Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Movie Review: Sucker Punch

I have never been more prepared to hate a movie than I was for Zack Snyder’s (300, Watchmen) Sucker Punch. This picture really sums up my ire for the entire promotional compaign:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back Issue Alphabet: O is for The Omega Men (1983)

The Omega Men #1 (Roger Slifer, Keith Giffen, Mike De Carlo)

The cover is fairly overblown, and it didn’t give me high hopes for the content. I went into this book ready to tear into another self-important space opera, but darned if The Omega Men didn’t pull me in. It’s a Green Lantern/Teen Titans spin-off, but it’s spun so far off that you don’t require any knowledge of the crossover event that birthed it to enjoy the story.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mass Effect: Thoughts and Reflection

Warning: Mass Effect 2 spoilers all up in here!

On March 29th we get the (presumably) last bit of downloadable content for Mass Effect 2. In honour of that, I would like to add my voice to the millions of angry nerds on the Internet to decree what I would like to see happen in the last installment of the Mass Effect trilogy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back Issue Alphabet: N is for The New Teen Titans Vol 3 #20 (1983)

The New Teen Titans Vol 3 #20 (Marv Wolfman, George Pérez)

This is by far the most original cover that I’ve come across, not just in the line of writing “Back Issue Alphabet” but in my decade or so of reading comics. It’s eye catching, relevant to the events in the book, and made me curious as to what was inside.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

IDW's Dungeons & Dragons #1

Dungeons & Dragons #1 (John Rogers, Andrea Di Vito)

I had skipped this book when it first came out because a lot of sword and sorcery fantasy is, to be frank, pretty terrible. Too many writers craft stories about dungeons and dragons and leave out what makes tabletop RPGs so great in the first place: character interaction. The best thing about tabletop games is the zany back-and-forth between players. The fact that this book is an officially licenced tie-in to Hasbro’s Dungeons & Dragons game system made me leery, but as I was browsing at my comic book store I decided to give this book a chance. I’m glad I did. Very few comics have that particular combination of action, wit, and insanity that immediately hooks me on page 1. IDW’s D&D #1 managed to hook me instantly with this splash page:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie Review: Battle: Los Angeles

A note to all young men who watch this movie: If you join the Marines, you will not fight aliens in your backyard. You will go to Iraq where it is 120 Degrees Fahrenheit and you constantly hope that you don’t drive over an IED. The Marines in Battle: Los Angeles shout “Hoo-rah” a lot and kill lots of aliens, but the real military is hard work. Mostly.

Battle: Los Angeles gets into the action quickly and barely takes a moment to breathe throughout it’s two hour running time. Alien invasion flicks are nothing new, but this is the first film to really combine gritty urban warfare with an alien ground army. Think Black Hawk Down, but substitute Mogadishu with LA and Somalians with cyborg aliens. And bump it down to PG-13. It sounds crazy, it’s played completely straight, and it works.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Back Issue Alphabet: M is for Marvel Premiere #41 (1978)

Marvel Premiere #41: Seeker 3000 (Doug Moench, Tom Sutton)

At an unspecified time in the future, mankind has colonized our neighboring planets but has failed to “attain a safe warp drive and escape the solar-system.” This is a bummer, because the sun is about to “go nova” and mankind’s hope lies in the ship Seeker 3000 and a telepath who can generate warp fields. There is so much non-science in this book that it will burn the retinas of anyone possessing anything more than a high-school level understanding of physics.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Star Wars Comics: Old Republic and Lost Command

Both of these titles have been out for a few months, but my curiosity finally got the better of me, and since I began hosting a Star Wars: Saga Edition game, I figured I may be able to find some inspiration in them. 

Star Wars: The Old Republic #1: The Threat of Peace (Rob Chestney, Alex Sanchez, Michael Atiyeh)

Taking place after the events of the Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 games, The Old Republic is the era in which Bioware’s upcoming MMORPG is set in. The book was released to expand on the back story of the game and it smacks of product tie-in.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Movie Review: Rango

Rango is the story of a cosmopolitan chameleon (Jonny Depp) leading a life of bored contentment with his imaginary friends and independent theatre productions. During a cross country trip he is ejected from his owners’ car and sees this as an opportunity to redefine himself. After telling a few tall tales and accidentally killing a hawk, he takes the name “Rango” off a bottle of cactus juice and is made the sheriff of the town of Dirt, which is in the crippling grip of a water shortage.

Rango is a parody/homage to classic westerns like Magnificent Seven and The Man With No Name. It’s a bit slow in the first act, but overall the great performances and spectacular visuals make it an enjoyable and surprisingly edgy action/comedy/fantasy/western. It really does run the gamut. Rango is a lot more enjoyable when it goes for the visual and situation humor; there are a bunch of side jokes that are very hit or miss, and it’s the misses that stop Rango from being as good as it could have been.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back-Issue Alphabet: L is for Legends of the DC Universe #41

Legends of the DC Universe #41 Lessons in Time Part Two of Two (Todd Dezargo, Rich Faber, Drew Johnson)

I love this cover. I have no idea what’s supposed to be going on, but I love it. I’m guessing that The Atom teams up with a temporally displaced World War 2 velociraptor battalion. The cover was so radical that I bent the rules of Back-Issue Alphabet and checked the box I randomly pulled #41 out of for #40. It was right next to it, so I picked it up. It takes a bit out of the randomness of the Back Issue Alphabet project, but the way I see it is if a reader randomly took this book of the self in 2001, he would be smart enough to see “part one of two” on the cover and check if part one was on the shelf beside it, which is what I did. Because I’m smart enough. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Continuing Adventures of NBC’s “The Cape” - Razor

“Razer” is a lot more straightforward than the last two episodes. Gang warfare has escalated between Scales and Fleming, with a shootout taking place right in Trip and Dana’s neighborhood. Scales is trying to muscle in on Max’s territory, Trolley Park, by beating up Rollo and hiring a mysterious Australian bomber named Razer to flush Max out. Nobody in Scale’s gang had ever seen him face to face, so Faraday and the gang intercept Razer’s car, kidnap him, and replace him with Faraday. This means that half of the episode is Faraday undercover and speaking in a hilarious Australian accent.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Continuing Adventures of NBC’s “The Cape” - The Lich

So far, The Cape has been all over the place, quality wise. It’s run the gamut of “so bad it’s good” “so bad it’s embarrassing” while occasionally dipping into “legitimately entertaining.” I’m a bit behind on my The Cape watching, so today we’ll look at “The Lich” parts one and two, and tomorrow we’ll look at “Razer”

Part 1 begins with a tall, creepy man in a fedora spraying powder on a woman in a truck rental lot. After the credits, Rollo and Max find Faraday to ask him for his detective expertise. Janet, the woman from the rental place and an old friend of Rollo turned up dead, was buried, and her body was exhumed. Faraday inspects the grave and finds that she wasn’t exhumed, she clawed her way out. Zombies? Oh, I hope so.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Movie Review: Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

In honour of Canada’s newest national holiday, Justin Bieber’s Birthday, I decided to take in a documentary, specifically, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never - Director’s [Fan] Cut in 3D

Don't be fooled; Never Say Never is not a prequel to the 1983 James Bond film, Never Say Never Again. Rather, it's a documentary style look at the rise of teen-pop sensation Justin Bieber, with his sold-out Madison Square Garden performance as a backdrop for the story. However, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is not so much a documentary as it is a commercial for the Bieber Media Empire. But if Old Spice has taught us anything, it’s that commercials can be legitimately entertaining narratives.