Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Once Upon a Time in the West

Although I know many love it, I've never been a big fan of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In fact the only film I really enjoy out of the "Man with No Name" trilogy is the second film - For a Few Dollars More. For my money Sergio Leone's best western, and his best film, is Once Upon a Time in the West.

Co-written by Leone's longtime partner Sergio Donati, Once Upon a Time in the West is a love letter to the mythology of the Old West and more than thirty American Westerns Leone had deep affection (several of which are referenced throughout the film including High Noon, 3:10 to Yuma, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Iron Horse, and The Magnificent Seven).

The Mechanic

Remakes, Hollywood's second favorite shortcut (after sequels) for quickly churning out mediocre flicks. If I have seen the original 1972 film with Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent I don't remember it. And there's nothing in the remake that makes me think I've missed anything.

This version stars Jason Statham as hitman Arthur Bishop who takes on the son (Ben Foster) of a old friend (Donald Sutherland) he was forced to kill.

Comic Rack

It’s a new week so it must be time to talk about comics! Welcome to the RazorFine Comic Rack boys and girls. Pull up a bean bag and take a seat at feet of the master as we offer you this quick list of all kinds of comic book goodness set to hit comic shops and bookstores this week from all your favorite publishers including DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, BOOM!, Dynamite, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes Batman Beyond, Betty, Fear Itself, G.I. JOE, Herc, Hulk, The Intrepids, Moon Knight, Queen Sonja, Secret Six, Wonder Woman, X-Men, the first issues of 50 Girls 50, Comeback Kings, Fear Itself: The Deep, Flashpoint: Abin Sur The Green Lantern, Flashpoint: Secret Seven, Hellboy: The Fury, Minx, Reed Gunther, Shinku, and the final issues of B.P.R.D.: The Dead Remembered, Doctor Who Classics: The Seventh Doctor, Halcyon, Turf, Weird Worlds, Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever, and Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants.

Enjoy issue #130

Monday, May 30, 2011

Spider-Man Hates Mayonnaise


I knew there was a reason I loved Spidey!

Memorial Day Top Ten Macho Man Moments


The Macho Man is gone, but he's left us quite a few memories. The Macho Man Randy Savage passed away a little over a week ago, but we'll take today's holiday to look back and remember the Top Ten Greatest Moments of his wrestling career. Think your favorite made list? Take a look and find out!

OH YEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAH!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beware My Power, Green Lantern's Light!

Sometimes it's really, really good to be a critic.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2

Three years ago DreamWorks Animation put out a little film called Kung Fu Panda about a Panda with a destiny to learn Kung Fu and save his village from a shadowy warrior. It turned out to be one of my favorite films of 2008. While it might not be as good as the original (a film which I love to no end), the sequel brings plenty of awesome back to the screen.

Kung Fu Panda 2 fills in Po's (Jack Black) back story as an attack on his village will lead him on a quest to discover where he comes from. Also back for the sequel are Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and the Furious Five: Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Crane (David Cross), and Viper (Lucy Liu).

The Hangover Part II

Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Doug (Justin Bartha) and Stu (Ed Helms) are reunited in Thailand for Stu's wedding to his new bride (Jamie Chung) in this sequel to the surprise box office hit of 2009. Once again things get crazy and a forgotten night leads to a blurry-eyed morning in a hotel room and the search for a lost member of the Wolfpack, this time the bride's 16 year-old brother (Mason Lee).

Like most sequels, this one is far too similar to the original with almost the identical setup and resolution we got the first time around. But hey, this one has a monkey! Director Todd Phillips' logic is simple: If it worked once why not try it again? Not only do we get drugged-induced haziness but mistaken identity, kidnapping, and Stu's crying over an unexpected change to his appearance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Batman #710

For an issue that is jam-packed with important events and characters I'm not quite sure how this issue of Batman is such a trainwreck. Two-Face returns to Gotham, but he's not the only Dent who's got a role to play.

