Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness - War of the Noodles

Po (Mick Wingert) gets caught in the middle of a noodle feud when a reformed Hundun (Diedrich Bader) sets up a competing noodle shop in town using the knowledge and recipes Po taught several thieves and kidnappers to help them find skills once they left prison. Convinced the villain is up to no good, Mr. Ping's (James Hong) paranoia runs off on his son who breaks into the restaurant and beats up Hundun's waiters looking for secret tunnel to the Jade Palace that no longer exists.

Continuum - Second Skin

When Alec (Erik Knudsen) notices interference on his system, the same kind of interference he saw when Kiera (Rachel Nichols) first arrived, he believes another time traveler has shown-up from the future. The truth is a little more complicated and has to deal with Kiera's old partner Elena (Caitlin Cromwell) who arrived in 1975 and by the year 2013 is an old woman (Karin Konoval) suffering from Alzheimers and liver failure whose son (Christian Vincent) recently sold her old space-age cop suit at a garage sale to the girlfriend (Carrie Fleming) of a dry-cleaners manager (Patrick Gilmore) for a sci-fi themed wedding.

Battlestar Galactica #2

After using the time missiles in the first issue of last month's relaunch of the classic Battlestar Galactica comic book, Starbuck and Apollo find themselves in the middle of a temporal storm with an army of Cylons on their tail and no Galactica in sight. Nearly out of both fuel and ammo, the pilots split up hoping that at least one of them can make to a nearby Colonial supply station.

I'll be honest, the first issue of the series didn't wow me and I really was only tempted to pick this one up becuase of the beautiful cover from Alex Ross. That said, Battlestar Galactica #2 is an improvement over the first issue that raises quite a few intriguing questions. Captured, Starbuck finds himself on a Cylong Battlestar with other prisoners while Apollo gets the surprise of is life by making it to the supply station only to find he's definitely not in Kansas anymore.

Alternate dimensions, weird timelines, and plenty of classic Cylons, may be enough for me to stick around a little longer to see how this plays out. For fans.

[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]

Graceland - Pizza Box

Mike (Aaron Tveit) sits down with California's primary heroin supplier, Nigerian drug lord Jeremiah Bello (Gbenga Akinnagbe), who wants Mike's help to train his men to shoot like real soldiers. Stuck in a difficult situation, especially given Eddie's (Sheaun McKinney) distrust of him, Mike is ordered by the FBI to "fake train" the drug dealers and killers all while trying to not draw suspicion from his new friend who has a habit of burning out people's eyes when they disappoint him (just like he did with Eddie).

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Burn Notice - Brothers in Arms

To continue his mission, keep his friends and family out of prison, and learn more about the organization Burke (Adrian Pasdar) works for Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) calls in Sam (Bruce Campbell) and Jesse (Coby Bell) and heads to Cuba to break a prisoner (Alona Tal) out of an impregnable secret Russian prison. Rather than a frontal assault, Jesse comes up with a plan involving Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and Maddie (Sharon Gless) grabbing a Russian low-level spy in the Russian consulate in Miami and sending Michael into a hornets nest of people who hate him with a flimsy story about the CIA preparing to raid their facility in hope of getting the group to move the prisoner allowing a far easier extraction.

Uncanny X-Men #7

Following the events in Limbo, the latest issue of Uncanny X-Men #6 picks up with Magik visiting a slightly younger version of Doctor Strange. The events which caused her to seek out the former Sorcerer Supreme are covered in an extended flashback narrated by Magik and the monumentous choice she makes to save her friends and finally take control of her life for good.

The choice to close the Limbo arc in an extended flashback that focuses more on Magik than the rest of the team works, but it also means we get far less of all the young women's teammates fighting for their lives. This issue better explains Magik's ties to Limbo and how her unintended damage to the realm (it appears her powers were also effected by the return of the Phoenix) caused Dormammu to reach out and grab the X-Men and pull them into Limbo.

The choice to visit a pre-Avenger version of Doctor Strange for assistance is well thought out, although even with his help it will be interesting to see what lasting effects Magik has after swallowing the entire Limbo dimension into herself. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Maxim knows Alyssa Milano is still the boss

Actress Alyssa Milano, who recently returned to television with her new series Mistresses, is Maxim's cover girl for the magazine's June/July issue. You can find the pics from her cover shoot inside.

