Thursday, September 6, 2012

SPORTS: NFL 2012 Predictions


After taking the summer off of blogging for a little R&R, September has arrived, fall is right around the corner and the itch to write has returned just in time for the new National Football League season and another year of predictions.

Last year, the site predicted correctly the AFC champion, New England Patriots, the league MVP, Aaron Rodgers, picked 3 AFC division winners (and the AFC Championship game matchup) & 3 NFC playoff teams.

Now, this year's picks, starting first with team projections:

AFC East: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - 11-5
AFC North: BALTIMORE RAVENS - 12-4
AFC South: HOUSTON TEXANS - 13-3
AFC West: OAKLAND RAIDERS - 10-6
Wildcards: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - 10-6, PITTSBURGH STEELERS - 10-6

Wildcard Round: PATRIOTS over STEELERS, RAIDERS over CHIEFS
Divisional Round: TEXANS over RAIDERS, RAVENS over PATRIOTS
AFC Championship: TEXANS over RAVENS

NFC East: DALLAS COWBOYS - 11-5
NFC North: GREEN BAY PACKERS - 10-6
NFC South: ATLANTA FALCONS - 12-4
NFC West: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - 11-5
Wildcards: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - 10-6, CHICAGO BEARS - 9-7

Wildcard Round: BEARS over 49ERS, SEAHAWKS over PACKERS
Divisional Round: BEARS over FALCONS, SEAHAWKS over 49ERS
NFC Championship: SEAHAWKS over BEARS

Super Bowl XLVII: TEXANS over SEAHAWKS

Individual Awards:
MVP: Matt Schaub (TEXANS)
Offensive Player of the Year: Tony Romo (COWBOYS)
Defensive Player of the Year: DeMarcus Ware (COWBOYS)
Coach of the Year: Pete Carroll (SEAHAWKS)

Friday, May 11, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Avenging Spider-Man #7 (Review)

Writer: Kathryn Immonen
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Cover: Stuart Immonen

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

Returning to review comic books from week to week has let me learn things about myself I had forgotten about. Like deep down I have this innate want to enjoy Spider-Man that got buried after the One More Day event years ago.

Yet I am rediscovering my like of the wall crawler because when I read this week AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #7, I had so much fun it nearly blew away all of the other competition for the top of my stack.

I did not realize that writing the issue was Kathryn Immonen until I had finished and looked at the credits and then my joy made sense. One of my favorite runs over the last few years was the 2008 five issue mini-series, PATSY WALKER: HELLCAT, which had been written by Immonen as well.

This was my first issue reading AVENGING SPIDER-MAN, but the team-up aspect of the series is very appealing and makes it easy to jump on and read. And when I saw that She-Hulk would be the one crossing paths with Spider-Man, I knew I had to read the story, SHE-HULK being one of my favorite solo books to read back during Dan Slott's run on the title.

The one positive to take away from the Spider-Man marriage retcon is making stories like this possible, where Spider-Man can be harping on She-Hulk to be her date to a Museum exhibit opening and it not being weird.

While everything did not go smoothly, I did love the interaction between the two, where She-Hulk brought the brawn and seriousness and Spider-Man had the brains and wit. I think it will take more than one night to win her over, I definitely hope they get to team-up again.

Whenever there is a female character that is going to be in a dominant amount of pages in a book, I pray that there is a good artist around to properly present her. And there are few better than Stuart Immonen, who I greatly enjoyed his run on Ultimate Spider-Man and here he was able to do wonderful panels of Spider-Man action along with keeping She-Hulk her statuesque self.

Two things I love are one and done stories, and team-ups, so having a title with someone so flexible as Spider-Man being put together with other characters really calls to me. Of course it will be hard to beat a creative team like the Immonens but I am open to seeing who else can bring it to the AVENGING SPIDER-MAN plate.

Look to buy the AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #7 digital comic on Comixology for $3.99

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FILM: New Images from Disney Pixar's Brave (News)

If the past 15 years is any indication, a feature-length animated film release from Disney Pixar is almost certainly to be a critical success. Yet before this year I had never been truly excited by a Pixar film prior to its release.

That has changed with BRAVE, which looks fantastic and amazing and made it a necessity to share these two images that have hit the web.

Princess Merida is the focus of both images and you can get a real sense of depth the film has with a fun moment between her and her father and then a much more serious point in the film.

BRAVE journeys into theaters on June 22, 2012.

Monday, May 7, 2012

FILM: Mass Effect: Paragon Lost Teaser (News)

The video game franchise MASS EFFECT from Bioware/EA is slowly spreading its wings outside the realm of just gaming. There have been novel and comic book releases over the years and now they are stepping into the world of animation.

Titled MASS EFFECT: PARAGON LOST, the animated film comes from Funimation and serves as a prequel of sorts to MASS EFFECT 3 in that it focuses on the early career of Alliance Marine James Vega, one of the main squad members of the last game.

Synopsis:
Vega leads an elite Special Forces squad into battle against a mysterious alien threat known as The Collectors. Stationed at a colony in a remote star system, Vega and his soldiers must protect the civilians from a ruthless invasion determined to capture the population for unknown purposes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Earth 2 #1 (Review)

Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Nicola Scott & Trevor Scott
Cover: Ivan Reis, Rod Reis & Joe Prado

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

If there is one thing that I am always open to when it comes to fiction stories, it is alternate universes. Characters are what attract me even when astory sometimes falters, which is probably the reason I read a lot more books than I probably should.

But when I found out that there was new ongoing series coming to DC that centered around an alternate universe, I just had to read it. And I was not let down.

EARTH 2 #1 by James Robinson was exactly what I was looking for. A different take on the characters I know and love, put into situations that would not happen in the main universe.

Robinson is a veteran DC writer with many notable works having been created over the years: STARMAN, and lengthy runs on SUPERMAN & JUSTICE LEAGUE. I have not had a chance to read the former but I did read his JUSTICE LEAGUE run that may not have wowed many but I loved his use of characters.

And it is the characters that carry this first issue. Seeing the trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman put in the situation of a fight to the end, or a tearful goodbye between Batman and his daughter, Robin, and then let us not forget the peeks at a young Alan Scott and an even younger Jay Garrick. This world is different and I love it.

As if the concept of the story and the quality of the writing still is not enough to win you over, then how about the great art by Nicola Scott. Her attention to detail is clear with ever panel and character, muscle tone, body positioning, how the clothing falls on characters. The pages were crafted. The emotions shining through capes and cowls during the heavy moments and the action scenes fluid and diverse.

I know this will not be the book for everyone but everyone should give it a read. It is amazing how much a story can be changed even when the characters seem similar, and when the changes give you the opportunity to read something unique, it is worth the chance.

Look to buy the EARTH 2 #1 digital comic on Comixology for $2.99

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

TV: Beware the Batman Teaser (News)

Over the last year there has been a noticeable focus by DC Entertainment to create a big presence on Cartoon Network with their animated properties. YOUNG JUSTICE premiered last year, GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES this year and now in the pipeline is a new Batman series.

Debuting next year and titled, BEWARE THE BATMAN, the series seems to follow the same CG animation style of the new Green Lantern series if the short teaser that hit the web can be any indication.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

FILM: Mass Effect: Assignment - Interactive Fan Film (News)

One of the great things about living in this era of technology is being able to witness great properties inspire fans into creating works that everyone can see.

The video game series, MASS EFFECT, hit the apex of its well deserved popularity this year with the release of MASS EFFECT 3 and some talented fans out there not only created a fan film but an interactive one at that!

