Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rookie Blue - Deception

When the suspected pedophile and kidnapper (Michael Cram) who an obsessed Cruz (Rachael Ancheril) has been threatening and stalking gets beaten up, Andy (Missy Peregrym) fears the worst, especially after the man's neighbor witnessed an altercation between the man and a woman matching Cruz's description the night before. Meanwhile Epstein (Gregory Smith), Gail (Charlotte Sullivan), Chloe (Priscilla Faia), and Nick (Peter Mooney) work around the clock on the final day of a drug sweep led by Nash (Enuka Okuma) and a missing Swarek (Ben Bass) who abandons his post and ropes Andy into helping hide evidence of Cruz's off-the-book investigation into Ford.

With Regards to Laura Marano

In the August issue of Regard Magazine actress Laura Marano discusses growing up in the theater, her role of Ally Dawson in Disney's Austin & Ally, her admiration for Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman, her active social media fan base, her love of the style of Mila Kunis and Keira Knightley, and her plans to start a music career and a philanthropic organization. You can find the pics from the photo shoot inside.

Six-Gun Gorilla #1

In a futuristic western adventure set during what appears to be the 22nd Century Civil War based on the struggle for limited natural resources, Six Gun Gorilla #1 isn't quite what I expected (especially from a comic with a gun-totting Gorilla on the cover from Boom Studios).

Although our cryptic title character is teased throughout the first issue in the distance, we only get our first good look at him in the comic's final pages to save the life of a soldier known as Blue-3425. This means the story we're given focuses on a bizarre group of kamikaze soldiers known as "Blues" whose dual purpose is to be cannon fodder for the real soldiers and record and transmit the images of the battle for those watching back home.

The comic is more dystopian and less whimsical than I expected from the title. The world writer Simon Spurrier and artist Jeff Stokely throw is into takes awhile to get used to (and I could have done without the number of oddball sci-fi terms thrown in). I'm not sure it's a comic that I'll stick with it, but it's certainly worth a look.

[Boom Studios, $3.99]

Friday, August 30, 2013

Scarlet Spider #21

Kaine returns from New York a broken man after his encounter with Doc Ock Spidey and the Jackal and the return of his degeneration scars that mean the clone's days are once again numbered. However, things really pick up when the frustrated Scarlet Spider is confronted by his namesake - the original Scarlet Spider who proceeds to kick our hero's ass.

Without giving too much away, despite Kaine's untrustworthy perception the clues to the identity of the other Scarlet Spider not being Ben Reilly are impossible to ignore well-before the character is unmasked. I'd have certainly preferred the return of Reilly in some form of another to the switch we get here, but the joy of getting two Scarlet Spiders in one issue helps mollify that disappointment (and the return of the Jackal's clones certainly doesn't rule out Reilly's return sometime in the future).

Most of the comic centers around the fight between the two heroes one clad in black and red and the other in crimson and his trademark blue hoodie, but we also see several of Kaine's friends being attacked as well as if someone is systematically hunting the former assassin and all who he loves down.

Perception - Warrior

Picking up from last week's cliffhanger, things get worse and worse for FBI Agent Kate Morrtti (Rachael Leigh Cook) as the facts don't match up to her story about why she shot a Congressman's son (Logan Bartholomew) in his own home. In fact Kate's story get so hard to believe even she begins to doubt the truth. After being charged with murder by the Assistant District Attorney (Kevin Weisman), Kate spends most of the episode in a courtroom or in sessions with an FBI mandated psychologist (CCH Pounder) leaving Daniel (Eric McCormack)  and Donnie (Scott Wolf), who quits his job as an ADA, to prove her innocence.


From the director of Dungeons & Dragons comes a convoluted chase film that makes the logic behind The Chase look sound by comparison. You know you're in trouble when you start a review with any variation of that sentence. To be fair to director Courtney Solomon, the many issues I have with Getaway have far more do with the troubled script by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker than the director's occasionally worthwhile attempts to make a story impossible to take seriously moderately engaging. (How's that for a ringing endorsement?)

