Opinion Avengers NOW! - Featured

Avengers NOW!: Are More New Books on the Way?

When Marvel recently announced their latest promotional onslaught revolving around everything Avengers NOW!, most of the buzz surrounded the big changes coming to Captain America and Thor, with most of the push, seemingly, put behind a few new series and a lot of current ones. A closer look at the released teaser image for Marvel’s new branding shows-off a lot of good, a lot of potential, and maybe even a bit of mystery.

The Big Three

If you haven’t heard the biggest Big Threenews from Avengers NOW! you’ve been living in a cave somewhere and I have to wonder how you get internet down there. A yet to be named woman will be taking on the mantle of Thor; Steve Roger’s longtime partner and friend will be taking on the mantle of Captain America; and Iron Man is becoming a Superior version of himself, which means more Stark exceptionalism and arrogance. Longtime Thor writer Jason Aaron, and longtime Captain America writer Rick Remender will be continuing their runs on these titles respectively, and the Iron Man title will be scribed by Tom Taylor. Look for these in October and November.

Already Announced Titles

Winter SoldierBoth Winter Soldier and Deathlok have been getting plenty of fan service lately thanks to movies and TV shows, and it’s already been announced that Marvel will be releasing new titles starring these fan-favorites. Ales Kot writing Winter Soldier is great and all; he knows what he’s doing and his work on books like Zero and Secret Avengers shows he can write a spy story; but Marco Rudy’s art on this book is going to be a thing of legend.

The new Deathlok book by Nathan DethlokEdmondson promises “Manchurian candidate meets Robocop”, and that’s weird enough to work. The writer’s recent work on both Black Widow and The Punisher, two very different characters, shows he’s got the range to pull off a complicated character like Deathlok. Mike Perkins art is perfect for this book, and it will be really interesting to see which new direction they decide to take a character that is way overdue for a facelift. Look for these, also, in October.

The Ongoing Titles

Inhumans1 Now, this is where it gets tricky. We don’t know for sure if the characters in the Avengers NOW! image are in there because of these titles, but I’m guessing it’s a pretty safe bet that is the case. First we have a couple of Inhumans, namely the queen herself Medusa, and the newest of the brood to hatch from Terrigenesis, Inferno. Spinning out of Infinity, an event that seems like ancient history at this point, Inhuman has been dragging quite a bit due to creator hurdles, but Charles Soule is still cranking this book out, and it’s been wonderful. Inhumans2The new characters being showcased give the book a real 80′s-90′s X-Men feel, but the whole Royal Family aspect of the Inhumans makes it different enough to not be old and tired. The big delay may be hurting this title quite a bit, and maybe it got lost in the mix along the way, but knowing Marvel, the schedule for this title will be back on track, as new artist and Young Gun Ryan Stegman takes over, and they are still throwing promotion at it. It’ll probably be on a solid release schedule by say…October :)

Also seen in the Avengers NOW! image is the Scarlett WitchScarlet Witch, and while this character will also surely see some buzz when a certain blockbuster sequel debuts next year, the one and only Wanda Maximoff can currently be seen within the pages of Rick Remender’s quite different and quite good Uncanny Avengers, and, according to the solicits, will be a fairly big part of Marvel’s upcoming Axis event, also scribed by Remender. Coincidentally, but not really, Axis #1 is due out in October, with a slew of tie-ins ranging from the obvious Uncanny Avengers, the companion series Axis Revolutions, and the downright weird Axis: Carnage and Axis: Hobgoblin. All due out in October.

The Mystery

So this explains away a lot of the Avengers NOW! image, but there’s some standout characters missing. Warning: There may be some Original Sin spoilers ahead, but here it goes.

AngelaFirst off we have Angela, Spawn character turned legal and bonafide Marvel mainstay, may have been introduced in The Guardians of the Galaxy book, but she’s making herself a name as Thor’s little (big?) sister in the pages of Original Sin 5.-something. There’s a 10th Realm, Odin got busy (we all knew he was a player!), and Thor’s got another sibling. While the Asgard family tree and The World Tree are growing, is the Original Sin tie-in the all of Angela’s role in the Marvel U from now on? I seriously doubt it.

