Monday, May 31, 2010

Comic Book Review: Gotham City Sirens #12

Book Information
Written by Tony Bedard
Penciled by Peter Nguyen
Colored by Tony Avina
Inked by Jack Purcell
Lettered by Steve Wands
Cover by Guillem March

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
It’s fun to see DC make a good author transition.  Tony Bedard, currently writing for Green Lantern Corps, gives shape to this latest issue of the Gotham City Sirens that is honorable and dignified in Paul Dini’s absence.  This new arc shows Catwoman breaking into a catholic church, searching for files on her missing, formerly nunerized sister Maggie.  We soon discover that Maggie has gone through some maddening spiritual reformation, causing her to believe that cats are demon’s which have taken over her sister’s body. (And I’m sure Tim Burton would second that motion right?)  The only way to save Selina, in Maggie’s mind, is to kill her.

I never picked up Catwoman’s Blackest Night tie-in, so I’m lost on as to what happen with Catwoman’s sister and why she was laying, bruised and beaten on the footsteps of a city house.  But I do know that WHAT I’ve read thus far is interesting and twisted, just the way I like.  It did go a little over the top, especially when Maggie takes the fire poker and bashes it over the exorcists cat, but I guess when it comes to religious fanatics, this is how they would react to demon’s and demon possession right?  But even more interesting, Catwoman now has a new enemy which is 1) her sister, and 2) who has a religious hatred for felines.  If DC decides to utilize Maggie in this capacity for future stories, this could become very interesting in the life of Catwoman.

Nguyen, whose artistic style doesn’t touch Guillem March’s, was able to deliver some pretty powerful images that blend into the story quite well.  The scenes at the exorcist’s house were demonic and terrifying and really made my blood curdle with anticipation.  And boy Maggie’s new “Demon-Nun” outfit was creepy, reminding me of the Phantasm’s outfit.

I was a little disappointed in the minimal usage of Harley, but that’s a minor concern that has very little bearing on the quality of the story.  I just find that Harley’s potential as a character has not been acted out like it should have been by now. 

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
Bedard was a good choice to fill in as writer until Dini returns next month, as was Nguyen.  However, I’m sure fans are anxiously waiting the return of both Mr. Dini and Mr. March next month.

Writing: 7
Themes: 9
Art: 8
Overall: 8 out of 10

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Couch Potato Film Recommendations

Netflix is a wonderful thing, it allows me those opportunities to pay very little for renting mail-in movies as well as streaming capabilities.  Having received so many movies via United States Postal Service, I have thought many times about posting movie recommendations/reviews for any and all films I see from Netflix.  Thus begins my very first installment of the Couch Potato Film Recommendations.....

Recommendation #1 - Network
Directed By Sydney Lumet 
Written By Paddy Chayefsky

Plot: In 1975, terrorist violence is the stuff of network nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS television network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way, making claims that shoot the networks ratings up unexpectedly high. CEO's and other people in charge take advantage of Beale's new found insanity and keep him on the air, giving him his own show where rabbles on about the "truth" of an uncivilized world. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network.   

This film had one of the more intelligently written scripts I've ever seen in a film before.  I thought "Doubt" was one of the best literary scripts in the history of film, but Paddy Chayefsky just proved me wrong.  Interestingly enough, this movie pushed the major boundaries of it's time, being the first film to use what we refer to as "adult language" as consistently as it did.  No film at this time used swearing NEAR as much as "Network" did.  I would even argue that Sidney Lumet's 1976 hit film would rival our more modern films on the number of swear words used.

Now don't let the fact that the swear words are being paraded around like a bunch of circus clowns turn you off to the film; Network's researched & literary qualities bring you head first into the inner workings of network television and just how stressful and competitive of an environment it can be.  The film itself has a religious tone to it, (not in the theological sense mind you) arguing that people are like mindless zombies who will believe anything as long as the visual and literary rhetoric of the program hits at the heart of the viewer's values and needs.  

