Monday, January 30, 2012

Trailer Watch: Game of Thrones

Everyone is caught up on the immensely great Game of Thrones, yes? Good. Here's a new trailer for season two, which I am beyond excited for.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Trailer Watch: The Raid

My friend Derek told me about this movie today and I had to share it with y'all. Pretty certain I don't even have to tell ya what it's about. It's gonna kick my ass from here to there and back to here again.

Boobs of the Day

Gina Carano
I actually meant to do this last night but it slipped my mind. Not sure how, cuz Ms. Carano is amazingly hot. As mentioned before, I have a thing for women that could kill me (or at least take charge and beat me up a bit) and she definitely fits that bill. Along with with great fighting and amazing abs, she has a mighty fine set of punching bags (too far?). Sign me up for that training class cuz I'll make sure to be there early every time. Welcome to the club.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Clif-Notes: Haywire

Haywire is a simple and over-used plot: Ops for hire is set up, has to clear their name before it's too late. But here's the small difference with this one: said Ops is played by MMA fighter Gina Carano and not only is she amazingly hot but she literally kicks ass for a living. Throw in great actors like Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas and you have a fun ride.
The biggest problem for me was that tired and true plot. You knew where this was all gonna end form the start (though I loved the very last scene) and it kinda took away from really being "into" it. The acting of Carano, while decent was lacking. However, this is her first major movie so I wasn't expecting a cage fighter with little acting to blow my mind. She was grabbed for her fighting and it fit. I would easily see her in most any movie she tries to throw herself into (it's that whole "she could kill me" thing again. Not sure why I find that so hot...) and I'm hoping there are plenty more down the line.
The plain and simple of it is that I very much enjoyed this movie. It's not the best and it's far from the worse. It was less fighting than what I feel they lead us to believe (though the fighting they had was awesome and without any music or score during it, it felt a little more real) but still great on action. It was real good. That's about the highest it goes. A fun movie to have on in the background but no need to run right out to it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NB of the Week

Secret Avengers #21.1 - Red Light Nation
As most Point One issues try to be, this was full of set-up for upcoming issues. The Point One initiative was done to give readers a new place to start on a title. While some have been far from hitting the mark, this issue does it well.
Cap and Hawkeye go on a covert mission to Bagalia in order to stop an American Senator from being assassinated. However, since Bagalia is a sovereign state, they have to do it on the down-low and nobody can know. After quickly finding him, and after Cap suggests the front door is a bad risk, Hawkeye simply kicks it in. Always rushing first, Hawkeye doesn't take notice that this is nothing but a set-up. A life model decoy and guards trying to kill them. As they run to safety, Cap scolds Hawkeye like a child for not thinking. That this was a test to see if he could lead Cap's covert team and he has failed. Storming away, Hawkeye is long gone before Cap is attacked again. This time by Vengeance, Whiplash and Princess Python; members to Max Fury and the Shadow Council's new Master's of Evil team. As Max has Cap tied to a chair, he begins revealing how smart he is and how they will rule the world (very Bond of him to do). But as comics go, no way would Cap be down for the count. Hell, even death couldn't stop him. From behind, a familiar, purple arrow punctures through Max's hand, revealing that one of the guards was Hawkeye the whole time. Quickly taking everyone out, Hawkeye has enough time to grab Cap and head out the window. Having proven himself for the spy game, Cap hands the reigns of the Secret Avengers over.
I freely admit that this was not the best story of the week. It was a little slow and mostly set-up but this issue had more more excited for it's future issues than any other book did. Maybe it's because Rick Remender started with this issue. It's possible. Either way, I can't wait for the next issue and to read where Remender takes this team. I have very high hopes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Variant Covers Suck...

Except these two. Marvel is doing a group of Avengers Art Appreciation variant covers for their books and of the ones shown off, these two caught my eyes. Not sure if them being all kiddie and cartoon had anything to do with it but either way, I thought I would share them.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Clif-Notes: Underworld - Awakening