Another character lacking a specific reason for showing up in Avengers NOW! promos has become so recently badass he needs no reason. Anyone who hasn’t been reading New Avenger in all it’s crazy, confusing, multiverse destroying, Justice League ripping-off, awesomeness, Doc Strangemay have missed the part where Doctor Strange became a demon-eating, planet-saving wizard on the level of He Who Must Not Be Named. It’s still all sort of confusing (Isn’t that always the way with magic?) but it’s needless to say that if anyone deserves his own title it’s Doc Strange. Of course, this could all just be alluding to the New Avengers book proper, and Doc Strange may be reduced to the team player he’s been for years. But heed my words, Marvel editors: Do not piss this (dark) mage off! Do the right thing, give the Sorcerer Supreme an ongoing.

Finally, and most compelling to me, is the appearance of Ant-Man. Good old Scott Lang hasn’t had a book in…well, since before he was dead I think, and here’s another character with a film on the Marvel Ant-ManMovie Universe horizon that should be getting some comic book play. If you’ve been reading Original Sin you know that Ant-Man has been selected as one of the finalist of Nick Fury’s personal reality show, with the winner getting what sounds like the coolest and scariest job in the Marvel U. So why the hell not? While Doc Strange is also one of Nicks finalist, I just don’t see Stephen pulling off that kind of job, but Scott Lang’s got the chops to do just about anything. And I know regular OG contributor JulesTrue would be the happiest fanboy in the multiverse if Ant-Man got an ongoing, so I can’t help but root for it to happen.

The Verdict

Am I a soothsayer? No. Am I in cahoots with Marvel editorial? Don’t I wish. Do I have a crystal ball? No, but my lvl 13 Wizard had one. I can’t be for sure about any of these guesses, but I can tell you that they are educated guesses. I’ve studied Marvel promotional techniques just for fun, Avengers NOW! is very reminiscent of previous promotions for Autumn lineups, and, wouldn’t you know it, San Diego Comic Con International is just around the corner. Wouldn’t that be a great place to reveal some more new comic news? I think so.

Rant Lay Off the Mouse - Featured

Rant: Isn’t It Time to Lay Off the Mouse?

It’s nearly impossible to enter into a conversation about Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Animation, or even sports without at least touching on the Walt Disney Company in one way or another. Despite Marvel, Star Wars, Animation, and sports not only maintaining the popularity they’ve always had but seeing tremendous success after the House of Mouse got their grubby little gloved hands elbow deep into these properties, there’s still a whole lot of hatred around the internet pushed towards Disney. And I just don’t get it. Sure there’s always a bit of trepidation whenever there’s a huge entertainment conglomerate laying down big bucks to buy an adored and, dare I say, sacred property, but how long into this new ownership of the property do we have to wait to judge an acquisition as successful? How long do we cling to that initial, knee-jerk reaction before the evidence leads us to a singular conclusion: Disney should buy all the things!

All the things

While buying “All the Things” is certainly a huge exaggeration, the human-trap run by a mouse has a pretty good track record as of late, and while I’ll try to keep this rant as far away from a history lesson as I can, I just can’t help but point out the amazing we’re getting from Disney, and I suggest we lay off the mouse a bit.

ESPN, ABC, and the Rest

Although it doesn’t feel that long ago at all, Disney bought the ESPN sports network, the venerable ABC, and a few other cable channels like History and A&E way back in 1990, but I think it’s still worth a mention here because it begins a trend of doing things a certain wayESPN Disney ABC for the company, and it’s exampled well in the small screen to this day. Disney purchased these television mainstays at the height of their success, with ESPN taking cable television by storm while changing professional sports and sports journalism in the process, and ABC’s lineup was running future classics like Who’s the Boss, Family Matters, and Full House. Although Disney was still clinging firmly to their already established family friendly leaning toward entertainment, they didn’t force sweeping changes to these successful brands either. And this hasn’t changed into the present-day, with ESPN growing into the World Wide Leader in Sports, adding the hugely lucrative NFL to their lineup, and Disney merely leeching off this success with cross promotions like ESPN weekends at theme parks, sports broadcasts on ABC and other networks, and new outlets to promote sports movies. ABC Broadcasting’s lineups have also become some of the most popular shows in TV, and despite some faltering in the 2000′s, shows like Once Upon a Time, Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, and the like have seen all sorts of success. But the 2000′s weren’t a complete loss as ABC Family saw a huge spike in viewership, and allowed Disney yet another outlet for new shows and ideas. Despite ABC and ESPN being annual Emmy regulars, it hasn’t been all rosy on TV, but you wouldn’t know it from the ratings.

