Category Archives: kevin smith

Ben Affleck Is Batman!

So Ben Affleck will play Batman in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel, likely to be called Batman Vs. Superman.

The announcement came late last night while my friend Ray and I were recording this week’s GAR! Podcast. Had we known, we surely would have been discussing it. Instead you get the usual Prince, Dave Sim, Avengers, and French fries mix of goodness, lucky you. You can hear it here, shameless plug.

After the recording I got on Facebook and Twitter to watch the internet explode. Seemed like no one was happy with the casting.

Well, he’s no Michael Keaton. I mean, it could be worse. He could be Michael Keaton.

What’s that you say? Michael Keaton was one of the best Batmen, he was Batman. Yeah, right. Y’all got selective memories. I remember it quite differently.

I remember people screaming and whining that Mr. Mom/Beetlejuice was the worst choice for a serious version of Batman. The balding no-chinned comedian was no Batman. In the pre-internet world of 1988, this was a horrible mistake, and the angry fanboy letters burning the pages of the Comics Buyer’s Guide were proof of it.

And now, over two decades and two movies later, Keaton is considered one of the best Batmen. So why are people so riled up about Ben Affleck? Because Daredevil was a dud in the theaters? Hell, I liked Daredevil, and liked the director’s cut even more. I even liked Elektra.

And even if I’m wrong about that, what about Affleck’s Oscar and other awards and nominations for acting, writing, and directing? He even has comic book cred beyond Daredevil as an actor in the Kevin Smith films and playing George (Superman) Reeves in Hollywoodland. Talk Gigli and Pearl Harbor all you want, you can’t take Argo or The Town away from him. Everyone has hits and misses.

I think Ben Affleck can pull off Batman and Bruce Wayne like a pro. I dare say he might be a better Batman than anyone else we’ve seen. And yeah, I’m saying that based on his Daredevil performance. I stand behind Ben as Batman. If Michael Keaton could do it…

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 7-11-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Walking Dead) Evans, Allison (One-Marvel Girl) Eckel, and Glenn (Space Punisher) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this week’s episode includes: Celebrating The Walking Dead #100, The Crow #1 by John Shirley, new Valiants, The Bionic Man #10 by Kevin Smith, Chew Secret Agent Poyo #1, Avengers Vs. X-Men continues, Ed’s X-books, Avenging Spider-Man #9, Spider-Men #3, Space Punisher #1, Allison tackles Captain America, Demon Knights #11, Batman #11, Swamp Thing #11, Allison’s kids comics, and Ed’s trades.

Be sure to check out the shocking new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, as well as running the show from behind the scenes.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

No zombies were harmed during the taping of this program.

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 5-23-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Chew’s Brother) Evans, Allison (The Astonished No Marvel Girl) Eckel, and the Savage Glenn Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, in wicked high definition, and available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this extra special Savage Hawkman extended episode includes: The Savage Hawkman #9 by Rob Liefield, Mark Poulton and Joe Bennett, The Flash #9 by Francis Manapul, Night of the Owls, villain POVs, Batman Inc. #1, Justice League Dark #9, Green Lantern New Guardians #9, Fables #117, Marvel Zombies Destroy #2, Secret Avengers #27, Astonishing X-Men #50, Chew #26, Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #9, more indies, Allison’s kids comics, Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #2, Ed’s trades, and our special interview with Savage Hawkman co-scripter Mark Poulton!

And don’t forget Savage Hawkman co-scripter Mark Poulton will be at All Things Fun! 1:30 PM on Saturday, May the 26th, for a special comics signing! Come on down!

Be sure to check out the swell new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes. And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes ~ As a kid growing up in the 1970s, Planet of the Apes was very important to me, and probably to most kids of my generation. I remember asking to stay up to watch the movies on CBS, and their creaky continuity. I remember the lame TV show. I remember the girl across the street who got the Mego PotA treehouse for a gift. It’s instilled in my childhood, like the “Brady Bunch,” Marathon bars, and the “Six Million Dollar Man,” PotA was the 1970s.

All that said, you can imagine my disappointment with the Tim Burton remake, and especially that effed up ending swiped from a bad Kevin Smith comic book. When I heard they were making a prequel to it, my heart sank. A prequel to a bad movie is never a good idea, and besides, let’s get real, the original prequels to PotA weren’t that great either.

In truth, prequels rarely work, especially when we already know the story. Viewers might just give a pass to a prequel because it’s not going to tell them anything they didn’t already know. I already know the origins of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, you don’t need to tell me again. In most cases they aren’t even needed, and sometimes even hurt the property. Case in point – Star Wars.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes surprised me though. It hooked me first with an intriguing trailer before throwing the title at me. I wanted to see it before I even knew it was PotA. Finally, I’ve got hold of it on DVD. Let’s see if my instincts were right.

