Tuesday, June 29, 2004

If I were a rich man...

This is what I'd be getting on DVD this week.

Barbershop 2: Back In Business

Sequel to the excellent Ice Cube film, haven't seen it yet, but it'smost definitely at the top of my list.

Blazing Saddles (Special Edition)

Tons o' features in this special edition release of mel Brooks somewhat funny western spoof.

CSI: Miami - The Complete First Season

Uber popular spin off finally domes to DVD.

Dawson's Creek: The Complete Third Season

Relive high school all over again, then remember you weren't as pretty as these people.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 5

The final season of the best sitcom to ever air, with lots of fun features.

Dracula: Dead And Loving It

Another Brooks film that limped its way thru the box office.

Land of the Lost: The Complete 1st Season

It's not just the children of the '80 who want their TV DVD! Cheesy stuff here, but I'm sure it made someone happy.

Little House On The Prairie: Season Five

Somewhere someone is rejoicing.

The Perfect Score

MTV produced flik about cheating on the SAT's. Yeah, that's what those high schoolers need to see!

Ron White: They Call Me Tater Salad

I don't often recommend comedy specials, but I caught this one on Comedy Central, and it really was funny as hell. Worth the rent if you need a good laugh.

South Park: The Complete Fourth Season

One of the funniest shows of all time.

Spider-Man Vs. Doc Ock

A blind guy in Alaska saw this one coming from a mile away in a snow storm.

Spider-Man: The '67 Collection

This will either be a great collection, or a complete waste of money. Guess I'll have to check it out.

Wonder Woman: The Complete First Season

See, 70's superhero fans are rejoicing.

X-Men Evolution: Enemies Unveiled

A great show that was cancelled for no apparent reason. Buy the DVD's will ya!

Avoid like the plague

Honey / Deliver Us From Eva

They made it easy by packaging them together, that way you can just stay the hell away from the set!


Monday, June 28, 2004


Thanks for bringing that to my attention Alan, and that was a huge mistake on my part, so Mick, if you're reading this, big apology man. I remembered reading one review over at CBG, and naturally assumed it had been by ADD. Talk about feeling like an ass. Anyone interested in hearing more about Empire should most definitely head over to CBG and read the excellent review by Mr. Martin. Again, apologies, hopefully it won't happen again!

The Cooler

This was a wonderful film for the most part, a rarity in that it pulls almost no punches with the execution of its plot. The story is fairly simple, a man, Bernie, has such bad luck that he can actually spread it to those around him. Employed by casino manager Shelly as a cooler (he keeps the high rollers from winning too much by spreading his luck). Bernie falls for a waitress , and as she in turn falls for him that luck begins to change. Shelly will do anything to get his most valuable asset back, including erradicating Bernie's good fortune. See, simple, and even a bit mystical for the type of story it is, neither comedy, nor fantasy, more of a straight up dramatic tale. William H. Macy plays Bernie, and like every other role he's ever played, seems born for the part. Alec Baldwin plays Shelly, and steals the film away from Macy, you honestly don't know whether to like the guy or just wish him the most painful death possible. Maria Bello plays the love interest, Natalie, and this is without a doubt her greatest acting accomplishment. For those that don't recognize the name, she was the bar owner (and probably the only good part of the movie) in Coyote Ugly. I've always thought she was a great actress, but this film proves it. A great character piece that probably relies on it's supernatural twist a bit too much towards the end, but quite enjoyable despite that. Definitely recommended.


Thursday, June 24, 2004

El Quicka Hits!

Eh, I got nothing...well, nothing funny anyway, here's what I picked up this week:

Venom #16 $2.99

Daniel Way continues to hold my interest in this book, despite the fact that it's turned into a "guest starring Spider-Man!" title. There is a bit too much going on for the story, and there's definitely not enough focus on Robertson (aka the new Venom). I'm hoping that the end of this storyline will end the involvement of Spidey, but I'm definitely looking forward to the two symbiotes meeting.

30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow #4 $3.99

The people of Barrow prepare themselves for the vampires, too bad the vampires have learned their lesson about going in there unarmed. That's right...Vampires with guns, lots of them. I've praised Niles and Templesmith to no end, so I'll spare you that and just say read the damn book, it's awesome.

