It is always difficult to jump into the middle of an on-going story. Superhero titles by Marvel and DC are broken down into six issue arcs and there are always two “new reader” points every year. Longer narratives, like Scalped or Fables, both amazing stories, can be nearly impossible to understand properly from just the latest weekly issue. Still, they are classic reads, and a primary reason why the trade paperback market keeps growing. Wasteland #30 was confusing at first for this novice to the title; yet, I immediately wanted to know more.
Even with the invention and proliferation of television, radio remains a relevant and fascinating medium. There are some excellent films about the power of the DJ voice, from Talk Radio to Pump Up the Volume to The Fisher King. Something about the disembodied voice allows the listener to imagine any person they choose as the owner of that voice, and twist the words to their own ideals. Sang Man Kim’s new thriller Midnight F.M. can easily be added not only to the radio film canon, but also to the slate of great thrillers being produced in recent years in South Korea.
There is a particular subgenre of kitschy horror film that comes out of countries like Spain and Italy. Usually something to do with some dark legend, a dark devil, and a group of hot young people who get caught up in the madness. Spanish director José Luis Alemán continues with his Valdemar series in La Sombra Prohibida, based on H.P. Lovecraft's work. You have the ingredients for a cult Spanish horror film, but unfortunately the film doesn’t entirely work out.
Anytime a film has Guillermo del Toro’s name attached to it, a viewer has some fairly standard and somewhat high expectations. Del Toro wrote the screenplay for and produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which has many of his signature tropes. This film is admittedly not up the standards of his previous work, but it is a better-than-average horror-fantasy film with a decent story and enough scares to keep it entertaining.
The highly publicized new comic from Garth Ennis and Dynamite Entertainment is a huge disappointment. The comic focuses on Jennifer, a doting but bored housewife, who is also a methodical, ruthless assassin. With her thoughts revealed via diary entries, I can only assume that we are supposed to ask ‘Why?’ to a number of hints and questions dropped throughout, but these plot hooks are squandered by the simple fact that you don’t really become invested in Jennifer as a character.
This is the best Amazing Spider-Man issue I have read in the last four years. In my youth, I was a Spider-Man fan, but upon returning to the comic years later, I soon encountered the “One More Day” arc — the story that featured the ending of Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson. I hated it. Since then, there have been few good Spidey plot lines, due mostly to revolving creative teams, stinker new villains, and marketing/publicity-driven storylines. Amazing Spider-Man #654.1 changes all that.
A new trailer for the live action adaptation of the Marvel Comics superhero Thor has hit the web. The Kenneth Branagh directed action epic stars Chris Hemsworth as the titular Norse god, robbed of his power and cast down to Earth by his father Odin. The film also stars Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Natalie Portman as his love interest, Jane Foster.
Greg Pak seems to have a strange talent for making me care for characters that I previously could not. He did it with Bruce Banner in Planet Hulk, and he does it again each and every time I pick up his books. His work on Hulk and Incredible Hercules is impeccable, and when I picked up the first issue of the new Silver Surfer mini-series, I hoped that magic would happen again.
There’s a lot of fighting fans and fighting games out there, and with plenty of changes, additions, subtractions and super-hyper-ultra-actions in this latest iteration of the Marvel vs. Capcom series, it’s important to find out if you're one of those fans who will enjoy it. If you're one of those lucky few who do, you will have amazing, fantastic and astonishing times.
Although we've had an idea of what the Spider-Man film costume was going to look like for awhile now, we finally get an official picture of the ol' red-and-blue tights. Along with it comes the announcement of the film's title: it will be officially referred to as The Amazing Spider-Man in all future news posts.
This Week in Dork is a new feature that will attempt to encapsulate all of the dorky events happening in and around Toronto every week. Sure, "This Week in Geek" sounds better, but there's a little thing called copyright which prevents us from calling it that. Here are some of the highlights:
Big news for you cartoon buffs out there: Marvel.com now offers many of their animated series to stream for free. This means that you can watch some classic shows to your heart's content, provided you have a big enough bandwidth budget.
If you find yourself in or around Paris, France between now and March 13th, I am extremely jealous of you. There is a very special art exhibition taking place at the Fondation Cartier. The spectacular exhibit, titled Moebius: Transe-Forme, is an expansive collection of the work of vaunted comics illustrator, cartoonist and artist Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius.
Two new covers for upcoming issues of Brian Wood's series DMZ were thrown online via the writer's Tumblr. The series, which is set in the near future during a second US civil war, is nearing its end with issue #70. These covers for #65 and #66 paint two very different pictures.
DC Comics’ dynamic cover campaign strikes again! I picked up this month's issue of The Flash based entirely on the phenomenal cover by local artist Francis Manapul. I’m not entirely sure why I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the issue, but it is a great read. This reallyshouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, given the creative team involved.
Spinning out of the events of Battle for the Cowl, is the debut of the new Dynamic Duo of Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne. I thoroughly enjoyed the new Batman and Robin series at first, but found my interest waning during the second story arc. I thought I was finished with the series after issue #13, until I saw the previews for the latest issue tucked at the end of all the major DC comics this week.
Brothers, buddies, pals and duos have been the life blood of cinematic narrative from the Blues Brothers to Bad Boys. The bond made between two individuals in the name of a cause and in the face of disagreements is the thin but pivotal thread that sews many films together. The Eagle, based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel The Eagle of the Ninth, like so many adventures before it, places its weight on the four shoulders of two heroes, played by G.I. Joe’s Channing Tatum and once Billy Elliot, now Jumper Jamie Bell.
Cedar Rapids is a nice movie. It’s a nice movie about a nice guy full of nice characters and nice jokes. And, like a young lady deciding whether or not to date a nice boy, your enjoyment of Cedar Rapids will depend on whether niceness on it’s own is enough to truly get you excited.