If you have an itch to watch something fun and new, but not mind-numbingly stupid, Network would definitely be worth your time.  With powerful performances by a well established cast, this movie could go down on your "I have to own this" list.

Recommendation #2 - Baraka
Directed By Ron Fricke
Written By Constantine & Genevieve Nicholas

Plot: Without words, cameras show us the world, with an emphasis not on "where," but on "what's there." It begins with morning, natural landscapes and people at prayer: volcanoes, water falls, veldts, and forests; several hundred monks do a monkey chant. Indigenous peoples apply body paint; whole villages dance. The film moves to destruction of nature via logging, blasting, and strip mining. Images of poverty, rapid urban life, and factories give way to war, concentration camps, and mass graves. Ancient ruins come into view, and then a sacred river where pilgrims bathe and funeral pyres burn. Prayer and nature return. A monk rings a huge bell; stars wheel across the sky. 

I had heard some fairly interesting "verbal" reviews about this movie from people I know, ranging in all different types of opinionated jargon.  Some hated it, some loved it, but never was there a person who claimed to be in the middle; it was all or nothing.  Being a student of cultural studies and sociology, you'd think I would have sought this film out...But I never did.  Luckily, one of my wife's history buddies owned it, and we took a night to watch it in it's entirety.

I had no idea, going into it, that the film itself was lacking 100% in any verbal communication or script, with exception to a tribe spouting out verbiage that sounded more like random, incoherent words that only held significant meaning to that specific tribe.  Everything else, was visualized beauty that only nature could bring you.

The cinematography ranged from tribal forest lands to citywide, industrial and mechanically operated civilizations.  There is no narration, so I wouldn't qualify this as a documentary, nor would I classify it as a typical movie either.  This is purely an art film which shows the vast diversity of the world and its non-unified order.

If you are unable sit through a film with no dialogue and no action scenes, you might want to skip out on this.  But if you need a nice, relaxing film to watch where you need not worry about talking and have conversations with friends during it's duration, with beautiful scenery and music, you might give this film a shot.

wieners vs. vaginas

Seriously, this video is hilarious! I'm definitely going to subscribe to her youtube channel!  I know it's a deviation from the comic book and movie theme, but I honestly felt like I needed to post this!

Comic Book Review: Green Hornet #4

Book Information
Written by Kevin Smith
Penciled by Jonathan Lau
Colored by Ivan Nunes
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Cover by Alex Ross

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
I have to admit, I had many preconceived notions about what this issue was going to contain, which mainly centered on Britt Reid taking up the Green Hornet mantle and embracing his father’s legacy.  You can imagine my disappointment when discovering that this issue focuses on the coping method Britt goes through when discovering his father’s secret.  This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, I merely got ahead of myself and forgot to allow the story to unfold without putting any expectations on it.

The story splits off into two sections; the first being the realization that Britt Reid suffers through and discussing it with Kato senior and junior, and the other being a smack down between Kato Junior and Johnny Vaughn’s gang of henchmen.  It goes from being dramatically angst driven circus of emotions, then reverting to an all out brawl where the girl is kicking everyone’s ass!  Nothing new, but very exciting.

There does seem to be some pacing issues with Kevin Smith’s rejected film script.  Seeing as how this was intended for the big screen, some aspects aren’t going play out as well on the comic book pages.  I think most people would have expected Britt Reid to become the Green Hornet by the third issue, but he’s barely scratch the surface, only putting on the costume on the page of this month’s installment; and more than likely, Britt’s only doing it for the mere thrill of fighting bad guys.  I guess I’m not used to origin stories taking so long these days.  Kevin Smith is being patient and giving Britt Reid time to discover his roots and really embrace this inevitable calling, which is the appropriate way to tackle this character, even if I prefer a much more speedy approach.  It’s disappointing, but fits within the theme of the story.

Jonathan Lau can do no wrong!  I can’t begin to describe his attention to detail and how accurate he is.  Every punch, kick, jump, flip, twirl, and clanging metal from swords makes you feel like you’re in the action right along with Kato.  If there was an artist I could CHOOSE to be like, Lau would be it!

