Monthly Archives: April 2010
Tomorrow – May 1, 2010 – is Free Comic Book Day!
Free Comic Book Day is a single day – the first Saturday in May each year – when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE (Check with your local shop for their participation and rules.) to anyone who comes into their stores.
Don’t forget to check with your local library that may be celebrating Free Comic Book Day as well, and especially drop by my favorite comic shop, All Things Fun! if you’re in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area – they’re not only having a sale, but snacks, games, events, Batman and Imperial Stormtroopers! Check it out here.
Astro Boy ~ I guess I should have known better with this 2009 updating of the 1960s black and white cartoon beloved from my youth. And it’s a long way past the evolution of the animation too. The story seems wrong. The origin of Astro Boy is fairly intact, but it has the feel and the stench of both A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Wall-E when neither is really appropriate. It even has stronger ties to Pinocchio. Astro Boy is Astro Boy, let it be what it is, ya know?
The voice of Nicholas Cage as Dr. Tenma screams first and foremost as wrong. Wrong not just because it’s obvious that it’s him and his voice is inappropriate for the part, but because he displays little emotion in a role fraught with tragedy. It’s like he is reading words, not filling an image with his live personality. His ‘performance’ is a travesty.
The film also suffers from what most superhero movies of the past four decades do – the mandatory origin. Why can’t we just accept that this character exists, and then tell a good story? Did Indiana Jones have an origin? Did Jack Ryan? And even though I looove the recent film, did the crew of the Starship Enterprise? The movie is always half over, sometimes more, by the time we see our hero in his final hero form. It annoys me.
And speaking of hero form – why does Astro Boy have to be so politically correct and wear a shirt? Sorry, folks, but product recognition, in this case, character recognition, dictates that the product is recognizable to its fans. Astro Boy is topless. Deal with it. What’s next? A leisure suit for Tarzan? A mask and cape for Jason Bourne? Again, let Astro Boy be Astro Boy.
I waited for the DVD, even though I was very excited when I first heard they were making this. The first preview I saw had Nicholas Cage’s toneless deadpan voice, the shirted Astro Boy and a tender moment with a teenage girl, and it just turned me off. Now don’t get me wrong. This movie is not bad, it’s really quite good, great for the kids, and recommended so – but what it isn’t is a satisfying version of Astro Boy. Rent the DVDs of the original series – even higher recommendation.
One of the most frightening new monsters of the second incarnation of “Doctor Who” has been the Weeping Angels who appeared in the Steven Moffet-penned episode “Blink.” These demonic angel statues don’t move as long as you don’t stop looking at them – but if you blink, you’re dead. With Moffet now in charge of the series, the fourth episode of the fifth season features their return.
But Moffet couldn’t just let eleventh Doctor Matt Smith and his companion Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan, just deal with the Angels, could he? He also threw Professor River Song into the mix just to shake things up. This woman, portrayed by former “ER” star Alex Kingston, has met the Doctor before, but not yet in his lifetime, and knows a lot about him, intimate stuff – leading some fans to speculate she might be his future wife.
Officially she’s from the Doctor’s future and his current incarnation is from her past, to quote the Doctor, ”Time travel, we keep meeting in the wrong order.” This episode intimates that there may be quite a bit more to River Song than we may have suspected. May I throw a monkey wrench into the guessing game? What if she’s the Rani? Discuss.
The crux of “The Time of Angels” is that a starliner has crashed and there’s a Weeping Angel inside – River Song, along with the Doctor’s help is after it. This is where Moffet puts the screws to us with the horrifying fact that even images, like video footage, of the Angels can move if you blink. It’s one of the scarier moments with Amy in the middle.
Guided by a madman’s book our heroes explore a labyrinth of the dead, decorated by statues, which is where the starliner crashed. If that’s not creepy enough, it seems they are all Angels. This episode is to “Blink” what Aliens was to Alien, and this is not a horror you can nuke from orbit, or from behind your couch either. And it’s to be continued.
What will happen? Tune in next week, same Who channel, same Who time. Season five just keeps getting better and better.
The Losers ~ Yes, another comic book made into a film, but unlike most of them – shocker, I’ve never read this one, so I can’t make all those nitpicky little comments about what didn’t translate to the screen.
The Losers is a present day Vertigo comic loosely based on an old DC war comic from back in the day, some of the names even remain the same, although it should be mentioned, in the war comic, Pooch was a dog. The concept here is a group of special ops get framed and try to get even with the evil CIA boss who did the nasty to them. yeah, it does sound a bit “A-Team,” but it’s much better, and much much better than the trailer for the new big screen A-Team that ran before this movie.
The trailer is actually one of the major things wrong with The Losers. As with many films these days, they either give away the whole movie or show the best parts of the film. In this case, if you’ve seen the preview for The Losers, you have heard all the good lines.
I also think that not having read the comics I was able to be surprised by some of the more interesting plot twists an average comics fan would’ve have known going in. Zoe Saldana is stunning and quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays his second comic book character on the screen with pizazz, his first being Watchmen‘s Comedian. And Chris Evans does his second as well after the Human Torch and will soon be playing Captain America. Sounds like he’s making a career of comics to film.
The Losers is a fun flick, over the top performance and violence. Don’t take it too seriously, like a Roger Moore Bond flick, and you’ll enjoy it.
The real star here is the special effects. It seems like co-writer/director Roland Emmerich just didn’t get to destroy the world enough in Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow (and that’s not even mentioning how he destroyed Godzilla, grrr…) and had CGI effects leftover. That said, this wannabe Irwin Allen has created stunning disaster imagery that is almost worth the price of admission (or rental), if only a story went along with it.
The film’s structure revolves around the solely Western idea that the world will end when the Mayan calendar ends in the year 2012. To me this always seemed absurd. The calendar ended because the guy carving it got tired and just ended it on the last cycle. Remember no keyboards or pencils then, just chisels – it was hard labor. Anyway, the world’s going to end, cue special effects and let your butt get numb.
John Cusack is writer Jackson Curtis (who just happens to have written a book about Mayan ‘prophecy’) who struggles in the midst of the disaster to save his estranged family. The hilarity, and unbelievability factor, ensues from there. I have to wonder however if John had some gambling debts or alimony payments we don’t know about he had to cover with this flick. It certainly couldn’t have been the script that lured him in. Woody Harrelson, on the other hand, is actually quite a hoot as an ersatz Art Bell type radio show host.
The chase scenes will certainly make your heart race, and if only this would have been in IMAX… See it for the effects, and only if you don’t have to pay for it.
That’s right, Folks, time again to pick America’s trashiest Prom Queen!
The Dumpsta’ Players celebrate their 14th Annual stag, drag, come-as-you-were/are/is “PROMTRASH MEAN GIRLS” @ Bob and Barbara’s!
Join the Dumpstas as Bette Midler takes on Donna Summer in a Mean Girls supreme showdown! Enjoy the snarly antics of the top bitches – The Heathers! Contestants are encouraged to pay homage to all the nasty queens through the decades – from Dynasty to Perez Hilton!
“PROMTRASH MEAN GIRLS”
WED. APRIL 21ST, 10 PM DOORS, 11 PM SHOWTIME-SHARP!
@ BOB AND BARBARA’S
1509 SOUTH STREET
It’s revenge of the dreadful prom, so join in the ffffun! We invite all to put on a prom dress, don a tux and compete with the gender bending drag kings, queens, straight up females and males, faghags, pretty princesses and assorted other freaks!
Come enjoy the sensational crowning in – “PROMTRASH MEAN GIRLS”!!!!