Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero

I saw this movie years ago, but didn't really remember it, and certainly didn't post about it. It is from the old Batman animated series, so the art style is awesome and distinct although everything looks like it's from the 50s which may turn some people off. Mass murderer and brilliant scientist, Mr. Freeze, needs to revive his ailing wife, and if that means he has to kill innocence to do so, so what? It's up to Batman and Robin to stop him. This is an enjoyable enough Batman adventure, but I do get the feeling you're supposed to forget, at least at times, that Mr. Freeze is a mass murder.

Ash vs. Evil Dead

A ridiculous number of years ago, I and a group of friends went to see Army of Darkness opening night in the theaters. The movie was part two or part three, depending on your point of view, of the cult classic Evil Dead. The movie was such an over-the-top, ostensibly, horror film. I loved it and when we went back the next week to see it again it was unfortunately gone from theaters (apparently, we did not have our fingers on the public pulse). Enter the television show, that apparently skips the existence of that film and reintroduces us to Ash, the far too reluctant hero who survived the Evil Dead (2) events and is now much older if not too much wiser. Due to his own stupidity he manages to awaken the forces of darkness who want revenge (and to destroy all life etc. etc.). Still incredibly over-the-top with more of a horror and blood and gore feel of Evil Dead than Army of Darkness, this comedy/horror show is a delight. Granted, I've only seen the first episode but I can't wait for more.

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil - Stephen Collins

In so many respects this is really a great work. Simple pencil drawings flesh out the world of Here wherein everything is orderly and tidy as opposed to the chaotic world of There out there. Horribly, the chaos of There comes to Here when Dave inexplicably, uncontrollably, and unstoppably starts to grow a beard, which threatens to destroy, physically and metaphorically, the orderly world of Here. As I stated, there's so much to like in this work from the art, to the simple storytelling, to the fun metaphor, to the exceptionally clever layouts; however, I feel that in the end it tries to do too much. Much of the beginning could've been shortened or left out entirely with better results, or even recycled for a completely different work. Perhaps this is a sign of sloppy editing and/or some false starts. Still, don't get discouraged early, but make sure to complete reading it and you will be better for it. BeardNote: The cover is B/W, I don't know what happened with the picture.

A New Leaf

This is an older movie, so many of the jokes may seem a little slow and without exploding alien robots, but it could easily be remade into a great modern movie. Not that I want that! The title has double meaning as it is about a confirmed bachelor who discovers he is broke and comes up with a plan to maintain his lifestyle by marrying the world's most socially incompetent, but incredibly rich, woman, who happens to be a botanist. Really enjoyable, but as I mentioned, it may be too slow moving for your average viewer. new leaf

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: Dominator War - Mark Waid

Our team of intergalactic superheroes in the 31st century (why are there no Green Lanterns?) that usually have a name with boy, girl, lad, or lass attached to them and tend to have only one power are in the middle of a fight amongst themselves before they're interrupted by the fact that a thousand year plot to destroy the earth is about to take place. The story actually has some value, Cosmic Boy (don't ask what he can do, it doesn't matter, and there are dozens of characters none of which have much of a reason to care about) comes up with some interesting strategies (why not Brainiac, you know, the super genius guy?), but the end result is that you have a rushed job, featuring far too many ill-defined or unknown characters, trying to do something that's so important, and yet we really just don't care. Listen, you want to make the Legion an actually good comic? Bring in a Green Lantern, give us some zany aliens, have some interesting powers (and more than one), cut the cast by half at least, give them better names, make this a science fiction comic (it's the 31st century!), and do something to make the storylines relatable to contemporary problems or interest. legion

Outcast (vol 1): A Darkness Surrounds Him - Robert Kirkman

This is the second time I'm attempting to write this review, as a did not save, so apparently my computer, or this website, is possessed by the demon of this comic. What I was saying was that Kirkman should take the tens of millions of dollars that he made (in part by screwing over his collaborators) and walk away from comics. This title won't hurt his career, but it does take up space, and there is really very little to it. It is about a guy who somehow can cause pain to demons that are possessing people, and in this small town there is an astronomical number of demonic possessions (why no church or newspaper has noticed is a good question). The story line is very slow, the plot not particularly interesting, the characters rather flat, and the whole thing just not very engaging. Outcast

Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller vol 3

Continuing with Miller's take on the blind vigilante, he produces a pretty good collection. The stories aren't bad as they are well written with plenty of action and involve ninja, the Punisher, and the possible resurrection of the master assassin Elektra, so what's not to like?! You definitely see how Miller is evolving as both a writer and an artist. 