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
Smith is doing a fantastic job with his series; I just hope things pick up with #5.  Yes, many major events have occurred in the series thus far, but I want Britt to BE the Green Hornet NOW!

Writing: 7
Themes: 7
Art: 10
Overall: 8 out of 10

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Comic Book Review: Green Lantern Corps #48

Book Information
Written by Tony Bedard
Penciled by Ardian Syaf
Colored by Randy Mayor, Gabe Eltaeb, Carrie Strachan
Inked by Vicente Cifuentes
Lettered by Steve Wands
Cover by Rodolfo Migliari

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
With an entirely new creative team behind the Corps, opinions have been running amuck all throughout the internet and other social networking sites if the Tomasi and Gleeson replacements will live up to the standard set by the said writer and artist team.  I fell into this category numerous times as I constantly found myself worried if Bedard and Syaf could actually pull off an equally good continuation of the Corps post Blackest Night.  And without a shadow of a doubt, they do.

This book follows a typical pattern any comic book does when recovering from a major event.  However it works quite well with the Corps since this title, month after month, focuses on three to four plotlines that don’t always correlate with one another.  Bedard uses this unique aspect of the Green Lantern Corps as a way of easily transitioning into Brightest Day, except this time each plot seems to connect to the darker, more mysterious plot. 

While Kyle Rayner and John Stewart, along with the assistance of a few newbie Lanterns, attempt to rebuild the Oan City, (in a more traditional look) The Alpha Lanterns are seemingly taking many Lanterns one by one and turning them into Alpha Lanterns.  With this going on, I find it highly suspicious that Alpha Lantern Boodikka requests John Stewart’s assistance with some unknown event.  Also in the background, right at the beginning in fact, is the strange alliance that Guy Gardner and Ganthet seem to have with Atrocitus.  It was just enough of a teaser to keep us intrigued about the future, but did not linger and dull over the main plot.  Bedard is building his story up a tad slow, but it keeps the momentum going and never lags.

Artistically, I have very little complaints.  I did, however, find it a bit odd in the beginning when Atrocitus’ jaw seemed disconnected from his head due to the vast amounts of blood splattering from his mouth.  Other than that, Syaf delivers the quality work that I’m sure we’ve all come to expect from him. 

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
Overall, this issue is fun and satisfying.  I’m not sure it’s AS good as the literary precedent Tomasi has set, but Bedard is definitely showing potential.

Writing: 10
Themes: 9
Art: 8
Overall: 9 out of 10

Friday, May 28, 2010

Comic Book Review: War of the Superman #4

Book Information
Written by James Robinson
Penciled by Eddy Barrows, Cafu, Eduardo Pansica
Colored by Blond
Inked by Mayer, Bit
Lettered by John J. Hill
Cover by Barrows, Mayer, Rod Reis

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
This just might be one of the most devastating comics of the year as the good guy winning is not the focal point.  On the contrary, the good guys are the ones that loose while the bad guys find themselves on a pedestal of historic achievement.  Just like Secret Six, WotS #4 defies the stereotypical comic book thread and gives us the most undesirable ending to a story possible.  But in doing that, Robinson and Gates have shown us that it’s not the level of satisfaction that a reader gets which dictates the book’s quality, but rather the message that it’s tries to convey.

The story gives all three “Supers” a chance to shine, mainly focusing in on Superman and Supergirl, with a glimpse of Superboy as he sucks numerous Kryptonians into the phantom zone.  Superman and Supergirl both fight defend themselves against Zod and Ursa, almost dying in the process.  The dialogue was fantastic despite a few clichĂ© and silly moments from a couple of characters…

“Normally I have a rule about hitting women, but for you I’ll make an exception.”

The Kryptonians are rabid dogs who need to be put down before—“

The transitions from panel to panel were smooth and the epic scenes were outstanding.  I honestly thought we were going to loose Superman forever as he selflessly put himself into the phantom zone to keep an eye on Zod.  Gates and Robinson kept me guessing as I wasn’t sure how this issue was going to end.  Was General Lane going to be stopped?  Was Zod going to be victorious?  Would Supergirl actually kill someone?  These questions and more kept swimming through my head with no answer in sight, the mark of an incredibly well-written story.

