Tootsie

I don't care if this movie is about as old as I am, it's awesome. It is the hilarious story of a NYC actor who, desperate to get work so he can fund his friend's play, dresses up as a woman in order to get a part in a soap opera. Things only get more complicated from there. Wonderful writing, acting, casting, directing, you name it; still as great today as when it first appeared. Look for it here.

Muppets Most Wanted

It was good to see the Muppets again; even if it was not one of the best, it's still better than most crap I watch. The Muppets are back together and are on a world tour, only they're being duped by an evil frog who has replaced Kermit who in turn is stuck in a Siberian prison. Some nice song and dance numbers, but I think most of the cameos could've been better done (Christopher Lee as a priest was a nice touch), and I'm pretty sure some of them were cut as the finale had people I didn't recall from the film. In any event, I was glad to see it and glad to hear the show is coming back.

Hark! A Vagrant - Kate Beaton

Admittedly, I know little about Canadian history or Nancy Drew books, but these cutely drawn comics that often use history and literature (including comics) as subject matter are rather delightful, even if it gets a little overwhelming sitting down to read an entire collection at once. I would say they should be more popular, but many of the references are just too obscure. Hark! A Vagrant  

Not sure why this first collection is being published here about three weeks after the sequel, but that's how I role (I guess).

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

This movie is terrible. If only there were as many jokes as there were product placements, it might have stood a chance, and since it is filled with comedians it really should have been. Ricky Bobby is a race car driver that has it all, loses it all, and--surprise (and spoiler)--gets it all back. There, now you don't have to see it.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

This movie is terrible. Yes, there are some funny parts and lines as this 80s movie meets Western pokes fun of the false noble image we have of the frontier, otherwise this boy gets girl comedy is really a waste.

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.

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E - Warren Ellis

The first thing you may notice about this review is I'm not going to give it the time necessary to fully detail why I feel what I do, mainly because I feel Ellis did a lot of short cuts on this work, so if he doesn't care, why should I? The saddest thing is that I really could've loved this comic. It actually assembles quite an interesting group of superheroes such as Machine Man, a west coast avengers Capt. Marvel, Boom-Boom, and some others I don't know, and yet they really worked well together and made a great team. The problem was the plot attempts to be Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol, while making fun of some really good characters with cheap parodies (e.g., Nick Fury) or simply making fun of the originals (looking at you Devil Dinosaur). I will say I loved the return of Forbush-Man, and if you don't know who that is it's because you're a person. I don't care if this won an '07 Young Adult Library Service Association award, the fact remains this could've been a really fun and interesting comic that avoids the Marvel continuity, but instead reads more like an insult to both Marvel comics and Marvel comics fans. Nextwave

Step Aside, Pops (A Hark! A Vagrant Collection) - Kate Beaton

I had read another Hark! A Vagrant collection--I believe the first one--and really enjoyed it, so naturally I grabbed this one. For the first half I was pretty disappointed; maybe the comics just weren't as funny, or maybe the historical and literary references that are used as backdrops to these gags were just too unknown for me (sorry, my knowledge of Canada is limited). Luckily, I kept reading and really enjoyed the second half. Lots of fun, but obviously not for everyone. Vagrant

Supermutant Magic Academy - Jillian Tamaki

This is the Canadian Tamaki's first solo work and I've liked her other comics. I'm pretty sure this comic started out as a collection of absolutely random gags that largely involved teenagers in a school where everyone is either a Harry Potter witch or some sort of mutation. Eventually, our author realized she had enough to actually try to make a story out of them. So even though they are somewhat disjointed and rarely have a storyline more than a couple of pages (the longest one being the very end where she must've realized she needed some semblance of a plot), I got to say I really enjoyed it! The zany randomness of it all works so well with the teenage angst the characters have. If this was an X-Men comic about the students at school, it would be superb! Supermutant Magic Academy

The Doom that Came to Atlantic City: A Light-Hearted Game of Urban Destruction Set in the Universe of H. P. Lovecraft - Moyer & Baker