We're thrown right into the overly complex plot as former professional driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) steals a suped-up Shelby Mustang Super Snake after thugs working for a nameless voice (Jon Voight) on the phone kidnap his wife (Rebecca Budig). The choice to jump right in and show the kidnapping in broken flashbacks (as if Magna is piecing together what happened from the evidence left behind) works well. The trouble, however, starts once he gets behind the wheel of the car and begins taking orders from his new boss.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Moonstone Ms. Marvel by Precious Cosplay

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #2

The second issue of the new comic based on the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon pits our foursome of amphibious ninjas against Snakeweed who has turned Manhattan into a jungle.

Although Snakeweed is far from my favorite TMNT villain, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #2 does provide some fun interactions between the characters: Michelangelo attacking a Central Park tree after mistaking it for Snakeweed, Leonardo's angry diatribe about the evils of nature when it ruins his sci-fi marathon (and another heroic call to action the earns Raphael's disapproval), and a courteous nod to the original cartoon as April O'Neil makes her first report for Channel 6 News.

Where I though the first issue did a terrific job of kicking off the new series, issue #2 is solid and enjoyable comic but it's certainly a (small) step down from issue #1 (although fans of Snakeweed may enjoy this one more than I did). Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Amanda Seyfried is Ellegant, Glamourous & Bazaar

This summer actress Amanda Seyfried has been seen all of the world as the cover model for French Glamour, Korean Harper's Bazaar, and the August issue of Elle here in the United States. You can find pics from all three photo shoots inside.

Pretty Little Liars - Now You See Me, Now You Don't

Pretty Little Liars' shocking summer finale begins with the Liars receiving gifts from A who threatens retaliation when Travis' (Luke Kleintank) eye-witness account forces the District Attorney to drop all charges against Hanna’s mother (Laura Leighton) and ends with one doozy of a reveal that should keep fans talking for months until the show's return on October 22nd. With the police now actively searching for Cece Drake (Vanessa Ray) as their new number one suspect in Wilden's murder, A declares Mona (Janel Parrish) to be her next target.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Covert Affairs - Crackity Jones

Annie (Piper Perabo) heads to France with Auggie's ex-wife Hanna (Michelle Ryan), who Auggie (Christopher Gorham) is surprised to learn has been working deep undercover for Arthur for seven years since faking her death, to recover the five missing stinger missiles from the Interpol agent (Carlos Leal) who appropriated them for Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin).

Supergirl #23

It isn't every month you get the death of a title character in her own book. Fighting Kryptonite poisoning, Cyborg Superman, and an entire legion of replicated heroes and villains created from her own memories (Superman, Superboy, Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Silver Banshee, Reign, Tycho, H'el, Appex) Supergirl battles valiantly until the end.

With the disillusion of Supergirl's physical form, used to purge the Kryptonite from her system and to create a new body for Cyborg Superman, we learn the identity of our villain (who sure isn't Hank Henshaw). The comic also gives us the arrival of the creature who created him as Brainiac arrives on I'noxia.

With the number of villains thrown at Kara the issue is filled with action but still packs an emotional punch with Kara facing both the mistakes of her past and her own mortality. Don't weep for our heroine quite yet as I'd be very surprised if Kara isn't back among the living and trashing Brianiac's ship before the end of the next issue. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

The Russian Allure of Irina Shayk

Model Irina Shayk heads home to be the cover model for the August issue of Russian GQ. In her interview the Russian model discuses her modeling career and her first acting role opposite The Rock in next year's Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Shayk is also the cover model for the September issue of Russian Allue You can find the pics from both photo shoots inside.

Nova #7

It's hard out there for a pimp, er.. new teenage super-hero. After saving the galaxy, Nova tries his hands at a little planet side heroics only to discover that 15 year-old with nearly unlimited cosmic powers isn't always all that helpful for the day-to-day troubles inside the Marvel Universe.

Sam's attempt to help in New York leads him to a confrontation with Doc Ock Spidey who puts the young hero in his place before sending him on his way. Nova is no more helpful in Los Angeles (where his big save disrupts an angered Joss Whedon's latest movie set), or in a host of other places before the young hero finally returns home and helps repair the damage caused in New Mexico from his recent fight with Titus.