The fourth installment of the Underworld franchise has Selene waking up after 12 years of frozen captivity, to discover that the world has found out about vampires and lycans and want them all dead. She soon learns that there are more sinister plots in play (obviously) and must find out who, what, where and when in order to save herself and her love, Michael. If that's even possible... Dun dun dun.
I have had one main problem with the last three Underworlds and that's the fact that they are all the same movie. They're so dark in color and they stories are all the same except in different locations, that they all tend to blend together for me. I couldn't tell you which movie was what except the first. And this but that's cuz I just saw it.
However, this may also be it's greatest strength. I go into these movies thinking I'm going to like them as much as the last one. The writing, acting and production are all still high in quality (in comparison to the first) which is something not all sequels have, let alone three sequels. These may not be every body's cup of tea but they are mine and I have thoroughly enjoyed each of them, this new one included. More true than most others, if you enjoyed the last ones, there's no way you won't enjoy this one. I only wonder how much longer they can ride this train before everybody realizes it's not actually moving anywhere.
And I have to say I was a little surprised that I liked Selene having a child now. A nice little hybrid that is looking to be just as badass as Kate Beckinsale. It's not a new concept to movies but it's interesting to have a child in the Underworld movies now. I'm sure she'll have even more fighting and badassedness in the fifth one.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Logo

DC revealed their new company logo today (ish) to try and help incorporated outside people to recognize them better. Or crap like that. I'm not sure why they did it but I will go out and say I don't like the change. It's not bad looking and I like the different approaches and colors (they will appear on different things, depending on which version matches the product best) but I think the logo they have now is great and I just like that one better. I will say the more I look at them, the more I do like 'em so that's a plus.
See for yourself and tell me how wrong I am. I know you want to.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

NB of the Week

Uncanny X-Force #20 - Otherworld: Chapter One
Well, it turns out that Captain Britain and the Britain Corps, as protectors of Otherworld and all dimensions (obviously), have a problem with Fantomex killing a child who has done nothing wrong. At the end of #19, they appeared and took him and Betsy, sister to Captain Britain, to stand trail for his crimes.
Turns out Fantomex is quite an anomaly. No version of him exists in any other dimension and the Britain Corps believes he shouldn't exist in this one either. There was no evidence that the child Apocalypse would turn into a monster and thus, he just killed a child. Along the way, Brian Braddock is trying to convince his sister to come back to the "family business" and dawn the mantle of Lady Britain as she should have long ago. With her at their side, they can fight off outside forces and reclaim full protection over Otherworld.
Back in the regular universe, Deadpool and Wolverine are running through some danger room scenarios with AoA Nightcrawler, trying to better prepare him for the changes he will face in this world. Some of his most trusted friends are ruthless enemies here. After some gentle quipping from both sides, Ultimaton comes to inform them of the breach and the taking of Psylock and Fantomex. Using Gateway as their transport, the three other Forcers head to Otherworld only to find war right at it's doorstep. Soon as they enter, Deadpool's head is lobbed off and Nightcrawler is taken out, leaving us with a final page that shows Fantomex receiving his guilty sentence, Wolverine standing alone in a war that's not his and Psylock back in the red, white and blue of Britain.
Dun dun dun...
Not much reasoning to give her. Remender is amazing as always on this book. The guest art of Greg Tocchini looked great in it's portrayal of Otherworld. Just abstract enough to fit the location but coherent enough for us to still follow what each image is giving. And AoA Nightcrawler is proving to be a complete change for the team to take in. No God, very few morals, piss, vinegar and a lot of death on his mind. A perfect fit for the team if he were somebody other than Nightcrawler. It'll be interesting to see how Remender continues with his interaction with the team after their first "mission".

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Boobs of the Day

Sarah Jones
I watched the premiere of Alcatraz tonight (cool show but not the point) and was introduced to Miss Jones and her babies tonight. She's had a decent number of roles in some bigger tv shows, however, I have seen none of them. While she may not have been the best acting job in Alcatraz, she definitely got my attention. It's always better the first time you experience the jubbies. Welcome aboard, Miss Jones.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

