Thursday, May 26, 2016
A third TV spot has now shown up, giving us our first scene of Alexander Skarsgard speaking and more Samuel L. Jackson. Thoughts here? Skarsgard sounds a little raspy and maybe too Christian Bale Batman so hopefully that's just the scene and not the entire film. Watch it below and leave your thoughts.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Monday, May 23, 2016
Everyone's favorite camp sci-fi spectacle finally gets the POP! treatment from Funko. Among the wave being released will see vinyl figures of Flash, Ming the Merciless, Prince Vultan and Klytus. Head over to http://funko.com/blogs/news/120389123-coming-soon-flash-gordon-pop-and-ghostbusters-mopeez to see the other figures and stay tuned!
Saturday, May 21, 2016
A promised book review as I dive into this biography. That's all I got for an opening.
Chronicling Bowie's life from his early childhood as David Jones through his pursuit of musical fame that lead to Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke, biographer Paul Trynka traces it all, the high and low points with the eye of an observer trying to piece together what made Bowie so iconic and unique.
Like most of these books all the rock tropes are there-sex, drugs, scandal, great and less-great music along with those left in its wake, some of who hold Bowie as a great collaborator and man, others who saw him as an opportunist who took what he wanted. Along the way the book breaks down his albums-from his first self-titled album up to (in an expanded post script) 2013's The Next Day, showing the artistic merit Bowie brought and how he overcome, in the early days, more ambition than talent.
Like most biographies the good stuff comes once we move past the origin story (childhood, parents who don't understand, etc) with particular attention paid towards Bowie's incredible 1970s output and its continuing influence and power. The later chapters take a look more at Bowie's life afterwards and seems a little dry maybe because the wildness of Ziggy departs or because some of those later albums (which Bowie once described as being Phil Collins more than himself) just don't hold much interest.
The book does have some issues though. Like most biographies Bowie himself was not interviewed, only present via past interviews with other writers, so we get impressions of him from everyone else-from his childhood friends to ex-wife Angie to producer Tony Visconti-but nothing from Bowie himself. Also while it's understandable that most of the book would focus on his music output, Tyrnka overlooks most of Bowie's film work, with only fleeting mentions of movies like The Prestige, dismissal of other films like The Hunger (a failure) and Labyrinth (even though Tyrnka does admit it did introduce Bowie to a new audience) and no mention of his presence in Martin Scorsese's controversial The Last Temptation of Christ. Again I understand that the music is the main focus but the lack of insight into Bowie's other ventures seems lopsided.
That said the book is a fascinating read for Bowie fans and those interested in the process of how one man can change himself into whatever he wanted. Rating: ***1/2 out of 4.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
With the character now in the spotlight thanks to Captain America: Civil War I thought I would dive in and see if the new series would be worth the time. Guess what, it is!
A brief prologue helps set up the situation: Wakanda is recovering from an attempted coup led by Doctor Doom and an invasion led by Thanos and his minions and the death of Shuri, the sister of T'Challa and the person he left in charge. As this issue opens T'Challa is trying to restore order but finds his people angry and not ready to accept his rule again. Further complicating matters is a new threat rising near the border and questions about T'Challa's ability to rule. To say more would ruin the surprise.
A strong first issue for any series, this incaration of Black Panther manages to tie in its comic book world with real world questions of political unrest, distrust in government and questioning our leaders without becoming preachy or trying to convince you which side is right. Written by Ta-Nehish Coates (a writer for The Atlantic magazine) the story places T'Challa in a world that mirrors our own while at the same time staying true to the character that has been developed for decades. It's a gripping start and hopefully will continue throughout the series.
Helping is the striking visuals courtesy of artist Brian Stelfreeze that presents both the real world and the science fiction side by side without making it look odd or out of place. His character designs are strong and while there isn't a lot of action in this issue he manages to capture the settings and brief moments between characters with style that helps compliment the story without overpowering it.