Duck Dynasty LogoAlthough the Mouse only has a half stock in the networks, The History Channel and A&E are hit and miss for me, but you can’t deny the success. Between History’s Vikings, The Bible, and (personal fav of mine) Hatfields & McCoys, and A&E’s Bate’s Motel, Longmire, and the merchandise monstrosity Duck Dynasty, people are watching the hell out of these channels. I’m not sure what’s up with all the Nazi/Alien shows and the reality nonsense, but I’m supposed to be defending Disney in this rant, so I won’t mention those.

Animation

While animation has always been Disney’s bread and butter I’m not going to get into the whole Pixar acquisition, except to point out that Disney found success with Pixar when they DIDN’T screw with Pixar. When Disney let Pixar do what Pixar does best (make great movies with amazing animation) everyone came up winning. And Disney continues to let Pixar do exactly what they do, and they do it well. Pixar has 3 named projects due out by the end of 2016, and the hard line between studios continues to keep Pixar films the unique pieces of art they are. But Disney’s own animation studio hasn’t been dealing dirt.

While I’m quite partial to 2012′s Wreck-It Ralph, there is simply no Frozendenying the critical and popular success of last year’s Frozen, and both films showed there was no doubt that Disney’s refocus on animation was for real. The future only looks brighter, as Pixar’s Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and Finding Dory will drop right beside Disney animation’s Big Hero Six and Zootopia regularly throughout the next few years. It’s safe to say that Disney is nowhere near done making great animation, but, as a parent company to an animation studio with an equally high-profile, the Mouse isn’t tooling around and forcing any change to the successful Pixar formula.

Do you see the trend?

Marvel Comics

There was a audible Marvel Studios Logogasp heard around the geek community when Disney decided to buy Marvel Comics and all that that encompasses. I was one of those gaspers, and I was terribly worried that not only would my precious comic books take a hit in quality, but the foundation that the Marvel Movie Universe had built would come crashing down before it ever really got a chance to get off the ground. But instead I got absolutely no change at all to my comic books, and by the end of this month I will have seen a movie from Marvel with a Disney parent company that stars a talking raccoon and a tree. There’s simply no way anyone could argue the success of the Marvel movie Zoe-Saldana-Chris-Pratt-and-Dave-Bautista-in-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-2014-Movie-Image1franchise with hits like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, and the billion dollar blockbuster The Avengers, but it’s real easy to miss the overarching fact that Disney didn’t screw it up. They simply allowed Marvel Studios to do what they had been doing since Iron Man: making cool superhero movies.

Again, they didn’t get in the way of a child studio making movies that made them attractive to the parent company in the first place. And there is little worry that this will change with another piece of cheese the Mouse recently bought.

Star Wars

The gasping of the geekdom was almost as loud when this happened, but what was the alternative? Decades or never until another movie got made? Or worse, another Episode I?! But instead of this most popular license sitting on a shelf getting dusty next to turtlenecks, we’re actually getting another Star Wars film. Who knows, it could suck, the proof is always in the pudding, but at least we are getting SOMETHING! Something, as my grandma used to say, is always better than nothing. But there is absolutely no reason at all not to have high hopes. Although Disney is taking a more active role at the acquired LucasfilStar Wars 2m and ILM studios, the lessons they have learned, and the money they have made, from allowing the people who know what they are doing to do what they do should be applied to the Star Wars productions in the same way it’s been applied by the company with Pixar and Marvel studios. There’s just no reason to think the new batch of Star Wars flicks will be any worse than the last batch, or the first batch for that matter. All the pieces are in place for success, and the track record of the parent company, as I’ve just highlighted, is good.

But Still They Hate

Everyone seems to hate the big guy. I’m not sure if they actually hate agents-of-shield-logothe big guy, or if most of us are just inherently attracted to rooting for the little guy that the big guy MUST also be the bad guy, but it’s an absurdly illogical way of thinking. If you look at just the facts, the properties, and the way Disney has dealt with them, it may be time for the House of Mouse to make a few more additions to that castle. This “monstrosity” of a company, with all of their tentacles in everything, doesn’t seem to take much heat when the movie tentacle shakes nubs with the TV tentacle, giving us Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the upcoming Agent Carter and slew of Netflix shows. I barely scratched the surface of Marvel’s entire movie plans, the planned Star Wars TV shows and standalone films, The Muppets, Indiana Jones or any sort of video game, internet, and other interactive offshoots that have happened or could happen with Disney leading that charge. If you want to hate, hate that Disney hasn’t bought MORE properties.

