Monday, May 30, 2016

DC Universe: Rebirth #1

It always starts with the Flash. Since 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths every major DC Comics' reboot, realignment, restructuring, or rebirth (so to speak) can be tied back to the character who gave birth the the Silver Age of comics. This time it isn't Barry Allen at the center of events, but Wally West. Last seen five years ago, Wally returns to the DCU with a bang.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dark Passage

The weakest of the four movies starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Dark Passage is more memorable for its set-up than its film noir story. Bogart stars as wrongly-convicted murderer Vincent Parry who escapes prison in the opening scene. "Star" might be a bit of a stretch as Bogart isn't seen in the first third of the film, and when he does show up his face is under heavy bandages for another 10 minutes.

After his escape is helped by an unlikely source (Becall), Parry is directed to a plastic surgeon (Houseley Stevenson) who helps the supply the man on the run with a new face allowing the movie to move away from the first-person point-of-view of the first 40-minutes and allow Bogart to appear on-screen.

Over the remainder of the film Bogart and Becall's characters will grow closer while Parry uncovers the truth of the murders he is excused of and find some measure of justice and happiness. Re-released on Blu-ray and DVD, extras include a featurette on the film's history and the movie's trailer.

[Warner Archive Collection, Blu-ray $21.99 / DVD $19.97]

Friday, May 27, 2016

Captain America: Steve Rogers #1

Marvel's new Captain America series is getting press for one huge reveal, but we'll get to that in a second. For those who haven't been paying attention, Steve Rogers has spent the last several months rapidly aged to a senior citizen with the Falcon taking over the role of Captain America. With Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 Steve is back in action along with the Falcon (still also Captain America, but not in this comic), and a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents including Agent 13, Jack Flag, Free Spirit, and Rick Jones.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Other than the bizarre Burtonian designs of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) I remember almost nothing of 2010's Alice in Wonderland. Six years later Tim Burton reassembles the cast for a sequel one studio executive, and possibly some other people somewhere, thought would be a good idea. Six years from now I wonder if I will remember anything about this film.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse is a bloated film that wants more than anything to be epic in scale. Stuck with a ponderous first 45 minutes resetting up the world of the X-Men one decade after the events of X-Men: First Class (where apparently only some of our characters have actually aged) the movie has to spend far too much time catching us up on current events. With the script hamstrung by the need to properly introduce not only the movie's villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), which means flashbacks to ancient Egypt, but also several new characters who will make up both Apocalypse's Four Horseman (Olivia Munn, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp) and the new version of the X-Men (Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Lana Condor) it takes quite some time before director Bryan Singer's movie gets on track.