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.

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).

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

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).

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.