Thursday, January 29, 2004

More Comics

It was either movies or comics this week, and I chose comics. Here's what I picked up:

Venom #10 $2.99

I like this book. Some people don't, and I can see why. It's formulaic to a degree, and the art isn't anything special, but the concept has potential. Wolverine is part of the current "Run" arc and Spider-Man will be showing up in the next one. Obviously it's somewhat of a marketing ploy to try an boost sales (at least as far as Wolvie is concerned), but fortunately it hasn't hindered the book story wise. Seeing the symbiote take over Wolverines body was pretty sweet, in a fanboyish way of course.

Hulk: Grey #5 $3.50

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale continue their "retelling" of the Hulk mythos, and it's just fantastic. Next month will see the final issue, so I'll try to piece together a review for the entire series.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #2 $2.25

Bendis and Millar continue to reimagine Marvel's first family, and surprisingly make it better. The pacing is very, very slow, so most people should read this in a collected form.

The Punisher #2 $2.99

Not much happens in the way of plot, but damn is it violent. I'm still standing by my "Reservoir Dogs in print" comment from a week ago. If you like violence with your plots, this is your book.

That's all I've had time to get to, but hopefully I can cover some more ground tonight.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Happy DVD Day!!!

It's Tuesday and I'm broke, but hopefully you're not, here's a few things you can spend your extra money on:

Alice In Wonderland (Masterworks Edition)

Disney gives their adaption of Lewis Carrols classic tale the red carpet treatment. If you liked this movie, or have kids that do, this is a must own.

Chappelle's Show: Season One

One of the funniest things on television right now. Comedy Central finally releases something other than South Park in a season format, and I couldn't be happier. If you like South Park, you'll love this show.

Comic Book: The Movie

This mockumentary is brough to you by Mr. Mark Hamil...that's Luke Skywalker for those not in the know. I can't tell you much about it, only that there are guest stars galore. I'll review it as soon as I see it.

The Critic: The Entire Series

One of the best animated shows ever to air, it's still in reruns on Comedy Central. If you like the Simpsons, buy this, it's almost just as good.

Friends: The Complete Sixth Season

The show really started to slow down here, and has been limping along ever since. Look for season nine to be out by the time the series ends.

G.I. Joe: Season One

I could be mistaken, but I believe they're splitting Season One into two parts, so this only has half of the first season, but it does have some sweet extras.

Labyrinth (Collector's Edition)

This is one of those I've never gotten around to watching but heard so much about. It's gotten a few releases on DVD, but this one takes the cake with all kinds of extras and some sweet packaging.


It's Remember the Titans meets Rain Man, and supposedly based on a true story.

Avoid like the plague:

House Of The Dead

Trust me, just avoid it.
Story of the Century

I have just finished rereading Howard Chaykin's first two American Century trades, and must say, they're still pretty impressive. For those who don't know, American Century is the story of Harry Kraft, a man who's gotten away with everything you ever wanted to do. After abandoning his former life, Harry resurfaces in Guatemala as a small time smuggler with nothing on his mind but booze, money, and women. When that turns sour he heads back home to the U.S. only to end up as a bodyguard for a rising starlet in Hollywood.

Howard Chaykin and David Tischman weave the quintessential "American" tale in the pages of this book. Guns, booze, women, drugs, goverment scandals, sex, money, and a hero that isn't exactly a hero. It's all here, and it's all brilliantly pencilled by Marc Laming.

This is one of the best collected books out there, and it's well worth your money and time.
Anything Else?

Quite a few things actually. First a word to the DVD buying public; if you're looking to pick up some DVD's dirt cheap, try your local Movie Gallery. Yeah, I know it's considered a poor man's Blockbuster, but they have a "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" deal that's always in effect for their used DVD's. On top of that they're guaranteed for life, so if they quit working you get a replacement or a refund. Most of the prices range in the $10-$15 range, but when you can get three for $20-$30 it's quite a bargain. So, do yourself a favor, next time you want to blow your hard earned cash on DVD's, stop by there. I did, here's what I picked up:

Anything Else- Woody Allen's latest film is one of his best, and one of the best movies I've seen in awhile, and I have a huge dislike for most of his films, if that tells you anything. For anyone who hates the "typical" romance film, look this one up and give it a shot, it's probably right up your alley.