Rookie Blue - Different, Not Better

Tensions run high as 15 Division hits the streets searching for a masked ATM robber who has begun to turn violent, Andy (Missy Peregrym)  goes out on patrol with Swarek's (Ben Bass) new girlfriend Cruz (Rachael Ancheril), and Epstein (Gregory Smith) is partnered with a stalkerish former late night hook-up (Priscilla Faia) who turns out to be a new rookie and Best's (Lyriq Bent) god daughter Chloe. Despite Chloe's annoying tendencies (and inability to shut-up), Epstein is forced to admit the pair actually make a good pair as they are eventually responsible for hunting down their robber.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Atomic Robo and The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur #1

While trying to flee the negative publicity caused by someone attempting to discredit Atomic Robo for his role in the events of 8/11, known as the "Hashima Incident," involving stolen nuclear weapons that temporarily made him the world's #1 most wanted fugitive, Atomic Robo decides to take a team and check out reported sightings of Cryptids in the jungles of Venezuela suspiciously close to an old Nazi Science city under Kukenan Tepui.

While Atomic Robo is gone, Tesladyne Island is sent one of the missing six nuclear weapons further making it look like Atomic Robo and Tesladyne are smuggling atomic weapons around the world. Therefore if falls on Jenkins and those left behind to clear their friend's somewhat tarnished name.

Atomic Robo and his team are in for some surprises of their own. First, they discover a group of rock climbing adventurers with a thing for abandoned secret science locales. And second, Robo and his group are attacked by the robot's most insane (and most awesome) of enemies - Dr. Dinosaur!

Morning Glories #28

Continuing the stories from the last issue's Second Season premiere, we are given more of Casey's time as Mrs. Clarkson on the fateful night she finished her role by confronting and coercing her mother to make a difficult decision as well as her first night back in to her own time with Miss Hodge on the night she will be asked once again to make a difficult sacrifice in order to set things right.

The issue also gives us more of Hunter's odd experiences with the older Jade involving not one, not two, but three dreams and discussions of both Descartes and Philip K. Dick before the young man realizes any real answers he'll also have to find for himself. And on that note Hunter is given the chance to be their for Casey as she faces her destiny with the weird giant spinning top in the basement of Morning Glories Academy.

Of course none of this would be necessary if Irina wasn't leading a revolution and was about to publicly kill Ike to prove here point. However, it appears she may have spent a little too long grandstanding.

White House Down

After the initial success of Die Hard there was a time when every movie studio was trying to cash in on the concept of a great action star (usually a cop or specially trained soldier) in the wrong place at the wrong time and forced to save the day (which almost always also included endangered hostages and some kind of robbery or cash grab). We got Die Hard on a plane, Die Hard on a boat, Die Hard on a bus, Die Hard on a train, and so on. More than 25 years later Hollywood still hasn't given up on the formula.

Much like Olympus Has Fallen, released earlier this year, White House Down offers us a story of a terrorist attack on Washington D.C. and the capture of the White House, the President of the United States, and several high ranking members of the United States Government. Where Antoine Fuqua's film struggled to be Michael Bay-style action porn, director Roland Emmerich's movie has a far better sense of humor and an understanding of the complete ridiculousness of its entire premise. Don't get me wrong, the movie is dumb as dirt at times, but at least it knows this.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Franklin & Bash - Good Lovin'

Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) are on the case when Peter's mother (Jane Seymour) is charged with prostitution while working as a sex surrogate (in Peter's childhood bedroom). Things are further complicated when Jared sleeps with the Assistant D.A. (Rhea Seehorn) assigned to the case, who despises both Franklin and Bash, the night before the trial begins and the discovery the driving force to push for criminal charges of not only prostitution but also pimping against Peter's mother comes from the pair's old enemy ADA Brad Hewett (Brian Howe).

Jobs trailer

Here's the first full-length trailer for Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in the new biopic of Apple's founder. Dermot MulroneyJosh GadJames WoodsAmanda CrewMatthew ModineJ.K. Simmons, and Lesley Ann Warren also star. The film uploads into theaters on August 16th.

Futurama - T.: The Terrestrial

After Lrr (Maurice LaMarche) pressures his son Jrr (Lauren Tom) into getting a planetary invasion merit badge by landing on Earth, forcing Nixon (Billy West) and Zapp Brannigan (West) to surrender, and destroying headless Agnew's body, Nixon calls for a complete planetary embargo with Omicron Persei 8.