Although our hero isn't able to get into much action, this issue is quite entertaining as Nova continues to struggle to grow into his role as a super-hero and try (and often fail) to learn the best way to use his powers to make a difference. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Longmire - Bad Medicine

Trouble comes in threes in the Second Season finale of Longmire as Walt (Robert Taylor) must deal with the accusations of Ed Gorski (Lee Tergesen) who holds the sheriff responsible for the injuries that put him in the hospital, Detective Fales (Charles S. Dutton) returns to the county with warrants looking to tie Walt and Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) to the murder in Denver, and Branch (Bailey Chase) brings Longmire in on an apparent suicide connected to Cady's (Cassidy Freeman) accident which, it turns out, may not have been so accidental.

Batman and Nightwing #23

Bruce Wayne's obsession about his son's death continues in this issue as Alfred reaches out to Nightwing when Batman becomes lost in a virtual recreation of events trying desperately to change the outcome and save his son's life. Although the structure of the story feels a little off, the emotion works well especially once Nightwing, and later Alfred, join in.

With Nightwing's help Batman is able to "save" Damian, but it's the advice Dick gives Bruce back in the real world that seems to finally start the healing process. And the comic's final few pages dealing with Alfred resetting the simulation shows us, and Batman, just how much grief the butler has been carrying around for allowing Damian out of the Batcave on that fateful night.

Although the final former side-kick issue is done, the comic will continue the Batman and... with villains such as Two-Face and Killer Croc leading into Batman and Carrie Kelly #25 which may, or may not, begin a new direction for the title. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Fables #132

The news that Rose Red plans to finally accept her destiny as the Paladin of Hope and reconstitute the Round Table spreads like wildfire around Fabletown, the farm, and the furthest reaches of every world where the message is spread. Taking a little time off from her new duty, Rose Red also confronts the still very much alive Prince Brandish with a machine gun leading to a discussion of just how the insane Fable would like to spend his immortality.

Although I'm still waiting to see Arthur and the old Knights of the Round Table (which we may have gotten a tease of here), the issue continues Red Rose's story and makes something unexpected out of the continued existence of Brandish (something I'm not really in favor of).

It will be interesting to see who signs up for the new Round Table as the story continues to unfold and who Red Rose may have to pressure in to joining their ranks (even Brandish?). The B-story of this issue continues the so-far-failed attempts to reconstruct and resurrect the shattered Bigby. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]


When two teenager boys in the Arkansas bayou discover a hermit named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) living in a boat stuck high in a tree after a recent flood it's an encounter that will forever change all three of their lives. As a coming of age story, at its best Mud reminds you of Great Expectations or To Kill A Mockingbird as Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) get drawn into Mud's world and learn hard lessons of life and love.

The themes of Mud keep recurring (perhaps a tad too neatly) as Mud's troubled relationship with his ex Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) is mirrored with Ellis' own early experiences with love and the impending divorce of his parents (Michael ShannonSarah Paulson) that threatens to destroy his home. Much of the plot deals with an old enemy (Joe Don Baker) of Mud out for revenge, but the real focus of the movie isn't on the tension-building search for convict but on how Ellis and Mud's experiences both change how they view the world and women.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Newsroom - Red Team III

The story The Newsroom has been building to all season finally hits the air as the News Night crew goes public with "Operation Genoa" to tremendous ratings only to come crashing down to earth as the glaring problems in the story soon become impossible to ignore. We also learn the name of the person suing ACN isn't someone connected with the story, someone damaged by its reporting, or the source (Stephen Root) taken out of context but Jerry Dantana (Hamish Linklater) whose case is that he alone was scapegoated (for doctoring the raw footage of their expert witness) but wasn't alone in the faulty reporting of the story.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Karai

Through Karai's visit to her old sensei in an attempt to work through her reduced role in the Foot Clan now that the Shredder has taken on the brainwashed Leonardo as his second-in-command we learn he history of Shredder's descendant, returning her family to the old ways of the Foot Clan, and studying to become the kind of ninja who could kill her father to take command of his empire.

The second-half of the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series one-shot focuses on a battle between Karai and Leonardo where the young ninja allows herself to be defeated only after coming to the understanding that the brainwashed Leo fights with neither the skill nor heart of the original (which makes sense, but seems to contradict the ass whoopin' he put on his brothers in the last issue of TMNT).