We also get Batman (tiptoeing around like a ballet dancer on steroids thanks to Steve Scott's art) attempting to deal with Kitrina Falcone and hunt down a psychotic Two-Face who is even more lost than usual without his trademark coin.

And then there's the late reveal and final panel which returns Gilda Dent to Gotham as well, as the arm candy of Mario Falcone? Like everything else in this issue it takes a good idea and turns it into pure shock and filler without context or meaning.

I've read some bad Batman comics in my day, but this issue is such a clusterfuck it's baffling to behold. Here's hoping the title makes some swift changes and gets back on track as soon as possible. Pass.

[DC, $2.99]

G.I. JOE: Snake Eyes #1

Cobra Commander is dead, and he's not the only one. Six JOEs are dead as well. Each one was personally trained by Snake Eyes and the man responsible is holed-up at the top of a mountain. As COBRA scrambles to find a new leader, Snake Eyes will lead a team (including Agent Helix, Alpine, and Iceberg) up a mountain to find the secret Himalayan fortress of Rajah Vikrim Khallikhan.

There are some great action sequences on the side of the mountain as well as flashbacks to Snake Eyes' earlier attempts to track down Khallikhan - a man going to great links not to be found.

Robert Atkins knows how to draw Snake Eyes in both his silent somber and total kick-ass moments so well that I don't want to see anyone else's take on him for a long time. It's hard to get both right and Atkins seems to do it effortlessly here. He even looks cool in his semi-ridiculous Hoth gear. The story, from Chuck Dixon, ain't too shabby either. Must-read.

[IDW, $3.99]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Batman and Robin #23

Writer Judd Winick, who seems to be all over the DCU these days, takes over the writing duties with this issue. It's appropriate that Winick writes the return of Jason Todd story as it was his tale that brought the former Robin back from the dead and transformed him into a bloodthirsty anti-hero.

Sadly Winick is forced to deal with a Jason Todd that still has Grant Morrison's fingerprints all over him. We get the red hair (which I'm okay with) and, if the covers are to be believed, the return of the Captain Red Penis Head costume (which I'm not okay with).

The issue begins, after a quick recap of the character, with a conversation between Batman and his former sidekick. What works so well here is how Bruce honestly doesn't know how to communicate with someone who has gone so far off the path he laid out for him.

Star Wars: Jedi – The Dark Side #1

Fifty-three years before the Battle of Yavin, and twenty-one years before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the Jedi Council uncovers dark rumblings in the Outer Rim Territories.

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan Xantos (a noble of Telos IV) will be sent, along with Jedi Master Tahl and her padawan Orykan, to Xantos' home planet to stop a political assassination and a conspiracy which threatens the lives of everyone on the planet.

This new series from writer Scott Allie and artist Mahmud Asrar will focus on Qui-Gon Jinn's years working on the Outer Rim long before he would take on a padawan named Obi-Wan Kenobi. The first issue sets up the characters and situations which will play an integral part in the first five-issue story arc, but it doesn't do much more than that. I also found Asrar's art a bit sloppy in places. The close-ups of each character are very detailed and you can tell why he was chosen for the project, but the larger shots seem rushed and a little blurry. Hit-and-Miss.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Covert Affairs - The Complete First Season

Most people remember Piper Perabo for her starring role in 2000's Coyote Ugly, but my crush on her started with the first movie I saw her in where she played newbie FBI Agent Karen Sympathy. Covert Affairs is a return to form (of sorts) as Perabo stars as a young woman in her first days as an agent for the CIA.

The First Season follows Annie Walker (Perabo) going to work for the Domestic Protection Division of the CIA under the command of Joan Campbell (Kari Matchett), the wife of the Director of the National Clandestine Service (Peter Gallagher). Throughout the first season Annie will learn much about trust, spycraft, and the new shade of gray her life has become as she lies to her sister (Anne Dudek) about what her new job entails. She will also begin to unravel the mystery of a short-term love affair (Eion Bailey) from her past which has much more to do with the CIA than she could have possibly imagined.