NB of the Week

Secret Avengers #21 - Final Level
Warren Ellis saves his best issue for last. Granted there were only six and they were all pretty good but still the best.
As Steve and the team come to the Houston Station of O.N.E. (Office of National Emergency), we find that they are looking for a member of the Shadow Council. To clear out everybody but the suspects, they fake a fire atop the building and wait. Forcing out the member, Steve is surprised to hear what her plans were. Many years ago, there was a mission that brought in experiments by the Nazis. Turns out, that's not the real story. Said experiments are actually the Council's "beloved otherworldly masters" and they're being stored here. And she's going to release them. Using their own fake fire against them, she is able to unlock the system and release them. Using the bodies as portals, they have opened up a gate to that "otherworldly" place. As they grow larger and larger with the alien invasion, Steve is ready to make the hard choice, showing how much of a soldier he actually is. He tells Beast to blow the place. He doesn't want to loose his friends but he will sacrifice them to save the planet. Refusing to kill his own team, Beast waits for the very last minute. Using the fire as their cover once again, War Machine blasts his team to air safety as Rogers and Carter jump off the roof for their lives. Beast blasts the building while scooping in to catch Steve and company and everyone lives. Mostly. As the Shadow Council member is before Steve, he recommends giving them her information on the Council so that her consequences will be smaller. As she looks at the ground, she repeats the word "consequences", pulls out a gun, puts it to her head and we're left with the last image of a gun and blood splatter.
Warren Ellis is great at doing the smaller issue stuff. Each of his issues was a self-contained story while all leading into a larger one. Each one ending with a poignant revelation, almost saying that things will never change in the super-hero game. Every end is another beginning and they will be back on the job at any moment. Ellis is great and smaller arcs like this work perfectly for him.
Sadly, the issue may have been overshadowed by the fact that Uncanny X-Force scribe Rick Remender is taking over with the next issue. Should be an amazing ride for out team.

Bonus NB Moment
Green Lantern #5 - Sinestro is a bad mother
After being captured by the Sinestro Corps that he himself is there to stop, Sinestro is imprisoned with the rest of Korugar. After giving everyone a green ring and still not being able to break out, he always has his Plan B: his Lantern Battery. After blasting a Sinestro member in half, the Lantern flies through to Sinestro, freeing them all. In it's title page, we get why Sinestro may still be one of the baddest Green Lanterns around.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Late to Join...

I have never been a fan of The Lonely Island. I haven't cared much for Saturday Night Live in at least a decade, probably longer. I may be one of the three people in the world who didn't think that Dick in a Box was hilarious. But I may have to change my tune a little. I just saw the video for their song Jack Sparrow. It features Michael Bolton and I almost crapped myself when he started sing-quoting Scarface. Enjoy the song as I did.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Top Three

It may be a week into the new year, but it's never too late to talk about movies. So here are the top three movies for me of 2010.

3) X-Men: First Class
This one is kind of a cheat as it's so high because I had such little hope for it. After the mess that was Last Stand (much as I still actually enjoyed it) and the debacle of Origins: Wolverine (much as I still actually enjoyed it), I didn't have big expectations when they said they were "rebooting" it and making it a period piece. Put that with the fact that they made this movie and released it all within about a year and that actors and directors were here and there and gone and back the entire time, fluster cluck was the biggest thing I could think. Then there was the picture releasing. Images of the characters and their costumes were "leaked" and fans went ape shit. Nothing horrible, in my book, but nothing to change my mind either. Trailer finally gets released and it look pretty decent. Even though they never show us Kevin Bacon or his villain role. Why hide that? More worry about things. And then I saw it and couldn't wait to see it again. The story flowed amazingly with actual history. The acting was superb, leaving me to wonder how come I hadn't been recognizing Michael Fassbender a lot more. This movie floored me. Whether it was the low expectations or the great movie making, this was easily the best made X-Men movie for me.

2) Drive
Ryan Gosling has always been a good actor. Never really did much for me in terms of forcing me to see his movies but he's been good in everything that I have seen him in. The came this movie outta nowhere. Stunt driver gets caught up in more drama and must fight his way out. I heard a lot of negative things about this movie from people coming out of the theater. I kid you not, a lady somewhere else (not sure the state) tried to sue the movie studio and the theater she watched it out because it wasn't like Fast and Furious as the trailers made it appear to be. Some people shouldn't breed. However, I also heard about how violent it was. And I love violence so I decided to give it a go and I am very glad I did. The front half was a little slow as it was almost all set up but it was a great payoff by the end. You love the characters, you love the acting and you love the crazy 80s music throughout. It was a crazy ride of a movie and it moved Gosling up from good actor to great actor for me. The dvd comes out the 31st and I recommend giving it a shot. It's kind of a love it or hate it movie bu I definitely loved it.