I got this game on sale at Barnes & Noble (thank heavens for bookstores). Apparently, it had a very sordid history: it was a kick starter and a person ran off with the money but it got made anyway only to not find an audience. Here's the thing, the game is really anti-Monopoly, but the theme is horror author Lovecraft's "The Doom That Came to Sarnath". People who would like a fun, lighthearted, silly game that deals with destroying things named after Atlantic City places will enjoy this game, but they won't understand the various Lovecraft references (and may be freaked out by the truly awesome miniature playing pieces). Those that love Lovecraft will adore the pieces and the theme, but may get turned off by the lack of actual horror elements. I find the game fun, but there are too many hard-core gamers that won't, and the people who would like it would never think to pick it up. It's all about the marketing. Doom that came to Atlantic city

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

The Auteur (book 1): Presidents Day - Rick Spears

I'm sure there are plenty of people who will find this incredibly over-the-top story about an idiotic, drug crazed, producer and his attempt to make the ultimate movie quite enjoyable and funny. I, however, found it to be silly for the sake of being silly, far too desperately trying to be a comic version of a movie making version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and just couldn't enjoy it. Sorry. auteur

Cyanide & Happiness: Punching Zoo - Kris, Rob, Matt & Dave

Apparently, it takes four people to write this comic featuring stick figures (and I'm pretty sure they are computer generated, at that), but who cares? The point is that the humor is quite strong and pretty twisted, and having these one step above stick figures cracking these jokes and comments just makes it more so. It doesn't appear that all four work on each strip, rather they write independently, which must make meeting deadlines pretty simple. There is no story here; it is just a collection of comics, but there is a choose your own adventure (do kids even know what that isn't anymore?) at the end, which was pretty good. Definitely my type of comic strip. punching zoo

Another Period

The sitcom is a spoof on reality shows about the rich and famous, the wrinkle is that this one takes place at the start of the 1900s, so a lot of the jokes point out the appalling situations for workers, minorities, women, and, well, everyone who's not rich (so a real stretch from today's society). While the show is often amusing, the comedic timing isn't quite there, and the shaky camera footage just annoys the hell out of me. I think it can get better and hope it does.

Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants & My Dog: The Paradox - The Oatmeal

The Oatmeal (AKA Matthew Inman to his friends (and those that read the about the author page)) provides a well produced--with good paper and vibrant colors, even a free poster that someone stole from the library copy I read--book collecting various, on the shorter side, cartoons on different topics. While much of it is quite humorous and the art is silly, which I greatly enjoy, it is a random collection with no unifying theme and that can turn people off. grizzly bears  

Additionally, I read the short book My Dog: The Paradox: A Lovable Discourse About Man's Best Friend, which is worth reading if you have three minutes to spare. There's not much to it other than cute art and clichéd reminiscing about how dogs are weird, but sometimes that's enough. My Dog

Men In Black 3

The super secret agents that defend against and hides from the world alien threats are back (well, this review is a little old). Unlike the second movie which, like the second Terminator movie, was the same plot of their respective originals, this third movie deals with agent J having to travel back in time to stop an assassination attempt against his partner, agent K. It's Ok: some laughs, some fun, some weird aliens, but the series seems to have played itself out.

All My Friends Are Dead - Avery Monsen & Jory John

This is an extremely short, in stature and length, comic that plays on the concept of various people and creatures commenting on the fact that their friends are dead (or a pun on the phrase). It's a sad funny book if that makes any sense to you, and if that does then you would probably like it. Enjoyable, but disappointing that it takes less than two minutes to read the whole book, but the art is very cute, so that is worth lingering over. All my friends are dead

Barbarian Lord - Matt Smith

By its own admission, this comic is as much Icelandic saga as it is Thundarr the Barbarian (lords of light, do you remember who that is?); however, the problem is it just doesn't come together well. I love the cute art, and still have a hard time believing this is not Jeff Smith, but the story tends to be a little all over the place. Don't give me a lineage with bizarre names, but then settle on the idea that none of that matters and proceed to give people names such as Barbarian Lord. I still can't figure out if our hero is even that, whether he's incredibly clever or rather dense, or if some of the hilarious lines are even meant to be funny. It seems like a work in progress, and when it does figure out what kind of a comic it is, I'll be happy to give it a second look. Barbarian lord

Flight of the Conchords

This two season show from HBO about two rather awkward musicians from New Zealand (yes, THE New Zealand!) attempting to make it big in NYC is dead pan hilarity! The musical numbers are great fun that often have me rolling with laughter and the absurdity of the characters and their mundane situations are absolute delights. I was really disappointed to realize that it only lasted two seasons, and don't understand why, despite its success, it didn't continue.