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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Weekend Recap - 10.23.2011: The Crow DVD Review and more Walking Dead goodness begins

This is a late post because its freaking Friday here already in the Philippines, but its better late than never right?

So this past Saturday I finally got to watch the hyped Brandon Lee cult-classic "The Crow" - a movie adaptation based on the gothic/horror comic book series from James O' Barr.

What did I think of it?

First off, let me say that the hype and legend surrounding this movie was very well deserved. I thought it was one of those stink 90s movies, but damn, Alex Proyas and the late Brandon Lee pulled it off and delivered a classic that will forever be remembered. 

Sure, Lee's death may have had a melancholic / nostalgic effect on viewers, but the movie itself - its quality, execution, fast paced action, and uber-dark setting - is something to behold and is a masterful work of cinematic art and rightly deserves its as one of the top 20 comic book movies/adaptations of all time, despite its very simple story and lack of character depth. 

Lee was perfectly cast as Eric Draven - brutally murdered with his girlfriend Shelley Webster on Devil's Night - who then eventually becomes the angel of vengeance aided by a  mysterious crow that somehow manages to bring him back from the grave, but this time, with god-like abilities that enables him to exact his own personal brand of dark, bloody, and violent justice. And all the critics were right. Lee - if he was alive today - would have been a superstar after this film because his true acting abilities showed here which surpasses of his dad, the legendary Bruce Lee. Hell, even this whole film was better than the movies Bruce has done in his lifetime.

Really enjoyed this film.  Lee's presence is such a powerful one that you get sucked in his performance and will make you wish that the man was alive today. One of the best action movies ever.

Favorite moments: 
Brandon Lee's MTV-esque transformation to the Crow (all with The Cure's "Burn" soundtrack in the background) is one of the greatest moments in cinematic history. 

And.... the final scene. Its a heartstring-tugger (at least for me).

After that, the Fox Premiere of the first episode of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead  Season 2 titled "What Lies Ahead". 

Pretty slow build up story wise, but I can't complain because this drama series is just too damn good. Production quality, the script, writing, the tension buildup, and characterization is still phenomenal and never missed a beat.

And its unpredictability is off the charts. That's saying a lot because you see, I'm a big fan of the comic book (which is still on going right now) and I know pretty much what's going to happen. Or at least that's what I thought previously last season. There are those familiar scenes that harkens to the comic books, but then it quickly zig-zags and diverts into another scene that I have never seen/read before, and that's fucking awesome. Keep long time fans guessing and tell them:  "you think you know what's next huh? well, fuck - you're dead wrong." Add to that two AMC original characters that adds new dynamics to this series and everything is set for another compelling season.
Can't spoil anything about the first episode of S2 but it picks up where it left off last season, but this time there are more zombies, we see more character interaction, somebody gets lost, and the Rick-Shane-Lori dilemma is slowly unfolding just like Dale's (or Shane?) and Andrea's relationship. Finally, this episode's cliffhanger is one that would blow your mind and shock you - comic book style.

And yes, there's a lot of hiding under the cars going on in this episode. [via]

Sorry, can't tell you even the slightest clue about it. That's why you gotta watch it and tune in to it every week 8:55 pm every Saturday (if you're in the Philippines).
(Hmm... Me thinks I have to review every episode I catch. We'll see).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Comic Book Ratings - 10.27.11; Current Reading ; Keep Calm and Assemble Tee Rocks

It's been a busy week my friends so no comic reviews because I just don't have that much time to review so many titles every single week they come out of the shelves. But here's a rundown of last week's titles that I have read and my own personal ratings / recommendations as to whether or not you should buy them (maybe I would do this more often than my more "elaborate" reviews just because I'm too lazy).

Wonder Woman #2 - 5 out of 5 Zeus Lightning Bolts. MUST BUY.

Batman # 2 - 5 out 5 Batbikes. MUST BUY.

Supergirl #2 - 4 out of 5  Karas. Buy.

Justice League #2 - 4.5 out of 5 Mother Boxes. Buy. 

Catwoman #2 - 2.5 out of  5 Stolen Portraits. Read only.