Disney GhostbustersI bet we’d already have a new Ghostbusters movie if Disney bought the license. Would DC Comics films be just as well if not better received if Disney was doing the work WB is currently doing? Could a Halo film have already won a special effects Oscar if the Mouse was telling Master Chief and Cortana where to go? How many Lego Movies would we have if Mickey and the gang became Master Builders? Could a Starfox, Metroid, or Zelda movie be in my Blu-Ray collection if Mario wore a Mouse Ear hat?

While I’m almost certain that we’ll never know the answers to those questions, I DO have the answers to a few questions that worried many fans just a few years ago. And don’t worry, because the answer to those questions is an emphatic, “No, Disney won’t screw it up!” And they most certainly haven’t, so let’s just stop giving Mickey so much shit, and lay off the mouse already!

Professor Xavier - Featured

Mutant of the Moment: Professor X

Mutant Name: Professor XProfessor Xavier

Real Name: Charles Xavier

Notable Aliases: Onslaught, Founder, X, Warlord, Entity

First Appearance: The X-Men #1

Background: Professor Charles Xavier, a powerful mutant psychic, was the founder and headmaster of the Xavier School For Gifted Youngsters, a school for teaching young mutants how to control and use their mutant powers. The Xavier School, however, acted as a front for Professor X’s team of mutant superheroes known as The X-Men. As leader of the newly formed team, Professor X used his mutant abilities to keep the team in constant psychic contact with each other, making him an integral part of the X-Men from its initial stage. Over the years, Professor Xavier’s actions and motives branded him a savior, a pariah, a hero, and a villain, but he was always a father figure to many of the X-Men. When Cyclops and his Uncanny X-Men team were possessed by the cosmic Phoenix Force, Scott Summers, driven mad by the power of the Phoenix, killed his longtime friend Professor X, leading to Cyclops being the most wanted mutant terrorist in history.

Why He Matters Now: Despite being dead for months, Charles Xavier’s impact on the mutants or the Marvel Universe, and the Marvel Universe as a whole, are still being felt. The WWII villain the Red Skull absorbed a deceased Professor X’s brain in the pages of Rick Remender’s Uncanny Avengers, giving the villain the mutant’s powerful psychic abilities, the Red Skull is set to return as the main protagonist in Remender’s upcoming Axis event. While over in Brian Michael Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men #23, the impact of Original Sin are coming to haunt the X-Men when She-Hulk arrives at the Jean Grey School with the last will and testament of the dead headmaster. Even in death, Professor Xavier’s influence on the Marvel U is immense.

 

Google - Featured

Google, The European Commission, and the Sickening State of Free to Play

As you may or may not have heard by now, Google, at the behest of the European Commission, is no longer labeling games as free on its Google Play store in Europe if that game has in-app purchases. Google is also going to implement stricter authorization protocols on the in-app purchases to make sure children do not make purchases on accident. Oh my, someone is finally regulating this thing. Someone has finally started to pop the bubble of one of the most despicable cash grabs that I have ever seen from the gaming studios. Finally, a government is listening to its people and is trying to protect them from the incredibly shady business tactics of these game developers. The only problem is that this will never happen here in US. That is sad.

Free to Play games on paper do not sound like a bad idea. You download a game for free that you can play at anytime. These games can make money from little optional side purchases, but ideally one should not have to buy anything to actually play the game. This is where Free to Play goes wrong. I hate to beat on a dead horse, but when that horse is as bad as this one I just can’t help myself. Take Dungeon Keeper as my example. In this game, you are supposed to build this grand dungeon, just like the game of old with this name. Unfortunately, to do this you have to dig it out of the ground and that could take at the very least four hours, but most likely more. This is only for one square, mind you, not the whole dungeon. If you wanted to carve out the whole thing without paying, it would take weeks. Then it happens. The demon looking guy pops up and tells you all that work could go buy so much faster if you buy these gems…. with real money. Now we have slipped into a dangerous hole. As I said before, Free to Play should only make you buy things that are optional, like a character skin in League of Legends, but this little devil man wants me to spend money just to play the freaking game itself. It is a game that, might I just add, was labeled as free on the store. What kind of insanity is this? I should not have to pay just build a dungeon in a game about building dungeons. If I have to pay for that, then your game if not free. Oh sure, the download was free, but the actual game play is not. Talk about a cash grab. This instance isn’t even the most despicable thing about this type of game play.