Perception - Ch-Ch-Changes

Perception begins its Second Season with Daniel (Eric McCormack) being asked by an Assistant U.S. Attorney (Scott Wolf), and Kate's (Rachael Leigh Cook) soon-to-be ex-husband, to psychologically examine of a man (Evan Jones) convicted of murder who is being retried under his new lawyer's assertion the murderer was never given an mental competency evaluation and may not be fit to stand trial. After talking with the subject and performing and MRI, Kate's expert offers his opinion that their killer, who shot himself in the head after murdering his wife, doesn't technically exist anymore and is now a completely different person.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pretty Little Liars - Cat's Cradle

The relationships between mothers and their children play a big part in "Cat's Cradle" as Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) look for a way to prove her mother (Laura Leighton) wasn't involved in Wilden's murder when the lies she's been telling about her trip to New York begin to fall apart, Zack (Steve Talley) tries to tempt Ella (Holly Marie Combs) to come to Austria with him, Emily (Shay Mitchell) learns A has targeted her mother (Nia Peeples) by using a public altercation between the pair and the swimmer's recent injury to cause concern at Family Services as to whether Mrs. Fields is an abusive parent, and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Toby (Keegan Allen) head back to Radley to find some solid answers about what really happened the night his mother died.

G.I. JOE #5

"Homecoming," the opening arc of G.I. JOE, comes to a close in a way that can only be seen as a failure for the JOEs. Although the team manages to make it out alive of a town under the control of Cobra, and Cobra Commander is dissatisfied enough with the Baroness' performance to award a prestigious position to another lieutenant, the fallout of the bombed-out town must be laid at the feet of the JOE team that was unable to save it.

G.I. JOE #5 is heavy on action as the scattered team fight to stop Cobra from executing their back-up plan by bombing the town. Tunnel Rat is able to hold off Scrap-Iron and stop his detonation, but all late do the JOEs discover he wasn't the only one with a detonator. The Baroness gets the better of Hashtag and gets away, however the team's short-lived personal reporter has seen enough to sign-up as a permanent member of the squad.

Cobra's victory and the return of the Mad Monk means the team will have to be even more vigilant in the months to come. We'll also have to see what the negative public fallout means for the team. For fans.

[IDW, $3.99]

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness - Huge

You have to love an episode of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness that basically becomes Godzilla before everything is said and done. Tired of being the smallest, and most overlooked, member of the Furious Five, Mantis (Max Koch) decides to drink a few sips of a black magic potion that "biggens" him to the same size as his teammates.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #21

While Starfire and Roy Harper fight among each other, with Professor Hugo Strange (who in the New 52 is Roy's psychologist), and with The Untitled who make a dramatic entrance to break-up Roy's latest session, the Red Hood flees from members of the League of Assassins who are chasing him down (but not for the reason he thinks).

Most of the Kory/Roy/Strange storyline can be ignored. The Hood story is far more interesting as we get the return of Cheshire as well as Lady Shiva and the introduction of the New 52 version of Bronze Tiger (which, like everything else in the New 52 is a pale imitation of the original).

After acquiring Jason Todd, the assassins take him back to 'Eht Alth'Eban, the home of the League of Assassins, where the inform the Hood they don't want him dead. What they actually want is the guy with no memory of how to assassinate anyone (or the hatred which drove him into that life) to become their new leader. Um... okay. I guess intelligence isn't a prerequsite to join the League of Assassins. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $2.99]

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

King & Maxwell - Wild Card

King (Jon Tenney) and Maxwell (Rebecca Romijn) get a new client when FBI Agent Carter (Chris Butler) is arrested and suspended after getting into an altercation with a pair of patrolmen (Aaron PearlToby Levins) who pulled Carter over for driving while black. As King looks into his client's past, and how a similar situation left his brother becoming paralyzed from the waist down, Maxwell takes a closer look at the cops involved in the accident who she discovers targeted the agent and broke the tail light they allegedly pulled him over for. The question is, why?

Fables #130

For the month of June Fables writer Bill Willingham gives us a single adventure of a precocious young Junebug exploring the castle on the day she and her parents move into Fabletown. June's adventures will take her all over including getting underfoot from time to time, and eventually discovering something the young girl wasn't supposed to see deep with the bowels of the castle.