Although this isn't a series I plan to pick up every month, the last two issues have been strong focusing on Alopex and now Karai, two of the more intriguing characters of the Foot Clan. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Bounty Killers trailer

Okay this looks ridiculous and it has Gary Busey! In a near future controlled by corporations Matthew Marsden and Christian Pitre star as wanted Bounty Killers out to dispense a lot of violence and (maybe) a little justice. Kristanna Loken,  Beverly D'Angelo, EveAlexa VegaChasty Ballesteros, and Barak Hardley also star. Bounty Killers is headed straight to DVD on October 29th.

Daredevil #30

Matt Murdock's life gets even more complicated when former Assistant District Attorney Kristen McDuffie takes Foggy's place as his new law partner and Daredevil is approached by an alien seeking sanctuary while fleeing the wrath of the Silver Surfer.

Although the Surfer is a tad too emotional here, which can be explained by the Achian's powers of persuasion and distorting perception, I enjoyed writer Mark Waid's take on the character even if the issue falls back on the most basic of comic tropes: a misunderstanding to pit two heroes against each other.

Daredevil gets his chance to fly the Surfer's board and take down a cosmic bad guy, but in true Murdock fashion the comic ends on a downbeat as Murdock takes the lying alien's "truth" to heart.

In an age when nearly everything being written is planned in advance to put out in a single arc trade paperback one-shots like this are a dying breed. And that's too bad, because Waid and artist Chris Samnee prove how good such issues can be. Must-read.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Continuum - Second Last

Setting the stage for next week's Second Season finale things get much complicated for everyone involved as secrets are revealed, loyalties are questioned, and Kiera (Rachel Nichols) is framed by the Freelancers for the murder of Agent Gardiner (Nicholas Lea) . Of course Alec (Erik Knudsen) has his own problems as well when Travis (Roger R. Cross) breaks into the lab and forces the scientist to reactivate his CMR. With no place else safe, Alec and run to the only place safe Alec has left which also gives him the opportunity to confront the man he now knows for certain is his father.

Supergirl would like you to keep your voice down

Red Sonja #2

Red Sonja has returned to the lands where she was kept prisoner for months fighting to the death in gladiatorial combat to fight for the King who freed her and battle an old friend only to suffer the greatest defeat of the She-Devil with a Sword's life.

Although Sonja manages to fight Annisia, the only other survivor of their captivity, to a standstill, the kind is dead and her friend's broken mind (haunted by the ghosts of those they slaughtered) demands justice from Sonja, and surrender.

The comic's opening arc takes a dark turn as we learn Sonja has contracted plague from the very people she was trying to protect. As a bargain to keep the citizens quarantined, but living, Sonja surrenders her sword and agrees to banishment in the mountains of the north.

As I doubt Dynamite is willing to kill off the character, Sonja should survive her current situation but it will be interesting to see how long it keeps her in seclusion (the end of this arc or beyond?). Worth a look.

[Dynamite, $3.99]

Graceland - King's Castle

Suspicion continues to center around Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) as Charlie (Vanessa Ferlito) works with a Federale (Vincent Laresca) to try and find the mysterious Odin, and Mike (Aaron Tveit) learns his mentor is the leading suspect in the disappearance of Agent Badillo (Pedro Pascal). After checking out the hospital the still wounded Mike agrees to go undercover in prison to try and convince Bello (Gbenga Akinnagbe) to give up the identity of Odin, but that plan falls apart when Briggs makes sure Bello learns of Mike's true motives.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Burn Notice - Tipping Point

Learning of Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) and Sonia's (Alona Tal) new mission in Mexico with James (John Pyper-Ferguson), Agent Strong (Jack Coleman) plans an armed extraction in broad daylight to grab the evil mastermind using freelance mercenaries, but (as with nearly every aspect of Michael's undercover mission) things don't go quite according to plan especially once Michael discovers that Strong has hired Simon (Garret Dillahunt) as the leader of the team charged with bringing James in. With Sam (Bruce Campbell) and Jesse (Coby Bell) assisting Strong's team, it falls on Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) to stay behind and protect Maddie (Sharon Gless) if things go wrong and James discovers Michael has betrayed him.