Jeepers Creepers 2- Yeah, it's a cheesy teen horror flick, and not a truly great one at that, but what's the point in buying just one movie when you get three for such a great price! Kidding aside, if you didn't like the first film, you won't like this one. I didn't hate the first, and don't hate this one. It's pretty fun for the most part, and has an ending that's pretty suitable.

S.W.A.T.- You're either SWAT or you're least that's what they say. If you're looking for a brainless action film, this is right up your alley. Better than The Italian Job, but nowhere near as inventive as Ocean's 11, SWAT won't impress you, but it likely won't leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Just a quick thanks to Alan's link to my blog, and for those that aren't reading his, here's what he said about DC: The New Frontier

New Frontier #1 -- Let's get one thing straight -- $6.95 (USD) for each issue of this sprawling saga of the DC Universe as it never was is a bargain. This first issue blazes along with a mature, dynamic tale that takes at least a half-hour to read because it's so full of story. In 64 ad-free pages, writer/artist Darwyn Cooke proves to be a creative double-threat in the spirit of 1980s Frank Miller, John Byrne or Walt Simonson -- both writing and drawing a story so good that the wait between issues is going to be exquisitely painful. Cooke's sublimely beautiful cartooning perfectly evokes "the lost innocence of the Silver Age," (to coin a phrase), here featuring loving and respectful (but never boring) tributes to Harvey Kurtzman, Alex Toth, Jack Kirby and other true gods of comics art. When I finished this first issue, I felt as if I had just experienced a full-length graphic novel, and as another comics blogger has noted, I wouldn't blink if the pricetag on this series were ten bucks an issue. New Frontier looks to be the best superhero series of 2004, and is guaranteed to provide thrills and drama whether you care for the genre or not. Grade: 5/5

The "other blogger" is me, and thanks for mentioning that Alan. So, there you have it, New Frontier is one of the best books of the year...what are you waiting for?


I did something today that I don't do often enough...I went to the theatre. It was a two hour drive in the rain, but dammit, I went! The place was the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Ga. and the show was Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Now, I've seen it before, and likely will again, but this was by far the best production I have witnessed. The sets were fabulous, the acting (as well as the singing and dancing) were just terrific, and the effects (yes, as in "special effects) were dazzling. This is one of the best plays ever written and the first to use music to advance the plot (and to my knowledg was also the first collaboration by the Dynamic Duo previously mentioned). I'm a bit worn out, so I'll just finish by saying it was one of the most enjoyable afternoons I've had in quite awhile, and money well spent. There is absolutely nothing that can compare to live theatre, especially when it's done as brilliantly as this.


Friday, January 23, 2004

Adding two more to the pile...

Got a chance to read two more of those pesky comic books last night:

DC: The New Frontier #1 $6.95

Yeah, at $6.95 I was hoping there would be a ton of stuff to this book, but I feared the worst (It would be chock full of splash pages, little dialogue, and little background). I shall never doubt Darwyn Cooke again. NEVER. For those unfamiliar with the name, Cooke is an artist whose main influences are Alex Toth and Jack Kirby, and if you don't know who they are, I can't help you. While the influences are clear, Cooke blends the styles perfectly, and we're left with something that's fairly Mike Allred-like, but different. Back to the subject, New Frontier reminded me of Marvels, only more interesting. The art isn't as "realistic" as Ross' paintings, but for some reason that makes it all the better. Also, unlike Marvels, New Frontier isn't an "outsiders" look into the DCU. It's more like a war story told by someone who lived through the battle. It's full of history, yet it doesn't come off dull or boring because by the time you realize that's what you're getting into, the action has already pulled you in. We see the fall of DC's Losers, Hal Jordan as a child seeking out his hero, the JSA disbanding after being called communists, Superman attempting to take out Batman, the death of Hourman, the rise of another Suicide Squad, and finally an older Hal fighting for his life after being shot down in Korea. This book spans decades of "history" and leaves you wanting more, and on top of that took well over thirty minutes to read. It's been awhile since I've bought a single issue of a series and felt I've gotten my money's worth, I'd have gladly paid ten dollars for this, so it's a steal at under seven. This will likely be the best book published by either of the "Big Two" this year, and I strongly recommend you buy it.

