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Archive for the 'Gregg Senko' Category

‘Wayne’ Successfully Balances the Heartfelt and the Visceral (TV Review)

How does one describe this series currently found on Amazon Prime? It is certainly a menagerie of emotions that effectively collide and mingle in the ten-episode run of season one. Originating from YouTube and then being picked up by Prime, the show was created by Shawn Simmons, known for his writing credits on smaller productions such as the School of Rock series and the 2018 film Now We’re Talking. As 2019 rolled around, Simmons got the chance he was looking for in this series he passionately pitched to YouTube not all that long ago.

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‘Amped’ Gets Juiced in Debut Issue

From publisher Absolute Comics comes the brand new series, Amped. With literary duties provided bywriter Brian Augustyn (The Flash, Lady Death), Amped puts a unique spin on the super hero team genre which seems to have been done time and again. Still, Augustyn finds a way to inject some much needed creativity into this realm and makes it work quite well to say the least. With effective visuals from artist Pasquale Qualano (Doctor Who, Heavy Metal), we get a cognitive effort here from the pairing which delivers a solid premier. So what’s it all about anyway?

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Gregg’s Top Five Films of 2020

I certainly don’t need to go into detail on how upended this year was. TV and film production came to a grinding halt which effectively shut down cinemas across the country as well. That being said, this will be my first ‘best films of the year’ article that isn’t the normal top ten. Rather, with the abridged film viewing in the dumpster fire known as 2020, the following will present my top five favorite films of the year. It is just an unfortunate combination of less content to watch and not being overly thrilled with a lot of what was out there. On the bright side, I did discover Schitt’s Creek this year and thoroughly loved it, but with it being a show and not a film, it won’t find a home on this list. I really want to say without further ado let’s skip all of this and just get to 2021, but there were still a number of great projects to watch this year.

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The Best Comics of 2020

Covid-19 may have stopped the movies in 2020, but it didn’t stop comic books. Sure, things were delayed for a bit when comic book distributors pumped the brakes in getting product from the warehouse to your local comic book shop, but that was short-lived, though it felt like an eternity when it occurred. Nevertheless, here we are in December and there were a number of fantastic titles the filled the hands of readers everywhere this year. Though most of us cannot wait to escape 2020, let us take our annual trip down comic book memory lane and see who topped the charts in each category.

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ManEater (PS5 Review)

While many Sony fans are still in hot pursuit of the brand spankin’ new PS5 console, some have been fortunate enough to get their hands on one despite Sony’s poor planning at launch. For those that do have the newest Playstation, there is no mistaking the shortage of titles currently available for it, yet this was not necessarily unexpected. Games like Godfall have bedazzled players with next gen graphics while familiar faces like Mortal Kombat continue to wow with its consistently solid play and upgrade of sights and sounds. One release that many gamers may not be familiar with, however, is the new ManEater from developer Tripwire Interactive.

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Shadow Service #1 from Vault Comics

A small yet potent comic book publisher, Vault Comics made its industry debut in 2016 and prides itself on publishing “original, creator-owner science fiction and fantasy comics” as mentioned on the company’s website. Vault has an already impressive array of titles which continues to grow. One of the more recent of those is an ongoing series titled Shadow Service.

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7500 (Movie Review)

As movie theaters are on the advent of opening in the very near future, one could not squander an opportunity for something new until that happens. The German film 7500 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 500 Days of Summer) was actually released in 2019 but is just now making its way to North America. Directed and co-written by Patrick Vollrath (Ketchup Kid), the 92-minute drama features a minimal cast on a short budget, though it manages to make the most out of everything.

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Star Wars: Dooku – Jedi Lost (Audio Drama Review)

Though it has been a few months since the release of the Star Wars: Dooku – Jedi Lost in both audio and print form, it was only recently that I concluded the nearly six and a half hour audio format of the story from Random House Audio. It is important to note that this is not an audio book, but rather an audio drama, and the difference between the two is quite significant. There is a full cast of actors complete with the musical accompaniment of John Williams’ work and cinematic sound effects to boot. As for the book form, it is important that fans know it is not a novel and instead reads exactly like a script. With all that in mind, let us take a deeper look at Dooku – Jedi Lost.

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Comics Are Back! and also Doctor Aphra #1

Well it’s about time! Pick your poison, as chances are whatever anyone’s hobbies are, they have likely been slowed, ceased or altered in some way. Comic books are no exception as many have been left reading old back issues or even nothing at all. That has all taken a solid turn for the better during the virus lockdown. To being with, digital comics made their splash last week with print comics releasing this week. Among the first out was Marvel’s long-awaited reboot of Doctor Aphra.

