Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday with Lauren

XIII - The Key

XIII (Stuart Townsend) and Agent Jones (Aisha Tyler) return from Montana with the third watch, and the final piece of the mysterious code, but they'll have to call in the help of their favorite computer hacker (Aaron Ashmore) to explain to them what exactly they're sitting on. What he uncovers in a complex encryption and password protection hiding what he believes may be the legendary Internet Skeleton Key which would allow a user to hack any online system.

Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #17

Cobra and the Arashikage Clan have declared war on each other and now the new Cobra Commander has loosed Serpentor and his private army known as the Coil to strike in the name of Cobra and eradicate the ninja.

The Coil successful capture the Soft Master (although the comic suggests they may have bitten off more than they can chew with the devious and deadly old man), but Snake Eyes and a group of Arashikage ninja are able to prevent the same fate from befalling the Hard Master and his latest student, even if it means letting the ninja know the old man still lives.

With the war between Cobra and the Arashikage heating up, the choices Snake Eyes makes further blur the lines between right and wrong. Next month turns up the flames as Snake Eyes' old G.I. JOE teammates, realizing their pal is alive and has gone back to the ninja who trained him, get into the action as well as the crossover "Target: Snake Eyes" begins. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Elementary - Pilot

Taking a page from the success of Sherlock, BBC's modern-day interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, CBS gives us Elementary which stars Jonny Lee Miller as the drug addicted, but brilliant, former Scotland Yard consultant recently relocated to the United States and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson, a personal live-in doctor hired by Sherlock's father to help him transition from the rehabilitation center back to, as she puts it, "everyday life." For Sherlock this means picking up where he left off by becoming a consulting detective in New York City.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Scandal - White Hat's Off

Last season's mid-season replacement returns for a Second Season with the trial of Lindsey Dwyer, who until now we've only known as Olivia Pope & Associates' newest hire Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes). Quinn, or rather Lindsey, is accused of seven counts of murder in the bombing her former boyfriend and six other victims. Although all the evidence against Quinn is circumstantial, her account of events, and the fact that she ran and assumed a new identity (which was mysteriously provided), has even some of her own coworkers doubting her innocence.

Person of Interest - The Contingency

Outsmarted by Root (Amy Acker), the Second Season premiere finds Reese (Jim Caviezel) enlisting the help of Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and Detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman) to search for Finch (Michael Emerson) who was kidnapped by the computer hacker in last year's season finale. Meanwhile, Reese finds himself protecting the Machine's latest number, a money launderer (Ken Leung) for the Aryan Nation, whose well-being may, or may not, be connected to that of Finch.

The Flash #0

Although not all DC's Zero Issues have been actual origin tales (which is weird, because I thought that was the point?), Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato deliver just that in this retelling of the Flash's origin, the accident that gifted a police scientist with super-speed, and Barry's Allen's first adventure as the Scarlet Speedster.

For those familiar with Barry Allen, especially writer Geoff Johns' recent retelling his origin which introduces the idea of the unsolved murder of his mother which drove Barry to become a cop, there's no much new. However, the use of Barry's father as the man, innocent or not, convicted of her murder is worth noting. As is Barry's obsession with proving his innocence.

Flash #0 also gives us the lighting strike which gifted Barry with his super-speed (thankfully the New 52 doesn't figure out a way to "improve" the classic retelling the way they screwed up Captain Marvel), Barry's creation of the suit which fits in his ring, and his first action all clad in red and yellow. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Big Bang Theory - The Date Night Variable

The show's Sixth Season premiere (holy crap, has this show really been on the air five full seasons?) gives us three fights, two dates, and one interloper. Dreading his contractual obligation to an anniversary date night with Amy (Mayim Bialik), Sheldon (Jim Parsons) enlists the help of the group's lonely third wheel - Raj (Kunal Nayyar). Meanwhile Leonard (Johnny Galecki) tries to get Penny (Kaley Cuoco) to discuss the status of their relationship under the guise of a low-key night of all her favorites.

