forget about movies and just look at TV. We’ve got The Flash, Arrow, The Walking Dead, Agents of SHIELD, Gotham, and no less than five new Marvel shows upcoming as Netflix originals. And that’s just live action series.

All of the shows I mentioned get discussed in an almost water cooler fashion amongst both nerds and mainstream viewers, but you know what? I’d take Constantine over all of them. It’s got the mythos, it’s got the source material, it’s got the perfect lead, it’s got a great mix of humor and grittiness, and it’s arguably got more potential at this point than every other comic-based show on the air. It was put together by David Goyer, the co-architect of the Dark Knight and Blade trilogies. That’s got to count for something (or at least 2/3 of something). Plus Neil Marshall directed the pilot. The talent is there. Continue Reading »

10 responses so far


Nov 18 2014

Why the Ending of Fury Works… but Not in the Way You Might Expect

Published by under Movies,Reviews

furysteadies

A couple weeks ago, Devin Faraci of Badass Digest wrote up a piece that delved into the problems filmgoers might find in the climactic sequences of recent war movie Fury. He’s not the only one to make mention of the issues; the premise in this piece is that the first two-thirds of Fury are basically so brilliant that they make up for a third act that turns into a typical Hollywood cheese-n-action climax. He’s not entirely wrong, either. The climax of Fury definitely has that Hollywood vibe to it, and in some ways it is a tangent from the approach the movie opens with.

But is it a problem? That I’m not so sure about. The more I think on the ending of Fury, the more I think its shortcomings and incongruities are actually their own little avenues into a different discussion of what the movie is doing.

So here’s my take.

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One response so far


Nov 12 2014

Five Reasons Everyone Seems to Love Snowpiercer

Published by under Movies,Reviews

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If this were a mere review, I would not bother to go through the pains and suspense of giving you my final verdict. “Go and watch Snowpiercer” would be my inevitable conclusion. Seriously, go watch it. It’s on Netflix so you have no excuse.

Instead, I will attempt to explain exactly why so many people seem to be going gaga over this film. Sure, there have been some dissenting opinions, but for the vast majority of movie goers who love a good popcorn flick, Snowpiercer has hit a certain sweet spot. Here is why… Continue Reading »

5 responses so far


Nov 11 2014

Interstellar: A Nolan-Sized Mess

Published by under Movies,Reviews

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The cast and crew’s names went across the screen in as I coaxed circulation back into my lower body. The ringing in my ears (it was a very enthusiastic IMAX setup) subsided. Only one thought passed through my mind: Nolan has done it again. Depending on who you talk to, that could mean a variety of things. It could mean that he’s made a powerful, issue-driven blockbuster. It could mean that he’s made the flat-out biggest movie of the year. It could mean that he’s blown your mind for the sixth time.

Or, if you’re the writer of this article, it could mean that he’s taken another step along a path that’s starting to look like a bit of a downward spiral.

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12 responses so far


Nov 05 2014

Should You Be Watching Bob’s Burgers Instead of Family Guy?

Published by under Reviews,Television

Bobs Burgers

The first time I watched Bob’s Burgers, my girlfriend convinced me to do it. I did NOT understand the appeal; it just seemed like a bunch of fart jokes (not that those can’t be funny….). I thought it was just some show only fringy art kids liked. However, she, being my lady and all, convinced me that there is more to it than toilet humor…..so I gave it another shot. Within watching two episodes I was completely hooked. This show is hilarious, and its’ fans are rabid.

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4 responses so far


Nov 04 2014

Why Nightcrawler Is One of the Best Movies of the Year

Published by under Movies,Reviews

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I’m kind of a sucker for journalism movies. Stuff like Good Night and Good Luck, or Capote, or the arguably-best-ever The Insider. From the brief trailer glimpses and review snippets, Nightcrawler looked to cover the dark side of modern TV journalism, with Jake Gyllenhaal as a creep who rushes from car crash to car crash to grab footage before the cops show up. It almost looked like a contemporary riff on Ace in the Hole or something. I had to check it out… and what I got was a bit of a surprise.

Not necessarily an unpleasant one, either. As a directorial debut, Nightcrawler‘s a revelation. As a satire, it’s a standout. As a journalism movie, it’s… well, it’s actually a bit misleading.

But that’s okay, because what Nightcrawler really is, is one of the best movies I’ve seen all year.
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4 responses so far


Oct 31 2014

Is Halloween The Best Horror Themed Franchise Ever?

Published by under Movies,Reviews

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It’s that time of the year again: when the days shrivel into dusk, the nights grow cold and the autumnal winds kick up gustfuls of carefully piled leaves.  It’s Halloween, when horror is at a premium and even God-fearing boys and girls bate the monsters in their closets to catch a glimpse of the grotesque.  In my house, there is only one tradition that matters.  Never mind the costumes, candy and haunted houses.  This night belongs to Michael Meyers, and I’m not talking about Rob Zombie’s tired retread of Carpenter’s masterpiece.  Halloween belongs to the original Boogeyman.

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2 responses so far


Oct 28 2014

Why the Star Wars Rebels Pilot is Basically a Swedish Fan Massage

Published by under Reviews,Television

firefly

Rightly or wrongly, I sorta feel a responsibility to weigh in on significant pieces of Star Wars news. Probably because my taste in those movies is all wrong but so, so right. Star Wars Rebels is kind of the big story happening between whatever crazy scoops people have landed on Episode VII. The story takes place between the Prequel and Original trilogies, following a group of characters on the fringes of the infant Galactic Empire. Superficially, its semi-well put-together, with a brisk approach to action and dialogue weighed down by animation that’s honestly just kinda fug.

But that’s not what bothers me. I can deal with (or at least ignore) mediocre Star Wars television. The real issue I take here is that the Rebels pilot is really just fan service — likable fan service, sure, but fanservice all the same. In fact, by the end of its pilot, REBELS has clearly established itself as the most fan-wanky piece of Star Wars cinematic history to date.

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4 responses so far


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