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‘Haunting’ Comic Series Launches on Kickstarter

New entertainment is certainly hard to come by these days, no thanks to the global pandemic we are all carefully navigating through. Film projects came to a screeching halt weeks ago, movie releases are delayed, TV shows are on repeat, and Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest distributor of comic books in North America, has ceased delivery of all titles. Despite the wet blanket COVID-19 has become, you cannot keep a creative mind at bay, even through our current circumstances. Enter comic book writer/creator Phil Falco who is the mastermind behind the new spectral series, HAUNTING.

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AfterShock Comics Unleashes ‘Artemis & the Assassin’

Aftershock Comics released a new title this past week and it has been on my radar since Tuesday to get that story under my belt. Like so many around the globe, I’ve been relegated to working from home for at least a few days, which has mean no drive to work. Considering my commute is an hour each way, that time has been spent catching up on some much needed reading and Aftershock’s latest effort, Artemis and the Assassin, was destined to be part of that. Created by Stephanie Philips (Descendant), this series is already off to a heart-pounding start.

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‘X-Ray Robot’ is Curiously Magnetic

One can always rely on the smaller publishers (Image, Dark Horse, etc.) to create some of the more curious and quirky stories in the comic book world. Dark Horse is no exception with its latest effort, X-Ray Robot. As the old adage goes, you should never judge a book by its cover, but I found the sci-fi-heavy, pop culture-laden front of issue #1 to be so much in my wheelhouse, that I could not deny a chance to at least read what the book’s description was all about.  Once I saw dialogue about inter-dimensional travel and the origins of the universe, I was all in to kick back and see what this title had to offer.

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Dark Horse Fires Off First Issue of ‘Bang!’

Looking for a break from your standard super hero tales? Tired of interdimensional villains trying to step on Earth? Dark Horse has a flavor that is off the beaten path, though not one that hasn’t been done before. Written by Matt Kindt (X-O Manowar) with artwork by Wilfredo Torres (Black Panther), we delve into a tale of espionage and cryptic novel-writing in Bang! that will throw you for a loop before you can say ‘Agent Thomas Cord’.

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Superman: Red Son (4k Blu-ray Review)

In 2003, DC Comics did a total 180 with the world’s most popular superhero. The mega publisher released a three-issue mini-series titled Superman: Red Son. The Mark Millar-written tale (also known for his work on Kick-ass) could be construed as a “what if” in the sense that instead of Kal-El landing in Kansas after the destruction of Krypton, his escape pod crashed in the Soviet Union. Clark Kent is a name you won’t see in this story. Superman, however, is a name you’ll hear as he serves under USSR communist leader Josef Stalin in DC’s latest animated feature, Superman: Red Son directed by Sam Liu.

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‘Bloodshot’ Eyes Prize Above Mediocrity

Back in 1989, a startup comic book publisher known as Valiant had arrived on the scene. The company made it a point to offer up characters a little more complex than your average super hero as these newly developed personalities had allegiances and demeanors that were not always so clear cut. Some of their more premier characters and successful titles include X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and one in particular known as Bloodshot. The story of Bloodshot featured an expert soldier maimed by war and reclaimed by science only to build a better soldier. With a repeatedly wiped memory and the ability to take a ridiculously inhuman beating, Bloodshot has become the first Valiant character to hit the big screen.

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DC’s ‘Plunge’ is No Routine Dive

Debuting in February under DC’s Black Label (for readers age 17 and older), comic book writer/creator Joe Hill proudly released his latest effort, Plunge. Hill is best known as the mastermind behind the best-selling Locke & Key series, which is now a popular Netflix series. Plunge offers up a very different feel from its mainstream predecessor, though there is no less suspense in this nautical adventure. At two issues in, things are ramping up in this superbly paced story.

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Honey and Blue Make Their Musical Mark

February is a cold, cold month here on the north coast. Most people are hunkered down somewhere indoors, save for your skiers and other winter sport aficionados. It is certainly a little out of the norm to see any kind of outdoor gatherings, let alone a festival. Wait, festival? Here? In Cleveland? Uh, yeah. The Brite Winter Festival entered its 11th consecutive year and is dotted with various food trucks, ice carving demos, and of course the highlight of the event, the music.

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Coin Releases Third Album ‘Dreamland’

Last week, Nashville-based indie rock band Coin presented the world with their third album, titled Dreamland. The band’s first outing, a self-title record, was a largely upbeat, go-after-it-and-get-it feel accompanied with a couple tunes which occasionally slowed the pace. The second album, How Will You Know if You Never Try, featured an array of songs that seemed to have matured from its predecessor. That is not a negative connotation by any means as they were two, for the most part, different sounding records that validated the Coin’s multi-faceted persona. With the close of February comes Dreamland, the band’s first album in nearly three years.

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