Pitch Perfect

Cashing in on the success of Glee, Pitch Perfect takes viewers on the wacky ride of competitive a capella competition. Based on the book by Mickey Rapkin which examined the real-life underground subculture of competitive collegiate a cappella groups at three separate universities, Pitch Perfect desperately wants a to be a celebratory parody for college choirs in the same way Bring It On was for cheerleading. Sadly, nowhere near as clever, Pitch Perfect plays much more like one of Bring It On's straight-to-video sequels.

Anna Kendrick stars as Beca, a disgruntled college freshman whose father (John Benjamin Hickey), a professor at the university, is forcing her to get an education (what a dick, right?) when all she wants to do is head to New York and begin a career as a DJ. Making a deal to give college life a try, Beca begins working at the college radio station and is pressured into signing up for The Barden Bellas, an all female singing group, by an upperclassman (Brittany Snow) who hears Beca singing in the shower (and jumps in to sing along with her in one of the film's more awkward scenes).

Hotel Transylvania

I usually enjoy animated films in all shapes and sizes, but I can sum up my heightened interest for Hotel Transylvania in two words - Genndy Tartakovsky. For those who don't recognize the name, Tartakovsky is responsible for creating Dexter's Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and a little slice of awesome known as Samurai Jack. Tartakovsky also help produce The Powerpuff Girls (and write my favorite episode of the series).

Although Hotel Transylvania isn't Tartakovsky's creation, you can certainly see his fingerprints all over the film in a script he helped punch-up and his influence to push the movie towards a more high-energy animation style resembling Tex Avery's classic cartoons. The result is a fast-paced, zany comedy with just enough of the director's deft touches and humor to make it stand-out from more generic animated fare. At times the film certainly panders with obvious (and even cheap) jokes for the kids, but Tartakovsky's take on a hotel for monsters is better than it has any right to be and should satisfy kids and most adults as well.


Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom), Looper gives us a time travel story that focuses on how far a man will go to protect his future, and how far the world will go to stop him. In the year 2072 time travel has been outlawed but is still used by gangsters and shady corporate big wigs who send their victims back in time to be killed in the days before the invention of time travel by hired assassins known as Loopers, thus creating the perfect crime.

The film centers around the actions of a single Looper named Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose largely empty life is filled by bad diner coffee, learning French, doing lots of drugs, shooting hooded strangers who suddenly appear in an empty field and disposing of their bodies, and carrying a torch for a stripper (an alluring, and scantily clad, Piper Perabo) who cares only for his money. In other words, his life is perfect (for what he wants out of life - money, women, and drugs), at least until the arrival of his Loop (Bruce Willis) derails his entire future.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #3

While stranded on the island of the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific, Atomic Robo and the rag-tag band of fearless jet-pack-strapped female pilots come under attack by Japanese bombers, submarines, and killer robots.

The latest issue of Atomic Robo: The Flying She Devils of the Pacific #3 is pretty much nonstop action as the She-Devils' attempts to turn back the invaders fail and they're eventually forced to flee the island. Our atomic-powered robotic pal, in a moment of stupid heroism, helps the women escape but finds himself captured by the force led by a Japanese pilot who shot Atomic Robo down twice during WWII.

With so much action there's not a lot of time for character and story development, but writer Brian Clevinger does find places to insert the oddball humor of the comic we've all come to know and love. Hopefully next issue will reveal the identities and motives of the She-Devils' enemies and continue to bring more zany action. Worth a look.

[Red 5, $3.50]

Captain Atom #0

Captain Atom isn't the first of the New 52 titles to get the ax, but it is the first one I've really enjoyed to go away. Captain Atom #0 provides a rebooted origin for the soldier turned super-powered hero, and while it works well enough, like most of the New 52, it's not nearly as good as the origin the character already had.

Now I didn't read the Captain Atom's original Charlton Comics run, but when DC bought the rights to the character (along with others like the Question and Blue Beetle) and gave the hero new life in his own title following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths I was there to grab it, and all the issue that followed. (Hell, I was in the prime of my junior high comic book buyin' days.)