Freaks of the Heartland #1 $2.99

To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from this. My only experience with writer Steve Niles has been 30 Days of Night and the Follow up Dark Days. Both of those are vampire books, and both of them are fabulous, and do more for the horror genre than anything since the days of EC Comics. The artist, Greg Ruth, is unknown to me, so I had nothing to go on there. That said, this isn't a book about vampires, and it really isn't horror, per se. It's (apparently) the story of a young boy, Trevor, and his brother, Will. Their father is the typical menacing type, and the mother is your typical cowering type, and Trevor seems somewhat content to let things lie. Will, however, isn't normal at all. What's wrong with him isn't exactly clear, but he's kept chained up in their barn. Trevors talk of "something that never should have happened" keeps you in suspense for most of the story, and the fact the he plans on sneaking himself and his brother out for the evening leaves you wondering until the next issue. It's a fairly quick read, which is usually a downfall, except here the art completely overshadows that. Like the previous Niles stores I've mentioned (which were illustrated by Ben Templesmith), Freaks of the Heartland must be read at least twice to appreciate it. First to take in the story (which moves pretty quickly) then to take in the art (which is breathtaking). Niles is on his way to becoming one of the greatest writers the comics world has ever known, and this book is sure to be one of the best reads of the year.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Some more comics!

Yeah, yesterday was Wednesday, so that meant new comics to read. I picked up quite a few things, but here's my opinion on the few I've actually gotten to read:

New X-Men #152 $2.25

Part two of Morrisons final arc, "Here Comes Tomorrow," is set entirely in the future. It's somewhat confusing, but interesting just the same. I still won't spoil anything, I'll save the real review for when the arc's complete.

Fantastic Four #509 $2.25

I haven't been following the book for quite awhile, but I did know the outcome of last months issue. If you don't want to know, I suggest you stop reading now...

Ben Grimm is dead, and at the hands of his best friend, Reed Richards no less. It seems the Four...or Three as the case may be, have gone their seperate ways at the beginning, but Reeds discovery that Ben's soul still exists reunites them on a search for their fallen friend. With Wieringo back on art duties and Waid still writing the scripts, Fantasic Four climbs to the top of my list of must read superhero books. This is one of the best books available, and it looks like it will just get better.

Here's what else I picked up:

Thanos #5 $2.99
New Frontier #1 $6.99
Freaks of the Heartland #1 $2.99

More on those as soon as I read them.


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Those comic book things I promised...

So, here we go, I finally get around to doing what I said I would.

The Punisher #1 $2.99

Her we have yet another relaunch of the characters book, this time sending it to Marvel's MAX line. I think it fits the Punisher well, especially with Garth Ennis at the writing reigns. Basically we have a recap of Frank's "origin" and then an example of his hatred for those in organized crime. The "one man war" is extremely gruesome, yet effective. I think the art complements the writing very well, I'd say it's a bit like an illustrated Reservoir Dogs but, that's just my opinion. The biggest surprise in the issue is the end. I won't spoil it for anyone, but let's say that someone from Frank's past has come back to haunt him.

The Avengers #77 $0.50

Yeah, you'd think for fitfty cents this would be a bargain. Well, you'd be wrong. Admittedly I haven't been keeping up with the exploits of the team, but since this is a jumping on point for new readers, that shouldn't have been a problem. It is. The only saving grace in the book is Coipel's artwork, and it's doesn't even make it worth the cover price. The characters are two dimensional, the plot is thinner than a dime, and the cliche's run rampant. Do yourself a favor and avoid this at all cost.

New X-Men #151 $2.25

Grant Morrison's final arc on the book is shaping up nicely, especially with the return of Silvestri on art duties. The story jumps back and forth from the future to the present fluidly, and the art is just beautiful. I won't spoil any of the story, but it's looking like it will be his best effort on the title, and it's well worth picking up.

The Crow

I took a trip down memory lane last night and read the trade for the first time in quite awhile. It still remains one of the most powerful stories I've ever had the fortune of reading, comic book or otherwise. It's even more amazing when compared to the film, which is equally as powerful, yet establishes itself as a seperate entity, and remains true to the spirit of the original work. If you've never read it, please, go do so. Then watch the film (again, or for the first time) and marvel in what I think is the greatest love story of all time, both on film and in print.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

New Releases!!!!!!!

Here's what's headed to your local Wal-Mart:

Cabin Fever

Some heralded this as one of the best horror movies to come along in years, but I found it to be boring and truly unoriginal. I'd recommend renting it first.

Jeremiah: The Complete First Season

One of the best shows to come along in years, if you're into science fiction, this shouldn't diappoint.