The biggest issue I have is the fact that these game specifically target children more times than not. Yeah, I get that most video games as a whole target children anyways, but there is a difference between advertising something children want and tricking them to buy something in an impromptu text screen that just popped up on their parent’s phone. That’s right, kids are accidentally buying tons of things on these Free to Play games because things like the little devil guy from Dungeon Keeper keep popping up every five seconds harassing them, thus saddling their parents with massive bills. I would have payed the water bill, but little Billy accidentally bought 1000 donuts on the Simpsons game on my phone. Some people will argue that its not the developer’s fault that these kids are buying things and that people should be watching their kids, and that’s just crazy. Why should I have to watch my kid play a game to make sure he doesn’t buy anything when that game is labeled as free? I shouldn’t have to. Free is supposed to mean that it is free. If they are constantly harassed to buy things then it is not free. So why is it labeled free? Let me just bang my head against the wall a few times. Maybe then I will understand.

As I said before, It is great that regulation of this issue is occurring somewhere, but I don’t really see it ever happening here in the United States. Our government can’t even figure out the internet as a whole, not to mention specific issues that may occur on smart phones or Facebook.  Video games are typically only ever talked about when the next GTA comes out to “ruin the youth” as they say. So if they are going to do nothing about this practice then we should. You shouldn’t have to put up with these terrible business models and horrible games. You deserve a real experience, not the illusion of one that many of these games offer. Stand up and let the market push these games out of it. Stop downloading them and find something actually worth your time.  Of course, that’s not going to happen, though. We are content with the crap and there is always going to be a sucker willing to pay ten bucks so it doesn’t take four hours to dig a hole.

Geekstery - Featured

Geekstery

wpid-photogrid_1405808064198-1-1.jpgWelcome to the newest section of Outright Geekery, Geekstery (Geek·stir·e).  This is a fusion of all the geeky things we love and enjoy, colliding with history.  Let’s learn the origins of the interests we indulge in week after week from; video games, comic books, cartoons, table top/RPG/card gaming, and more.  I can guarantee you won’t be passing out due to boredom during these lectures, because this is the history class you’ve always wanted!wpid-mfw+in+history+class_6beb8b_4294343.gif.gif

Here at Outright Geekery we love and chat about everything this industry has to offer, but we predominately talk comics.  So lets begin our first lesson with a brief History of Comic Books.

Comic books in their infancy were no more than cartoon strips featured in local or national newspapers.  The material originally was predominately political in nature, but early on the publishers adopted a new strategy, targeting a younger audience, leaving adults to view these humorous strips as childish and juvenile.  The name “comic book” is actually derived from the fact that in the early stages of this medium they were known to be funny, humorous, or “comical” strips.  Leading the public to refer to them as comics.

175px-YellowKidThe Yellow Kid has been credited as being the first comic strip to become a household name.  This character was formally associated with a comic titled Hogans Alley, originally appearing in Truth Magazine in 1894, before finding a permanent home in the New York World in 1895.  Hogans Alley was brought to pages through the imagination of Richard Outcualt.  This strip was the L’il Rascals of its time, a group of children banding together conducting a racquet with their innocent antics.  Being unaware of their political standpoints, making it possible for an adult audience to relate, as well as children, much like Calvin and Hobs.  But the character in this comic that gained the most popularity was a young, big eared, bald boy, wearing a yellow night gown; The Yellow Kid.  This adoration landed the character a line of merchandise, including gum, toys, and cigarettes.  My, the times have changed…gum?  Outcault introduced the American public to a medium previously unknown, and it took.  From 1907-1930 we see comic strip characters sprout like weeds; Little Nemo in Slumberland, Mutt and Jeff, Krazy Kat, The Dingbat Family, Gasoline Alley, Little Orphan Annie, and Blondie.  