Willingham does a terrific job of presenting the entire comic from a child's point of view including using what the adults around her say to her advantage and having them disregard her fanciful story of giant rat monsters when she returns later that night. As to what those scary rats are actually doing, we'll have to wait and see how that story unfolds.

June's delivery is perfect and her adventure, even when it turns dark and scary for the young girl, is a hell of a lot of fun. My only real complaint with the story is we only get one issue with the character before the comic moves on to its next arc next month. Best of the week.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

With Regard to Missy Peregrym

To help promote the return of her show Rookie Blue to television this Summer, actress Missy Peregrym did a photoshoot for the June issue of Regard Magazine. You can find the rest of her pics inside.

Fairly Legal - Season Two

After a limited release on DVD to select sellers a few months back, the final season of USA's Fairly Legal got a full release last week. The show starred Sarah Shahi as the lovable but impossible to get along with Kate, a former lawyer turned negotiator who had more success in resolving other people's problems than her own. The show's Second Season introduced Ryan Johnson as Ben, the the ambulance chaser turned partner at Reed & Reed, creating a love triangle between Kate, Ben, and Kate's ex-husband Justin (Michael Trucco).

The Second Season's highlights include Kate meeting Ben in the season premiere, a job for Judge Nicastro (Gerald McRaney), the mediation between an engineer trying to expose his former company's dangerous new engine designs, saving an apartment owner from loosing his building because of a single rowdy tenant, investigating the true reasons a young girl (Jonna Walsh) was expelled from a prestigious private school, mediating a prison hunger strike, and the season's (and show's) final episode.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Liz Katz doesn't want to be a turtle

[via Liz Katz]

Batman and Batgirl #21

Batman and Robin continues to cover an out-of-control Batman dealing with the death of Damian we aren't seeing much of in the other Bat-titles. The latest issue brings in Batgirl, who has removed the Bat-emblem from her costume, to try and talk some sense into Batman whose ice-cold demeanor and brutality has begun to scare everyone, even her.

The first-half of the comic is more about Batgirl than Batman. We even get a full page of Barbara working through trying to tell her father what went wrong with James Jr. without having the courage to actually speak to him. Witnessing the ruthlessness of Batman taking down an group of armed robbers, Batgirl decides to confront Batman in the Batcave and try one more time to talk some sense into the man.

The confrontation between Batgirl and Batman in the cave is interesting, but isn't hardly the tact someone as smart as Barbara would use. I do like her offer of wearing the Robin costume, but its stuck in the middle of an out-of-control argument that has no hope of reaching Batman. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $2.99]

XIII - Battlezone

XIII's Second Season comes to a close with XIII (Stuart Townsend) and Betty (Roxane Mesquida) stranded in China and XIII ordered by President Carrington (Stephen McHattie) to shut down the Chinese controlled HEARPE weapon once and for all. Rendezvousing with Barnabis (Rob Ramsay) in the Yunnan Province, the group uses his expertise to locate Dr. Ming Tang (Kerry Lai Fatt) who offers XIII the best chance to destroy the weapon with a Trojan Barnabis creates to give XIII control of the mainframe, if he can get close enough to upload it.

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness - Qilin Time

After Mr. Ping (James Hong) is embarrassed in the noodle shop by his customers that don't believe his story about meeting a legendary monster in the woods when he was a boy, Ping guilts Po (Mick Wingert) on a father-son excursion to find proof of the Qilin's (Wingert) existence. Po and Ping run into a reformed General Tsin (R. Lee Ermey) on his way to the village to open up a tunic shop. The fact that his crazy former enemy believes in the creature doesn't fill Po with any more confidence about the pair's wild goose chase.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Continuum - Second Thoughts

When a drug from her future begins showing up in 2013, Kiera (Rachel Nichols) thinks back to her sister Hannah's (Max Chadburn) addiction and enlists the help of Alec (Erik Knudsen) to get it off the streets before the highly addictive compound catches on to a world that's not ready for it. Despite Kiera's warnings of the dangers of "Flash," Alec decides to experiment with the drug's in an attempt to find answers about his father. Kiera and Carlos (Victor Webster) also have to deal with a gang war between the Coalition Kings and the Syndicate caused by Liber8's civil war between Sonya (Lexa Doig) and Travis (Roger R. Cross).