Called MASS EFFECT: ASSIGNMENT, the story of the film utilizes the game's decision aspect letting viewers choose between a paragon or renegade choice on several decisions that come up in the story that lead to four different endings.

Even being a fan film you cannot deny the quality of the production, with costumes, props and special effects that really make the atmosphere of the film being in the Mass Effect world believable.

Friday, April 27, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - All-Star Western #8 (Review)

Writer: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Moritat
Cover: Jose Ladronn

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

It might seem a little strange for people that know me to see ALL-STAR WESTERN #8 reach the top of my stack this week. I was not a regular reader of the JONAH HEX series that preceded it, and outside an issue here and there or an appearance on an animated DC property I was not entirely that familiar with the cowboy vigilante, Jonah Hex.

I am familiar however with the creative writing team of Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti. Their run on POWERGIRL a few years back was such an entertaining ride and made a supporting character capable of carrying her own solo book.

They have been attached to Jonah Hex for even longer and when the New 52 relaunch was going to remake the JONAH HEX title into ALL-STAR WESTERN, it seemed like the perfect time to jump aboard and give it a try.

This issue has Hex continue his attempted infiltration of the anti-immigrant terrorist group, August 7. He impresses with his fight against Z.C. but the flaw in the plan is revealed to be Doctor Arkham, leaving Hex in over his head.

The art by Moritat complements the story, where the terrifying can look so, the action can look fluid, and each character can look unique from the others.

When it comes to reading books where I do not have an attachment to the main characters, sometimes I find myself drawn to the supporting characters that pop up in the story. Like with ALL-STAR WESTERN, I am enjoying the fighting gal, Z.C. Branke that was introduced in the previous issue and has an entanglement with Hex in this one. I also love the backup stories that have been attached to the book starring Wild West heroes Nighthawk & Cinnamon.

Action, danger, fun. Every time an issue can deliver on each of those you know you are in for something special and the potential is there whenever I pick up ALL-STAR WESTERN. Westerns might not be your thing but I think the uniqueness of Hex, and his current involvement with aspects of Gotham City back in the Wild West is as amazing as it sounds.

Look to buy the ALL-STAR WESTERN #8 digital comic on Comixology for $2.99

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

FILM: The Amazing Spider-Man Poster (News)

One of the summer movies I am more excited about than the rest is THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN from director Marc Webb (500 DAYS OF SUMMER) and starring Andrew Garfield (THE SOCIAL NETWORK) and Emma Stone (THE HELP).

And now the poster for the film has been unveiled and it looks phenomenal.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN swings into theaters on July 3, 2012.

Monday, April 23, 2012

FILM: House at the End of the Street (News)

Jennifer Lawrence is quickly becoming a hit amongst the mainstream with her Oscar nomination and geek crowds with her roles as Mystique in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS last year and Katniss Everdeen in THE HUNGER GAMES this year.

Her wide range of acting roles continues this fall with the release of HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, a PG-13 horror thriller directed by Mark Tonderai (HUSH) and starring Elisabeth Shue (CSI) as her character's mother.

Synopsis:
Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah and her daughter Elissa find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret. Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds, and disappeared – leaving only a brother, Ryan, as the sole survivor. Against Sarah’s wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan – and the closer they get, the deeper they’re all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.


HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET terrifies theaters on September 21, 2012.

Friday, April 20, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Supergirl #8 (Review)

Writer: Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Artist: George Perez
Cover: George Perez

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

This was a week where it was going to take an outstanding issue to make it to the top of my reading stack, and when I read SUPERGIRL #8, there was the right mix of adventure, action and relationships to win me over in the end.

From the creative writing team of Michael Green & Mike Johnson since the starts of the New 52 relaunch, SUPERGIRL has become a book about discovery and adventure as much as action with Kara adjusting to her new home. And I have been enjoying the ride immensely which is not that much of a surprise considering Green and Johnson also wrote some of my favorite issues of SUPERMAN/BATMAN.

For this issue Kara is surrounded by the military and seems destined for another misunderstanding when a silver-haired (and tongued) girl gets involved and tries to help Supergirl out. We meet Siobhan Smythe, a girl from Dublin with a remarkable skill for languages, and the two strike up a friendship as she helps Kara hide in plain sight. Of course, there is more to her story and the rug gets pulled out from under the two by the end of the issue through the aid of fatherly intervention.

In a nice surprise, legend George Perez was the guest penciller this issue and the art was solid. The girls looked just like that and when the other shoe drops at Siobhan's gig the art suitably picks up on the creepy factor. The spectrum of emotions are really covered between Kara's angry red eyes to the looks of terror on their faces near the end of the issue.

One of the best things to come from the New 52 is that all of these Superman Family books exist in the same time but they all feel differently and there is no real feeling of reading the same story even when the characters might cross paths. I have always tried to read SUPERGIRL but I definitely cannot remember a time I was enjoying the character more.

I really hope that when this current story with Siobhan finishes that this is not the last we see of the two together. Even if it was only one issue, I enjoyed the friendship that was being built there, and it definitely felt different from any other Super relationship I have yet to read. This was definitely an issue you can pick up without having read the ones before so please give it a try if you have not yet.

Look to buy the SUPERGIRL #8 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

FILM: The Dark Knight Rises Trailer LEGO-ized (News)

One of the big films of the summer is undeniably the final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman story, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

So it is only cool to share this fun video recreation made of the film's trailer done in animated LEGO form.


THE DARK KNIGHT RISES into theaters on July 20, 2012.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

FILM: Hotel Transylvania Teaser Trailer (News)

If you are a fan of animated properties then you are probably a fan of Genndy Tartakovsky whether you realize it or not. Whether it be Dexter's Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone War or Samurai Jack, his fingerprints are all over quality animation.

Thus the news that there is an animated film due out later this year from Tartakovsky called HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA. It stars the voice talents of Adam Sandler (JACK AND JILL), Selena Gomez (RAMONA AND BEEZUS) and Andy Samberg (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE).

Synopsis:
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula’s lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world’s most famous monsters – Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more – to celebrate his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem – but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.

Friday, April 13, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Fantastic Four # 605 (Review)

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Ron Garney
Cover: Ron Garney & Jason Keith

Publisher:
Marvel
Price: $2.99

If you ever wanted an example of where a writer and a series were seemingly made for each other, then you need not go any further than to look at Marvel's FANTASTIC FOUR by Jonathan Hickman.

Before he came onto the book years ago, FANTASTIC FOUR was always a title that I would read from time to time but it never stood out from the pack despite several big name creative teams.

Now it is a must read in my stack every month and the world Hickman has been able to nurture around the family is full enough to even support a second book, FF. There is just something Hickman gets about these characters and their world, making the stories feel different than anything else I am reading and finding ways to keep me guessing as nearly every issue reveals something new I was not expecting.

So of course even in a week where I was not really interested in reading a lot of words and was actually dreading picking up FANTASTIC FOUR #605 in fear of being overwhelmed with dialogue, instead I am presented with the biggest emotional tug I have had reading an F4 comic since #588 over a year ago.

That was the issue with Johnny Storm's sacrificial moment, so it makes sense for the issue to get a similar reaction from me it would involve one of the original group, this time Ben Grimm, The Thing. After the whole Galactus situation, the last thing I was expecting was for this to turn into a Reed Richards introspective story as he explores time and his good buddy Ben.

There is almost a classic feel I get when I look at the interior art. While I have enjoyed the various different artists over the years on the title, sometimes the style just does not fit the characters, but here Ron Garney seems to capture them well. Between the emotional gazes of Reed and Nathanial to the transformation of the Thing and a peek at future Franklin in action, the art really flows through the different circumstances.