Avril Lavigne - Rock N Roll

From her self-titled fifth album here is Avril Lavigne's comic-book-inspired music video for "Rock N Roll" featuring the 28 year-old singer dressed like Tank Girl fighting off a Bearshark and making out with actress Danica McKellar.

Rookie Blue - You Are Here

After shift Oliver (Matt Gordon), Swarek (Ben Bass), Epstein (Gregory Smith), and Diaz (Travis Milne) head out to Oliver's new cabin, leaving Andy (Missy Peregrym), Gail (Charlotte Sullivan), Nick (Peter Mooney), and Chloe (Priscilla Faia) to work a second shift and help Nash (Enuka Okuma) investigate a murder in a house used to grow an amazing amount of marijuana. The investigation runs into a few stumbling blocks including Steve Peck (Adam MacDonald) muscling in on the case and Gail getting exposed to some dangerous chemicals. However, Gail's increasingly loopy behavior (after being given Oxycontin in the ER) does finally give Andy the courage to admit to her relationship with Nick.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Perception - Wounded

Based on Daniel Pierce's (Eric McCormack) examination, Kate (Rachael Leigh Cook) convinces Donnie (Scott Wolf) to drop the charges of a over-sexed war hero with a dangerous neurological condition (Lindsay Pulsipher) who blew up a convenience store with a grenade for a pack of cigarettes. Things take a dark turn less than a week later when she's found covered in blood over the of a murdered body of a member of her Afghanistan platoon. In order to safe her life, and Donnie's reputation, Daniel and Kate set out to prove the young woman's innocence.

The Solid (But Far From Spectacular) Now

Adapted from Tim Tharp's novel of the same name by the writing team that gave us (500) Days of Summer and Pink Panther 2, The Spectacular Now is a movie of great moments than never really lives up to the promise of the edgy indie coming of age story it so desperately wants to be. Much like last year's The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which is a stronger film), the movie rides a group of strong performances to just the right notes at times, but too often it also absent-mindedly gets lost in the melody.

Our story centers around Sutter (Miles Teller), a popular 18 year-old alcholic who begins hanging out with the shy and awkward Aimee (Shailene Woodley, who even without makeup is far too pretty and outgoing for the role) while trying to get over being dumped by his longtime girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson). Despite the cliched pairing of the cool dude with the uncool mousey chick who his friends can't fathom why he would date (even though she's the cutest girl in the entire movie), the story eventually takes darker direction (although not nearly soon enough for my tastes).

The World's End

When writer/director Edgar Wright works with the combination of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost good, and often hilarious, things are bound to happen. Although it might not quite reach the levels of hilarity in either Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, The World's End doesn't disappoint in providing plenty of big laughs in a story about old friends, a robot invasion, and lots and lots of beer.

Pegg stars as Gary King, the former leader of a motley group who have all moved on with their lives. Unable or unwilling to grow up, Gary has been left behind by his former friends and is obsessed with a desire to recapture the glory days of their youth - especially a magical night where the five friends attempted, but failed, to complete the Golden Mile (drinking a pint of beer in all 12 pubs in their hometown of Newton Haven).

One by one Gary cajoles, lies, tempts, and pleads with his old friends (Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy ConsidineEddie Marsan) to join him for one more night of debauchery which is interrupted by old arguments and alien robot replicants.

Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine reminds me quite a lot of Celebrity, writer/director Woody Allen's 1998 trainwreck of a film casting another actor (Kenneth Branagh) in Allen's trademark role with mixed results. Allen's latest is noteworthy for the terrific performance of Cate Blanchett as the female version of Allen's hopelessly paranoid and neurotic character. Blanchett is amazing as Jasmine, but unlike Allen who was able to consistently charm his way through such portrayals, Jasmine's cynicism cuts like a knife forcing audiences to keep their distance and never embrace the character in the way the film needs to ultimately succeed. Blanchett might be terrific, but the script give us no reason to care about what happens to her.