Once Upon A Time In Mexico

Haven't seen it yet, but Robert Rodreguez (I think I spelled that wrong) fans should love it. It's the sequel to Desperado for those that don't know.

Open Range

A Costner helmed western, which means it'll be good, or it will be horrible. I'll let you know.

Avoid like the plague:

The Simple Life

This Fox Reality show features Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie making fun of simple folk. I'm sure people watched it for the dramatic strorylines. I wouldn't take this if someone gave it to me.

Well, that was a short list.

Yeah, yeah, I said I'd give some thoughts on some comics...I working on it!


A chance to post some thoughts on my recent viewings!!

All the Queen's Men

Never heard of it have you? Well, it's a dramedy starring Matt LeBlanc (from Friends) and Eddie Izzard (the brilliantly funny British comedian) about some men sent behind enemy lines in WWII to capture an enigma machine. The only thing is, they have to dress like women as all the men have been drafted. Okay, it's not a bad movie, just not a very good one. There are moments where you can tell the actors just wanted off the set because the script was going nowhere, and there are moments where they seem to be enjoying themselves. It's a bit like the older war movies that tried to be funny, and just came out hokey instead. Maybe worth the rental price, depending on how you feel about the concept and the actors.

The Italian Job (2003)

I'm not sure if the original's any better, but I'd recommend renting this before buying it, as it's not very original. There are some funny moments and a few solid scenes, but most of the movie is just cliche after cliche. If you've seen the previews, there's really nothing more to the film.


This one I'm going to have to watch again. I'll admit to being somewhat tired and distracted while I watched it, so most of it went right over my head. I like what I saw, and think Clooney turned in a brilliant performance. Ifyou liked 2001: A Sapce Odyssey (I didn't) then you're sure to enjoy this film. Maybe I can watch it again soon and give some more depth to my review, but until then, I'll say it was strangely enjoyable for the most part.

South Park Season 3

If you're looking for funny, buy this DVD. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are two of the funniest writer on the planet, and this is some of their best work. Every episode is great, and their own version of commentary complements the work nicely. Not many extras, but considering it's priced at about $30 in most places, it's a steal.

The Ben Stiller Show

Where South Park tends to be crudely funny, this show more often than not goes for the "smart" funny. What I said above goes double for this set. Commentary by the cast and crew, deleted shorts and and a few other extras make this a bargain at around $25.

I'll be back later with some thoughts on a few comic books!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

DVD Tuesday Returns!

And we have two weeks to catch up on, fortunately last week wasn't very heavy, release wise, so it shouldn't be a problem! Let's get to it, here's what you should've checked out last week:

Alien (Collector's Edition)

Alien 3 (Collector's Edition)

Alien Resurrection (Collector's Edition)

Aliens (Collector's Edition)

The special editions from the boxed set from last year get their single releases, definitely worth picking up if you don't like any particular movie from the set, otherwise, just buy the boxed set.

Cheers: The Complete Second Season

Frasier: The Complete Second Season

One of televisions best shows, and it's equally funny spin-off saw their second seasons get released, containing a few extras that definitely make them worth picking up.

Out of Time

One of Denzel Washington's better movies in the last few years, and a top notch thriller too.


The most fun I've had watching a movie since Starship Troopers. It doesn't bring alot of new stuff to the table, film or story wise, but it was still a good film in its own right.

And now, for this week's releases!

The Best Of Mister Ed Volume 1

One of the best T.V. shows ever produced, this highlights some of the best episodes, and you can pick it up for $20 (in most places) so it's an all around great deal!

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete 1st Season

I've heard good things, but have yet to see an episode.

Freddy Vs. Jason

Disappointing for the most part, but fans of bad horror movies will probably like it.

Green Acres: The Complete First Season

This series had its fans, I'm not one of them, you might be. Seems like every series ever created is coming to DVD lately.

Out Of Order

Not sure why this doesn't say Season One, maybe it got cancelled, not sure, but this Showtime series is (or was) quite excellent.

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series - Season 1

A very...ambitious project from the folks at MTV, worth a look for fans.

That about does it. Hopefully, I'll get to some actual reviews in the next few days, until then, shop wisely!


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Defending FanFic

Finally, after a week filled to the brim with things that have to be done, I get a chance to write the one thing I've been dying to get to. So, like it or not, I'm going to do it:

What is FanFic? Well for those that don't know, fanfic, or its proper term, fan fiction, is pretty much self explanatory. It's where someone takes something that they're a fan of and writes a piece of fiction about it. Most of the time the term is referring to the comic book industry, and that's what I'm here to discuss.