Davis Factor Shoots Hayden Panettiere

To help promote her new series Nashville (which premieres October 10th on ABC), actress Hayden Panettiere posed for a photoshoot with photographer Davis Factor. You can find the rest of the pics inside.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hawaii Five-0 - La O Na Makuahine

Hawaii Five-0 opens its Third Season by resolving the multiple cliffhangers left from last season's finale. McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) sits down for a frank talk with the mysterious Shellburne, which turns out to be the codename for the mother (Christine Lahti) he long believed dead. Believing Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) is safely behind bars, and with many unanswered questions, McGarret convinces his mother to return home, but due to an incredibly complex escape planned by Frank Delano (William Baldwin) Wo Fat is once again loose.

Daredevil #18

The Matt Murdock must be crazy storyline continues as Matt returns from a date with Kristen McDuffie to discover his crazy ex-wife Milla in his bed. Or does he? A little investigation by Foggy reveals that simply be the case as Milla is still locked up the loony bin. It should be obvious to everyone (as it has been for several issues) that someone is gaslighting Hell's Kitchen favorite hero.

The back-up story involves Foggy's new client, a private nurse who is the sole suspect in the locked room murder of her employer, drug kinpin Victor Hierra. After speaking to the woman's brother Foggy believes in her innocence and, despite his recent fallout with his partner, agrees to look into Milla if Daredevil looks in on the case.

I was tired with this arc the moment writer Mark Waid introduced it. We know Daredevil isn't crazy and despite what Foggy sees here, he should know better too. Still, Waid is a good storyteller and Daredevil #18 has good action and an unexpected cameo from a character I'd all but forgotten about.

Bones - The Partners in the Crime

As Bones (Emily Deschanel) struggles to reassimilate to life both at home and work with Booth (David Boreanaz) after months on the run alone with her daughter, the Jeffersonian gets a new case involving the remains of a ruthless divorce lawyer who was beaten and set on fire.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Castle - After the Storm

In Castle's Fifth Season premiere Beckett (Stana Katic) and Caslte's (Nathan Fillion) morning after bliss is interrupted by the unexpected return of Martha (Susan Sullivan) and a hungover Alexis (Molly C. Quinn). Later, alone in Beckett's apartment, the two are again interrupted by an overwhelmed Ryan (Seamus Dever) who needs help in looking for Maddox (Tahmoh Penikett) now that his team is all missing in action. The news that he imparts is disturbing when Castle realizes the hitman is after the one man (Geoff Pierson) who has been keeping Beckett safe for the past year.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #0

Jason Todd's origin (before he became the Red Hood) is the focus of Red Hood and the Outlaws #0. In the first-half of the comic writer Scott Lobdell fills in Todd's past before he became Robin making slight tweaks to the character's origins most notably removing the character's post-Crisis on Infinite Earth's first meeting with Batman (by stealing the tires off the Batmobile).

Given the amount of backstory about Todd and his parents we're given very little time to deal with his days as Robin - only four pages (and half of those focus specifically on "A Death in the Family" and the character's death). The character's resurrection is suggested but no detail is given (other than the mention of a Lazarus Pit) and his entire history as the Red Hood is ignored giving the zero issue a very incomplete feel.

Hawaii Five-0 - Season Two on DVD

The rebooted Hawaiian police task force returns for a second season. Over the course of the year Commander Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) will continue to track down the notorious Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) and search for the mysterious Shellburne. The Second Season returns CIA Agent Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik) and Captain Fryer (Tom Sizemore) in recurring roles and introduces two important new supporting characters in McGarrett's former commander and surrogate father figure Joe White (Terry O'Quinn) and Lori Weston (Lauren German) as the new Governor's (Richard T. Jones) self-appointed member to the Five-o task force.

The first episodes of the season deal with proving McGarret wasn't responsible for the death of the Governor (Jean Smart) and Kono's (Grace Park) undercover work to take down a former cop (William Baldwin). By the sixth episode of the season the team is back together (when McGarret isn't off on his own searching for old friends and new enemies).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Doctor Who - The Power of Three

One week before the mid-season finale, and final episode featuring Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) as The Doctor's (Matt Smith) primary companions, Doctor Who delivers an episode about millions of mysterious small black cubes that suddenly appear all across the world. The cubes' inactivity forces The Doctor to do the one thing he hates more than Daleks - to wait.

Justice League #0

When people ask me what issues I have with the New 52 I can point to this latest issue of Justice League which is a microcosm for all that's wrong with DC Comics' current direction.