Despite loosing her fortune and marriage due to her husband's (Alec Baldwin) shady business dealings and womanizing, it's impossible to see the self-obsessed Jasmine as anything approaching a legitimate victim. There's little reason to feel sorry for the oblivious and neurotic Jasmine, nor is there reason to hate or take joy in her fall from grace. All she can earn is our pity.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Black Bat by Tenleid

Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #1

In order to save the life of his daughter and unborn grandchild (who has inherited the super-powers of its father), Tom Strong will enlist the help Val Var Gram and travel to the alternate Earth known as Terra Obscura, the home of the magic elixir Aluson which can bestow temporary invulnerability and may be the only option to get his daughter safely through childbirth.

I was happily surprised to see a character like Tom Strong earn a new series from DC (as he certainly doesn't fit either the tone of the New 52 or Vertigo's usual fare). Originally created by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse, the character has been in limbo since even before DC ended their Wildstorm line.

The science hero raised in high-gravity chamber certainly embraces Silver Age comics (which are even directly referenced) in a style antithetical to DC's current gritty 90s reboot. I'm not sure how many issues we'll get out of this series (Vertigo currently lists solicitations for five issues), but I'll gladly take what I can get. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

Pretty Little Liars - Bring Down the Hoe

Before heading to the school's country-themed dance, Aria (Lucy Hale), Spencer (Troian Bellisario) , and Emily (Shay Mitchell) seize the opportunity to inspect the crawl space under Mrs. DiLaurentis' (Andrea Parker) house looking for any clues that could tie back to Cece Drake (Vanessa Ray). Although the threesome don't find what they are looking for, yet another attack by their mysterious enemy heightens tension and suspicions and forces Spencer to come clean about Toby (Keegan Allen) looking into his mother's death. Although her confession helps the Liars better understand their friend's recent erratic behavior, it also strains Spencer's relationship with Toby to the breaking point.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Covert Affairs - Space (I Believe In)

Needing to control the FBI's investigation into the murder of Seth Newman (Tim Griffin), Annie (Piper Perabo) is put on the case to try and hide her involvement in his murder and Joan‘s (Kari Matchett) cover-up of the crime from the distrusting Vincent Rossabi (Noam Jenkins). Annie is also tasked with trying to recover the missing flash drive which could prove Seth was sharing classified documents with Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin).

Star Wars #8

As Luke and Wedge put themselves in danger by allowing themselves to be taken prisoner aboard the Star Destroyer Devastator (before escaping to go in search of the Empire's spy inside the Rebel Alliance), Han and Chewie try to get themselves out of danger on Coruscant by separating and dealing with the pair of bounty hunters on their trail.

Aboard the Falcon, Chewie must deal with Bossk, while Han and the friendly local smuggler try to get the most out of their junk freighter and stay one step ahead of the deadliest bounty hunter in the galaxy - Boba Fett. Meanwhile Leia has snuck away from the fleet to fulfill her other objective and find a new home base for the Rebellion which takes her closest enough to stop at the ruins of Alderaan and make a surprising discovery of an old Clone War battleship hiding inside the asteroid field.

Star Wars #8 gives us separate stories involving all three of the big name characters as well offering readers appearances by Bossk, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader. Fans should feel right at home. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

It's Wednesday...

Yes Tom, we all do.

Longmire - A Good Death is Hard to Find

When a safety deposit box of a recently-deceased ward of the state is delivered to the police station with a severed finger inside, Longmire (Robert Taylor) and Branch (Bailey Chase) investigate the 20 year-old robbery involving the dead man and stolen dinosaur bones solved by Lucien Connally (Peter Weller) who paid the man a visit in prison one week before his death.

Uncanny X-Men #10

As the X-Men continue to train, and discover untapped potential among some of their younger recruits, Magneto sneaks off for a not-so-covert meeting with Maria Hill who is less than pleased at the X-Men, attacking S.H.I.E.L.D., stealing their prisoner, and disrupting the Helicarrier.

Forced into accepting Hill's new deal, which involves working with Dazzler (who only we know is really Mystique), Magneto continues to work both sides to his own advantage (a subplot I'm already getting tired of).