1) Warrior
What can I say about this movie that I haven't already said? For me, it was the best written, best acted movie of the year. You cringe with every punch thrown and you cry with every hit taken. Tom Hardy was brilliant as ever. You felt his pain and anger through every minute he's on the screen. Joel Edgerton blew me away the most as the "good son". You know how badly he wants his brother back and you feel every stab that he takes while trying to get him. I only knew him from Star Wars so that right there should tell ya how his acting did rank before this. And Nick Nolte was great. I had no idea that this guy could act. I honestly believe that all three men should be nominated but as things usually go, Nolte would probably be the only one but it would absolutely be well earned. You don't have to like MMA to like this movie. It's a character. It's a setting. It is everything for this movie but only fighting. This is the movie that I say everyone should see at least once. You may not agree with me but it's worth watching.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hidden Gems - Green Wake

Image has hit some gold in this semi-new title, Green Wake. I read it based on reviews of another book by the same artist. Still haven't read that book but I will be soon now.
Green Wake is a place in between. Walk far enough, and you'll find yourself back where you began. It's a place of guilt and regret and now it's a place of murder. And somehow, after the main suspect goes missing, her ex boyfriend suddenly appears in Wake. Things are too coincidental for Morley Mack, a self appointed police officer of sorts. He and his partner Krieger are the two who are willing to help the new population and keep things sane. Or as sane as Green Wake can be.
It's written by Kurtis Wieber who has pretty much nothing worth mentioning published before this and is drawn by Riley Rossmo, whose earlier mentioned book, Proof, is probably his biggest work. This book has made me take notice of both names, though, as it is a huge surprise. Wieber has a weird way with words. It's dark and crisp and very poetic in... well weird way. It flows amazingly though. And Rossmo's art is crazy. It's almost like a more finished version of Bill Sienkiewicz's stuff. It's dark and messy and beautiful at the same time. I loved it from the first pages.
Green Wake is another book that shows how "different" comics can be. You have no tights (at least yet) and it's smart and mature writing. It's only been out eight issues but the first five have been released in a softcover and I recommend taking a look at it. It's worth the ten bucks.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

NB of the Week

Fatale #1 - Death Chases Me
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips spread their talent to Image as the team behind Marvel's amazingly brilliant Criminal create another, great series.
After the death of his godfather (Dominic Raines), Nicolas Lash heads to the deceased's house and begins looking through his stuff. Nicolas is surprised to find an unpublished manuscript for and older book of his Dominic's. A manuscript that predates his other books by three years. And that's where things get tricky. As a car pulls up outside, Nicolas is surprised to see to large men in derby hats and carrying guns coming to the door. Outta nowhere, a lady from the funeral comes out, shooting at the goons, grabbing Nicolas and heading out. as a car chase begins and ends just as fast, Nic comes to in the hospital, sans one of his legs. As he finds and reaches his godfather's manuscript, he finds an old picture in it of Dominic and a lady who looks oddly similar to the lady who just "saved his life".
We cut back to 1956 as a reporter, Hank Raines, comes to interview our mystery lady about her crooked cop boyfriend. Before she can give too much up (or at least before us readers get to see what is given), we move to said crooked cop, Walter Booker as he and his partner investigate a mass homicide/suicide that appears to be the work of satanic cultists. Slyly taking a card from the pocket of one of the dead, Walt goes to an opium den in Chinatown. He places the lifted card into an ash tray, cuts his palm open to bleed on it and sets it on fire. From behind, familiar men in derby hats and sunglasses appear. He pulls a gun, proposing a deal. He wants to same magic that was used on his girl to keep her young and alive and he's ready to trade their boss for it.
If you have read anything by these two, be it the 26 issues of Criminal or the 11 issues of Incognito, you had a slight idea of how great this book could turn out to be and the first issue was not a disappointment. While Criminal is the straight crime and Incognito was super-hero noir, Fatale is setting us up for sci-fi mystery. Brubaker is one of the best writers in the industry and these three titles prove it. Not only has he proven himself with the costumed books in Captain American but he throws these out and shows he has more depth than almost every other writer in the business. It should come as no surprise that he and Greg Rucka come from each others pasts and actually worked together numerous time, including the amazing and completely underrated Gotham Central. His name alone is worth picking up this book but throw in Sean Phillips and it's gold. I was never the biggest fan of Phillips before Criminal. He's not bad but it never worked for me. Turns out it because he was made for stories like this. He has a darkness that is lost on the likes of Wildcats and X-Men. His crisp lines match the hardened story perfectly and I can't imagine one of Brubaker's "crime" books without him.
End of the day, if you want something that stretches outside of the normal hum of hero comics, Brubaker is your man and this is a great spot to start. Not to mention all the amazing work before it that you will practically then be forced to catch up on.