Birds of Prey #2 - 3 out of 5 Katanas. Read only.

Red Hood and the Outlaws  #2 - 3.5 out of 5 Red Helmets. Buy. 

Nightwing #2 - 4 out of 5 Dick Grayson Jackets. Buy.

Batwoman #2 - 5 out of 5 Missing Children. MUST BUY.

Green Lantern #2 - 4 out of 5 GL Rings. Buy.

Batgirl #2 - 2.5 out of 5 Mirrors. Read only.

Punisher #4 - 5 out of 5 Vulture Claws. MUST BUY.

Fear Itself #7 - 2.5 out of 5 Asgardian Weapons. Read only.

Ultimate Comics X-Men #2 - 4 out of 5 Nimrods. Buy.

Ultimate Spider-Man #3 - 5 out of 5 Gankes. MUST BUY.

Superior #5  - 5 out of 5 Ormons. MUST BUY.


Currently reading Grant Morrison's comics history journal, part superhero genre analysis mixed with pop culture and divine allusions, part self-indulging, and part (boring) autobiography - Supergods: "What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human".

Though every comic book fanboy pretty much knows what he's going to say here in terms of comics history, Supergods still its a fun read, despite being frustratingly lengthy mainly because of some unnecessary personal stories featuring the occult, and some ill-researched factoids (e.g. Ultraman - which he describes as a "faceless-robot" was Japan's Superman clone).

Still, give it a try. Recommended for comic book newbies, GM haters and GM fanboys alike.

Doomed Planet. (Desperate Scientists) Last Hope. Kindly Couple.

And I still can't get over the usage of the awesome 3 panel opening sequence (minus the desperate scientists part) from Morrison and Frank Quitley's classic All Star Superman as this book's cover.


Finally a shirt worthy of your money.

This is a damn cool shirt. More of these and other superhero memes on shirts from Mighty Fine.

[via Comics Alliance]

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The number one reason why I love comics.

It is this magnificent scene and dialog from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' highly touted Watchmen (1986) - known by many as arguably the greatest comic book of all time and the only graphic novel that was included in TIME Magazine's Top 100 Novels.
(Click on the images to enlarge.) 

Beautiful prose, amazing artwork, and a whole lot of meaning than any other title in the medium packed in just 10 panels.

And this is not even the whole 12-issue book itself. 

If you haven't read Watchmen yet, please do pick it up and read it before you die. Its one of the greatest stories mankind will ever have and one of the rare books that gets better and better after every re-read. Its just that damn good.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Threesome Art - 10.14.2011

Here's a couple of awesomeness I found today. 

Starship Troopers tribute by Dan Hipp

I love Starship Troopers (and its alien bugs) even more. 'Nuff said.

Rejected cover for Uncanny X-Force by Rafael Alberquerque

Yes the same guy who is doing the covers and interiors for American Vampire did this Wolvie. Rejected? Seriously? 

Then there's Phil Noto and his Avengers Press Day photo that defies Father Time and all explanation. I'll let the picture and captions tell you why.

From the Hank Pym Photo Archives- Avengers Press Day  “Tony thought it would be a good idea to invite some of the press over to Stark Mansion to highlight some of the work we were doing as the Avengers. I took this photo during an interview with a team from The Daily-something-or-other. I do remember the reporter asking us what we thought about other heroes’ roles in the country’s affairs. Apparently their city had, as the woman reporter put it, ‘A one-man Avengers team.’

I didn't notice the uber-awesomeness of Noto's photo at first until I read captions. And then it hit me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Designer Ashley Hay As "Ame-Comi Mera"

Apparently Ashley isn't just designing logos and anonymous facebook superhero avatars. Here's Ashley herself looking fabulous as Arthur Curry's (Aquaman) one and only love, Mera.

I love it when cosplayers are putting their 100% effort on being creative.

[via Ashley Hay's Google+ cosplay album]

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The First Official "Avengers" Trailer [Video]

I'm not kidding folks. This is our first glimpse of the bad-ass superhero movie. Yeah I'm putting it down already: THIS. MOVIE. IS. BAD-ASS.