Monday, May 23, 2011

“Green with Envy” Muppet trailer


The first trailer for The Muppets is finally out. Yeah, it's a little cheesy trying to disguise it as a romantic comedy, but it's the Muppets so I'm willing to forgive quite a bit. Aside from the wacky regulars (Kermit, Piggy, et al.) the film also stars Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Zach Galifianakis, Emily Blunt, Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Black, Rashida Jones, Ricky Gervais, and Selena Gomez. The craziness begins in theaters everywhere on Thanksgiving.

Power Girl #24

After two months of Power Girl fighting rampaging magical dinosaurs with Superman writer Judd Winick give us a much more personal story this time around. What would it be like if you had powers, but because of your ethnicity were afraid to use them? In a crisis, with no other choice you saved a plane full of people, only to be held responsible for the accident instead of being seen as a hero.

That's the crux of this issue's tale as an Arab-American is held for months without bail, trial, the right to an attorney, or any contact with the outside world. We're given the tale from Rayhan's point of view and watch as his patience and attempts to follow the rules only allow him to be painted the villain and given no real chance to prove his innocence.

The B-story of the issue deals with Power Girl ranting to Batman about the troubles with her new public identity of Karen Starr. Although not nearly as engaging, these scenes help lighten the mood a bit and continue to move that storyline forward. Must-read.

[DC, $2.99]

Real Steel trailer


What happens when you mix Hugh Jackman, boxing, a father/son tale, and Rock ''Em Sock 'Em Robots? You get something that looks a little like the trailer for Real Steel. Jackman stars as a title contender who loses his shot when robots replace humans in the ring. With the help of his son (Dakota Goyo) he gets a new shot by building his own fighting robot. The film is based on a short story by Richard Matheson and also stars Kevin DurandAnthony MackiePhil LaMarrHope Davis and Evangeline Lilly. The opening bell will ring when it hits theaters everywhere this October.

Comic Rack

It’s a new week so it must be time to talk about comics! Welcome to the RazorFine Comic Rack boys and girls. Pull up a bean bag and take a seat at feet of the master as we offer you this quick list of all kinds of comic book goodness set to hit comic shops and bookstores this week from all your favorite publishers including DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, BOOM!, Dynamite, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes Action Comics, American Vampire, Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America, Carbon Grey, Deadpool, Detective Comics, Gotham City Sirens, Green Lantern, Hellraiser, Mighty Sampson, The Mission, Secret Avengers, Skullkickers, Uncanny X-Men, the first issues of Charlaine Harris' Grave Sight, Cobra, DuckTales, and the final issues of Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine, inFamous, Onslaught Unleashed, Power Man and Iron Fist, Star Wars: Darth Vader and The Lost Command, and Star Wars: Legacy - War.

Enjoy issue #129

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wolvernine..


...only stabbed them a little.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Honestly, I don't know if Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is any better than the last two disappointing entries of the franchise or I simply don't have it in me to care about what happens to these characters anymore. Even though the film did its best to remove the only thing I really liked from Dead Man's Chest and World's End (namely Keira Knightley), this one is certainly no worse the wear.

The story opens with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), once again without a boat or crew, on the search for the Fountain of Youth. And he's not the only one. Others looking for the prize include the Spanish Armada, the British Navy under the command of Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), and the nefarious Blackbeard (Ian McShane).

What follows is a mismatched tale which is part treasure hunt and part wacky reunion as Jack is forced to confront his feelings for an old flame (Penélope Cruz) who just happens to be Blackbeard's daughter.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reason #47 Why I Love DS9 - The Road to Kal'Hyah

There are many reasons why I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and why it remains my favorite of the Star Trek franchise.

Reason #47: The Road to Kal'Hyah

Castle - Knockout


Every show has a turning point, the question is will this Third Season finale by Castle's? The escape from prison of a man (Max Martini) involved in the death of Beckett's mother sends the department into full-scale investigation mode, and Beckett (Stana Katic) over the edge. The result of which will reveal one member of the team knows far more about her mother's murder than he's ever let on, and, ultimately Castle's (Nathan Fillion) true feelings for his partner.