The Shazam back-up story takes center stage as Billy Batson meets the wizard Shazam for the first time and turns into... Booster Gold (with Freddy Freeman standing in for Ted Kord)? Captain Marvel, a character who has delighted comic readers almost as long as Superman as a noble, if naive, paragon of virtue finds the last shreds of his origins shredded.

We'd already seen in the previous issues of Justice League that DC Editorial threw out the original character in favor of a street-tough grifter, and now they do the same with his super-powered alter-ego.

Nature Calls trailer

Wow, does this look awful. Patton Oswalt and Johnny Knoxville star as brothers whose rivalry is taken to a new level when Randy (Oswalt) kidnaps his nephew's sleepover for an unplanned wilderness adventure. Rob RiggleMaura TierneyPatrice O'Neal, and Darrell Hammond also star. Nature Calls opens in theaters on November 9th. CAUTION: Red Band Trailer is NSFW.

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, Archie, Dynamite, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes Angel & Faith, Batman: The Dark Knight, Brilliant, Buckaroo Banzai, Captain Marvel, Dancer, Deadpool, FF, The Flash, Fury MAX, The Goon, Higher Earth, Incredible Hulk, Invincible, Phantom Lady, Prophet, Queen Sonja, Savage Hawkman, The Shadow Annual, Sixth Gun, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, Super Dinosaur, Superman, Teen Titans, TMNT, Winter Soldier, X-Men, the first issues of Fine & Private Place, Happy, National Comics: Rose and Thorn, Steed and Mrs. Peel, and the final issues of Hawken, and Voodoo.

Enjoy issue #192

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #6 (of 6)

The final issue of the Atomic Robo anthology series gives us the conclusion (but not really the end) of the adventures of The Sparrow and Atomic Robo finally putting his training from Bruce Lee to good use. Although not bad, neither storyline finishes up strong enough to justify their drawn out conclusions.

Sadly, the standalone stories we get this month are equally unmemorable. We get a short tale on an experiment in Tele-Trans-Portation, the Project Daedalus' invasion of the Helsingard facility on Sanak Island, and a republished Atomic Robo adventure against a giant crab monster.

Although the mini-series gave us some fun short stories over its six-issue run (which turns out to be at least two issues too many) we've seen the comic sputter to a finish the last few months with meandering stories, too many of which didn't include Atomic Robo. What I'll likely remember Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures for is some terrific covers and a lot of missed opportunity in terms of storytelling. For fans.

[Red 5, $2.75]

XIII - The Bunker

As Wally Sheridan (Ted Atherton) continues his bid to run for President by blackmailing an influential Senator, the search for the third watch sends XIII (Stuart Townsend) and Agent Jones (Aisha Tyler) to Montana to track down a decommissioned soldier (David Keeley) who may have worked with Max Serle (Matthew Bennett), but on arriving all they find is a dead man and plans for a secret decommissioned underground military installation.

Young Justice #20

Following the lead of the television show, the latest issue of Young Justice jumps out teen heroes five years into the future. Well, sort of. Issue #20 is an odd mix of storylines taking place five years apart.

Although the structure provides some fun comparision moments (such as Dick Grayson's birthday kiss from Zatanna on five years apart), it's also a little confusing. The small character moments work well, and I really like the introductions of new characters such as Wonder Girl, Blue Beetle, and Batgirl.

Where the comic struggles is explaining how the bigger picture is connected between a young woman speaking out against the dictatorship of Qurac today and Superboy and Miss Martian's mission with Superman in the same country years before. Oh, and then there's the sudden appearance of Braniac.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday with Grace

Ed Wood

Director Tim Burton's love letter to arguably the worst director Hollywood ever saw has made its way to Blu-ray. Johnny Depp stars as Ed Wood in this comedic biopic surrounding the earnest, but undeniably bad, filmmaker's relationship with Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau), his crossdressing fetish, and the filming of Wood's most famous films including Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 From Outer Space.

The Blu-ray includes the featurettes from the 2004 Special Edition including the trailer, deleted scenes, and featurettes on the look of the film and recreating the look of Ed Wood's movies, composer Howard Shore's use of the Thermin in the film's score, a basic behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, Landau's performance of Bela Legosi, and audio commentary with Burton, Landau, co-writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, director of photography Stefan Czapsky, and costume designer Colleen Atwood.