Especially Tony Stark's last line. 

Couple of notes about the trailer and what could be expected in the film:

- there will be a lot of butting-heads early in the movie (naturally)
- Captain America is reminding us that he is not only a gymnastic-shield throwing artist, but also a military man trained to kill using fucking machineguns.
- Nick Fury finally gets something to shoot at.
- There will be SKRULLS invading earth and then there's Loki creating the fiasco.
- Black Widow is still bad-ass just like she was in Iron Man 2.
- Thor vs Cap? Nah. That Captain America is a Skrull posing as Cap.
- Wow, HULK is actually there!
- Hawkeye flinching his bow. Pfft. Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) > Clint Barton (Hawkeye) any day of the week.
-  Finally... and as always... Robert Downey Jr is gonna carry this film.

Now time to watch it again.

[via CBR]

Directed by Josh Whedon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Latest Comic Book Reviews - 10.10.2011

Its been a busy week and a lot of fantastic comic books hit the shelves this week and the last. Here are some quick reviews from the ones that I've read so far:

X-Men Schism #5 - Nothing really new here, its just basically the culmination of all the pent up frustration and rivalry between Cyclops and Wolverine. Jason Aaron splits the X-Men into two after the savage 1 on 1 battle between general and soldier, masterfully illustrated by Adam Kubert. Its full of action, rage, and bittersweet emotion and its a fitting introduction to the newest development in everybody's favorite mutant universe. And I love the way Kubert draws that big fucking super Sentinel's hand. Now that the dust is finally settled, the question is: who was right? Are you Team Cyclops or Team Wolverine? Whichever team you are, be sure to read this before jumping into the two new X-titles by end of October.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Walking Dead #89 -  After a long and boring No Way Out arc, Robert Kirkman comes back with what maybe his best issue so far since this zombie-apocalypse epic started. The Community has never been this tense - factions are forming due to mistrust, assassination plots are being mapped out, and Rick is starting to think that his son Carl is never the same after waking up from the coma - and Kirkman delivers every bit of awesome writing and character development in this issue. I like Adlard's energetic pencils here, showing his talent in creating the drama, suspense, and tension necessary in a masterful fashion. Can't wait to see how this latest development turns out for Rick and his gang. 

Rating 4.5 out of 5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 - We pickup where we left off and my favorite turtle Raphel goes on to deliver some turtle-smackdown on an abusive father and saves his beat-up son (Casey Jones) in the process. It seems like Casey and Raph are going well together in this new found friendship, but things turn 180 degrees by the end of the issue. Can't spoil it here sorry, it was one of the best things in this book. Also, the story of how the turtles came you know... mutant ninja turtles is told, but I'm really not sold on it. Turtles can't become mutants and very skilled ninjas all of a sudden without training and some unexplained comics science. Another problem is the very lax art and the lack of detailed backgrounds hurts this otherwise dynamic and action packed issue. I will continue to read this anyway no matter what. Come on... its the Fucking Turtles.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Huntress #1 - Why does DC's mini-series are often better than a lot of their regular comic book titles? I'm bewildered. And that is such the case of Huntress. This is some great writing by Paul Levitz and puts a charming and feisty Helena Bertinelli in a trip to Italy to bust to what appears a drug smuggling operation. As usual with plotlines like this, Huntress quickly finds out that its not just an ordinary crime operation, and that there are far more powerful people running this whole shebang, which I guess will be the subject of next issue. 

Marcus To's pencils are good overall, but he's got a habit of illustrating movements that are impossible for a woman or a human being could do. On the upside, he was able to make Helena both sexy and kick-ass without showing panties and titties and leaves everything for the reader's imagination. Overall, this book is good and is something worth picking up especially for those who want to read more of DC's top-tier super heroines.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

More reviews after the cut...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Mark Millar would've done DC's New 52

This is what the acclaimed writer of such titles like Wanted, Ultimates, Kick Ass 1 and 2, and Superior has to say:

"Congrats to Johnny DC for getting good numbers and plenty of returns on their investment on the DC reboot. But how would yours have been different? I'm taking today off to arse around, but before I go I'm curious: Who would you have nabbed for the books?