Almost all comic book professionals (an oxymoron if you ask me, but you didn't) look down on the art of fanfic, and honestly, I can't see why. Considering the practices of The Big Two (Marvel and DC Comics) it should almost be welcomed with open arms. For decades and decades Marvel and DC have fed the comic book industry reruns upon reruns of tired old stories featuring the same characters, yet those that write fanfic are looked down upon for putting their own spin on said characters.

If anything, fanfic writers should be given credit for usually doing things the big boys don't have the balls to do, and that's change the status quo. You can find tons of stories where heroes and villians alike die and don't come back six months later. The fact is, Marvel & DC resist change because of the readers, where in fanfic, the plots are at the authors discretion, and he's free to craft the tale the way he wants to tell it, not the way some suit thinks it should be told.

Fanfic isn't about marketing characters, licensing images, or any of that nonsense, it's about fun, period. Yes, there are plenty of horrible fan fiction site/stories, in fact the horrible ones probably outnumber the good ones by a considerable margin, but, then again, it's the same way with what's currently on comic book shelves across the country.

There are plenty of things wrong with fanfic, just as there are plenty of things wrong with mainstream comics, but I for one think the group as a whole gets a bad rap. Fanfic writers write because they want too, it doesn't matter how good they are, or how good they think they are, they don't do it for money, they do it for fun. Like alot of things, at the end of the day it's an escape, only they're writing it the way they want to see it, and you're more than welcome to join the ride.

The bottom line is that while these guys get looked down upon, they're turning out better superhero books than 90 % of the stuff that actually sees pring from the big publishers. Will they ever write in the industry? It's doubtful, but most of them don't want too, they'd much rather write somewhere that will give them the freedom to tell their story how they see fit.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Looking Forward (Part 3)

This has been quite the busy week for me, work wise, so apologies for not updating sooner.

Finally, here's a few things I'm looking forward to in the coming months that I havent discussed yet.

Video Games

Sonic Heroes- Hopefully this game will bring the Hedgehog back into the limelight, but don't hold you're breath. It should be out this week on the GameCube.

NFL Street- Hard hitting football action with a backyard feel to it. Landing on most systems next week.

007: Everything or Nothing- Hopes are high that this will finally surpass Goldeneye as THE Bond game. Look for it next month on PS2 and Game Cube.

Black & White 2- This PC game lets you play God, essentially. From what I've seen it will be a must own in March.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes- Thisis the PSones's MGS reimagined and ported to the GameCube. We'll see if they can take one of the best games ever and make it better. Hits stands in March.

Halo 2- The eagerly awaited follow up to the best first-person shooter EVER is supposed to hit in April, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Pikmin 2- The quirky GameCube title will see a sequal in May. The first is one of the best GC titles available, so this shouldn't disappoint.

Transformers Armada- Finally, a Tranformers game!!!! I've seen a few screenshots, and they look pretty sweet. Here's hoping the gameplay isn't horrible. Hits sometime in May on the PS2.

X-Men: Legends- An X-Men RPG that promises to be faithful to the comics and have great gameplay as well. It hits on all three systems in May.

Spider-Man 2- One of the best games ever, and without a doubt the best based on a comic book, sees it's sequal, which will follow the movie storyline somewhat, in June. It will be available for all systems.

Gran Turismo 4- I've seen the screenshots, and believe me, this will be the best looking driving game ever, and the gameplay probably won't be too shabby to boot. Hits on the PS2 in July.

That does it for all the releases I'm certain about. Anything worth playing will most assuredly make its way to my posts.


Hellboy- Mezco is putting out the official action figures for the movie along with a few of its miniaturized figures, "Mez-Itz." From what I've seen, they will definitely kick ass.

Marvel Mini-Mates- Art Asylum's uber-popular mini-mates line will see the second set of Marvel related characters. I have no idea who will be featured, but they'll be sweet just the same.

Marvel Legends- The X-Men will branch off into it's own series, as will the Hulk, so look for Marvel Legends to focus on more...obscure Marvel characters. I'm not sure who any of the lines will feature, so you'll be as surprised as I am.

Info on Toys is pretty scarce, so my apologies there.