Scandal Savage...


...has been wanting to kill something all day

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Red Robin #23

A new mystery unfolds for Red Robin as attempts are made on the lives of both Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox (who is "killed"), as well as several other prominent figures including Dr. Light.

His search leads him to ask help from both Batman and Jim Gordon as well as spening a little kissy-face time in mid-air with Lynx. The assassin appears to be wearing the armor of Scarab, an assassin Red Robin knows all too well. Getting him released from prison so she could lead him to her secret cabal seemed like a good idea... but if the last panel is any indication it's going to cause far more trouble than he could have imagined.

It's nice to see another appearance by Lynx. I'd actually like more of her but Red Robin's life is chaotic enough just fitting her in for a couple of panels (like this one). The storyline begun here should give us quite a few action-packed issues as the league of Scarab (Scarab League?) sets their sights squarely on a single hero. Sadly, Tim loses a couple of cool points for only seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark three times? Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Amazing Spider-Man #660

As the Future Foundation battle the Sinister Six on pirate island (or whatever you want to call it) a little misdirection lets other members of the team sneak into the Baxter Building to steal one of Reed Richards' pet projects. I'm going to go out on a limb and say whatever use Doc Ock has for whatever he stole isn't going to be good for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Interesting moments (even if they are borrowed from a lackluster movie plot) as the FF find themselves shifting through each others powers (and Spidey gets a temporary makeover sure to give you nightmares). There's also a nice scene of the FF showing old Web-Head some love and positive reinforcement after the battle (which, as he says, he's unaccustomed to).

And, finally, the Carlie Cooper tattoo fiasco in a switcheroo that makes no sense whatsoever and yet is still better than what was shown in last issue with her brilliant idea of branding her body with the image of the man who threw Peter Parker's first love off a bridge. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger


The season finale of Season Four is unexpected, in more ways than one. Chuck (Zachary Levi) encounters more trouble than he bargained for in attempting to save Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) from the effects of the Norseman which are slowly killing her. To save her life he's going to have to risk everything, and, in true Bartowski fashion, he does.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fan Favorite Chuck and Sarah Moments


Chuck Season Four may be over but he will be back for Season Five. To help tide you over here are a few favorite Chuck and Sarah moments chosen by the fans.

Batgirl #21

Batgirl faces off with another Reaper as "The Lesson" continues. However, what's more important is what's happening with her supporting cast. Proxy is leaving Gotham for Nada Parbat directly on the heels of Oracle pulling back her involvement in "Team Batgirl."

One of the strengths of Bryan Q. Miller's run is the interpersonal relationships of Stephanie Brown with these characters. It seems the comic is moving into high-gear in putting Batgirl on her own island, but I've got to say I'm going to miss the interplay these other supporting figures provided. Maybe Miller could borrow the underutilized Lady Blackhawk from Gail Simone's Birds of Prey to help liven things back up? At least next month's team up with Squire should provide some fun.

The latest issue also shows us how far the new Grey Ghost is going to go in order to protect Batgirl, even if that means betraying her to her enemies. I'm sad that with everyone else leaving this is the character who seems to be sticking around, but we'll have to wait awhile to see how this storyline plays itself out. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

FF #3

The FF and Doctor Doom team up to take down not one, but four Reed Richards. And they're also enlisting the help of several of the Fantastic Four's old foes (including the High Evolutionary, Diablo, the Mad Thinker, and the Wizard) to help.

It seems Valeria made a bad mistake by releasing four Reed Richards from other worlds into our own. And these men haven't exactly been idle since entering our reality and they're more than willing to sacrifice our world for their own ends.

Even if this one is mostly backstory fill-in, it's a solid issue all around and includes some fun moments such as the various villains being summoned to the Baxter Building for an evening with Victor von Doom. Classic.