From the start, there are homages , both verbal and visual, to the original series of movies. Much like the preview, the movie itself grabbed me right away. James Franco, in less than annoying mode, is a geneticist searching for a cure to Alzheimer’s, testing on apes, and inadvertently succeeds with a chimp named Caesar that he raises himself. John Lithgow gives a wonderful performance as Franco’s afflicted father as well. Andy Serkis does his usual as does Tom (Draco Malfoy) Felton, so much for typecasting.

If you know the mythos, you can connect the dots, but there is still a strong emotional story here, not just a this-is-how-we-got-here vibe. The CGI effects make for the needed realism of the tale. While the ape masks and make-up of the original PotA were state of the art for the time, sadly now, they are just, well, ape masks and make-up. These apes look real and emote real, it’s very stunning. In fact it’s a tribute to the power of CGI done well that the scenes of Caesar and other apes are so hypnotic.

I really dug this flick. When all hell really breaks loose, and the apes begin their ‘rise,’ I was ten years old again. Yeah, it’s that good.

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The Glenn-less All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 2-29-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Font of Useless Knowledge) Evans and Allison (Schism) Eckel (Glenn Walker is home, sick in bed, catching up on Downton Abbey, and will be back next week) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, in wicked high definition, and available on the YouTube. See it here!

This first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Happy Birthday Superman, Justice League #6, Legion of Super-Heroes The Origin #5, Batman Beyond Unlimited #1, Bendis’ Avengers and New Avengers, the AvsX Event at All Things Fun!, all things X, FF, Ultimate and miscellaneous Marvel, and Ed’s trades in Marvel. Schism.

The discussion continues here in segment two including: Allison’s wardrobe, Kevin Smith’s “Comic Book Men” and Bionic Man, Voltron #3, retro comics, The Walking Dead #94, Invincible #89, G.I. Joe A Real American Hero Annual #1 by Larry Hama, Game of Thrones, Magic The Gathering #2 (of 4), Grimm’s Fairy Tales Myths & Legends #13, Star Trek #6, Angry Birds, and Allison’s kids comics.

Be sure to check out the cool new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes. And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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Comic Book Men

AMC wanted to cash in on “The Walking Dead” so bad that I guess they accepted any show about comic books. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a hardcore Kevin Smith fan, but “Comic Book Men” is, on many levels, a disappointment.

Unless Kevin Smith himself doesn’t know what he wants this show to be, it seems to be suffering from a lot of outside, or possibly even inside interference. It’s all over the place. Sometimes it wants to be a reality show, sometimes a bad imitation of “Hardcore Pawn” and other shows of its ilk, sometimes an extension of Smith himself, sometimes a podcast on video, and sometimes just an outright commercial for the Secret Stash store, Smith, and/or AMC. Could they really get any more Smith or Walking Dead merch in the camera frames?

Having frequented comic book shops all my life, I can tell you, that except for the guy who doesn’t work there and never leaves, this is sooo not like a comic book shop. They did however have to clean up the Secret Stash, which was a relief. I’ve been there, they cleaned, believe me. The occasion of folks coming in wanting sell stuff doesn’t happen all that often, neither do hockey games, or sadly women in the shops. And of course that’s the other thing that bugs me about it, the supposedly unscripted employees are more than a little sexist – perhaps they should be scripted.

Maybe they could focus on the buying comics from customers concept, or the roundtable podcast concept, or just make it Kevin Smith-centric – I really enjoyed the Jason Mewes/Batmobile episode. Maybe it could be cut down to a half-hour, but it must focus, and pick a direction. Sadly the one thing I enjoy about visiting a comics shop, talking comics, has only been featured once, and they mocked it. To me that’s what the show should be about, sans ridicule. If you’re fanboys (and girls), embrace it!

Right now, we’re three episodes into a six-episode run. I hope it gets better, and finds its center. It would be nice to have a geek home on television, especially smack between “The Walking Dead” and “Talking Dead.”

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The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 10-19-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Ed (The Doctor) Evans, Allison (Amy) Eckel and Glenn (the tin dog) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Fear Itself #7 and its side titles, new Avengers teams, which Hawkeye?, awesome sauce, why Justice League is like heroin, Wonder Woman #2, Supergirl #2, and geekgasm – Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #1.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Ed’s Marvels, including the X-Men titles, John Constantine one of two ways, Dark Horse Presents #5, John Carter of Mars, Mass Effect, 30 Days of Night #1, Superior # 6, Doctor Who #10, Allison’s kids comics including Tiny Titans # 45, Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #3, Ed’s trades, and The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. Mmmm… brains…

Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 9-21-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Allison (“I remember the 1980s”) Eckel and Glenn (“Hey you kids get off my lawn”) Walker (boss man Ed Evans returns next week!) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The New DC 52 including Scott Snyder’s Batman #1, the multiple Robins and their heights, iffy Teen Titans continuity, Catwoman #1, Wonder Woman #1, Birds of Prey #1, Blue Beetle #1, Supergirl #1, J.T. Krul’s Captain Atom #1, and the rest.