Out of this era came Rudolph Dirk’s The Katzenjammer Kids, making its debut in 1918 and still printing to this day, 113 years later!  Not only is this the longest running comic strip in history, it pioneered the idea of having a narrative, on-going series; continuity.

famousfunnies11933 is when we witness the first comic book.  Funnies on Parade was a collection of reprinted newspaper strips.  In that same year, they released another comic book containing 64 pages for 10 cents, Famous Funnies: A Carnival of Comics.  Can we please move away from the circus themed titles?  In May of 1934 Famous Funnies appeared on the newsstands for 10 cents an issue.  These four page comic books contained stories of Popeye, Dick Tracy, and The Shadow- great now I’m stuck in an old time radio voice.

New Fun comics ultimately changed the industry, in a monumental way.  Major Mark Wheeler-Nicholson- yes, that was his name - saw it as needless to pay the newspapers for the right to reprint their strips in his books.   He began printing the stories instantly to the pages of his title, bypassing the newspapers altogether.  New Fun comics would become the initial book to give start to an unknown publishing company going through its birth pangs; DC Comics.

jerry-siegel-and-joseph-shusterDC Comics would bring together the collaborative team of Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster.  Within the pages of New Fun comics #6 was their first creation, Dr. Occult.  But we all know they weren’t done just yet, and their greatest work was still to come, introducing the first superhuman the world has ever seen, Superman!  But it wouldn’t easy to deliver their idea to the population.  Their greatest obstacle?  They were they only ones who believed in this new breed of comic book character, making it difficult to find a publisher.

Follow and read more articles written by Mike Euliano at geeklash.wordpress.com

37 Movie Blitz - Featured

37 Movie Blitz: Day 20

Ahoy ahoy! Another post chugs into harbor and, while it is shorter than others, it still has some good stuff crammed into it. Just less of it.

This time.

Next one has more I promise. ;-)

Odd Thomas

Odd is a man who is gifted with being able to see the dead and has the compassion to help those still trapped on Earth to move on to the afterlife. When Odd notices increasing appearances of bodachs appearing in town, which usually show only in times of mass catastrophe, Odd searches for the source to avert disaster.

Bodach = evil spirit that kills and is attracted to carnage.
Bodach = evil spirit that kills and is attracted to carnage.

And director Stephen Sommers did a fine job bringing Dean Koontz titular character to the silver screen; even though I don’t recall ever seeing it play in our local megaplexes. I was hesitant to watch this because of Mr. Sommers, whom I am not a fan of his work, but was pleased it wasn’t as hokey (The Mummy) or outright putrid (Van Helsing); Odd Thomas was suspenseful at time, contained just the right amount of weird, and was surprisingly sincere and sweet through out.

Anton Yelchin as Odd and Addison Timlin as Stormy.
Anton Yelchin as Odd and Addison Timlin as Stormy.

That feat of sincerity stems from the cast that was assembled. I dig Anton Yelchin; the man can act and is enjoyable to watch on screen. While most remember him as Chekov in the modern Star Trek flicks I really became a fan for his portrayal of Charlie Brewster in the  Fright Night remake ( a favorite 80′s horror flick of mine). Ms. Timlin was just heart meltingly sweet as Odd’s girlfriend Stormy. Their relationship was the soul of this film and Odd needs her faith in him to tackle threat which is bigger than anything he dealt with before. But its not just 2 vs The World here; Police Chief Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe) believes in Odd and places his faith in this strange man with the strange power. Having the support of the police makes investigating a supernatural mystery much easier.

Speaking of The Mummy...its Arnold Vosloo!
Speaking of The Mummy…its Arnold Vosloo!

I expected very little going into this movie. I received a fun film that should have been given a wide theatrical release so more stories of Odd Thomas may have come into fruition. This belongs with Dylan Dog as a gem in the rough; a fun popcorn flick that is just weird enough and is fortunate enough to have other materials available to continue the story well after the film ends. Dylan Dog has its comics and Odd Thomas has scores of novels by Dean Koontz to draw from.

Patton Oswalt also makes a cameo.
Patton Oswalt also makes a cameo.

Odd Thomas is worth the Netflix streaming.

City of lost children

I’m going to cut to the chase here; this film put me to sleep.

Twice.

I dozed off 10 minutes into it and was woken by my wife around 45 minutes into the movie. I started to watch some more and then was back into slumberland, blissfully drooling on the throw pillow on the couch, and was woken up again by my wife as the credits finished.