G.I. JOE: The Cobra Files #3

Without Duke's permission, who doesn't learn until after the fact, Flint goes ahead and puts his plan in action by hiring the Tiger Team known as the Night Creepers to burgle the JOEs home base inside the Pentagon. The first-half of the plan goes off without a hitch, as the group find holes in the heroes security and get the job done. The second-half of the plan falls apart, however, as Flint is kidnapped by the team's middle man when he meets to set-up a second job.

The latest issue does have much action, and actually give us Chameleon, Lady Jaye and Ronin doing nothing more than sitting around and waiting for Flint's call when his plan goes south. When Flint misses their rendevous the deadly female threesome realize they now they need to plan a rescue mission as well as taking down the Night Creepers.

Although light on action there's plenty of story here that sets up a big throwdown between the team and the Night Creepers to come. This issue also gives us Tomax continuing to play his mind games on Clockspring and turn one of Chameleon's most loyal soldiers against her. Worth a look.

[IDW, $2.99]

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness – Secret Admirer

Tired of being the butt of Monkey's (James Sie) constant pranks, Po (Mick Wingert) sees a chance to get even when the Panda decides to forge a love letter to Monkey from Ming (Lauren Tom), the annoying daughter of Superintendent Woo (Ken Jeong). Things quickly spiral out of control when Po realizes Monkey has real feelings for the girl and Ming has feelings not for Monkey but the Dragon Warrior.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Graceland - Heat Run

After Mike (Aaron Tveit) and Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) survive a close run-in with the drug dealers they robbed in last week's episode, the pair return to the beach house where Lauren (Scottie Thompson) needs the help of Mike, Briggs, and Tuturro (Manny Montana) to take down Kuzmanoff before her Russian assignment is shut down from good. Refusing to let the matter rest, even after she ignores orders and gets her cover blown without getting any results Lauren continues a downward spiral that will eventually put her friends in danger. Despite being ordered to stand down by both the DEA and Briggs, Lauren won't let the matter rest. Although the team eventually makes the bust, Briggs is forced to take matters into his own hands when he realizes Lauren lied to him and put his entire team in danger.

Deadpool #11

Jumping into the middle of a Deadpool arc after basically ignoring the title for months is always a risky business. Deadpool #11 features a story involving the Merc with a Mouth fighting Daredevil on the streets of New York, seeing Jessica Jones mostly naked, and talking to the ghost of Benjamin Franklin. Oh, and he also has the personality of a female agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. stuck in his head.

From what I can piece together the basic story involves Deadpool doublecrossing a demon who hired/blackmailed the mercenary to kill a list of people who sold their souls to him in exchange for super-powers. After killing the man the demon wanted kept alive (because, um, he's Deadpool), the hero continues tracking down various targets including a shapeshifter who takes the form of Luke Cage and comes home to a randy Jessica Jones.

The logic of a good Daredevil story has never been as important and the humor and wackiness, and this issue has both in spades. I particularly like the instance where Daredevil calls out Matt Murdock on labeling anyone else crazy based on Daredevil's own questionable decisions. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $2.99]

Burn Notice - Down Range

When Burke (Adrian Pasdar) suddenly needs an extra pair of men for a truck hijacking, Michael convinces his old friend to hire Sam (Bruce Campbell), and Jesse (Coby Bell), although it's harder to convince Agent Strong (Jack Coleman) to let the pair into his undercover CIA operation over Strong's own handpicked men. Although the team is able to complete the job, it's not without casualties as Sam is forced to kill a guard to save Michael's life. Against his better judgement, Strong allows Sam and Jesse to stay and watch Michael and his men take down Burke (thus completing the deal that keeps them all out of prison), but the pair get anxious when Strong's trap to catch both Burke and the terrorist he's meeting (Ricardo Chavira) falls through when Burke changes the rules of the game.

Franklin & Bash - Dead and Alive

Following the events from the season premiere the now homeless Franklin (Breckin Meyer), Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Pindar (Kumail Nanjiani), and Carmen (Dana Davis) move into Infeld's (Malcolm McDowell) beach house. Franklin and Bash also get a new case involving a friend (Dan Martin) of Peter's father whose credit was destroyed and home was foreclosed and sold at auction all because of a clerical error that accidentally declared him legally dead. Although the judge (Robert Wuhl) is a fan of the the pair, he only grants a five-day injunction for their client to resolve the matter before the real estate company who bought the property is then allowed to bulldoze the home.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness – Mama Told Me not to Kung Fu

When Po (Mick Wingert) learns that Crane's (Amir Talai) overprotective mother (Laraine Newman) who hates Kung Fu is on her way to the Valley of Peace he convinces Shifu (Fred Tatasciore) and the Furious Five to agree to go along with the lies Crane has been telling over the years to hide his love for Kung Fu. The Five transform the Jade Temple into the inn which Crane told his mother he owns, with his friends acting as his employees, and Shifu cast as the simpleton who cleans the toilets.