Hmm...that about does it, and since tomorrow will be yet another hellish workday, I'm hitting the sack. Hopefully I'll get in some posting this weekend.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Looking Forward (Part 2)

I finally get a break from work to update the blog, hooray.


The Butterfly Effect- We finally getto see Hollywood's new "It" boy show off some acting chops. Ashton Kutchner plays a man that discovers he can transport his mind into the past to change what he feels went wrong. The problem is that everytime he does, he causes something else to go wrong. Unless I miss my guess, this Sci-Fi Drama shouldn't disappoint, at least not to fans of the genre. It opens Jan. 23rd

Big Fish- From hit-or-miss director Tim Burton, this is the story of a son piecing together his dying fathers life through the tall tales he's told over the years. While it doesn't sound too captivating, I've been told the book was phenomenal, and it seems to be right up Burton's alley. It seems every other film the man does is just pure genius. This should be playing in a theatre near you now.

The Big Bounce- This should be a great film. It has everthing a movie like it should have. A great ensemble cast, a good director, and it's basedon a book by Elmore Leonard. The recent, and truly excellent, adaptations of Leonards books will hopefully continue here, but it could go the way of alot of other adaptations and stink horribly. Opens Jan. 30th.

Barbershop 2- I don't usually go for movies like this, but after seeing the first, I must say I'm looking forward to this. Hopefully they'll recapture the magic of the original. It opens Feb. 6th.

Miracle- Now, I am a sucker for sports films. Nothing gets me going like a movie about any kind of sport. They always tend to be bittersweet, with emotional endings that are always predictable (Especially when they're based on a true story, like Miracle), yet still tug at my heart. Don't ask me why, I just love them. Oh, this is based on the U.S. hockey Team's win over Russia in the 1980 Olympics. Opens Feb. 6th.

Kill Bill Vol. 2- Why? Why when the first was so disappointing would anyone look forward to this? Basically, because it's Tarantino, and with him you always have to have faith. I'm sure it'll be disappointing, but I'm hoping that I'll be pleasantly surprised. We'll see on Feb. 20th.

The Passion of Christ- That a man would go to the lengths Mel Gibson has to produce a film, certainly means it'll be worth looking at. This movie attempts to acurately portray the life of Jesus Christ, and believer or not, I think everyone who does watchit is in for a surprise. Gibson and crew showed tremendous passion themselve in their attempts to bring the film to life, and I'm sure it will be evident. Opens Feb. 27th (probably only in select theatres, as some small-minded idiotic owners will refuse to show it.)

Club Dread- Good comedies are hard to come by, and the Broken Lizard crew (of Super Troopers fame) usually keep me laughing, no matter how silly the jokes are. Hopefully they'll do an even better job with this, their second film. Opens Feb. 27th.

Jersey Girl- Kevin Smiths next film, it's the story of a man and his daughter, and I'm told it's somewhat autobiographical. Hopefully it won't stink, but with Bennifer starring in it, that's a longshot. I'm crossing my fingers until Mar. 19th.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind- Jim Carrey stars as a man who has his memory erased, and that's about all I know. I'm hoping that this will bring Carrey into a new light, like The Truman Show should have, and that he'll do many, many more quirky, dramatic roles from now on. Opens March 19th.

Scooby-Doo 2- Say what you will of the first, it was a kids film, and the kid in me loved it (despite S.M. Gellar's terrible performance). As a lifelong Scooby fan, I can't wait to see what the Mystery Inc. crew gets into next. Opens on March 26th.

Hellboy- Del Toro's Blade 2 was one of my favorite comic book films of all time, and I'm looking for his take on Mike Mignola's briliant creation to surpass that by leaps and bounds. From what I've seen, the costumes and effects are spot-on perfect, and I have tremendous faith in the direction. I know nothing of the script, except that Mignola and Del Toro collaborated on it, and it should be extremely faithful to the source material. My only doubt is Selma Blair, I have yet to see her in anything I liked, hopefully that will change. However, the rest of the casting seems to be excellent. We'll see on April 2nd.

Envy- Jack Black and Ben Stiller team up on this film about a man who's jealous of a friend's success. Look for a hilarious performance by both, and hope that the script is as good as the actors. Opens April 2nd.

Walking Tall- Based on the story of a man who takes the mantle of Sheriff and attempts to clean up his home town, this Dwayne Johnson (WWE's The Rock) vehicle will be a fun film most assuredly. Johnson's got on screen charisma that hasn't been seen since action films like Die Hard and Beverly Hills Cop. It won't change the face of movie making by any means, but it will be entertaining. Opens April 9th.