I have no idea what's happening here.
I have no idea what’s happening here.

So I tried to watch this again the following day. Guess what?

Same result. I dozed off. Prior to this film only 2001: A Space Odyssey can consistently put me to sleep. I joking told my professor that 2001 is my cure for insomnia ( I am not lying and I still think its a great sci-fi film…in small doses). Now I can add The City of Lost Children to that list as an alternate choice.

Ron Perlman is ginger in the movie.
Ron Perlman is ginger in the movie.

I fear if I’m going to watch this movie to completion in one sitting I will need implement drastic actions to ensure success.

I'm not even joking. This will need to be done so I can finish this film.
I’m not even joking. This will need to be done so I can finish this film.

Just a scant few more posts to finish this off. One “film” gets a single post on its own. I’m even including direct quotes from my notes I took while watching it.

Next up: Frankenstein’s Army, Klown, and Troll Hunter

Ms Marvel 6 - Featured

Review: Ms Marvel #6


Title: Ms. Marvel #6
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Jacob Wyatt
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $2.99

In what was a pretty busy week of comics for me, one of the ones I was looking forward to the most was the latest issue of one of the breakout hits of the year, Ms. Marvel. Even beyond my normal interest in this book due to its quality, this particular issue marks some important milestones in the title’s young life: this is the first issue to go without the talents of artist Adrian Alphona, and depicts an important event in any young super hero’s life, the first super hero team up. How does it hold up? Fairly well, thankfully.

Throughout its first arc, this book distinguished itself with sincerity, a sense of fun, and a quirky charm. Before I picked up this issue, I was curious to see whether or not these things would be able to translate into a more “traditional” super hero story as Wolverine puts in a cameo. Any concerns I might have has were quickly put to rest, though, as Kamala’s personality continues to shine through. From her idle remarks about wanting theme music, to her fangirl reaction to meeting Wolverine, to her categorizing a mutant alligator as a Dungeon Boss, our protagonist continues to flourish under the guidance of writer G. Willow Wilson.

On the artistic side of things, Jacob Wilson steps up to the plate to take over for Alphona, and while he doesn’t have Alphona’s sprawling fluid art style which was perfectly suited for the character, he still does an impressive job. Wilson’s line work is noticeably cleaner, though also less stylized, and he does strong work depicting the bizarre subterranean scenes. One area that he does particularly well in is in capturing facial expressions, even those made by the half-cockatiel clone of Thomas Edison (it’s in there, just read it).

At the end of the day, this book continues to impress month after month. This issue marks an important checkpoint that has been passed, showing that the book can maintain its charm when interacting with the larger Marvel Universe, and also showing that it works well even without its inaugural creative team.  If you’re still on the fence, I highly recommend that you give it a try.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

Outright Geekery on Film - Featured

July Movie Preview part 2 – By Lawrence of America

Now that July is about half over it’s time to take a look at whats coming out in the last half of the month.

Opening July 18th

Sex Tape  – suggested tagline “Not since the Bare Naked Ladies music video DVD has there been a movie title that will piss off future porn bootleggers like this one.”

Jason Segel tends to be s funny guy in most thing he does.  If you liked him in “The Muppets” or “How I Met Your Mother”, it a safe bet you’ll like him in this too.  Don’t get me wrong Cameron Diaz can carry her own.  But, when it comes to comedy she is like salt.  Yes salt is great on french fry s but you probably don’t want it all by its self.

Planes: Fire and Rescue – suggested tagline “Because the even worst Disney movie needs a sequel.”

Hey new parents here is another thing for you to feed the electric babysitter (aka T.V.).  Hey movie fans here is another reason to wish Disney would of never bought out Pixar.

The Purge: Anarchy – suggested tagline “Almost everything Beavis and Butthead could possibly want in a movie… almost”

With the first one grossing 10 fold plus of what it cost to make in it opening weekend of course they would do another one.  It just worries me how fast it came out.  If this one makes half the money the first one did expect a third next summer.

Wish I Was Here -  suggested tagline “hey look its the guy from scrubs”

How can you have a movie with J.D. without Turk?  Well you cant Donald Faison  is in the movie too.  Other notable faces you might recognize are: James Avery A.K.A. Uncle Phill from fresh prince,  Ashley Greene A.K.A. Alice Cullen from Twilight, Bob Clendenin A.K.A. Dr. Tom Gazelian from Cougar Tow and Mandy Patinkin.

opening July 25th

Hercules – suggested tagline “This time The Rock beats up on mythical beast!”