World War Z

It's the zombie apocalypse. Again. Based on the apocalyptic horror novel of the same name by Max Brooks, World War Z follows retired UN investigator Gary Lane (Brad Pitt) who is forced to leave his family when he is pulled back into service after a new pandemic quickly begins turning the majority of human beings on the planet into a never-ending wave of zombies.

Brooks' novel has been praised for using the subject of a zombie apocalypse to delve into serious themes such as the problems of American isolationism, corporate corruption, government bureaucracy, and the uncertainty of the modern world. Given a PG-13 rating and an under two-hour running time, the movie isn't quite so ambitious.

The film introduces us to Lane, his wife (Mireille Enos), and two daughters (Sterling JerinsAbigail Hargrove) the morning before the worldwide outbreak which traps them in the middle of Philadelphia. Given his experience and skill set uniquely suited to the type of nightmare scenario the world finds itself in, and old friend (Fana Mokoena) agrees to airlift Lane and his family out of danger, but only if he returns to work.

The Bling Ring

Based on real events in late 2008 and through most of 2009, writer/director Sofia Coppola's latest film takes a look at a group of teenagers from Calabasas, California who burglarized several Hollywood celebrities with the help of tabloid and gossip blogs (which told the gang when the celebrities would be out of town) and the stars themselves (as many left their homes defenseless, not even bothering to lock doors and windows). The group would come to be known as the Hollywood Hills Burglars or The Bling Ring.

Although the film spends time with all the members of the group, the primary focus is on Rebecca (Katie Chang), the instigator of the robberies, and her best friend Marc (Israel Broussard), a shy gay teen willing to do nearly anything for his first real best friend. The group also includes Chloe (Claire Julien), a friend with the criminal connections to help the Bling Ring fence some of their stolen merchandise, and the homeschooled threesome of Nicki (Emma Watson), her younger sister Emily (Georgia Rock), and her adopted sister Sam (Taissa Farmiga).

Monsters University

How much do you love Animal House? I ask because the team behind Monsters University obviously holds it high regard. Over the years everything from Sydney White to Futurama has aped the story of rival fraternities battling it out on a college campus. Now it's Pixar's turn.

Set as a prequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc. the story follows mismatched pair Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) as freshman students at the prestigious Monsters University. Most of the film's first-half deals with the rivalry between the pair trying to show each other up as the school's next big Scarer. Mike has the brains, but not the looks, and Sully's lack of discipline undercuts his natural ability.

When the Mike and Sulley get on the bad side of Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) and face expulsion, they have no choice but to join the university's least popular fraternity and work together with its other members (Peter SohnJoel MurraySean HayesDave FoleyCharlie Day) to win a scare competition and remain in school.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Futurama - 2-D Blacktop

After another malfunction causes the Planet Express ship to crash again, Leela (Katey Sagal) has it towed away to the city dump. Refusing to let his "Bessie" go, Professor Fransworth (Billy West) sneaks into the dump and steals enough parts to salvage, and supe-up, the ship. Looking for a new direction, the Professor hooks up with a street racing crew (because... um, well why not?).

Transformers: Regeneration One #92

With Scorponok defeated and the recent uprisings on Cybertron temporarily quieted, Hot Rod leads the Dinobots into the depths of Cybertron looking for the ancient Transformers, answers, and the Dinobots' lost leader Grimlock. Prowl, meanwhile, struggles to keep the peace and makes sure his friends effected by Scorponok's warrior gene have truly returned to normal. However, Soundwave is lurking in the shadows and using the recent chaos and Mayhem Attack Squad to blind Cybertron's defenses and ready the way for Galvatron's arrival.

Meanwhile back on Earth, Optimus Prime is attacked by a 90's Image Comics super-hero version of Spike while trying to talk some sense into humanity who has had their fill of being stuck in the middle of the Autobot-Decepticon war.

