There was a golden era of baseball that has long since passed. It covered a time that spanned the years before and shortly after World War II. The teams of this age consisted of rosters that held the names of some of the greatest that ever played the game. There were those dangerous with a bat like Ted Williams and Babe Ruth and those who shut down the opposition from the mound like Dizzy Dean and Bob Feller. While these men and their teammates had their highs and lows, none of them faced the struggles and hurdles like the late, great Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg.
Back in the early 90′s I was pretty big into comic book buying. Then I slowly faded from the pop culture media and it soon drifted out of sight, out of mind. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago or so that I decided to see what else was out there in the way of new titles these days. The first book I bought? Guardians of the Galaxy. It looked like a fairly off the wall, entertaining read. That certainly turned out to be the case but I continued on with the sci-fi rag-tag team of heroes. Apparently sometime between now and when I distanced myself from that series, it died out, which seems logical as it was getting rather tedious and boring. This week Marvel is proud to announce the rebirth of the series with issue #1 of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Last year, a French film arrived on the shores of the U.S. and flew under the radar of many a movie-goer. Granted, this happens quite often with foreign films here in the States when Hollywood has a stranglehold on the film industry. Still, that’s not to say a film made abroad cannot compete with the domestic fare. Quite the contrary, as creativity is obviously not limited to borders. That’s where The Intouchables enters the scene. The acclaimed film now arrives on Blu-ray, but does its cinematic charm carry over to the home high-def format?
One of the older but less utilized characters in the Marvel universe is that of Ultron. The metallic menace first appeared in a Marvel comic back in the late 1960′s as the creation of Avengers genius Hank Pym. Storylines have come a long way in the last 40+ years and this latest bit of pop culture literature features Ultron in his, or should I say “its,” own book. Don’t expect a hokey game of cat and mouse with the humanity-hating robot chasing Marvel’s favorite super team. This is one dark tale.
If there’s one long-running title in the world of comic books with a very dedicated fan base, it has to be Atomic Robo. I discovered the heroic battle bot a few years ago whose longevity can be traced throughout numerous mini-series. Arriving March 5th on Comixology, the wise-cracking metallic hero is back in his latest adventure in Atomic Robo: Along Came a Tyrantula, as an Emerald City Comicon exclusive.
Detective Comics, or more commonly known as DC, has been churning out some very solid titles since the launch of their New 52 line in 2011. We’ve recently seen the launch of a new superhero known as Vibe. The timing of this new character’s own title was no mistake as it was brought to us just in time for the anticipated release of the third Justice League series. No it’s not overkill. There is a point to all of this.
Where does one start with this film? If you’ve caught even the smallest fragment of critic talk on this picture, you know it’s been labeled as everything from star-studded to vulgar. The cast contains some of Hollywood’s most prominent names like Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet just to name a few…and that’s literally just a few of the actors in the prominent cast. I made it a point not to look up the reasoning behind the film’s rather bland title, just to see if the film itself would unveil the mystery. It never did give that up, but where it kept quite on a title, it went all out everywhere else.
A co-worker first told me about this film some months back, of which I thought he was joking. When he persisted that there really was a Hansel & Gretel movie coming out, I made a mad dash to my phone and checked out the trailer. My initial thought was, “What’s this? The latest trend on the heels of Abe Lincoln hunting vampires? What’s next? Napoleon: Sasquatch Hunter?” The film’s preview didn’t exactly light my fire, but with Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner headlining the movie, I figured I’d give it a go.
It seems like the last time anybody was talking about genies in the mainstream, Disney was releasing Aladdin on Blu-ray. Well, the age-old Middle Eastern mythos is back, this time on the pages of Jinnrise, a new mini-series from IDW comics. The title brings forth a concoction of sci-fi with the wish-granting super beings in what intends to be a high octane collision course.
New from Image imprint Top Cow Productions, Inc., a five-part mini-series titled Son of Merlin debuted its first issue on January 9th. The story has a bit of a Dresden Files experience to it, combining ancient magic with the modern day. The story ultimately focuses on a genius professor at MIT by the name of Simon Ambrose. A disciple of science, Ambrose puts little belief in anything else. It’s not until he encounters an un-openable book and a seemingly crazy but attractive female that his eyes start to see a world he was previously unaware of.