On the negative side, this is at least the third time I've seen the Watcher make an appearance in as many months. That's far too often, especially here when his appearance isn't warranted in this issue. Instead it's used to over-hype the events that may occur in the next few issues. I like the Watcher, but if he starts showing up for every calendar event the entire point of his character is made worthless. Just sayin'. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

No Strings Attached

The subject of friends with benefits usually makes for lackluster Hollywood scripts. No Strings Attached is no exception. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher star as acquaintances who meet occasionally over the years and eventually get together in as sex friends who "use each other for sex at all hours of the day and night." The story obviously wants us to root for these two wacky kids to get together in a real relationship, but gives us no real reason to do so.

There are also subplots about his career as a hopeful writer in show business and his father (Kevin Kline) dating his former girlfriend (Ophelia Lovibond), but neither of these amount to much. And, in true Apatowian homage (nicer than saying rip-off), we also get several scenes with and his friends (Jake M. JohnsonLudacris) and and her friends (Greta GerwigMindy Kaling) discussing relationships, sex, and menstruation with slightly inappropriate (but only occasionally funny) ways.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Flashpoint #1 (of 5)

Barry Allen wakes in his office in Central City only to realize it isn't his Central City. He's not the Flash, and the world around him isn't his own.

Alternate reality comics are a staple of the business (just ask the X-Men who have been doing this on a regular basis for decades now). They're also severally limited. Nothing that happens in this reality matters outside of it. And usually few, if any, characters remember the events which took place in the other reality.

As alternate stories go Flashpoint isn't awful. The first issue does a good job setting up the differences in the world. There is no Superman, no Justice League, Abin Sur never died bequething his ring to Hal Jordan, and Batman isn't the Wayne we know.

First new Fright Night trailer


Comic Rack

It’s a new week so it must be time to talk about comics! Welcome to the RazorFine Comic Rack boys and girls. Pull up a bean bag and take a seat at feet of the master as we offer you this quick list of all kinds of comic book goodness set to hit comic shops and bookstores this week from all your favorite publishers including DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, BOOM!, Dynamite, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Batman, Booster Gold, Darkwing Duck, Fables, Hellblazer, Jughead, Power Girl, Silver Surfer, The Spirit, Supergirl, Thunderbolts, Transformers, Witchblade, X-23, Young Justice, Zatanna, the first issues of Batman: Gates of Gotham, Drums, Rocketeer Adventures, Snake Eyes, Star Wars: Jedi - The Dark Side, Vampirella and The Scarlet Legion, and the final issues of The Darkness: Four Horsemen, Hawkeye: Blind Spot, and Transformers: Dark of The Moon - Foundation.

Enjoy issue #128

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Batman...

...doesn't like to share.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Everything Must Go

Will Ferrell) is having a really bad day. In the first few minutes of the film he loses his job, his wife locks him out of the house and leaves town (first throwing all his possessions on the front lawn), his car is repossessed, his bank accounts are locked out, and he falls off the wagon and begins drinking again.

Unable to deal with the situation Nick begins living on his front lawn, drinking all day long, and pretending to hold a yard sale to keep the police from arresting him. During his plummet to rock bottom he meets a new neighbor (Rebecca Hall), befriends a neighborhood kid with little direction (Christopher Jordan Wallace), and discovers a few tawdry secrets about his neighbors (Stephen Root, Rosalie Michaels).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sixkill

I've been reading Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels since I was in junior high. And I'm more than a little sad this is the last one I'll ever read. Although Ace Atkins has been hired by Parker's estate to continue the saga of these characters I've come to know and love over the years, this was the last original Spenser novel completed before the writer's death in 2010.

I was first introduced to the character of Spenser through the three seasons of Spenser: For Hire on ABC during the mid-to-late 80's. The show starred Robert Urich as the former boxer turned Boston private detective with a smart aleck wit and a code of ethics all his own.

A couple of years later my father introduced me to the novels the show was based on, and I was immediately hooked. Today my collection of Parker's books takes more than one full shelf of a bookcase.