The discussion continues in segment two including: We forgot about Ed, Hawaiian hot dogs, the Fear Itself comics of the week including Avengers #17, Brian Michael Bendis’ talking heads and dissing 9/11, Allison’s kids comics, Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #2, Tiny Titans and Young Justice, Treehouse of Horror, more Marvels, a pair of X-Factors, Ultimate X-Men in a bag, the indies, and the trades.

Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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The Green Hornet

I have been waiting for this movie for a long time. And by long time, we’re literally talking almost two decades, as that’s how long this property has been floating around Hollywood. At different times George Clooney, Jet Li and Kevin Smith have all been involved in its production in one capacity or another. I’m just happy it finally got made. And despite my trepidation at this Seth Rogan action comedy version, I still couldn’t wait to see it, and the four days I had to wait since its release until I saw it were far harder to wait than the twenty years before it. Thankfully, the wait was worth it, this was a terrific surprise and a great flick.

For those not in the know, you might want to check out my article “Re-Introducing the Green Hornet” over at the All Things Fun! Blogs. If nothing else, it should hip you to the love I have for the character and the mythology. Yeah, this flick was pretty important to me.

My fears about this being an action comedy were somewhat relieved when I read an interview with co-writer and title star Seth Rogan. Despite his obvious slob comedy background, the guy has a pure and hardcore love for the Hornet, and while it does descend to the usual Rogan jokey depths, the quality and integrity of the mythos is upheld in my opinion.

The plot, slightly altered from the original has Britt Reid an irresponsible rich boy partier whose father is slain for writing an anti-crime editorial. Britt is forced to straighten out as he inherits his father’s multi-million dollar newspaper. Accompanied by his father’s mechanic, Kato, played by Taiwan pop sensation Jay Chou, he decides that he wants to do something with his life – that being a covert superhero believed to be a villain.

Now Rogan and director Michael Gondry are no fools, they have seen the 1960s “Green Hornet” TV series and they know that the Black Beauty, the badass car, is the real star here. There is much care put into the concept mixing contemporary and retro that make the Black Beauty just as cool now as it was in 1966. I don’t know about you, but I always liked the Black Beauty better than the Batmobile, and still do.

The Green Hornet and Kato have a very unique relationship in the world of superheroes, they are partners rather than hero and sidekick, and this is explored well here, as it would be in the beginning of such a partnership dynamic. Even when it deteriorates into foolish and comedic combat, it rings true.

Seth Rogan toned up for the role and looks good, and when things get serious, he is right on top of it. I love the tie and the vest, both nods to the TV series. Jay Chou, much like Bruce Lee before him, steals the show. He’s the reason to see this, and he’ll be big after this. Christoph Waltz, Oscar winning Nazi from Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, is an intriguing take on the super-villain. Meek, middle-aged, sand oft spoken but still a dangerous sociopath, he is subtlety incarnate here. Another prize performance. Cameron Diaz and Edward James Olmos are lost here in my opinion. Hopefully there will be a sequel to make better use of their talents.

It’s not a perfect movie, and I do have some fanboy nitpicks that did bother me. I wish we had seen the Hornet Sting, and I wish we had heard more of the theme song “Flight of the Bumblebee.” I mean we heard more of it in Kill Bill in homage to the Green Hornet than we did in the actual Green Hornet film. And of course the whole final chase/fight at the climax of the flick could have been avoided had the Black Beauty had wireless. I mean, really, it’s got rocket launchers, machine guns, even a record turntable, but no wireless?

My big problem was of course the identity of the main villain. It hurt me deep. Really, having him be the big bad is the same as having Commissioner Gordon revealed as the main villain in the Batman films. It just doesn’t work. Again, I should say it does work. I don’t like it but it works.

All in all, this was a great flick, and has done better than I think folks thought it would have. The Green Hornet is the best flick I’ve seen so far this year, and heartily recommended. See it.

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The Amateurs

The Amateurs ~ When I first heard about this film, I thought, isn’t that essentially the plot of Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno? I was even more surprised to find it was made in 2005. Of course it couldn’t possibly be as good as the Smith flick, but it does take a slightly different slant.

Here, Jeff Bridges is a small town entrepreneur who convinces his neighbors to make an amateur porno to make money. This is a film powered by its quirky characters that is reminiscent of old school things like the old Don Knotts films or Norman Lear’s Cold Turkey. Ted Danson is especially amusing here.

The flick has a certain naïveté and charm that the Smith film lacked. This aspect is refreshing and adds to the comedy. Imagine Andy Griffith meets Kevin Smith. Yikes. Ahem, well, imagine it if you can. Check it out, it’s a feel good, fun watch, if a bit predictable in parts, but fun.

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