As long as Marvel has Hickman with the series, I think FANTASTIC FOUR will always be a recommend in my books. The family has always had this jumping on mentality for me and I hope others can see them the same way and give this book a try if they have not read it.

Look to buy the FANTASTIC FOUR #605 digital comic on Comixology for $2.99

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

FILM: Total Recall Trailer (News)

Move over sequels, the growing trend in Hollywood just might now be reboots and relaunches. Now it is Columbia Pictures turn, as the studio attempts to remake the TOTAL RECALL property that spawned a 1990 film with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Directed by Len Wiseman (LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD), the film stars Colin Farrell (FRIGHT NIGHT) in the title role along with Jessica Biel (NEW YEAR'S EVE), Kate Beckinsale (UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING) and Bryan Cranston (BREAKING BAD).

Synopsis:
Total Recall is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he’s got a beautiful wife who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen, the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter to find the head of the underground resistance and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.


TOTAL RECALL awakens on August 3, 2012.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

FILM: Dark Shadows Trailer (News)

There might not be a more prevalent actor/director duo currently active than Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. When those two names are put together on a film you can expect something different and unique to be created, and that is exactly what moviegoers are getting this year with their latest collaboration, DARK SHADOWS.

Based off the 1960's supernatural soap opera of the same name, DARK SHADOWS is a fantasy comedy starring Johnny Depp (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES) as Barnabas Collins, a long imprisoned vampire set free to return to his ancestral home and protect his descendants.

Directed by Tim Burton (ALICE IN WONDERLAND), the Warner Bros. film also brings together a strong female cast around Depp with the likes of Helena Bonham-Carter (HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2), Eva Green (CAMELOT) and Chloe Moretz (HUGO).


DARK SHADOWS unearths into theaters on May 11, 2012.

Friday, April 6, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Fairest #2 (Review)

Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Zander Cannon & Phil Jimenez
Cover: Adam Hughes

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

There are weeks sometimes as a comic reader where the standouts are few and far between. But for the second straight month FAIREST delivered a stellar issue and I could not justify putting any other book on top of it this week.

Of course the book is written by Bill Willingham, the creative brain behind FABLES, and if there was one thing you can take as a definite is his mastery of the fictional world he has been working on with these characters.

I have wanted to jump into the FABLES world for awhile now, so when FAIREST premiered last month I immediately grabbed on for dear life, looking for a long and wild ride ahead. And if the first two issues are any indication, FAIREST shall deliver.

This issue, FAIREST #2, jumps ahead in time a bit, bringing readers to Ali Baba and Briar Rose on the run from the raging Snow Queen. The consequences of the thief Ali Baba awakening the women captured by a goblin army with his "true love's" kiss in the first issue has him now being chased by one mad woman and escaping with the other.

While the story is apparently connected to FABLES, if from my enjoyment alone can be a measuring stick it does not seem to ruin the story if you are familiar with the circumstances surrounding Briar Rose's capture.

If you are looking for a good cover on a comic it is hard to beat Adam Hughes as the artist for such a task. I just love his art style and wish I could see him more often but it can only help draw eyes to this well deserved series. It is a large job to match up to such art, but Zander Cannon & Phil Jimenez did just that and even more with the interiors. From human characters to ice monsters, and from dark shadows to the bright white snow, or closeup moments to the step back scenery panels, the art is brilliant, really giving the book an epic feel. Something any fantasy story should have.

So far this series is two for two and after hearing so much acclaim for FABLES, I have no doubt that this book will achieve similar success. And it does not hurt that it focuses on the "fairer" sex. Fantasy is big in TV and films right now and I see no reason why this cannot be just as big within the comic book audience. I am just finding my way around the characters and still loving the hell out of this series.

Look to buy the FAIREST #2 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

FILM: Another Men In Black 3 Trailer (News)

Ten years between films for a movie franchise can leave questions on whether the sequel can recreate the series magic so far down the road.

That is what is in the air when it comes to MEN IN BLACK III, that brings back the main nucleus of the MEN IN BLACK franchise: director Barry Sonnenfeld (WILD WILD WEST), and actors Will Smith (I AM LEGEND) & Tommy Lee Jones (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER).

This new trailer gives more of a look at the past Agent J travels to in an attempt to save Agent K and it is safe to say I am excited.


MEN IN BLACK III travels into theaters on May 25, 2012.

Monday, April 2, 2012

FILM: Man of Steel Logo Unveiled (News)

Fans of superhero films are certainly not lacking selection these last few years, but the industry has been noticeably dominated by Marvel franchises for the most part. Outside the superb Batman films by Christopher Nolan (BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES), there have been very few others from the other big comic book company, DC, and none at the same critically received level.

The other big DC character, Superman, has only had one attempt at a film since the 1980's, the 2006 Bryan Singer film, SUPERMAN RETURNS. But now another attempt at relaunching the movie franchise is underway for a 2013 release with MAN OF STEEL. A promotional photo of action Henry Cavill as Superman hit the web last Summer, along with a behind the scenes shot and now the film's logo has hit the web.

MAN OF STEEL lands in theaters on June 14, 2013.

Friday, March 30, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #11 (Review)

Writer: Robert Place Napton
Artist: Carlos Rafael
Cover: Ale Garza

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Price: $3.99

Despite not having much experience with the books, I have always found the fictional world created by Edgar Rice Burroughs fascinating and as a result routinely picked up Dynamite's offerings of 'Mars' related series looking for that hook to justify my interest.

My persistence paid off this week when the most enjoyable comic book I read turned out to be WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS #11 from Dynamite Entertainment.

Written by Robert Place Napton, who is currently behind three 'Mars' titles and quite familiar with the characters as a result, gives the series a different feel and voice from the others, which is probably why I like this book more than the others.

In this issue, the first start of a new story arc (which makes for a great jumping on point!), Dejah Thoris has taken a group of men to survey an area of land for deposits of Ersite and Forandus that earlier air scouts appeared to have spotted in the marshes. During their knowingly dangerous journey they come across a deadly tentacled creature in the water and barely avoid a flying predator when things take a turn once Dejah Thoris hears a voice calling her that no one else can hear.

On the art side, firstly, the cover by Ale Garza is just wonderful to look at. There is always that risk when the character is scantily clad like Dejah Thoris, that she might be drawn overly sexy for the sake of it, but here instead Dejah reflects beauty and power more than anything, which is carried over with the interiors by Carlos Rafael.

WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS features a powerful female protagonist experiencing adventure, danger with a bit of fun thrown in for the readers amusement. Yes, the look and feel of the book is definitely presented for a more adult audience but that does not eliminate the possibility for the stories to be a breath of fresh air from the grim and gritty comics that are in abundance.

And the art can rival any other book out in the market today. One of the reasons this specific issue ended up on the top of my reading stack was how easy it was to just sit back and stare at the pages. It is worth a look from even those not familiar with the characters, you might just be surprised how hard it is to put down.

Look to buy the WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS #11 digital comic on Comixology or Graphicly for $1.99

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

FILM: Prometheus Trailer (News)

The next chapter in the science fiction career of Ridley Scott, PROMETHEUS, sent ripples throughout the web when its teaser trailer was unveiled months ago.

Now, only a few months away from its release date, the first full-length trailer has come online, providing more insight on just what this new film has in store for audiences.

Synopsis:
In the distant future, two superpowers control Earth and fight each other for all the solar system's natural resources. When one side dispatches a team to a distant planet to terraform it for human colonization, the team discovers an indigenous race of bio-mechanoid killers.