The Punisher- With an R rating, Marvel's hoping it can do what it did with the Blade films, bring a different crowd into the fold, this time the "action-junkie" as opposed to the "goths". Hopefully the movie will be pretty decent just the same. Opens April 16th.

Van Helsing- Hugh Jackman stars as the legendary vampire hunter in yet another take of the mythos. The casting looks solid, and the special effects might be pretty great, so as long as the script and director don't come up short, this one might be worth your time. Opens May 7th.

Troy- The Story of one of the greates battles in the history of mankind, this film features a great cast, and a proven director (Wolfgang Peterson), and with a solid script it might just turn out to be a great film. We'll see on May 14th.

Shrek 2- This one's a no-brainer. The first film kept me in stitches, and this one will likely do the same. Opens May 21st.

The Day After Tomorrow- The next "disaster" flick may not suck as bad as those in the last few years. It still won't be a great movie, just better than all the rest. Opens May 28th.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban- If you don't know about Harry Potter, crawl back under your rock. The second was better than the first, and it looks like the third will be the best of all. Opens June 4th.

The Terminal- Tom Hanks star as an immigrant whos coutry ceases to exist while he's trying to enter the U.S. Homeless, the man takes up living in the airport and falls in love with a flight attendant. This Spielberg helmed film will likely be excellent, with a great performance fron Hanks. Look for it June 18th.

Spider-Man 2- Everyone's favorite webhead returns to face the menace of Doctor Octopus! Sure to be THE summer movie, it's a definite must see. Opens July 2nd.

I, Robot- Alex Proyas (Dark City) adapts Asimov's sci-fi classic for the big screen. While I have my bdoubts about the cast (Especially Will Smith) I have great faith in Proyas' abilities. Opens July 16th.

Aliens Vs. Predator- This is one of the genre's most anticipated films, of course so was Freddy vs. Jason, and that film was a joke. As a huge fan of both franchises, I'm hoping that this is an excellent outing. I'll see on Aug. 6th.

The Village- The latest from M. Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense) will likely surprise you at the end, but it seems Night depends too much on that fact, as the script got a horrible review from a few critics earlier this year. Opens Aug. 6th.

Blade: Trinity- The final film of the Blade series hopefully won't disappoint. I know almost nothing about the plot, but it's a vampire movie, so it probably doesn't have too many surprises. Opens Aug. 13th.

That about wraps it up for all of the releases I'm certain of. I'll be back tomorrow with Part 3! Enjoy.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Looking Forward (Part 1)

This promises to be lengthy, so I'm breaking it up into smaller parts.


Sadly, this will primarily focus on more superhero books as I rely on a Mr. Doane (ADD's Blog link is to the right of the page, go there!) to inform me of what's going on in the world of independent comic books. He has my eternal gratitude for that. I will touch on a few books that aren't mainstream, so hopefully that counts for something. Also, I'm taking a more journalistic approach in providing info about series I don't necessarily read, so enjoy!

Brian Bendis' Books

The man does warrant his own section.

Brian Bendis' Alias series (which I actually read the first arc of, good stuff) is morphing into The Pulse, which will chronicle Jessica Jones' adventures as a reporter, having her interact with superheroes, giving us a more grounded view of things. Personally, it sounds like Joey Q. is trying to make it Powers for the Marvel Universe, which may not be a horrible thing, just a clone of a better book.

Ultimate Spider-Man will see an odd twist in Peter learning that Sony is making a film about him and skipping out on the royalty checks. We'll see Peter interact with some of the actual people behind the movie while trying to get onto the set. After that look for Ultimate Carnage to make his debut, and knowing Bendis, his identity is sure to be a shocker.

Bendis will conclude his run on Ultimate X-Men shortly, finishing off his "New Mutants"
arc and then doing a self-contained issue. After that the talented David Mack will take over the reigns. Since I don't read the book, that's about all I can tell you.

Ultimate Fantastic Four sees it's debut (#1 came out Friday, and I'll have a review up soon, swear) as Bendis and Mark Millar re-imagine Marvel's first family. The first arc will run through the first five issue where we'll see the group gain it's powers (I'm sure there will be a twist) and face down the Ultimate Mole Man. After that look for Ultimate Namor to show up in the next arc.