The deeper and more thought provoking theme of the final chapter in this arc really hits home for me as a sociologist, the inability for people to accept difference.  Both Generals were at the forefront of the problem, but people on both sides continued their belief that the other was bad.  And while the two generals were stopped, and people were safe once again, the entire Kryptonian race—minus the Super trifecta—was obliterated, and General Lane goes down in history as the “man who was prepared for the Kryptonian attack.”  Not only that, but Lois Lane and Supergirl both loose their parents during this devastating war.  The final moments where Superman and Lois discuss the future of Earth were very powerful; showing that humanities greatest weakness is their inability to give room for what they don’t understand.  This issue does not shed a positive light on human nature.  And for me, being someone who enjoys a good unhappy ending, this comic was candy!

I have to say, the artist toggle did not distract me as I thought it would before opening the book.  I would have preferred Barrows complete the whole book, but I found myself enjoying the artistry on every page.  Maybe the quality of the story was good enough that the artistic transitions made very little difference to me, or maybe it was something else, I don’t know.  But I do know that nothing in this issue artistically annoyed or pissed me off.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
War of the Superman….Great start, fantastic middle, and outstanding ending!  This was one of the more successfully executed minis DC has put out in a while.  It will leave you in an unsatisfied state but will give you many things to ponder on. 

Writing: 10
Themes: 10
Art: 10
Overall: 10 out of 10
          + 2 incentive points

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Comic Book Review: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frazier Irving
Lettered by Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by Andy Kubert, Frazier Irving

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
It’s nice to see Morrison bringing things together from his highly successful “Final Crisis” series.  Wayne, still unsure of who he is and where he comes from, embarks on a 17th century, Puritan adventure where his forgotten detective skills begin to resurface in his mind.  Many of the confusing clues left behind by Wayne (unintentionally left mind you) in Morrison’s Batman and Robin series are coming to light one step at a time.  It’s evident that as he travels forward in time, his memory fades away, hindering him from remembering his Batman persona.  While he continues his current mystery, decking out his pilgrim attire, Superman and company find themselves at Vanishing Point in hopes they can discover where their long lost friend is.

While I enjoyed this issue, it did take a while for the story to become exciting.  The story’s set up took a little longer than necessary, plus I found myself continually wondering which one was Mordecai (the name Wayne goes by in this time period) and which was this mysterious, “Feisty Christy” [Christ – ie] keeper of the law.  I’m sure the similar facial features and body structure was a purposeful approach, but this made the first half of the book quite confusing and unnecessarily boring.  The second half of this issue however does pick up and really begins to get at the heart of what Morrison is trying to do.  It’s obvious Morrison either did his homework, or is already well educated in the subject of history because of the religious intolerance, the reaction to those “sketchy” individuals, and the fear of witchcraft permeates all throughout this RoBW installment.  I had hoped Morrison would delve into this 17th century focus a little more, but with the complexity of this story arc, I don’t think it would work like Morrison would want it too.

You might find yourself a little tuckered out by the hefty and loaded dialogue at Vanishing Point where Superman, Green Lantern, and Booster Gold attempt to stop the “archivist” from destroying time.  If you haven’t read final crisis, or aren’t currently reading something related to Batman’s disappearance, this series of segments might become dull and meaningless for you.  However, it does allow for some of the missing and confusing pieces from Final Crisis to be placed appropriately in its slot.  And of course, the revelation of our archivist’s identity was a nice twist.

The art isn’t my personal preference however it fits within the theme of the story.  The dark, painted atmosphere portrays the sinister nature of this society quite well.  For me, I didn’t enjoy the over shadowing of each character and their inconsistency body structures.  I’m not sure I would want a steady diet of Irving’s artistry (which I’m sure to get in Batman & Robin really soon) but this wasn’t at all bad as a one time thing.