PROMETHEUS lands in theaters on June 8, 2012.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

FILM: First Look at the Lone Ranger (News)

Disney's pursuit for their next big live-action franchise continues next year with the release of LONE RANGER.

It has been a mixed bag since the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trilogy, with films like PRINCE OF PERSIA, TRON: LEGACY and JOHN CARTER not quite reaching the same level of success.

And now Disney is reuniting three cogs of that original Pirates franchise to see if lightning can strike twice. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing, directing LONE RANGER is Gore Verbinski (RANGO) and starring as Tonto is Johnny Depp (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES).

Completing the central cast is Armie Hammer (THE SOCIAL NETWORK) as the Lone Ranger and now the first image of Depp and Hammer in their roles has hit the web.

LONE RANGER rides into theaters Summer 2013.

Friday, March 23, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Wonder Woman #7 (Review)

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Cover: Cliff Chiang

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

It is arguable to say that the best thing to happen to WONDER WOMAN was the new DC 52 relaunch. Considered one of the big three characters at DC (Batman & Superman being the other two), Wonder Woman as a character has not matched her companions growth.

She only has one ongoing compared to multiples upon multiples for the other two, and outside of a 1970's live-action TV show and appearances on various DC animated properties Wonder Woman does not have the expansive media library either.

That is not to say DC has not tried, over the last few years attempts at making a film and a TV show have failed, and the ongoing book has had numerous restarts with high profile names like Jodi Picoult, Gail Simone, etc but it was not until this nearly blank slate fresh start with the New 52 that the book has seen a jump in popularity with readers.

And for good reason. With acclaimed writer Brian Azzarello, who has been behind Superman and Batman stories along with his own 100 BULLETS series, WONDER WOMAN has been given an interesting new direction with the decision to make her the daughter of Zeus. It brings a new dynamic to the character and possibilities to take her story and that is what Azzarello has done since the first issue.

This issue, WONDER WOMAN #7, continues that path as the ramifications of the last issue has Wonder Woman seeking passage to hell and crossing paths with Hephaestus, and discovers something significant about the Amazons that she did not know about. Throw in a monster from hell and complicated feelings and you have the best book in my reading stack.

Cliff Chiang happens to be one of my favorite artists, so it is a godsend to have him on the interiors of WONDER WOMAN delivering near perfection with every page. It is easily one of the best looking books month in and month out, and it is just exciting to have Wonder Woman looking so amazing - how it should be.

As long as this creative team is on the book, the sky is the limit for WONDER WOMAN. Any reader that had given the ongoing a try in previous iterations and did not like it should definitely give this new incarnation a look. It is by far the most entertaining the book has been in years, and I definitely think the next attempt at a feature film might have to look at this volume for its source material.

Look to buy the WONDER WOMAN #7 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

FILM: Despicable Me 2 Teaser Trailer (News)

A film that surprised me with its brilliance when it came out in 2010 was Universal Pictures 3D animated film, DESPICABLE ME, and its story about a criminal mastermind finding himself adopting three girls and discovering that not even evil can defeat the power of love and family.

So I have been eagerly anticipating the sequel, DESPICABLE ME 2, that was announced and was excited to discover the release of the teaser trailer online just recently. And as a treat the teaser focuses on the minions characters that everyone came to love in the first film.


DESPICABLE ME 2 schemes its way into theaters on July 3, 2013.

Monday, March 19, 2012

FILM: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Trailers (News)

If there is one thing the entertainment industry has shown us is that anything can be given a new spin with a dash of the supernatural thrown in. With that settled, how about they take history and throw in some vampires?

And that is how we have arrived at the upcoming release of ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, a movie adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel of the same name.

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (WANTED), the movie stars Dominic Cooper (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD), and Benjamin Walker (KINSEY) in the title role as Abraham Lincoln.

Three trailers have been released and are posted below after the synopsis: the teaser, the international and the full domestic trailer.

Synopsis:
The film explores the secret life of our greatest president, and the untold history that shaped our nation. As a young boy, Abraham Lincoln witnesses the shocking death of his mother, leading him on a path to an ongoing war – and ultimately to the presidency – he chronicles in a hidden diary. The journal reveals the incredible story of a clandestine warrior who never stopped fighting for the country he led and the people he loved.






ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER slays theaters on June 22, 2012.

Friday, March 16, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Legion Lost #7 (Review)

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artist: Pete Woods
Cover: Pete Woods

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

One of the more complicated superhero titles to follow are ones that deal with the Legion of Super-Heroes. With a pool of so many characters available for creators to pick from, most of the time Legion books are not new reader friendly, but I would continue trying out issues hoping to get hooked.

Before the DC 52 relaunch I had come to enjoy several of the stories Paul Levitz told in ADVENTURE COMICS but since the New 52 started I had yet to find one Legion issue to reach that level of enjoyment until now with this week's LEGION LOST #7. It was inevitable for this series to eventually win me over, the premise of a small team being trapped in a time not their own being so appealing, reminds me a little bit of the Marvel series EXILES that I used to be a big fan of.

Like GREEN ARROW last week, LEGION LOST features a change from the relaunch creative team welcoming a new writer to the series, Tom DeFalco. A long-time comic writer, former Marvel Editor-In-Chief and creator of the Marvel character Spider-Girl, having DeFalco take over the reins continues the theme of having a veteran writer creating the stories for this team

And immediately this story went in a place I was not expecting. Most of the members were sidelined when it came to action but Timber Wolf covers that aspect more than enough and the focus of the issue was more on Tellus' psychic adventure as it turned out it should be. It was an unexpected twist to find out what exactly was the cause of the distressed, imprisoned woman but the story takes the reader to an emotional place that you cannot be prepared for.

Pete Woods on art, what more is there to say? He draws beautiful pages, and the interiors of LEGION LOST are some of the best to look at on a monthly basis. One of the great things about having Woods do a majority of DC work for the last decade is being able to see him do characters like the Legion all the way to the big shots of Superman and Batman.

As long as Woods is doing the art the series will always have a chance to be special. When stories match up like in this issue, it is easy to recommend this book to people even if they have no clue about the Legion and its world. Under the right hand this book has plenty of potential and DeFalco is starting off on the right step.

Look to buy the LEGION LOST #7 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

FILM: New Poster + Trailer for Disney Pixar's Brave (News)

Inching closer to its release date, Disney Pixar's BRAVE, had its poster hit the web along with a new trailer.

The trailer is more of an extended clip, giving fans more than two minutes of content from this summer's big animated film.

Directing BRAVE is Mark Andrews (ONE MAN BAND), and it stars Kelly Macdonald (HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2) as Princess Merida, Emma Thompson (NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS) as Queen Elinor and Julie Walters (GNOMEO & JULIET) as the Wise Woman.
BRAVE journeys into theaters on June 22, 2012.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

GAMING: Mass Effect 3 Launch Trailer (News)

March is now the most recent most anticipated month for gamers as EA/Bioware's MASS EFFECT 3 was released on March 6 for the XBOX 360, Playstation 3 & Nintendo Wii.

The war to take back Earth is in full progress at the moment and it only seemed right to share the launch trailer and get those that have not been hooked into the series to jump aboard while the frenzy is at full force.

Friday, March 9, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Green Arrow #7 (Review)

Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artist: Harvey Tolibao
Cover: Howard Porter

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Sometimes when you try something new, there is that risk that it might not be what you wanted it to be, and I think for some DC readers the relaunch of GREEN ARROW it was like that. I did not fall into that camp but I will admit there did not seem to a be a connection to the character when I was reading the issues. While some of the concepts for this younger Green Arrow has potential, the execution left some to be desired. It felt like a title putting out its 300th issue, not the first arc.