New Cars 2 trailer


Disney and Pixar have released a new trailer for Cars 2 which hits theaters on June 24th. I've got to say there's way too much Mater in this new trailer for me, but the shots of the actual races look amazing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Doctor Who - The Curse of the Black Spot


Although the Sixth Series has had a few memorable moments (such as the appearance of Richard Nixon and The Doctor's new nickname for River Song), I've got to say it's been largely a disappointment. The foreshadowing of the Doctor's (Matt Smith) death and the malevolence of the Silence is the weakest intro to a season since the first two episodes that relaunched the series with Chrisopther Eccleston. I've been hoping things might pick up, but I'm afraid they're getting worse.

Glee - Prom Queen


I haven't written much about Glee this year. Part of that has to do with more contemporary song choices and part of it has to do with storylines I've felt have stalled as the show has struggled through something of a sophomore slump. That's not to say the season hasn't provided some good moments, both musical and dramatic. And what better way to kick both into high gear than with a prom episode?

Deadpool Annual #1

Deadpool, Spider-Man, and Bruce Banner are stuck in an alternate dimension. And, not surprisingly, it's all Deadpool's fault.

This issue picks up the threads left hanging from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38 and focuses primarily on Deadpool's discovery of a kindred spirit in Death Wish and his attempts to take down the world's premiere super-villain - Death Mask. (Think Deadpool, but more lucid, not quite so crazy, who grow up to become Doctor Doom.)

Alternate reality stories are a dime a dozen (just ask the X-Men who did this yet again just a few months ago). That said, this is an entraining enough story that doesn't force you to read the previous annual to know what's going on. There's plenty of Deadpool insanity, including an uncomfortable bonding moment between Spidey and Deadpool.

It's not for everyone, but Deadpool fans should get exactly (no more, no less) what they expect. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

The Intrepids #3

The series has given us killer cyber-bears and a trained battalion of baboons, but with the third issue The Intrepids starts to give us something new - a few answers.

We learn a little more about Dante, the inventor who over the years has taken in these four youngsters, genetically enhanced them, and forged them into his own team of operatives. There is some definite distrust among the ranks. The flashbacks we're given shine some light on Dante's past associations. It seems he has more than a passing knowledge of the mad scientists he sends his Intrepids to stop, and his motivations may not be as pure as he's let on.

Part Oliver Twist, part spy thriller, and with more than a little in common with Dark Horse's The Umbrella Academy, The Intrepids is a fun read with a little more going on under the surface than you first might assume.

The series does capture the feeling of family between the group members, although a uniquely dysfunctional one. With only three more issues left, I think I'll stick around to see how things turn out. Worth a look.

[Image, $2.99]

Chuck Versus the Last Details


Only days before their wedding Chuck (Zachary Levi) and (Yvonne Strahovski), with the help of Casey (Adam Baldwin), set out to save Chuck's mom (Linda Hamilton) from Vivian Volkoff (Lauren Cohan).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kung Fu Panda #1

Okay, let's get this out of the way first. I adored Kung Fu Panda. Those without my love the property might not enjoy this one as much as I did, but then again, if you didn't like the movie why would you be willing to shell out $4 for the comic?

With the film's sequel only a couple of week's away from hitting theaters Ape Entertainment has released a new four-issue mini-series centered around the adventures of Po and the Furious Five. I've never read a comic put out by Ape, but this one is worth a look.

Issue #1 finds Po and the Furious Five accidently locked in an impenetrable prison. It takes all of their combined skill to escape, with a little funny thrown in. The issue also includes a so-so back-up story involving Master Croc and his legendary victory over 173 assassins.

I enjoyed the issue which seems geared more to children and young adults, but I do have a bone to pick with the publisher for the $4 price-tag which makes it at least a dollar (if not two) too expensive for its main audience. Worth a look.

[Ape Entertainment, $3.95]

Moon Knight #1

Marc Spector has been around the Marvel Universe since 1975. As Moon Knight the former mercenary turned agent of vengeance turned super-hero has had (to put it kindly) limited success.