Glee - Britney 2.0

While Brittany (Heather Morris) struggles from being removed from the Cheerios and reliving her senior year without Santana (Naya Rivera), Rachel (Lea Michele) struggles to make strides in New York, which means it's time for Glee to turn to the music of Britney Spears for the second time in the show's four seasons. As Brittany spirals further out of control the New Directions attempt to perform and intervention that only leads to an unfortunate performance of "Gimme More" at McKinley's first pep rally of the new school year.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Master

It's only September, but it's quite possible the latest film from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson may be the best collection of acting seen in theaters this year. The Master, inspired (in part) by L. Ron Hubbard and the rise of Scientology, is a terrifically produced look into the life of a disturbed young man and his relationship with the leader of a cult.

The film is less concerned about the specific inner workings of a cult than what kind of life it's leader might live and how he might react to those around him and those in need of his help.

When we meet Naval Officer Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) in the final days of WWII it's obvious there's something very wrong with the man whose violent and blunt interactions with everyone he meets fail to earn him friends. After the war, Freddie travels around the country in various jobs, including a department store photographer and field hand - both of which he's forcibly removed from due to his poor judgement.

Trouble with the Curve

Trouble with the Curve, a tale of an old baseball scout (Clint Eastwood) reconnecting with his estranged daughter (Amy Adams) on his final recruiting trip, is exactly what you'd expect. In fact, less than halfway through the film I correctly predicted how every single storyline would end.

The by-the-book tale is an odd mashup cashing in on the success of Moneyball and Grand Torino (with a romantic comedy thrown in for good measure). Sadly, but not surprisingly, Trouble with the Curve is nothing more than blatant Oscar bait and forgettable feelgood pre-holiday fodder.

Clich├ęd and as subtle as a kick to the groin, the screenplay by first-time screenwriter Randy Brown doesn't so much foreshadow events as scream loudly from Hollywood playbook exactly what will occur. Overly sentimental, and not ambitious in the least, the film is a crowd pleaser with well-placed grumpy old man jokes that won't force audiences to think much (or at all).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Covert Affairs - Let's Dance

While recuperating Annie (Piper Perabo) comes up with a risky plan to find Lena (Sarah Clarke) who the CIA believes has fled to Moscow. Still not cleared for field duty, willing to take far too many risks, and emotionally volatile following Simon's (Richard Coyle) death, neither Arthur (Peter Gallagher) nor Joan (Kari Matchett) can approve her plan. Joan, realizing there's no way she can stop Annie from going on her own, approves her mission up to and only finding proof that Lena is in Russia.

Batman and Robin #0

One of the most frustrating aspects of the New 52 is DC Comics' choice to alter timelines, costumes, origins, and motivations for characters without a second thought. Quizzically, the character DC Editorial decides to leave alone is Damian Wayne, someone whose origins could definitely use a little tweaking. Batman and Robin #0 is little more than a summarization of the beginning of Grant Morrison's "Batman & Son" 2006 arc which introduced Damian.

Not only do we get Damian's bloody upbringing and the League of Assassins' army of Man-Bats (really, this needed to be included in the New 52?) but the final panels are directly ripped from artist's Andy Kubert's work. Sadly, but not suprisingly, DC goes straight for Morrison's take on Damian's origins rather than the original (and far superior) graphic novel that introduced the idea of a Batman/Talia child - Batman: Son of the Demon.

Is it worth a look? Maybe. There one or two moments, although there's little here for those who have already read Morrison's story. For fans.

[DC, $2.99]

White Collar - Vested Interest

While giving a talk at a FBI convention with a disgruntled Neal (Matt Bomer), Peter (Tim DeKay) learns a thief (Jason Pendergraft) has conned his way into the convention to steal an important piece of defense technology right under the nose of 500 FBI agents. Returning to the convention with Neal, Jones (Sharif Atkins) and Diana (Marsha Thomason), the group tries to find the impostor before he can finish his job.