Action picks up with the X-Men make an impromptu appearance at a pro-mutant rally to promote a message of peace only to get attacked by the first of a new version of Sentinel bred for their destruction. The attack by the Sentinel, on the peaceful demonstration certainly makes me wonder just who is behind the new mutant killers and what their ultimate agenda really is. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Looking back at Sylvester Stallone's long (and checkered) film career it's hard not to argue that 1984's Rhinestone is perhaps the most ridiculous premise the actor ever signed-on for (which you consider movies like Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Lock-Up, and The Specialist is really saying something). Stallone stars as a New York cabbie who country star Jake Farris (Dolly Parton) bets her sleazy manager (Ron Leibman) she can turn into a country star in two weeks. If she wins Freddie agrees to cancel her contract, but if she looses she is looking at five more years working for the sleazeball on stage... and in his bedroom.

A basic fish-out-of-water story, Jake takes the musically inept Nick back home to Tennessee for a two-week crash course on country music where the two bicker and, you guessed it, eventually fall for each other. Writer Phil Alden Robinson would go on to pen Field of Dreams, Sneakers, and All of Me. Rhinestone is far from his best work but director Bob Clark does have the luxury of two charming stars to help sell the uninspired premise.

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey

In 2007, following the loss of Steve Augeri to a chronic throat infection, American rock band Journey was looking to put out an album and start a new tour without a lead singer. Scouring the Internet for a suitable replacement, Neal Schon happened upon a YouTube video that would help launch the band's most profitable tour in decade and discover a star halfway around the world.

Director Ramona S. Diaz's documentary follows the unlikely journey (pun intended) of unknown Filipino singer-songwriter Arnel Pineda who would rise from complete obscurity to become the new lead singer of Journey.

Filled with plenty of classic Journey songs which Pineda belts out well-enough to make Steve Perry proud, the documentary follows Pineda growing into his role as the band's frontman, going from star-struck fan to the man fans go crazy for, and opening up and entirely new audience with a huge influx in Filipino fans. Crazy enough for a movie script, the story happens to be true.

Worlds' Finest #15

When the Huntress is abducted by Desaad and his minions, Power Girl jumps through the Boom Tube to rescue her friend. Despite not being a big fan of Desaad, I really enjoyed this issue as it allowed writer Paul Levitz and yet another new artist Emanuela Lupacchino (who has a knack for drawing our heroines, particularly Power Girl) to showcase a determined Kara's impressive power set without worrying about collateral damage.

Other than a few panels of Desaad torturing Huntress (thankfully nothing too graphic), and her escape and reunion withe Kara, most of the comic features Power Girl ripping through the secret base of the stranded Apokolips' scientist. The comic ends on bit a twist as Kara and Helena make it home, but not before Desaad's final move to screw with Power Girl's powers.

Over the years Power Girl's origins and powers have been tweaked several times. I'm assuming this latest move is to try and separate her a little from the New 52 Supergirl, but I'm hoping we aren't going to see any huge lasting changes to the character. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Atomic Robo and The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur #2

Everything considered, Atomic Robo has had better days. A secret black-ops unit of the United States Government is framing the robot as a nuclear terrorist in order to seize Robo for their own, and while searching for evidence of Cryptids in the jungles of Venezuela suspiciously close to an old Nazi Science city under Kukenan Tepui Atomic Robo and his team run into the robot's least favorite person (who just happens to be an insane dinosaur scientist) - Dr. Dinosaur. Let the insanity begin!

I really enjoyed the first issue of the latest volume, but this one raises the stakes with some great banter between Robo and Dr. Dinosaur, the dinosaur's "facts," and the increasingly impossible situations Robo and his team find themselves in including the dinosaur's rock minions with lasers in their faces, a secret underground city with a time bomb and lava pit that the deranged dinosaur has plans for.

I simply can't recommend the awesome of this comic, and the first two issues of the latest series, enough. Bring on issue #3! Must-read.

[Red 5, $3.50]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #24

There's action aplenty in the latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine as various factions battle miles below the surface of the Earth inside The Deeper Well for Dawn's life, the future of magic, and the lives of everyone on Earth.

Leaving Willow to find the magic needed to save Dawn (which she discovers in the form of a new seed slowly growing near the center of the Well), Buffy heads after the now turned Simone (now twice as strong and dangerous), which leaves the rest of the group of defenders to deal with the awakened Maloker, and the most unlikely person of all to talk Severin down from his mad quest to reset all of reality by sharing her own pain and loss.