With the rejuvenated Moon Knight now part of the Secret Avengers the time seemed appropriate to get Moon Knight back into his own series. And who better to do so than Brian Michael Bendis? Although far from the unbelievable reinterpretation of the character Marvel's marketing department would have us believe, the first issue is solid.

Specter has relocated to Los Angeles (making him the West Coast Avenger?) and is using his past as the basis for the hottest action-adventure to hit television this week. He's also tasked with a new assignment by Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine - find out who's behind the rise in super-villain activity on the West Coast.

Blue Valentine

Some couples shouldn't stay together. That's the basic message behind Blue Valentine from writer/director Derek Cianfrance which stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams trapped in the painful end of a marriage which should have never happened.

Through flashbacks we're shown their shy beginnings and the events which rush the couple into an all-too-quick marriage. The effects of this are all to obvious on the current state of their relationship.

I liked the film enough to sneak it onto my Best Movies of 2010 list. Williams and Gosling carry the film with a pair of strong performances of two people going through the motions of a doomed love affair which should have ended years ago.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #5

"The Deadly Art of Science" comes to an explosive conclusion as Atomic Robo discovers Thomas Edison's secret lair and uncovers the truth behind his plans. Okay, so his basic method of "uncovering the truth" is to get captured and let the villain yammer on about his evil genius.

What Edison wants with the "skull in the box" (as Robo so eloquently puts it) along with the other machinery he's stolen is to tap into the Odic Force - the underlying energy of the universe. What does he hope to accomplish? Nothing short of immortality.

Thanks to a last-minute save by Nikola Tesla and some quick thinking by Robo, the group live to fight another day. We're also given a humorous epilogue in the form of a letter Jack Tarot sends to Robo in which he tries to come to terms with the recent events forced on him by this maddening robot.

From beginning to end this is the best series of so far of Atomic Robo and I'm going to be on the lookout for the trade paperback of the full series to add to my shelf. Definitely worth a look.

[Red 5, $3.50]

Columbiana trailer


Zoe Saldana stars as an assassin out to avenge the death of her parents in this new action thriller from director Olivier Megaton and writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken, Bandidas, and The Transporter series). Michael VartanCallum BlueCliff Curtis, and Jordi MollĂ  also star. Colombiana hits theaters everywhere on September 2nd.

Comic Rack


It’s a new week so it must be time to talk about comics! Welcome to the RazorFine Comic Rack boys and girls. Pull up a bean bag and take a seat at feet of the master as we offer you this quick list of all kinds of comic book goodness set to hit comic shops and bookstores this week from all your favorite publishers including DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, BOOM!, Dynamite, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes All-New Batman: Brave and the Bold, Amazing Spider-Man, Astonishing X-Men, Batgirl, Batman Incorporated, Birds of Prey, Carbon Grey, Emma, FF, Hack/Slash, Halycon, Journey Into Mystery, The Lone Ranger, New Avengers, Northlanders, PunisherMAX, Queen Sonja, Red Robin, Titans, X-Men, the first issues of 30 Days of Night: Night Again, Breed III, Flashpoint, G.I. JOE Vol. 2, Mega Man, Moriarty, Netherworld, Paparazzi, Total Recall, Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars, and the final issues of Daredevil: Reborn, and The Flash.

Enjoy issue #127

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Free Comic Book Day


That's right, it's the one day of the year when you can walk into a comic book shop and demand FREE COMICS! Enjoy!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thor

There are quite a few challenges and obstacles laid at the feet of Thor given its main character and choice for both leading man and director. Could Kenneth Branagh direct an action-heavy comic book film? Could Chris Hemsworth carry the movie? Would Thor look cool or ridiculous as a live-action character? Is there another important post-credit sequence? How large is Jeremy Renner's role in the film? Would the movie start out the summer season with a whimper or a bang?

We need not have worried. Yes, Hemsworth does a great job carrying the weight of the film. Yes, Branagh not only succeeds in the character-driven scenes but also with the film's not inconsiderable amount of both humor and action. Yes, Thor looks good. Even the character's more ridiculous features (such as spinning the hammer to create whirlwinds and tornadoes) come off as impressive and very, very cool.