Keira Knightley disappears into the fantasy for Vogue

To help promote her latest film, Anna Karenina, actress Keira Knightley sat down for an interview and cover phootshoot for October issue of Vogue. In the interview Knightley discusses playing the complex role of Anna Karenina, the style and costumes of the film, her latest project Can a Song Save Your Life?, her preference for the dialogue of period films, her upcoming marriage to Klaxons' keyboardist James Righton, her struggle to define her style, and planning her first Christmas as a married couple. You'll find pics of the shoot inspired by the film and behind-the-scenes video inside.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Perception - Light

In the First Season finale Kate (Rachael Leigh Cook) uncovers evidence that leads her to believe Professor Pierce's (Eric McCormack) delusion of a conspiracy may have some truth. Meanwhile Pierce, after admitting himself for psychic evaluation, finds himself forced to deal with the truth about Natalie (Kelly Rowan) when his new doctor looks exactly like his most loyal hallucinatory friend.

It Girl and the Atomics #2

I really enjoyed the first issue of It Girl and the Atomics from Madman creator Mike Allred because it was off-beat without getting as weird as Allred's other work. Issue #2 ventures a little further into that territory, and although I didn't enjoy it as much as last month's comic, it's still worth a read.

After agreeing to test out Dr. Flem's Electrical Transference machine, It Girl finds herself outside her body in a different reality (not dissimilar to a STNG Holodeck) without her powers, shifting between corporal and incorporeal, battling the Skunk and the other members of his gang.

I'm unsure whether this was a look into the future, past, or an alternate dimension (and slightly miffed the comic feels equally unsure), but It Girl's adventure keeps the humor and tone I really enjoyed in last month's first issue.

I've also got to praise the variant cover by Darwyn Cooke which certainly helps sell issue #2. Worth a look.

[Image, $2.99]

Bones - The Future in the Past

The show's Eighth Season begins with Bones (Emily Deschanel) still on the run from the FBI, with her father (Ryan O'Neal) and newborn daughter, after being framed for murder by Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds). However, an anonymous tip (by their former boss) leads the Jeffersonian team to uncover the body of Pelant's high school guidance counselor whose remains may be the key to clear Bones' name and bring her home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Leverage - The Frame-Up Job

With the rest of the team stuck in Washington, D.C., Nate (Timothy Hutton) follows Sophie (Gina Bellman) to the art auction of a recently deceased millionaire where a priceless painting goes missing. Complicating matters are the appearance of Sterling (Mark Sheppard), who is sure Sophie is responsible for the theft, and the discovery that the millionaire most likely didn't die of natural causes.

Scarlet Spider #9

"The Second Master" concludes with the Scarlet Spider joining forces with the Rangers to battle Mammon, the monster Roxxon has unleashed while attempting to control an ancient, and sentient, power source that grows more powerful with each human host it takes control of.

Once again writer Christopher Yost and artist Khoi Pham provide lots of action with the smart ass style of humor (Kaine understanding he doesn't know what he's doing and plotting Peter Parker's demise for trying to make him more responsible) we've come to expect from the new Scarlet Spider. Although Kaine does a little bonding over the course of the issue, we don't have to worry about the loner joining the Rangers (or another other group) anytime soon.

The twist at the end involving Zoe Walsh (the woman Kaine saved, slept with, then discovered is all kinds of crazy) is also well thought-out, creating a beautiful but volatile enemy who knows Kaine's face and has a reason (albeit a crazy-ass one) and near limitless resources to plan her revenge. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $2.99]

Castle - Season Four DVD review

The Fourth Season of Castle finds mystery writer Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) working alongside New York Police Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) for another season of crime solving while refusing to admit their mutual attraction to each other. The season is highlighted by the two-parter that introduces Castle's first muse - CIA Agent Sophia Turner (Jennifer Beals), a Firefly reunion with Fillion and Adam Baldwin, a 40's film noir episode, Castle and Beckett cuffed together while trying to outwit smugglers and a tiger, Castle and Martha (Susan Sullivan) stuck in the middle of an unusual bank robbery, and the season finale which finally links Beckett and Castle romantically.