The story is a little weird (especially this version of Spike), but there are some nice touches including several familiar faces for longtime fans (along with those already mentioned we also get Silverbolt, Huffer, Inferno, and Blaster). For fans.

[IDW, $3.99]

Franklin & Bash - Coffee and Cream

Nudity! Magic! And the law! The show's Third Season opens with Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) humiliated on live television by Rachel King (Heather Locklear) who they later discover Infeld (Malcolm McDowell) has taken on as a new partner for the firm, making her their new boss (although the reasons for this new partnership are never truly explained). The show returns without Hanna (Garcelle Beauvais), who we are told took a job at another firm, and Karp (Reed Diamond) has one foot out the door. Although he has second thoughts when Rachel offers to help him with his campaign to become a judge beginning with some advice concerning what to do about a potentially damaging video tape of the lawyer masturbating on camera for a medical study.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pretty Little Liars - Turn of a Shoe

While trying to get a peek at A's RV things the Liars have an eventful night as Mona (Janel Parrish) is attacked, Emily (Shay Mitchell) injures her shoulder on the eve of a big swim meet, and the group discovers that their enemy is back in possession of the lair. Spencer (Troian Bellisario) is further shaken when she learns Toby (Keegan Allen) knows a little too much about the night's events for her comfort as well as dealing with the fact that she has been denied admission to the college of her choice (and the only acceptable college for a true "Hastings").

The Shadow #14

The Shadow comes face-to-face with the self-appointed angel of death and gets his butt kicked by the dual-katana wielding vigilante known as The Light. The Shadow is unable to stop the glowing assassin before she makes an attempt on another man's life, he is however able to get the man to a nearby hospital. Sadly, it's not safe enough from her reach.

So far I like the idea of The Light better than the execution, but it is nice to see The Shadow come up against a rival with a purpose and (far different skill set) to rival his own. The comic ends with Lamont Cranston putting the entire legion of The Shadow's eyes and ears on the case to find the mysterious woman.

I'm curious to see how long it will take The Shadow to turn his gaze on the nun at the dead man's hospital who matches both The Light's description and temperament, or if it will be another member of his network that makes the discovery. For fans.

[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness - Five is Enough

While hosting a Kung Fu tournament between the Furious Five and Po (Mick Wingert) and the warriors of the Onyx Temple, Shifu (Fred Tatasciore) becomes increasingly paranoid that Po and the visiting Master Chao (James Sie) are planning to replace him as the master of the Jade Palace. Shifu decides to enter the contest to prove he still has what it takes, meanwhile the real threat to the village comes in the form of the dangerous Kung Fu master Pai Mei (Clancy Brown) who arrives in the Valley of Peace just after all the masters except Chao have embarked on their competition.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

King & Maxwell - Second Chances

After a somewhat lackluster Pilot episode, the show's second episode finds Maxwell (Rebecca Romijn) a prime suspect in the assassination attempt of a Georgian diplomat (Shawn Doyle) that got one of his Secret Service agents shot. Given her past association with the diplomat (who she once threatened at gunpoint) and the care someone is taking to frame her for the current crime, Maxwell is questioned by Rigby (Michael O'Keefe) and Carter (Chris Butler) and ordered to stay away from the suspect. Ignoring the warning, King (Jon Tenney) steps in as Maxwell's lawyer and the pair do some of their own investigating while also dealing with exonerated serial killer Edgar Roy (Ryan Hurst) who shows up on their doorstep unannounced for the job they promised him.

Worlds' Finest #13

The latest issue of Worlds' Finest picks up with Power Girl and the Huntress looking for answers as to how long Desaad has been masquerading as as Michael Holt and how his illegal takeover of Starr Industries was allowed to continue. Oh, and they fight a really, really big dog.

While working to create a new evil minion (a gruesome subplot I could have done without), Desaad sends a giant hell beast after the heroines. Fighting it off once, the pair are later attacked a second time in Helena's favorite safe house when the dog tracks them down.

For a series that has been schizophrenic with its art, we finally get an issue with a single artist. I don't love Robson Rocha's art but it's passable and he certainly has a flair for drawing Power Girl in action. The idea of the pair fighting a giant hell dog sounds more fun that the actual adventure, and I could do with less Apokolips-centric storylines (which at this point doesn't seem likely). Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $2.99]

Amber Heard heats up Malibu

Actress Amber Heard is the cover girl for the 2013 June/July issue of Malibu Magazine. You can find pics and a behind-the-scenes video from her photoshoot inside.