The season is certainly going out with a bang as this issue is packed with characters, actions, and even a couple of nice surprises. Aside from Willow looking decidedly Joker-like (seriously, what's up with that?) this not much for me to complain about other than how sad I am to only have one issue left to wrap-up the season. Must-read.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Monday, August 19, 2013

Action Jackson

1988's attempt to turn Carl Weathers into an action star leading man fizzled with both audiences and critics making less money than Funny Farm, Short Circuit 2, or Ernest Saves Christmas. The premise of the film was to cast Weathers as the toughest cop in town (who we know is tough because various supporting members of the cast keep telling us that Jackson is such a bad ass).

The storyline involved Detroit Detective "Action" Jackson taking a second run at a powerful local businessman (Craig T. Nelson) Jackson knew, but was unable to tie, to the deaths of several union members who worked for the man's company. When Dellaplane's wife (Sharon Stone) comes forward to offer Jackson the proof he needs to take the man down, the auto magnate frames the cop for her murder forcing Jackson to rely on the help of Dellaplane's heroin-addicted mistress (Vanity) and a hairdresser (Armelia McQueen), to prove his innocence and set things right.

The Newsroom - One Step Too Many

The highlights of "One Step Too Many" are a series of conversations and questionable choices among various members of the cast as the show also delivers the final piece of "Operation Genoa" in the taping of an interview from a retired general (Stephen Root) giving  the news byte Jerry Dantana (Hamish Linklater) needs to push the news story onto the air (although he certainly helps things along by editing the raw footage to get the on-air confirmation he desperately needs in order to stop a story he has chased for seven months from dying in a rundown meeting). Although the interview, Jerry's impassioned argument for the story, and his choice to edit the tape are the big takeaways for the season's arc, it's the smaller conversations between various pairs of characters that carry the episode.

Astro City #3

Astro City #3 continues the story of Marella Cowper, a computer systems major who works secretly for the Honor Guard Emergency Contact Line. At the end of issue #2, Marella realized she had made the wrong call on a cry for help that had blown up into a full-scale war zone in a small village in Ecuador. Whereas last issue was Marella's wild-eyed wonder at discovering the Contact Line and the time it took her to grow into her place in the system, this issue focuses on her attempts to rectify her mistake.

Astro City #3 plays very much on the themes of what it means to be a hero as a call center worker goes above and beyond to rectify a mistake that no one else is blaming her for. Using the door technology, Marella travels back and forth to Ecuador bringing supplies and volunteering at various aid stations, all while searching for the little girl whose call began her involvement in the crisis.

Although it may not be as good as Astro City #2 (which is easily one of the best comics I've read this year), it's a joy to see a comic delve into this side of super-hero comics again. Must-read.

[DC, $3.99]

Beware the Batman - Toxic

The show introduces a second member of the Outsiders, although Katana (Sumalee Montano) doesn't appear in this episode, as "Toxic" offers the origin story of Metamorpho (Adam Baldwin) - a security guard exposed to a dangerous experiment by Simon Stagg (Jeff Bennett) who didn't want the man dating his daughter Sapphire (Emmanuelle Chriqui). I've never been the biggest fan of Metamorpho and thought it strange when Justice League an entire two-part episode to his origins a decade ago. We're pretty much given the same treatment here as Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) is forced to deal with the out-of-control monster while attempting to find a cure.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

In brightest day...

I've been waiting years for one of these. I missed my opportunity the last time DC Comics put out Green Lantern Power Batteries and I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. Yeah, guess what I got in the mail this weekend?

Continuum - Second Guess

Lucas' (Omari Newton) initiative into using his limited knowledge of Arc technology and the pieces of the time travel device at his disposal to drive the city into chaos on the eve of the election causes problems for nearly everyone. Privacy goes out the window, allowing the police to round-up anyone with suspicious ties to Liber8, only further escalating the tension and distrust of the status quo, and allows the press to discover a connection between Jim Martin (Tahmoh Penikett) and Sonya (Lexa Doig). Capitalizing on the chaos, Julian Randol (Richard Harmon) uses the opportunity to further push his revolutionary agenda and try to shift the blame of the attacks to Alec (Erik Knudsen).