Aside from the "will-they"/"won't-they" arc, other ongoing stories include Detective Ryan's (Seamus Dever) nuptials, Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Lanie's (Tamala Jones) failed romance, Alexis' (Molly C. Quinn) pre-college trauma, and the ongoing investigation into the death of Beckett's mother and search for the sniper (Tahmoh Penikett) who shot Kate in the Third Season finale.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Leverage - The Rundown Job

While finishing up a job in Washington, D.C. with Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and Hardison (Aldis Hodge), Eliot (Christian Kane) gets a call from a former associate looking to hire a hitter. Eliot, who no longer does those kinds of jobs, turns the assignment down and recruits his two friends to help save the target (Christa Campbell), an administrator for the 911 Emergency System, from whomever was hired in his place.

Doctor Who - A Town Called Mercy

The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan), and Rory (Arthur Darvill) take a trip to the Old West where they come across a small town terrorized by a cyborg known as The Gunslinger (Andrew Brooke). The cyborg's soul purpose is to wait for an opportunity to kill an alien doctor named Kahler Jex (Adrian Scarborough) who has taken refuge in the Sheriff's (Ben Browder) office.

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, Archie, Dynamite, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes Avengers, Birds of Prey, Captain Atom, Cobra, Daredevil, Fables, Ghost, Ghostbusters, Godzilla, Justice League, KISS, The Mighty Thor, Nightwing, Peter Panzerfaust, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Red Sonja: Atlantis Rises, Shadow, Supergirl, Uncanny X-Men, the first issues of Doctor Who, Womanthology: Space, and the final issues of Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures, Avengers vs. X-Men, Captain Atom, Dorothy of Oz Prequel, Fatima: The Blood Spinners, Spider-Men, and Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison.

Enjoy issue #191

Sunday, September 16, 2012

XIII - The Train

XIII (Stuart Townsend) and Agent Jones (Aisha Tyler) head to Toronto on the heels of Giordino (Paulino Nunes) who has started to put the information in his burn box to use to track down a young prodigy (Christian Martyn) with ties to Rainer Gerhardt (Tom Berenger). After killing his parents (Steve CumynMarion Day) Giordino kidnaps the boy from a private school while putting old friends onto the trail of XIII and Jones.

Winter Soldier #10

With the Black Widow still under the control of Soviet sleeper agent Leo Novokov, the Winter Soldier's world implodes as he sees the damage his lover does to S.H.I.E.L.D., including nearly killing Nick Fury.

To help track down the Black Widow, who still believes she's a Soviet spy who has been working undercover for years, Captain America shows up with a pair of Avengers in Wolverine and Hawkeye (meaning the "secret" of Bucky's survival lasted less than a year).

It's unlikely the Black Widow will stay lost for long and, yes, there will be some guilt over her actions and the death of Jasper but no real lingering effects to the overall Marvel Universe. The only way this story has any lasting meaning is if the Black Widow had killed Nick Fury (which didn't happen, and I don't see any reason a character with the savvy of Fury would have put himself in position for her to try) or if Bucky is forced to kill Natasha (which won't happen either). Still, it's well told and worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday with Stana

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #13

"Guarded" comes to an end as Buffy has to save the life of her client from the demon she brought in as added muscle and destroy TINCAN, the Senior Partners sole connection to Earth. Oh, and she punches out her boss, too.

There's plenty of action, and the arc is wrapped up satisfactorily. However, I am disappointed (though far from surprised) by the story's epilogue. For a show, and now comic, about a character growing up and changing Buffy sure seems to be stuck in neutral as she chooses martyrdom and over the lucrative offer Kennedy offers her (which would also allow her to continue using her gifts to save people in need), even after the black eye Buffy gave her.

I know the point of the season is to return the character back to basics, and her decision sure wants to be profound, but it simply doesn't come off that way. Instead it feels far too much like the old self-centered Buffy long before she learned to rely on others to help her with her calling. Hit-and-Miss.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Glee - The New Rachel

Season Four (wow, has Glee really been on the air this long?) begins with Rachel (Lea Michele) having trouble with harsh dance teacher Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) at NYADA. Meanwhile, back in Lima, Kurt (Chris Colfer) tries to find a new role while the remaining members of New Directions compete to find their new leader and hold open auditions for new recruits for the glee club. With the focus of the show split in so many directions the season premiere feels a little schizophrenic as it tries to balance the lives of McKinley High School's current and former students.