Outlander: season 2

My first response to the show is posted here, but that didn't stop me from hate watching more of it. The show does some very disturbing things such as suddenly declare that a rapist is actually a homosexual (and apparently just rapes woman for the hell of it?), has rape victims only emotionally--but not physically--damaged by brutal sodomy, has most of its nude scenes directly related to rape and/or torture (this is a fiction show and the nudity is obviously for eroticism), continue to ignore the idea that if our main character's husband's ancestor looks exactly like him then she is never going to be able to truely see him the same way again (not that that matters much, this season seems to have her forgetting all about her actual husband), has her forget all about her friends that get killed, ignore the very obvious fact that telling people she's from the future is a good way to get burnt as a witch, and the list goes on. Honestly, I can't give a better reason for why I'm watching it than that I'm curious as to how much more ridiculous each episode will be despite that it always ends on a cliffhanger that is incredibly easily resolved in the first few minutes of the next episode.

12 Angry Men

They actually aren't all angry, but this makes for a better title. I read the play back in eighth grade and finally got around to watching the movie. It's about a group of jurors charged with finding an 18-year-old guilty or innocent of the murder of his father. Wonderful acting, dialogue, characters, and suspenseful buildups, along with some very strong visuals (watch how the camera pans for long periods, rather than modern techniques of cutting back-and-forth between characters). A fascinating take on what takes place in a jury room and in the mind of jurors. 12 angry men

Shutter (vol 1): Wanderlost - Joe Keatinge

Okay so there's this girl and apparently she was once this big-shot explorer, but now she's retired for some reason despite not even being 30, and she lives in this magical world that has some similarities to ours, and she has a best friend and some sort of robot cat which we know nothing about, and her dad's dead (which is sad, but we didn't know him), and people are trying to kill her for some reason, and apparently she has some unknown siblings who are also trying to kill her--okay the point is there's a lot of stuff happening here, but nothing actually happening in the sense of helping us understand what type of the world we are dealing with, who the main character is and why should we care about her, etc., you know, basic plot points. This seems like something I would like, but first I have to have some clue as to what is going on. shutter

Edge of Tomorrow

What if Groundhogs Day was an action, sci-fi, movie (surely based on a video game) instead of a comedy? I actually had a good time watching this movie and you will too as long as you don't expect too much from it. It is about a reluctant soldier who gets sent to the frontlines during the final showdown between humanity and some bizarre alien invaders. For reasons that will be made clear if you actually watch the movie, every time he dies he restarts the day, and it is up to him and the hot, tough girl / possible romantic partner (and some assorted misfits) to figure out what is going on and how to save humanity.

The Punisher (vol 8): Widowmaker - Garth Ennis

I liked this collection about the vigilante, The Punisher, better than most. Probably because Ennis had to work with his secondary characters to make them have motive and personality to explain why one group of women are getting together to take out The Punisher, another woman who appears to be crazy is tailing them, and a cop who should be a hero is caught up in the middle of it. Still, typical Ennis Punisher stories have to have the following: black people speaking Ebonics, women have to be almost exclusively crazy and/or slutty, rape victims, most of the backstory has to be given in exposition, and there must be a major body count. 

X-Men: No More Humans - Mike Carey

Remember the last great comic you read by Carey? Neither do I, which is a shame because he has written some great stuff, so I have to ask: what the heck?! All the humans are gone and it is the fault of the son of Wolverine. A pointless end of the world scenario that gets erased to remind you that you just wasted your time. With tons of characters that we care nothing for--that is if you know who they are--and no interesting writing or action, I just don't get it. 

Hustle & Flow

You know, it IS hard out here for a pimp, who knew? Apparently this movie, about a hustler, some of his "bitches" (hey, I'm using quotation marks!), and A/V guy all looking to break out of their lives and hit the big leagues by producing a record. Raw and real, with strong acting and writing, this was an enjoyable story done on a "low" budget independent on the big leagues of Hollywood.

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood - Nathan Hale

This fourth book in the ongoing series that I've been reviewing is an impressive attempt to distill the causes and events of the first world war into a manageable size. It is largely successful taking into account that this is really a series for young readers, and the author himself recognizes that he should focus on smaller events in history. Don't expect to be blown away by details, but I think he made a smart move to portray the various factions as specific animals (somewhat) related to their nations--similar to what was seen in Maus

Muppets: The Four Seasons

Roger Langridge clearly loves the old Muppet Show and he gets the characters and the humor down near perfectly. While not as good as his first go around with this gang, The Four Seasons was fun and entertaining (if a bit brief). It follows the Muppets as they pass through a year of loves, laughs, and longings in the inimitable fuzzy puppet fashion. Fluffy and fun if ultimately somewhat forgettable.

Once Upon a Time Machine

Various stories set in the future, all based on traditional fairy tales. Yep, that's really all I can say about it; nothing really stood out. Cool idea though. 

Little Scrowlie (vol 1-3): The Call of Cuthbert, Dawn of the Living Fashion Victims, Apocalypse Scrowl - Jennifer Feinberg & Todd Meister

How do I explain this bizarly drawn, weirdly lettered, comic parody of Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos wherein a couple of cats, a goth chick, a pseudo wizard, a ghost, a collection of strangeness, and a fashion icon square off to stop/unleash a tentacled horror? Oh, wait, I guess that's how. I really liked it and would like to see more of this type of craziness.