That is why I embraced the arrival of a new creative team, hoping that they would be able to take what worked and take it that extra mile it needed to bring excitement and fun to the title. And with the very first issue, GREEN ARROW #7, I had the most fun reading this story than any other book this week.

The incoming writer for the series is Ann Nocenti, a long-time comic creator, former Marvel editor and even co-created the Marvel character, Longshot. Coming on to handle the art is Harvey Tolibao, who has run the comic company gauntlet in his time as artist having gone from drawing STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC for Dark Horse to THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN for Marvel just to name a few.

Immediately any reader can jump onto the series with just this issue, as you get the basics right out front. Oliver Queen is a young billionaire owner of a Seattle tech company by day, and a reckless vigilante hero by all the other time of day. He delegates most of his responsibilities for the company to his two trusted associates, so much so that it draws the ire of Emerson, the man appointed to run the company until Oliver is "ready".

What was so fun about the episode was Green Arrow's interaction with Skylark, a set of dangerous triplets that have more in store for him than even Oliver imagines. Between their first meeting, to them trying to illustrate ways they can improve Green Arrow's arsenal or the fun they have on his jet, and finally when things take that inevitable turn once they have Oliver where they want him, in just one issue there are these characters that I immediately want to see more of in this world of Green Arrow.

The art Harvey Tolibao puts on the pages has a much more fluid, static feel to it than what the title was getting before. I am reminded of issues of Justice Society of America last year but this is much more polished and fitting for the new youthful vibe to the character.

I am optimistic. I always thought Green Arrow before the DC 52 relaunch had so much baggage that he had almost become a caricature of himself, he was so predictable. Now with this fresh slate, I like the ambitiousness in relating his wealth towards current technologies and opening him up to a world with new characters in Seattle. Giving that level of grey where Oliver might make mistakes but you will not know until he does. I will be reading and I hope you will be too.

Look to buy the GREEN ARROW #7 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

FILM: G.I. Joe: Retaliation International Trailer (News)

Positive momentum continues to build for this summer's G.I. JOE sequel, G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, now that the international trailer has been released online. The trailer includes a few more looks at Cobra that were not in the first trailer that was shown and a real scope of how vast the world is for the film and just how much the characters go through is felt instantly.

Directed by Jon Chu (STEP UP 3D) and starring Dwayne Johnson (FAST FIVE), Bruce Willis (RED), Channing Tatum (THE VOW) and Ray Park (EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE 3D), G.I. JOE: RETALIATION looks to eclipse its predecessor in every facet.


G.I. JOE: RETALIATION strikes into theaters on June 29, 2012.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

FILM: A Look at Judge Dredd (News)

17 years after the first movie adaptation, a new Judge Dredd film is on its way with expectations of being more in the image of the comic book it is based off of.

DREDD, stars Karl Urban (STAR TREK) in the title role and he is joined by actresses Olivia Thirlby (NO STRINGS ATTACHED) and Lena Headey (GAME OF THRONES). Pete Travis (VANTAGE POINT) directs.

Images from the film have hit the web and here are two of them: a close-up of Judge Dredd and a shot of Dredd with Thirlby's character.


DREDD judges theaters on September 21, 2012.

Friday, March 2, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Star Trek #6 (Review)

Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Joe Corroney
Cover: Tim Bradstreet

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $3.99

Something I love about the comic book industry is the wide variety of topics and genres that you are almost guaranteed to find a title about. One section like that would be the books made from licensed properties. There is just something so exciting about being able to continue on with the characters you have come to love outside of their normal type of medium.

A bunch of times my top of the stack pick has ended up being based off a licensed property, so many companies are doing it: Dark Horse has Star Wars, BOOM! Studios was once the home to many Disney/Pixar books, and DC has the recently announced SMALLVILLE SEASON 11.

But if there is one company that is almost synonymous with the licensed property comic book, it is IDW Publishing that comes to mind. I always find myself dabbling with the titles there to see what hooks me and for awhile I read ANGEL while it was there and lately I have been checking out the GI:JOE and COBRA books. Yet while those properties are sizable, it was a book with a much more vocal/beloved fan base around it that had me wanting more.

Of course, I am talking about this week's STAR TREK #6, a comic book based off the recent J.J. Abrams reboot movie that helped revitalize the Trek universe for modern day science fiction audiences. Featuring the same characters from the film, this book continues their journey that only started there.

Tasked with writing the series is Mike Johnson, who has been part of a fantastic DC writing team for awhile with SUPERMAN/BATMAN and the new DC 52 relaunched SUPERGIRL title but is also no stranger to this new era of the Star Trek universe having contributed to the prequel comics that came out before the film and the movie adaptation comic as well that came out for IDW.

On the art is Joe Corroney, a veteran of IDW having worked on TRUE BLOOD, DOCTOR WHO and other STAR TREK universe titles. Here he accurately captures the look of the characters modeled after the actors that portrayed them, while also getting to be creative and design looks as well like in this issue with the adult version of Jim Kirk's brother, George. One of the things I am becoming more cognizant of with art is the portrayal of clothing on the characters and it thrills me to no end that the uniforms look authentic with folds and wrinkles as they hang on the body like it would be in real life.

This issue continues on with the previous issue's revelation that George Kirk was on this planet with a colony besieged by these alien life-force that resemble jelly fish that latch on to heads and take control. Behind the planet plot, you find all the threads developed in the movie still being fed upon, Jim's family issues, Spock's relationship with Uhura and Spock dealing with his grief.

If you enjoyed the movie than you should have no problem eating up the Trek goodness in this title. The quality of the creative team is very evident in the pages and until the next movie comes out - which sounds like awhile - this is more than an equal replacement for your STAR TREK needs.

Look to buy the STAR TREK #6 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

FILM: The Bourne Legacy Trailer (News)

While sequels have been in vogue lately, sometimes franchises run out of steam and need a change in blood. Usually that means some sort of reboot, but in the case of THE BOURNE LEGACY that is not necessarily the case.

Tony Gilroy (DUPLICITY), writer on all three previous Bourne movies, has stepped up to direct this new chapter in the same universe - almost a parallel story, as events from the original Bourne trilogy are said to affect parts of this next movie.

Gone is Matt Damon's Jason Bourne as the main character. In his place is Jeremy Renner (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL) as Agent Aaron Cross, another character in the mold of Bourne. Surrounding Renner is a stellar cast, including Edward Norton (THE INCREDIBLE HULK), Rachel Weisz (THE LOVELY BONES), and Joan Allen (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) reprising her role as Pam Landy.


THE BOURNE LEGACY hits theaters on August 3, 2012.

Monday, February 27, 2012

FILM: The Dark Knight Rises Images (News)

Every year seems to be the year of sequels but the quality and uniqueness to each Batman movie made by director Christoper Nolan seems to promise that the third, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will feel just as original and non-formulaic.

The fact that THE DARK KNIGHT reached such high box office success puts a level of expectation and excitement on the upcoming film that any bit of new information before the July release will be gobbled up in a feeding frenzy.

Thus it was a must to share a few images that were in Empire Magazine that have hit the web recently. The first being Christian Bale's Batman riding the Batpod and the second Tom Hardy as Bane with his head down.




THE DARK KNIGHT RISES into theaters on July 20, 2012.

Friday, February 24, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Voodoo #6 (Review)

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Sami Basri
Cover: John Tyler Christopher

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

One of the things that always excites me when it comes to that time in the week to read through my stack of comic books is finding that title I have been hoping would come around and wow me finally do just that. I would say about half of my stack is usually filled with series that are not exactly my favorites but I find something interesting about them and am waiting for that issue to prove my investment right.