I was confused by the significance of Annie.  She seemed to be at one with the mythological realm, but carried the symbol of Superman and Wonder Woman around her neck.  I’ll give this some time, but I can’t seem to grasp how this could be possible and didn’t see how it related to the story.  Hopefully Morrison lets some things out of the water soon.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
A good issue.  It takes some time to get really engaging, but does provide a good chunk of juicy meat for this story.

Writing: 7
Themes: 7
Art: 8.5
Overall: 7.5 out of 10

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Comic Book Review: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Penciled by Chris Sprouse
Colored by Guy Major
Inked by Karl Story
Lettered by Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by Andy Kubert, Chris Sprouse

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
I can’t express my joy in seeing Chris Sprouse taking charge of the penciling duties.  I was bound and determined NOT to pick up any installments of this series since Morrison is writing it, but knowing Sprouse was adding his talents to the arc forced me into something I didn’t want to do, and it pays off!

Morrison continually finds ways of surprising me in his inability to write stories that make sense.  This issue starts off with the image of a rocket ship drilled into the Earth and Bruce Wayne standing among the cavemen triumphantly.  Did Bruce Wayne go back in time in a rocket ship?  I seem to recall an image where Bruce Wayne was struck by a powerful set of Darksied's dimension altering eye beams.

With Darksied’s Omega Beams being the obvious time traveling agent for Bruce Wayne, why is Morrison allowing us to think the contrary?  Having this inconsistent addition to the story allows him to use “Bat-like” devices and gadgets Wayne would have used to fight crime in his own time.  But many other questions arise; why was Superman’s cape in the rocket?  What was the dust coming from inside the compartment supposed to symbolize?  The continuity portion of the story in relation to the events of Final Crisis is lacking severely.

With that being said, I can’t deny the enjoyment I had in Morrison’s clever use of Dialogue (or lack thereof).  My first reaction to the cavemen’s unintelligible, yet coherent verbiage forced my left eyebrow to rise up in an inquisitive and questionable manner.  But once I saw how this was aiding the story, especially with Bruce Wayne’s slurred speech pattern, I understood what Morrison was trying to accomplish.  Will Wayne be continually learn and adopt different speech patterns as he travels through time?  At that same token, will the Joker and Robin appear in every time period?  Is Morrison trying to say that the Batman is timeless?  Will Batman have to stop a different version of the Joker continually in his travels?  Is being “Batman” a curse that will never leave Wayne no matter where or when he is?  Maybe Neil Gaiman’s “What ever happened to the Caped Crusader” story will correlate into the canonization of Batman folklore after all.

Like I say above, Chris Sprouse is my hero.  He isn’t the greatest artist of all time, but his art is definitely timeless.  He has that knack for creating visuals that resemble the classic art styles; Black blood spewing from Wayne’s mouth, the wooden body structures, it all works for him some how.  His experience working on Tom Strong definitely shows up here in fine form.  The inking was a little overdone at times, but not enough to become a distraction.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
Morrison sucks, but he certainly knows how to put an impression on his readers.  Even if you hate him with every fiber of your being, you can’t deny, he certainly has a vivid imagination.

Writing: 5
Themes: 8
Art: 9
Overall: 7.33 out of 10

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Comic Book Review: Brightest Day #2

Book Information
Written by Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi
Penciled by Scott Clark, Joe Prado
Colored by Aspen MLT
Inked by David Beaty
Lettered by Rob Clark Jr.
Cover by David Finch, Scott Williams

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Thank you Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, David Finch and Scott Clark for letting me know exactly who the focal point of this issue is.  I can only imagine what new realizations Aquaman will have about his unexplained connection with dead sea creatures.  Just look at that cover, it screams a mighty echo to its readers; it calls out to their notion of intrigue and excitement with the mystery revolving around Aquaman!  Oh what a joyful time, to know that DC has thought ahead so well that they know exactly how to make their loyal fans want more!  DC is a master at making covers that truly define the essence of a story and how it relates to the coming events. Let’s turn to the first page and find out what our King of the sea has to discover.

