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.

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.