That happened this week when VOODOO #6 decided for me that it would end up at the top of my stack when it was all said and done. VOODOO is a book filled with characters I was not familiar with at all prior to the new DC 52 since it used to be a Wildstorm book, and while I find myself learning on the go and still getting lost now and then, it has been a fun adventure to follow with visually unique characters.

The creative team consists of writer Joshua Williamson, who joined the title last issue replacing the writer of VOODOO's first four issues, Ron Marz. Williamson has been writing for DC an UNCHARTED mini-series based on the video game series of the same name, as well as XENOHOLICS for Image Comics. On art since the book's launch is Sami Basri, who most recently drew POWER GIRL - one of the main reasons I continued to read that book after the creative team change.

In this issue, the recently revealed to be a clone, Voodoo, continues her chase of the truth while the original is still imprisoned in a high security facility that is currently under attack by one of the more intriguing characters, Black Jack. Voodoo is seeking an audience with the war council on the Daemonite spaceship where intel missions to Earth have been going on with alien agents while the original needs her own use of aggression to break out of the situation she is in.

Any time Basri is on art, the pages are guaranteed to be gorgeous to look at and the interiors of VOODOO have not disappointed. Like staying on POWERGIRL, it was Basri's involvement on the book that helped keep it in my reading stack while I struggled with getting a hold on the story and characters. And I am glad I stayed with it because now that the story is developing, the fantastic designs of the characters and panels just makes it a breeze to read.

I am excited to see where this book goes with the story. That the original Voodoo goes from one imprisonment to another for her 'safety', it definitely feels like her life is in a whirlwind and that does not even take into account the clone that is going around doing her own thing. If there is one thing I like to embrace is a comic book that does things differently and I definitely feel that way with VOODOO.

Look to buy the VOODOO #6 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

GAMING: Mass Effect 3 Demo (News)

The much anticipated third installment of MASS EFFECT, from EA and Bioware was released in demo form earlier this week for its various platforms (PC/PS3/360). Featuring two levels from the single-player campaign and access to the co-op multi-player portion of the game that is new to the series.

MASS EFFECT 3 continues the story of Commander Shepard as time has run out and the big bad threat of the previous two games, Reapers, have arrived and besieged Earth. Reunited with the Normandy and the Virmire survivor, it is up to Shepard to rally the different nations of the galaxy into a coalition big enough to fight back for survival.

Here are two of the promotional trailers that have been released so far. One is the first video of the series to use the female version of Shepard instead of the male and showing gameplay, while the second pulls heavily the emotional cinematic themes of the story.



Download the MASS EFFECT 3 Demo here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

COMIC: DC Brings Back Smallville for Season 11 (News)

Comic books are quickly becoming the afterlife for geek TV shows that end their run but have a following still wanting more about those characters.

In the footsteps of shows like BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL, that found new life in comic book form for Dark Horse & IDW respectively, now the former CW mainstay show, SMALLVILLE, is making a transition to ink and paper.

Officially called SMALLVILLE SEASON 11, the comic book will pick up where the show ended in last May's finale with Clark being Superman and Lex Luthor back in the mix. Writing this next chapter of SMALLVILLE will be Bryan Q. Miller, former writer of BATGIRL who has experience with the Smallville universe having written several episodes over the last few years. Drawing the interiors is another BATGIRL alum, Pere Perez.

The other unique aspect to this new book is the method of release. It will be a digital first series starting on April 13, 2012, nearly one year after the show's two hour finale as smaller than a regular book digital chapters. These chapters will be released weekly with a print collection of the chapters being released starting on May 16.

The print cover artist will be Gary Frank (SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN) and on the digital Cat Staggs. Here is a look at the first cover by Cat:

Friday, February 17, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Birds of Prey #6 (Review)

Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Artist: Javier Pina
Cover: Jesus Saiz

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

7 for 7, another different title makes it to the top of my reading stack this week and I am starting to think that 2012 has brought on a renaissance with team books because I cannot get enough of them!

DC Comics makes its return to my weekly pick after a few weeks away with the release of BIRDS OF PREY #6 from Duane Swierczynski and Javier Pina. I have been a reader of BIRDS OF PREY for many years, since around the latter part of Chuck Dixon's run on the original volume but for the most part of that time I was reading the book despite its stories because of how much I loved the characters (or their potential) that were a part of it.

Now that we are firmly implanted in the new DC 52, the BIRDS OF PREY has gotten a new lease on life and I am loving every bit of it. Still on the team from its previous incarnation is Dinah Lance, the Black Canary, who also is wearing a new look, one that slightly resembles an old costume between her fishnet stockings outfits. So far six issues in I consider this almost a perfect book for those who wanted a solo Black Canary story and found her feature in the GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY book lacking. Sure it is a team book but she is by far one of the main characters.

Also on the team is Katana, who is slightly different in the new DC 52 and has a soul stealing mystical sword; Poison Ivy, who has not turned a new leaf but coexists with the group despite her crazed ways. She adds to the level of greyness surrounding the team; Starling, a 'master spy' who is as dangerous as lovely; And Batgirl, who seems determined not to be a part of the team but finds herself involved more than she'd like.

The man behind this team would be writer Duane Swierczynski, who besides having written several novels was previously an exclusive writer for Marvel and had a long twenty-five issue run on CABLE roughly three years ago. Along with artist Jesus Saiz, a veteran DC artist who worked on books like THE OMAC PROJECT, the two have been on the series from the start and have provided a solid foundation for the future of the title. Filling in for Saiz this month is Javier Pina, who collaborated with the previous issue's art and has worked on DC's MANHUNTER series back in the day and more recently BOOM! Studios' SOLDIER ZERO.

In this issue the Birds further plunge themselves into the sleeper agents cell they uncovered, focusing on a character that was introduced in the very first issue of this new run. Readers get a nice explanation just how complex the webs woven by this mysterious 'Choke' who created these sleeper agents without the very people being used knowing it happened.

The art is perfect for a book featuring many beautiful heroines. Sometimes I see books that feature women characters get illustrated with styles that do not match with them and not look pretty but that is not the case with BIRDS OF PREY. Each character looks unique, looks great and even better, look awesome in action. There is no stiffness or forced poses that can sometimes seduce artists that draw women. The pages really give off a feel of excitement and adventure that reminded me a lot of another great heroine book at one time, Bryan Q. Miller's BATGIRL.

I do miss some of the old members of the team, like Dove and Lady Blackhawk, but I have to admit that I am enjoying getting to know this new cast of girl power surrounding Black Canary. Poison Ivy has always been one of my favorite DC bad girls, Katana was one of the few reasons I would pick up THE OUTSIDERS book back in the day, and Starling just seems like a great other voice for Dinah in the vein of Huntress with the prior group. I cannot wait to see what trouble these girls will find next, I mean of course once they handle 'Choke'.

Look to buy the BIRDS OF PREY #6 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

FILM: The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer (News)

With it being more than six months since the debut of the teaser trailer and less than that until the release of the movie, that means we are past the halfway point for the upcoming THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and Sony has decided to treat fans with the first full-length trailer of the movie.

With director Marc Webb (500 DAYS OF SUMMER), THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN brings a return to the early days of the character with Andrew Garfield (THE SOCIAL NETWORK) as Peter Parker, Emma Stone (EASY A) as Gwen Stacy, Denis Leary (RESCUE ME) as George Stacy and Rhys Ifans (HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1) as Dr. Curt Connors.


THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN swings into theaters on July 3, 2012.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

TV: NBC Has a Wonder Woman After All (News)

After spending the last six years on TV winning over geek hearts as the sassy no-nonsense reporter Lois Lane on SMALLVILLE, Erica Durance has found her way onto our TV sets yet again and this time aimed to take those hearts throbbing into overdrive by slipping on the silver bracelets of Wonder Woman for an episode of HARRY'S LAW.

The episode that aired on January 11th on NBC, starred Durance as a psychologically damaged woman who takes on the persona of the popular DC Comics character to exact vigilante-style justice.

Since the last Wonder Woman project (the failed Adrianne Palicki NBC tv pilot) went nowhere, I thought it was only fair to share the image of another gorgeous and talented actress donning the star-spangled outfit. Erica Durance crush renewed.



Watch a clip of Erica's appearance on HARRY'S LAW last month on Hulu.

Friday, February 10, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Adventure Time #1 (Review)

Writer: Ryan North & Aaron Renier
Artist: Shelli Paroline & Aaron Renier
Cover: Shelli Paroline

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Price: $3.99

Now that I am entering the second month of being back to reviewing comic books, the wave of returning titles and familiar characters bring a level of comfort reading issues but it thrills me that for the sixth week of 2012 it is a sixth different book to find its way to the top of my stack.

BOOM! Studios is not a stranger to being a part of my comic pick but this time around a newcomer title came along with it in ADVENTURE TIME #1. From their KABOOM! line, the comic book is based off the hit animated series on Cartoon Network.

An interesting choice for writer of the title is Ryan North, who is probably best known for being the creator of the webcomic, DINOSAUR COMICS. Given the sometimes bizarre stories Adventure Time can devolve into it might be the perfect choice after reading the first issue and finding an almost seamless feeling for the characters and the world in the comic book compared to the one I have watched on TV.

In the issue, Finn and Jake between exchanging battle burns take on the Lich, who is determined to destroy everything on the planet using the bag of holding he escaped from. Throw in a Jake Suit appearance, a beheading, and meeting a princess (a desert one, not dessert) and quickly the main story of the issue pretty much had everything you could expect from an episode of the show.

Sometimes it is the little things and the attention to detail that really throw a scene over the top. When the Lich takes on the Ice King, the Ice King was in the middle of writing fan fiction of 'Fiona & Cake Meets Finn & Jake' that is just so zany insane funny to include that I loved it.

The art by Shelli Paroline is fantastic, easily capturing and recreating the spirit of the animated series within the pages of the comic book. All of the characters mirror the show and the expressions of Finn's angry face and Jake's flexibility bring that sense of familiarity any fan of the show would have with the characters and their personalities.

A quick note on the back story written and illustrated by Aaron Renier - it brings it just as well as the main story and the ability of a short against a longer story that is continuing next issue is that the punch line gets to be included, which increases the amount of funny for the book. Involving Princess Bubblegum, Tree Trunks and Cinnamon Bun's birthday party, the story takes an unexpected turn that you would only expect to happen in the world of Adventure Time.

If continuing issues follow the trend of this first issue then I have no doubt that ADVENTURE TIME will be just as good in quality as the show it was born from. Any fan of fun should like the book, and definitely fans of the show or all-ages titles would be smart to pick it up and give it a read and prepare to laugh. I cannot wait to see what will happen next time.

Look to buy the ADVENTURE TIME #1 digital comic on Comixology for $3.99 or Graphicly for $1.99

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

FILM: Super Bowl XLVI Ad Spots (News)

While Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on the 5th ended up having another memorable game involving the New York Giants and New England Patriots, the excitement for the game has grown to epic proportions including the commercials aired around the game.

So here are some of the films that grabbed some of that valuable ad time to show off new trailers.

JOHN CARTER out on March 9, 2012.


THE HUNGER GAMES out on March 23, 2012.

THE AVENGERS out on May 4, 2012.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

FILM: Lockout Trailer (News)

Looking for a sleeper movie hit? Well there might just be one to be found in EuropaCorp's upcoming release, LOCKOUT.

It takes place in space. A space prison to be exact. The story has an anti-hero put against impossible odds to save the girl. And it contains a solid cast.

Directed by the team of James Mather & Stephen St. Leger (PREY ALONE), LOCKOUT stars Guy Pearce (THE KING'S SPEECH) and Maggie Grace (THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1) in the lead roles of wrongly convicted former government agent and the President of the United States' daughter he needs to rescue from the violent inmates of a space prison.


LOCKOUT busts out into theaters on April 13, 2012.

Friday, February 3, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - The Amazing Spider-Man #679 (Review)

Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Cover: Mike Del Mundo

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

A new month brings a new regime to the top of my reading stack as Marvel makes its triumphant return with the release of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679.

Now this is an achievement in itself due to my less than satisfactory opinion on the direction taken with 616 Spider-Man for a long time, highlighted by the dreaded 'One More Day' storyline.So the fact that I made it my choice for the week gives an indication to just how great this issue was.

While I did not struggle in making the pick, there were a few other stalwarts this week that I enjoyed immensely. I am of course talking about another book from Marvel, UNCANNY X-FORCE #21, where I loved Psylocke going against her brother and attempting to save Fantomex, and from DC there was JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #6, an epilogue issue that had Batman giving Booster Gold a pep talk in being a leader and the official announcement of the team by the U.N.

But neither gave me as much joy as this week's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN written by long-time ongoing writer Dan Slott. While this was one of the few Spider-Man issues I have read that he had written, I am not a stranger to Slott's work and in fact one of my favorite books while it was being made was his rendition of She-Hulk more than a half decade ago that should have been read by a lot more people it was so good.

This issue continues on from the previous where Peter having stepped through a friend's time gate to see "tomorrow" only to find New York demolished on the other side waiting for him is continuing his slightly manic patrol through the city trying to do everything he can for that future not to happen before time is up.

Throw in cameos by the Silver Sable and Mary Jane Watson and you have a fun, excitement-filled story where you totally feel like you are in the shoes of Spider-Man, not knowing what needs to be done but trying to get it done anyway.

The art by Humberto Ramos adds to the mix of silliness and tension that goes on through the pages, giving Peter/Spider-Man a sense of mobility that gives the flexibility between the ominous deadline and the strange side adventures he has like capturing an escaped tiger. It all just fits so well. The dynamic use of panels contributes a lot to illustrating Peter's near manic state and takes you this place and that without feeling overwhelmed about it.

I have certainly regained an interest in 616 Spider-Man and plan on continuing to read Amazing. Funny how my dissatisfaction with the direction taken with Ultimate Spider-Man would send me back to the original incarnation after having stopped reading in a similar way but so far I am glad this happened. This two part story just shows how much you can do with a superhero story without having to rely on a trademark super-villain or rival. Superman writers should take a cue from this book.

Look to buy the THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679 digital comic on Comixology for $3.99

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

GAMING: Resident Evil 6 Trailer (News)

Coming in November is the next installment of the horror survival game series from Capcom called RESIDENT EVIL 6.

The third-person shooter will bring together the series two most popular male leads for the first time, Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield.


Synopsis:
It has been ten years since the incident at Raccoon City and the President of the United States has decided to reveal the truth behind what took place. Raccoon City survivor and personal friend of the President, Leon S. Kennedy, arrives to find the President transformed beyond recognition by a bioterrorist attack. Leon is forced to make the hardest decision he has ever made.

At the same, Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance Member, Chris Redfield arrives in China, itself under threat of a bioterrorist attack.