If you have just been introduced to the character through Civil War or if you have been a long time fan this Black Panther is a strong start and a must buy. Next time some book reviews.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
With his upcoming sequel Finding Dory coming, director Andrew Stanton has returned to Twitter and fielded some questions, one of them whether or not he will do another John Carter movie. While thankfully he said he wouldn't he did tease a potential "special event" happening this fall. We'll wait and see so head over to http://thejohncarterfiles.com/2016/05/stanton-teases-a-john-carter-special-event-in-the-fall/ to see the original tweets and leave your thoughts about what this "event" could be.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
A late night surprise as two TV spots have arrived online along with some new images courtesy of the film's official website http://legendoftarzan.com/. The interesting thing in both spots is the use of Margot Robbie's Jane as narrator and some new shots, including what looks like a young Jane meeting Tarzan for the first time in the jungle. Take a look and let us know what you think below.
A couple of reviews will be posted this week as we pick up with Dejah/Larka and her fight to discover the truth. SPOILERS AHEAD!
After being captured by the Warhoons and their "leader" a red woman, Dejah finds herself deep inside a mine digging for rare gems that can control mens' minds and are being shaped into medallions (again with magic medallions!). Eventually she discovers it ties into a cult of Issus known as the Banth and their scheme to overthrow the Jed of Helium and take over. Dejah has to put her willpower to the test as she attempts to overcome her captor, rescue her friends and discover how to save her beloved city and family.
After a somewhat lacking third issue this one picks up the steam and runs with it. While I wasn't crazy about the whole "medallion" subplot Frank Barbiere and artist Francesco Manna moves the story forward with ease and a feeling of direction that was somewhat lacking in the first few issues. Now with a clear purpose to the story being told it moves quickly, added by Manna's artwork that brings the characters and situation to life.
There are some hiccups I'll admit. I can't say having our heroine go against another cult is original but it was something Edgar Rice Burroughs himself did quite a bit so I don't have a problem with it. I do have a problem with Manna's version of John Carter though. With his moptop look and design he looks like he should be a teenage singing program, not Warlord of Barsoom. Oh well maybe it will improve.
If like me you weren't crazy about the last few issues try to give this one a chance. It may not change your mind but you will still come away enjoying. Until next time faithful readers.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
With hopefully the marketing soon to start picking up steam, Vogue magazine has posted their cover story interview with Margot Robbie, where she talks about playing Jane in The Legend of Tarzan and Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. Inside she reveals that she almost passed on playing Jane until she read the script and found an "epic and big and magical" story waiting to be told. In addition there is also a Tarzan and Jane inspired slideshow with co-star Alexander Skarsgard so head over to http://www.vogue.com/13435036/margot-robbie-june-cover-wolf-of-wall-street-jane-legend-of-tarzan/ for more info and stay tuned.
Sunday, May 8, 2016
For your Sunday viewing here's some videos to keep you busy. First is a fan made TV spot that does a good job promoting the film while the second video is footage from the recent press screening event in London with Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie and director David Yates (that one you might have to jump forward a few minutes to see the actual Q&A footage but its still good to see it). Watch both and leave your thoughts below.
Monday, May 2, 2016
With The Legend of Tarzan coming I thought it would be time to start digging into past takes of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic character so let's start with Thomas Yeates' adaptation of the second novel.
Yeates actually starts his version by skipping over most of the novel's first 1/3rd, providing only a brief paragraph and some narration to help catch up the story. Here we find Tarzan surviving being dumped overboard by Rockoff and swimming ashore to discover he's back home, complete with the cabin built by his father. This first issue details his first encounters with the Waziri, his becoming part of the tribe and helping them against slave raiders and a rival cannibal tribe before he heads off to Opar.
The main draw here is Yeates' beautiful artwork, capturing the jungle and Tarzan in a vivid style that helps propel the story. It's just eye-catching and stunning to look at, especially compared to some of the other Tarzan comic books of the past and since this series publication in 1997. I can't say enough good things about it.
As for the story Yeates is smart in condensing the story and removing a lot of the subplots that bog down the novel. I admit that The Return of Tarzan is a convoluted novel that probably established Burroughs' reputation as being an episodic novelist since it bounces from plot to plot until Tarzan does return to the jungle. Removing all of that helps setup the story quicker and get us the major story so I didn't mind the choice here.
If you don't have this issue and the other two in the series track them down and hope that Dark Horse publishes a compilation at some point (maybe to tie in with the upcoming movie). Until next time folks.