Secret War, a six issue painted series, will have Bendis writing some of the original characters that he's re-imagined over that last few years. Secret War promises to tie all of Marvel's techno-villians together (with a twist of course!) and it gives Bendis a chance to play across the entire Marvel U.

Powers will relaunch in March witha new #1. As with Ult. X-Men, I can't say I know that much about it since I don't read it anymore. However, Bendis is one of the best in the business, so I'm sure it won't disappoint.

Whew, that man does too damn much.

The Almighty X

The X-Men franchise gets another shake up and will celebrate Chris Claremont's 30th year writing for the X. Grant Morrison ends his long run on the mutants with an arc set 150 years in the future, dealing with the Phoenix Force. Marc Silvestri returns to pencil the series for the rest of Morrisons tale. After that Chuck Austen steps on board as interim writer while Marvel finds another big name to attach to the team. Look for big changes in creative teams after that, with Claremont possibly taking over Uncanny, and leaving Austen out of the loop. Don't look for me to pick up any of it unless the New X-Men writer is just phenomenal. Oh, and Origin 2, the sequel to the much hyped origin of Wolverine, will see the light of day in some for or another.


Mark Millar and Terry Dodson team up once more to do Marvel's version of DC's recently wrapped "Hush" story in the Batman title. Seems the House of Ideas has become the House of Stealing Ideas. Either way the art promises not to disappoint, and Millar's got a love for the character that may prove to overcome this tired plot thread. (Oh, yeah, someone discovers that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, yippeee! Haven't seen that before!)


DC's promising changes aplenty for the Big Blue Boyscout, with Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee taking over the flagship title. Look for lots of action and plenty of close ups on various Supes body parts. Don't look for me reading it.

Identity Crisis

The next company wide crossover from DC promises to leave you gasping. Just like all of their other crossovers it will probably leave you pennyless from spending that much money on books you don't really want, but your collector mentality compels you to buy. Again, don't look for me to buy it.


John Byrne and Chris Claremont reunite in an attempt to rekindle the magic they had on Uncanny X-Men years and years ago. This might be the worst idea EVER.


Mike Mignola and company celebrate the much anticipated release of the Hellboy movie by kicking off a new ongoing series of mini-series of the B.P.R.D. That was certainly a mouthful. Mignola's creator owned series never disappoints, and after the movie hits hopefully it will garner him some much needed time in the spotlight. If you haven't read any of the Hellboy tales, do yourself a favor and go pick some up.

Y, The Last Man

Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra kick off the new year with "Safeword," where Yorick, a master of escape, encounters a dangerous woman who happens to be an expert at bondage. No, not that kind of bondage. This book hasn't been a let down yet, and remains one of my favorite buys every month.


We'll finally get amonthly dose of Green when Tales of the TMNT launches, and I for one can't wait.


Ed Brubakers acclaimed series returns with Sleeper: Season Two. While I have yet to read the first book, I assure you I'll get around to it, especially when Alan David Doane recommends it, and he does!

(Hmmm...seems my fixation with Mr. Doane is akin to his own with former Title Bout writer AK. Funny.)

Last, but not least (This is the only book I'm DYING to get my hands on)


This will be the best book of the year. Period. Reuniting the creative team behind The Castaways (this is a whole other discussion, but if you haven't read what ranks as one of my favorite graphic novels ever printed, thengo here: and order one right now.) Rob Vollomar and Pablo Callejo, Bluesman will likely be too great for words, seriously. If you only buy one book this year (at least I hope it comes out this year!) make it this one. Hell, if you don't plan to buy any comics this year, do yourself a favor and buy this one. It will be the best money you've spent all year.

That about does it. Like I said, mostly mainstream stuff, but anything that I come across that's worth a look will definitely get some of the spotlight.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Logan Smash Puny Blogger!

Seems blogger hates me as it has published one post twice (and a day late to boot) and has eaten two others. Let's see if this one actually makes it out alive. I'm going to make a few more posts in the coming days before I send out those articles previousl mentioned. So, look for one of them to go up late Sunday, and the other to hit Monday, Blogger willing that is.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy Friggin' New Year

2004 is here, and with it comes....nothing really. I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe end to 2003, and I hope 2004 brings you nothing but good times. I'm working on a few pieces that I hope to have up in the next few days. Despite my lack of enthusiasm at the new year, one of them will be on things to look forward to in 2004. The other, well, you'll just have to wait and see!