This movie will probably be ok if the effects are done right.  I doubt it will when any awards tho.

Lucy – suggested tagline “written & directed by the writer & director of The Fifth Element”

This movie looks good and has me hopeful.  Luc Besson has wrote and directed La Femme Nikita, The Mesanger: The Story of Joan of Arc, and The Transporter.   This is easly the movie I am the most exited for this month!

The Wicked and the Divine 2 - Featured

Review: The Wicked + The Divine #2


Title:
 The Wicked + The Divine #2
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.50

This week saw the release of the second issue of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s acclaimed new series, The Wicked + The Divine. With stand-out titles like Phonogram and Young Avengers on their resume, this creative team has an extremely impressive track record when writing young characters. And fortunately, this trend is continuing two issues into this latest project.

With Issue #1 introducing us to the Pantheon and their mythology, Issue #2 expands upon this central idea by introducing us to some new godlings as well as setting us on the trail of the enigmatic Ananke. Beyond this, this issue also provides us with a tighter focus on protagonist Laura’s goals and motivations, as she works to find other members of the Pantheon to free Lucifer from jail and become her demonic groupie. Yes, you read that correctly.

With this outlandish premise as our backdrop, Gillen and McKelvie deliver the type of fun, engaging story that they do so well. Gillen is able to provide us with the snappy dialogue and endearing characters that have become his trademark, infusing this cast of deities with very human quirks (as a personal aside, Lucifer continues to be my favorite). On the artistic side of things, McKelvie continues to shine, displaying a strong grasp on both the spectacular and the mundane, often quickly transitioning between the two. Perhaps the best example of this is Lucifer discusses her rebirth, which takes us from a backyard swing set to an infernal, surreal decent in an instant. McKelvie even shows an understanding of when to display a minimum of artwork, allowing Gillen’s words to pop on a plain black background as Laura descends into the earth to seek out the The Morrigan, creating a strong evocative mood of gathering darkness.

At the end of the day, though, what makes me fall in love with this book is the way that it throws in small details to enhance the vibe. I’m talking about things like the way Laura’s phone is cracked, and the way we see her thoughts displayed on the screen. It’s this attention to detail and clever usage of the page that make Gillen and McKelvie make such a great team, and thus make their collaborations a joy to read.

If you’re looking for a refreshing change of pace from your normal reads, a smartly-written book about young people, or just an all-around good comic book, you should really give this title a try.

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5

Robin Rises Omega - Featured

Review: Robin Rises Omega

Review: Robin Rises Omega

Written by Peter J. Tomasi

Art by Andy Kubert and Jonathan Glapion

Batman is dead set on reviving Damian and will do whatever it takes to do so, even if that means teaming up with Ra’s al Ghul to fight the hoards of Apokolips. This is a really action packed issue that does a really good job of filling the new readers in. Unfortunately, what helps the new readers may anger the old.

The Good

Tomasi obviously knew this would be a major jumping on point for a lot of people because the first seven pages of this book is nothing but a recap of Batman continuity from his time with Ra’s al Ghul in the desert to the present. This helped me out greatly because I haven’t been reading Batman and Robin since the beginning of the New 52. It told me everything I needed to know so I did not feel like I was missing anything when the actual action started. Glorious Godfrey and a host of parademons show up in this book which I personally enjoyed. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Darkseid be a real presence in the New 52, excluding his villain’s month issue. Hopefully we will get to see more of the big lug as this story progresses. Andy Kubert’s art is as you would expect from him. It is pretty good and has no real flaws to it. That said, I wasn’t wowed by it either.

The Bad

This book is five bucks. That right there is the biggest drawback. It has a ton of pages in it, though, so you would think it would be at least a little more worth the price. Unfortunately the first seven pages are nothing but a retelling of Batman continuity. Sure, it helped me a lot, but that is seven pages of what could have been new story that old readers are cheated out of.

The Verdict

If you can get past the steep admission price and the overtly long recap at the beginning, this is actually a pretty fun book. The is a lot of action, plenty of fun guest stars, and some decent writing. Plus there is Frankenstein. I can’t get enough of that guy.

Story: 4 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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