Let’s see, oh hears the first page…

Oh well, it’s just the start. Let’s see, hhmmm, oh yes here we go…

No, that wasn’t what I was looking for, hold on let’s keep looking, maybe here?

Damn, maybe if I continue on

Ok, what the hell?  Where is the story involving Aquaman as the cover suggests?  Oh, here we go.

Wait…that’s it?

Yes indeed.  DC Comics brings us one of the best forms of false advertising.  All you have to do is stick a popular hero on the front cover of a highly anticipated comic that will excite readers about the story so much that they won’t be able to contain themselves!  The next step (and this is the best part) is to put that hero in only one panel of the book and call it good!  DC makes no mistakes right?

Ok, on a serious note, I do find it a little annoying when comics print a cover that has nothing to do with what’s inside.  The story focuses all of its energy on pushing forward with Martian Manhunter’s story (which seems to do very little in helping this issue’s over arching theme) and a mysteriously rampaging, murderous wife.  I understand the necessity of toggling back and forth to each character’s story, but I see no central focus.  Brightest Day seems to have taken a huge step backward into more of a bloody horror story than an intelligently written thriller comic like it started out as.  Is this what Johns is going for?  I’m not sure I approve.  I’ll keep following this series but I certainly hope we don’t get anymore Brightest Day’s like this one.

I love the art as a whole but would love to have Ivan Reis do everything.  The last two page spread of this issue is nothing short of spectacular.  As idiotic as I find having the Anti-Monitor back so soon, and in this story, I must say that is an impressive piece of work.  It only goes to show you that even a poorly written comic can still have its good points.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
Maybe I’m being harsh and allowing my pre-conceived notions about Brightest Day to dictate my reaction to #2, but I’m having trouble accepting this issue as a satisfactory addition to the series.  Johns and Tomasi have set such an amazing precedent with Blackest Night that to have something like this really detracts from the story.  Everything was scrambled, unfocused and too concerned with bringing in that damned Anti-Monitor.  Ugh!

Writing: 2
Themes: 1
Art: 9
Overall: 4 out of 10 stars

Hi, I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC: The Musical (100th Video)

Monday, May 24, 2010

You'll have to wait....

Hey guy, sorry, I'm currently in Iowa with my wife. My brother-in-law is graduating high school and we took the ten hour trek across the boring state of Nebraska to support him.  But this meant I had no time to blog.  I have Brightest Day #2 to review as well as War of the Superman #3 and a very late review of the Return of Bruce Wayne #1.  

Please be patient with me.  We will get home today around 6:00 or 7:00, and my plan is to get writing right away when I get home...after I nap of course, he he.  

In the mean time, if any of you have comments about stuff I should write about on here, please, comment away!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Comic Book Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Book Information
Written by Paul Levitz
Penciled by Yildiray Cinar
Colored by Hi-Fi
Inked by Wayne Faucher
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
Cover by Cinar & Faucher

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
I never gave the Legion of Super-Heroes a chance growing up; not because I thought it was a stupid comic, but rather I was unfamiliar with the characters.  Superman and Batman were my thing, anything else was kid stuff right?  As I have transcended my geeky adolescence into a more mature form of nerditude, I decided to give this new relaunching of the classic super-team of the future a chance.

Paul Levitz and Yildiray Cinar have come together to give this title that silver age feel to it, giving the script an intelligent stance with hints of hokiness.  Likewise, Cinar’s artistry resembles the “lower budget” approach but keeps an excellent foundational quality.  The book is structured in such a way that satisfies that nostalgic arousal that I’m sure most hard-core Legion fans crave but doesn’t linger on the past.  There’s just enough info to help newer Legion readers get onboard with the story, but wont bore our Loyal Legion fan-boys. 

Levitz presents a story that sets Saturn-Girl up as the protagonist.  While the story is centered around her, it toggles to Brainiac 5 every once in a while.   It seems two plots are being presented; one involving Saturn-Girl and the other involving what looks like a baby Guardian sperm from the planet Oa.  I did find myself a little confused as to what exactly was going, but the basic gist of the story does come through.  My recommendation: read this issue slowly to ensure you have a legitimate comprehension of the story; it moves at 100 miles an hour and crams in a lot of dialogue, story preparation, and plot progression that can’t be fully appreciated without taking time to read it slowly.