Thor Video Review


After attending a screening of Thor on Tuesday with Aaron Weber from Dad's Big Plan we took the time to share out thoughts on the film with our pal Eric from Scene-Stealers and a couple of his contributors. Unedited, and more than a little low-tech, here's how it went down.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Castle - To Love and Die in L.A.


The murder of her former mentor (Jason Beghe) sends Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) to Los Angeles against orders on the trail of his killer (Dominic Purcell who you might recognize as the title character from John Doe or as Dracula in Blade: Trinity) and specialized bullets any hitman would be willing to kill for.

Chuck Versus Agent X


As Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah's (Yvonne Strahovski) wedding day grows closer the pair split up for the night to attend their respective bachelor and bachelorette parties. Chuck, Morgan (Joshua Gomez), Casey (Adam Baldwin), Awesome (Ryan McPartlin), Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence), Jeff (Scott Krinsky), and Lester (Vik Sahay) head out into the wildereness as Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) throws her sister-in-law-to-be a party of her own. Both celebrations are put on hold when it's discovered Vivian Volkoff (Lauren Cohan) has learned of the existence and location of Orion's (Scott Bakula) computer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Morning Glories #9

It appears the Morning Glories Academy can destroy the closest ties, even the bond between brothers. The latest issue of the mysterious institution for gifted youngsters born on the same day centers around Jun and his doppleganger who is revealed to be his twin brother Hisao.

Once again we see how far Miss Daramount will go to collect one of the children prized so highly by the academy. Hisao was taken years before on the day their parents were killed as his twin brother was left to burn alive. Well, that's only part of the story. The brothers actually switched places, altering both their destinies. The one we know as Jun is actually Hisao (and vice-versa). And why does one want to kill the other? Confused yet?

We're also given another appearance by the mysterious stranger who helped Jin escape the fire after the murder of his parents. As to what his agenda is in helping Jin take down the academy we're still not sure, but I'm willing to stick around to find out. Worth a look.

[Image, $2.99]

Amazing Spider-Man #659

Spidey and the Fantastic Four, sorry, I mean the Future Foundation, take on zombie pirates. Jenkies! And The Thing even gets into character by reprising his role as Blackbeard the Pirate.

The team returns to the site of their first ever battle with Doctor Doom, 300 years later, to discover the natives remember then well. Lots of fun here including Spider-Man saying booty at every opportunity (much to the chagrin of the Invisible Woman) and a nice twist as the real villains are finally revealed.

Meanwhile, back in New York, Carlie makes a decision that just might earn her the title of worst girlfriend ever by getting a tattoo of the Green Goblin to spite Peter for lying to her about his plans. So to teach him a lesson she permanently marks herself with the image of the man responsible for killing Peter Parker's first love. Yeah, that should go over real well. I think it's time to dump this chick Spidey and spend some more time with Ms. Marvel. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Night of the Batmen!


After being injured in an explosion Batman (Diedrich Bader) is and is no longer able to protect Gotham four of his closest pals each take it upon themselves to step in for the Dark Knight. And so Gotham goes from one Batman to four.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Brightest Day #24

DC Comics year-long maxi-series follow-up to Blackest Night has been a trainwreck, and that's putting it nicely. After 24 grueling issues Brightest Day has finally, and thankfully, come to an end. What was the point with bringing characters back from the dead, killing some of them off again, and generally writing bewildering stories about the restoration of the White Lantern that never went anywhere? Swamp Thing.

That's right, the entire point of the series, it seems, was to return Alec Holland to life and then merge him back into the Green to create a new Swamp Thing. Here's my question: Did we really need 24 issues of over-complicated nonsense to accomplish this? No, not really.

Those who kept reading this one every couple of weeks have stronger constitutions than I do. However you feel about it, Swamp Thing is back and it seems like the beginning of reincorporating Vertigo properties back into DC proper has officially begun, especially considering the tease of a certain Hellblazer we're given as well.

[DC, $4.99]