Burn Notice - Season Six

The Sixth Season of Burn Notice begins with Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) in prison and Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) provisionally back to work with the CIA chasing down Anson (Jere Burns) and trying to earn Fi her freedom. By the season ends Michael will be presented with the opportunity he would have killed for in the show's First Season but here it will cost him dearly.

Highlights of the season include an out of control Michael in the season premiere, the return of Kristanna Loken as Anson's stooge Rebecca, the return of Barry (Paul Tei) and the death of Michael's brother, and Michael working with Card (John C. McGinley) and the CIA to find Tyler Gray (Kenny Johnson). The second-half of the season puts Michael, Fi, Sam (Bruce Campbell), and Jesse (Coby Bell) on the run from Olivia Riley (Sonja Sohn) after Card's death and forced to crash with smuggler Calvin Schmidt (Patton Oswalt), Sam getting shot, and the season finale where the fallout of Michaels actions force him to accept a deal to keep his friends and family out of prison.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Shadow

Available on Blu-ray for the first time, 1994's The Shadow starred Alec Baldwin as Lamont Cranston and his shadowy alter-ego with the ability to cloud men's minds to make himself invisible. Based on the pulp hero who made his appearance more than 80 years-ago, the screenplay by Walter Koepp may be a little too cheesy for some, but Baldwin and some nice period set design help sell a film that's far more entertaining than it has any right to be.

After the brief origin for Cranston's brutal time in the Far East as the muderous opium warlord Ying-Ko, and his training to fight the evil in his past and learn the mystic arts which will serve him well in the coming years, the movie picks up years later with The Shadow dispensing justice in New York City. Helping The Shadow is an organization of those he's saved over the years and a little mind control that Cranston uses to make sure his uncle (Jonathan Winters) doesn't allow the police to look to closely into the vigilante's heroics.

Star Wars #6

Disobeying orders, Luke and Prithi head out in search of the rest of the squadron. Finding the group and a severely wounded Leia in an equally damaged X-Wing, the pilots put their heads together and come up with a plan to trap the Star Destroyer Devastator and the TIE Intereptors quickly closing in on their location.

Although the plan isn't all that well explained by writer Brian Wood, the effects are impressive. Most impressive. The fallout earns Leia an extended stay in a Bacta tank with C-3P0 and R2-D2 and promotions for both Luke and Wedge now that the princess is out of commission for the time being.

With Han Solo stuck on Coruscant and out of contact, and a pissed-off Col. Bircher wanting revenge for his lost Star Destroyer, it becomes even more necessary for the rag-tag fleet to find the mole. Sadly, it appears the group will move forward without Prithi who leaves after witnessing the depths of Luke's feelings for Leia. I like the character, and I'm hoping we'll continue to see more of her in the months to come. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Guardians of the Galaxy #3

After being arrested for stopping a Badoon warship from attacking Earth at the end of the last issue, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man are put into status awaiting trial. Thankfully for them, the group has one member of the team not accounted for. Sure, he may have a limited vocabulary, but that doesn't stop Groot from making an impressive rescue and letting the Guardians go on the offensive.

Although I think Tony Stark is a bit too humorous in the face of danger here (he's basically Robert Downey, Jr. with even better lines), the capture and escape of the team both work well. I can't say the same for the entire enterprise by Star-Lord's father which besides being doomed to failure (you really don't want to try and make the Guardians your patsies) the logic behind his plan (which makes him look exactly like the conniving schemer he is) is shaky at best.

Groot and Rocket Racoon both get great moments here, and the teams smallest member racks up another impressive body count before Peter Quill basically decides to declare war on his father. Best of the week.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sinbad - Queen of the Water-Thieves

After surviving the storm that killed the rest of the ship's passengers and crew, Sinbad (Elliot Knight), Anwar (Dimitri Leonidas), Rina (Marama Corlett), Gunnar (Elliot Cowan), and Nala (Estella Daniels) are taken captive by the Water-Thieves who confiscate their ship and deliver them as prisoners to their Queen (Sophie Okonedo). Stepping foot on land again for the first time since his curse, Sinbad has only a single day and night to try and charm the Queen and save himself and his friends who are meant to feed the cannibalistic tribe of Water-Thieves.