Like I mentioned above, the art resembles the classic, silver age artistry but maintains a modern glimmer to it.  Cinar calls upon various “stocked” poses of people flying through the air and zooming forward on a track of speed lines.  The coloring of every page was wisely executed; giving us enough explosive action without going too over the top.  The cover itself is so detailed that it elicits a powerfully emotional impact causing feelings of rage, aggression, and excitement to pop out at you with more force than any artist could muster.  (Best Cover of 2010 maybe?)

Now if you are a complete newbie to the Legion, don’t worry, the great Paul Levitz has given his readers a brief one paged historical summary of the futuristic super-team.  The summary is very well written and gives Levitz a chance to bask in his own literary glory being the inspiration and “head-man in charge” of making the Legion what it is today.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
I couldn’t be happier with this issue.  It’s a non-stop action packed issue that keeps you wanting more, but stays excellent in its literary quality.  I think it was a good idea to make this a 40-page, oversized issue since I can’t see how it would be a successful beginning to an already popular title.

Writing: 10
Themes: 9.5
Art: 10
Overall: 9.83 out of 10

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cinematic Excursions: Film Releases For The May 21st Weekend

Here we are, another big movie opening weekend.  The two big name films out this weekend is the 4th installment in the Shrek franchise and the Saturday Night Live hit short, MacGruber.  I'll be on the road this weekend to see my brother-in-law graduate from high school so there won't be any trips to the movies for me this weekend.  But everyone else should enjoy the end of school and take a trip to the movies, there's something for everyone...

Release Date: May 21, 2010 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D) 
Studio: DreamWorks Animation 
Director: Mike Mitchell 
Screenwriter: Josh KlausnerDarren Lemke 
Starring: Mike MyersCameron DiazEddie MurphyAntonio BanderasJon HammKathy GriffinKristen Schaal Genre: Animation, Comedy, Fantasy 
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action, some rude humor and brief language) 
Official Website: 
Review: 7/10 rating | 6/10 rating 

Plot Summary: Shrek is feeling over-domesticated in the fourth installment. He has lost his roar. It used to send villagers running away in terror. Now they run to him and ask him to sign their pitchforks and torches. To regain his ogre mojo, he strikes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin. The pact goes awry and Shrek must confront what life would be like in Far Far Away if he had never existed. That translates into Donkey being forced into cart-pulling duty, fat and lazy Puss in Boots trading his sword for a pink bow and the underhanded Rumpelstiltskin ruling the kingdom. 

Release Date: May 21, 2010 
Studio: Rogue Pictures (Universal) 
Director: Jorma Taccone Screenwriter: Will ForteJohn SolomonJorma Taccone Starring: Will ForteRyan PhillippeKristen WiigVal KilmerPowers Boothe,Maya Rudolph Genre: Action, Comedy 
MPAA Rating: R (for strong crude and sexual content, violence, language and some nudity) 
Official Website: 

Plot Summary: Only one American hero has earned the rank of Green Beret, Navy SEAL and Army Ranger. Just one operative has been awarded 16 purple hearts, 3 Congressional Medals of Honor and 7 presidential medals of bravery. And only one guy is man enough to still sport a mullet. In 2010, Will Forte brings "Saturday Night Live's" clueless soldier of fortune to the big screen in the action comedy "MacGruber."

In the 10 years since his fiancée was killed, special op MacGruber has sworn off a life of fighting crime with his bare hands. But when he learns that his country needs him to find a nuclear warhead that's been stolen by his sworn enemy, Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer), MacGruber figures he's the only one tough enough for the job.

Assembling an elite team of experts--Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) and Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig)--MacGruber will navigate an army of assassins to hunt down Cunth and bring him to justice. His methods may be unorthodox. His crime scenes may get messy. But if you want the world saved right, you call in MacGruber. 

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