Warning: This review contains spoilers from The Amazing Spider-Man #700. Following quickly on the heels of its predecessor, the inaugural issue of The Superior Spider-Man made its debut this past week. It was the final issue of the long-standing The Amazing Spider-Man series that brought us to this point. Fans were in an uproar in what happened in that issue and the chain of events that brought us to the new, the improved, The Superior Spider-Man.
On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake occurred on the floor of the Indian Ocean. This violent undersea action set forth a chain of events that caused an enormous amount of pressure and force upward and outward. The end product was a tsunami and resulting devastation unlike any the world had seen before. The casualties numbered over a quarter million spread over southeast Asia, destroying entire towns, lives and displacing the living from their relatives. In the case of one particular family, an immense natural disaster was not going to keep them apart. But without the use of computers, phone lines or radios, finding one another would seem like nothing short of The Impossible.
While Zero Dark Thirty is going to get its mass release in January, you can whet your appetite in the meantime with the independent film SEAL Team Six. I can’t make a comparison between this and Zero Dark Thirty, but I can say SEAL Team Six achieves moments of proficiency with its smaller scale approach while still aiming for the feel of realism.
Earlier this month I released my worst films of 2012. That was probably one of the easiest lists I ever put together. The good ones from the year the Mayan calendar ended were a little more difficult to assemble. It was another year of superheroes at the box office which brought in super dividends for their studios. Disney lost big with John Carter, but cashed in on Wreck-It Ralph. Channing Tatum had four…err, three films on the agenda for the year, both doing very well. Then there’s the highly anticipated Tolkien work, The Hobbit, which took viewers on another journey through Middle Earth (with some really bad CGI). But while there may be one ring to rule them all, it was the following ten works that were the crowning achievements of film for me in 2012.
I couldn’t sum up the Blu-ray releases of 2012 better than Brian White’s article in which he mentioned standouts such as the Bond collection, Universal Monsters and so on. It’s almost as if the studios got together and said, “Hey, if the world does end on 12/21/12, we better go out with a bang.” Had that fictional conversation took place, they certainly lived up to their aspirations. It was definitely much easier assembling a list of top 10 cinema releases this year than it was Blu-rays. Now onto the rankings!
In the aftermath of the Avengers vs. X-Men battle royale that nearly leveled the planet, characters are either regrouping or recovering. As part of Marvel’s new “Join the Revolution” campaign they’ve created, we’re seeing a lot of new titles popping up, one of which is Cable and X-Force. With issue 1 coming out this past week, the cover caught my eye and it became an immediate purchase.
If you’re on the fence about getting into comic book reading or not, now is as good a time as any. In all honesty, this is a great time to delve into the pop culture art form. The stories and artwork that grace the pages of many of today’s titles are entertaining if not exceptional reads. Looking for a few good titles to let your imagination escape? This list will provide the best of what we saw in 2012.
I don’t remember being as disappointed by movies during the course of 2012 than I was in any other year. I mean, there were some genuinely terrible productions released this year. Now I try and see as many films as possible, but this time around, I eventually had to put the brakes on because of the seemingly incessant waste of time and money I was spending on them. It wasn’t quite big enough for a top ten list, but it came awfully close. Doom on you, Hollywood. You screwed up a lot this year.
There are some strong contenders for the title of Album of the Year for 2012. They range from bands that deliver hard riffs and cryptic lyrics to a movie soundtrack that musically enunciated each note to a heart-pounding degree. There were also a few newcomers that brought some refreshing strength to what can be at times a repetitive music industry. Still, at the end of the day, there can only be one.
In recent months, DC Comics has been heavily publicizing the release of its new TV series, Arrow, based around the character of Oliver Queen and his super hero identity of the Green Arrow. Some of the names have been changed (not to protect the innocent) but tonight, the CW debuted the first episode of what they hope will be a big hit. Now that the pilot has officially aired, we’ve got some material to weigh in on.