I love playing this game. My friends and I were chatting about it just this morning. DC would need to pony up serious cash (as Marvel's biggest creators [are] generally paid WAY more), but imagine you've got access to the WB vault and you can literally buy anyone. Even Image guys who were making a million an issue in the 90s. You've got access to EVERYBODY. How would your DC 52 differ? Mine, for starters, would be about 25-30 books :)

But go for it. I'd love Leinil Yu on Batman, McNiven drawing Justice League, Kirschl drawing Teen Titans, Brendan McCarthy on The Flash. Kev O'Neill (does the best aliens) on Green Lantern (with Pat Mills on scripts) and Frank Miller doing anything he wants."
That's pretty insightful. Leinil Yu illustrating the goddamned Batman? Awesome.

How about Ed Brubaker and Steve McNiven's Batman? Damn, that would be uber-awesome. 

And nice to see somebody who still believes in Frank Miller. He is not the best artist, but he's an awesome writer/artist who can take an idea and turn it into something epic. 

But I wish Millar wasn't such an egotistical prick. Saying that Marvel pays way more than DC is uncalled for, even if it is true. 

I am Maximus Deridius Meridius... no more.

Russell Crowe people. Former gladiator with a beautiful mind... now the father of a Kryptonian alien who eventually becomes the greatest hero the world has ever known.

That. costume.

Man of Steel has never looked this good until I saw this picture. Agree?

[via iFanboy]

DC New 52 Picks - Week Four Reviews

Alright, this is the final wave. I haven't read everything last week, but I'm going to review some of those that I picked up.

Superman #1 by George Perez and Jesus Merino - this is by far the most disappointing book that I read in the new 52. It wasn't that bad in every stretch of the imagination... it's just that I expected more from George Perez story and dialogue-wise. Having a young Superman / Clark Kent deal with the demolishing of the old Daily Planet and seeing the new office building and its new management is nice, but there was nothing new here. I mean, reporters, the Daily Planet, and Superman saving the day from a flaming alien is all the same to me - except that Supes here is a little brash and quips lines like Green Arrow.

The final pages showing Clark sucking it up and being a loser once again didn't help either, just like Perez' shallow storytelling that made me think that he was having a hard time finding the right words to describe all the action.

Merino's art wasn't that impressive but it was nice, with that old-school vibe to it as influenced by Perez' layouts, but I wish they could get somebody else better to draw Supes. 

Still, I'm going to read the 2nd issue just to see if they could bounce back. But right now, this is almost forgettable to me. Thank God we still have Action. 

Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis - "How does it feel to be nobody's favorite superhero?" 

I mean let's face it - nobody likes Aquaman because he's a guy who only has powers when he is in the water and because we have this belief that HE FUCKING TALKS TO FISH. Who wants to have that kind of hero?

But damn, Geoff Johns' nails it by poking fun at Aquaman himself, using all the jokes that undermined the character all over the years. He gives Aquaman an almost Superman calm attitude with an almost cold demeanor, and this makes the character a sympathetic one at that. Right from the opening scene where Aquaman saves the day by taking down some robbers in a truck, we immediately see Aquaman making that i-dont-know-anything-about-that face when asked by the police if he needs water - which is illustrated right on the spot by Ivan Reis - sets up the whole tone of the story. 

Johns' continues his funny jokes even when Aquaman enters a seafood restaurant and gets backhanded compliments from people, and in the process, Aquaman becomes more of just a laughingstock - but a real superhero who knows exactly what people outside of his kingdom think of him and thinks that he deserves more than what people is crediting him for. 

Flashbacks showing a young Aquaman with his father sitting on a nearby shore together and introducing his beautiful wife Mera gives us the more sentimental and softer side of this hero, and the ending with those ugly looking water monsters gives me more reasons to read the next issue. 

Ivan Reis gives us his trademark detailed illustrations that trudges beautifully through all the action, horror, and the more serene moments. Very well done by my favorite Green Lantern artist.

To sum it up: Geoff Johns just made me a true believer . And that's that.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5