RESIDENT EVIL 6 will be released on XBOX 360, PS3 & Wii in Fall/Winter 2012.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

FILM: The Three Stooges Trailer (News)

Comedies are usually not covered here at Geekplate but when it involves a reintroduction of a legendary group into the modern age, like 20th Century Fox's THE THREE STOOGES, it deserves a look at.

Giving this comedy immediate credibility is that the Farrelly Brothers (HALL PASS) are directing. Starring as the protagonist trio is Sean Hayes (CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE) as Larry, Will Sasso (LIFE AS WE KNOW IT) as Curly and Chris Diamantopoulos (UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT) as Moe. And if that is not enough, the film seems to be littered with celebrity cameos throughout.


THE THREE STOOGES goes bumbling into theaters on April 13, 2012.

Friday, January 27, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Teen Titans #5 (Review)

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund
Cover: Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

It looks like it only took a month of being back to reviewing comics on a weekly basis for a company to put together successive weeks of wowing me with a book that would keep them at the top of my reading stack and this week it was DC tightening its hold on top with the release of TEEN TITANS #5.

And I seemed to be in a team book haze this week as I also enjoyed DC's other legendary team book, JUSTICE LEAGUE #6. And while that issue with the adult team mixing it up with Darkseid was almost my choice, it was the intrigue in TEEN TITANS #5 that is Superboy as an unknown factor in the battle against the teen heroes that was just too great to pass up.

Writer Scott Lobdell has been at the helm of the series since the relaunch of TEEN TITANS in the New 52 DC initiative, and at the same time is pulling double duty by being the writer on SUPERBOY as well and readers of both are seeing the two series intertwine as N.O.W.H.E.R.E throws Superboy at the Titans.

The great thing about this issue's battle is how several of the characters get a moment to shine as they take on Superboy before the eventuality of Superboy gaining the upper hand takes place. For someone like me who is not too familiar with several of these new Titans - not including oldies like Red Robin, Kid Flash and Wondergirl who have new twists to their character in the DC 52 to learn about as well - it is great to get a feel for what Bunker and Solstice can do.

And the underlying theme so far in the series of that destruction seems to follow the teen heroes stays true in this issue as the battle with Superboy is really wrecking things around them and even Solstice's save of Kid Flash involved damaging a battleship in the harbor.

A perfect match for the story is the art in this book. The individuality of each character's abilities really come out on the pages, whether it be Superboy's tactile telekinesis or Bunker's psionic bricks, Kid Flash's speed, the action just looks fantastic.

I have always been a fan of team books, and especially that of the Teen Titans. It has been ages though since I've enjoyed the title and now with the fresh start of the DC 52 I think the series has a chance to do something special like the Titans books of decades ago and I can confidently say this is a great beginning so far.

Look to buy the TEEN TITANS #5 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

FILM: Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D Posters (News)

In February comes out the first 3D conversion rerelease from the Star Wars Saga, with STAR WARS - EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE 3D. A few months back the trailer was shown and now being much closer to the start date Lucasfilm has unleashed onto the web newly designed posters for the 3D version of the movie.

Being a poster junkie that I am, I welcome the opportunity to have new official posters to look at and here are two of them. The first image highlights the epic Podracing that takes place on Tatooine and the second features Darth Maul, the surprisingly memorable villain that is part of one of the best lightsaber fights of the series.



STAR WARS - EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE 3D forces its way into theaters in a galaxy far, far away on February 10, 2012.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

SPORTS: A Look at LA's Possible Future NFL Stadium (News)

It is fast approaching two decades since the NFL had a team in the city of Los Angeles and while future prospects still seem cloudy there is hope. AEG, the entity that brought Staples Center to Downtown LA nearly thirteen years ago and has since built an ecosystem around the arena in the decade since named "LA Live", is looking to build a stadium right in the same area.

There is still plenty of red tape to go through and breaks are needed to happen for Los Angeles to get a willing team not just using the opportunity as leverage against its own market but roughly the idea is to remodel the ancient convention center that is adjacent to Staples Center and making it a part of the possible stadium project.

Recently the design firm in charge of the schematics of Farmers Field released new renderings in AEG's latest project update. Included in the restyled design is an ambitious level of innovation when it comes to converting the stadium to an enclosed environment with a deployable roof solution that takes retractable roofs of present day and blows them out of the water.


Friday, January 20, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Tiny Titans #48 (Review)

Writer: Art Baltazar & Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar
Cover: Art Baltazar

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

If there is one thing I have learned in having written a weekly comic year for nearly two years is that I have a type of book that will almost always blow me away when I read it.

If it is fun, makes me laugh and want to read it forever like this week's TINY TITANS #48 then it will find itself on its way to the top of the stack by the time I read everything else.

And that is what happened this week. No other book really competed with the miniature heroes. There were a few solid issues, like IDW's STAR TREK #5, which does such a great job of capturing the world and characters from the new movie universe, or DC's BIRDS OF PREY #5, which kept me guessing as to what was really going on and is such a great looking book art-wise, but both seemed to miss that special sparkle that I always seem to see when a new issue of TINY TITANS graces my presence.

The longstanding creative team of Baltazar & Franco continue to weave an all-ages masterpiece with this series. As the cover teases, Baltazar & Franco have the TINY TITANS characters take on the idea of secret identities in only the way they can. By making use of pairs of thick-framed glasses, just like Clark Kent wears!

From Barbara taking of her cowl and finally revealing her full face and red hair - of which Robin seemed to be a fan of - to the titans taking a trip to Barbara's Secret Bat-Lair to try on vintage clothes found in her dad's old trunk, the story flowed from one silly moment to the next never losing the momentum of fun in the pages.

But best of all may be Wondergirl and her oranges. First the secret orange that tells her secrets and then her own wacky dream of Secret Oranges vs the Just Us Cows ... those pages steal the show and take the hilarity to another level.
STORY

The art continues to carry the energy of the characters and could easily translate to the animated world (if dreams would come true!) with the easy to recognize design of the characters and the ability to make anything seem possible in the TINY TITANS world.

I LOVE this book and any fan of DC or fun in general should give this comic a read. Easily something I would give to a younger relative, with quick, clever stories that get right to the punchline that also have nods to the older fans that know the DC Universe quite well. This is my favorite DCU title and it should be yours too.

The TINY TITANS #48 issue is not available digitally yet (BOO!) but look to buy the first 40 digital comic issues of TINY TITANS on Comixology for only $0.99 each.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

FILM: Prometheus Teaser Trailer (News)

One of the more interesting releases this summer comes from the creative mind of Ridley Scott (ROBIN HOOD), who returns to the genre he helped mold decades ago - science fiction. Gone are the days of ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER but in June comes the new story of PROMETHEUS.

Joining Scott in this new venture is a star-studded cast: Michael Fassbender (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS), Noomi Rapace (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), Charlize Theron (YOUNG ADULT) and Guy Pearce (THE HURT LOCKER).


PROMETHEUS hits theaters on June 8, 2012.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

FILM: The Expendables 2 Teaser Trailer + Poster (News)

Another sequel is coming this summer with Lionsgate's THE EXPENDABLES 2.

Director Simon West (LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER) is coming aboard to helm this next installment that reunites many of the big names from the first film and brings in another batch of high caliber action stars to join in the fun.

Amongst the stars back are Sylvester Stallone (RAMBO) as Barney Ross, Jason Statham (GNOMEO & JULIET) as Lee Christmas and Jet Li (THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR) as Yin Yang.

Increased roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS) and Bruce Willis (RED), and newcomers to the series: Chuck Norris (THE DELTA FORCE) and Jean-Claude Van Damme (KUNG FU PANDA 2).



THE EXPENDABLES 2 blows into theaters on August 17, 2012.