Empire TPB $14.95

With quite the positive praise surrounding this book it was a tough one to NOT pick up. I'll start off by saying all the postive praise was well deserved. Waid explains the thoughts behind the story in his great intro, and ADD has a great review of it over at CBG (links to the right!) so, again, I won't bore you with all that. I do have a few negative things to say though...the big reveal towards the end as to who the "traitor" is felt forced, as if it were thought of at the last minute. Not to say that it wasn't shocking (I never saw it coming) but just that I felt it wasn't the original plan, kind of thrown in at the last minute. I'm probably wrong, but that's how it felt, very rushed. Second, the fact that Golgoth never removed his mask bothered me a great deal, and I'm not sure why. But as the end got close he began to feel more like a pro wrestling villian to me. However, the series is well written (for the most part) and despite those two things, manages to pull off the concept. In a world (or medium as the case may be) of recycled ideas, this is about as close to original as you can get. Buy it.


Monday, June 21, 2004

What a catch

Bough Tim Burton's Big Fish and watched it this past weekend, and if you haven't seen it, please go do so now. Burton has always been hit or miss with me, and I'm happy to say this one is a bullseye. Actually, it's the best damned Burton film I've ever seen. It's likely that the story has a ton to do with it, having such great material to work with in the first place could only lessen the directors load. The film is brilliantly acted, with every character cast perfectly. I can see this ending up on a list of my all time favorite films. It's whimsical, romantic, funny, sad, a family film in every sense of the word, yet good enough to hold up upon repeated viewings. A great film which, a definite must see...so go watch it!

Also, there's a whopping TWO notable releases on DVD this week:

Bad Santa

I've heard it's quite funny, and I plan on picking it up this weekend to check out.


Secret Window

Based on a Stephen King book, this one has Johnny Depp, and it's doubtful it's as good as the material it's based on, so just buy the book, it's cheaper.

More hits

Sorry guys (and gals) it's been a busy weekend and I just haven't had a ton of time, but here's some thoughts about a few other funny books:

Seaguy #2 $2.95

What if you'd never read a comic book in your life, and one day you're standing in at the bookstore and just decided to pick up an issue od Spider-Man? Well, this isn't Spider-Man, but this is how you'd feel in that scenario. Actually, this book is better written than Spidey because it attempts to bring something new to the shelf and not just shine up old plot ideas and make 'em look new. Morrison continues to amaze with this book, it's so offbeat and whimsical you can't help but feel instantly attached to the characters. It's ashame that the book will be as short as it is because Seaguy's world is one I'd love to see explored on a monthly basis. There's so much room for this book to grow, but perhaps that's part of its charm, the fact that instead of showing you everything, Morrison is content to tell his story and leave you wanting more.

Tales of the TMNT #3 $2.99

Somewhat of a disappointment after the last issue. The characters seem a bit over the top, IMO, and I'm not familiar with a ton of the Turtle history, so the plot is a bit lost on me, plus there's another (much better) Turtle book that came out this week, which makes this one less appealing.

TMNT #16 $2.99

The Fab Four continue their seperate storylines with great success. This continues to be one of the best reads on the stands, and well worth the admission cost.

World's Best Comics Silver Age Archive Sampler $.99

Some great Silver Age stories reprinted for chump change, well worth your money.

Smax #1 $2.95

Yeah, this is one well past it's first release, but I came across if for a quarter and thought I'd give it a look. I'm glad I did. I was gonna pick up the rest of the issue, but according to ADD there will be a hardcover coming out soon, and I'm definitely gonna pick it up. Great stuff.


Thursday, June 17, 2004

Quick Hits

A few words about my recent reading material...

Fantastic Four #514 $2.25

I've loved this book for quite awhile, but I have missed a few arcs now and then, and sadly I wish I'd have stayed away from this one. Waid's FF characterization is still great, but he manages to drop the ball in a few places. the new Frightful Four seems cliched and waaaay too over the top, I've never liked the Wizard anyway, but he's downright horrible in this book. On top of that we have Johnny Storm, a celebrity, meeting someone in person that he met off the internet. Were this a book starring people who's identities weren't publicly known then I could buy it, but the FF are much smarter than that, both individually and as a team. I will give Waid this, he has a definite knowledge of FF history, and tries to use it to his advantage, but this just doesn't touch his previous work on the book. Here's hoping it gets better. Oh, and the art is as beautiful as ever.

Ulitmate Fantastic Four #7 $2.25

Sigh...why the hell are there two FF books sent out in the same week? Why not delay one by at least a week? It justdoesn't make sense to me. That said, this issue marks the new creative team of Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen, and like the other FF issue this week, just seems disappointing. Keeping in mind I've never been a huge Ellis fan. However the art is great. I did like Ellis throwing in the Man-Thing for abrief second, makes me wonder what's coming up, maybe he has ties to the Negative Zone! I was excited at the prospect of bringing Doom into the book, but Ellis' Doom just seems over the top, and the "costume" idea is something that just seemed idiotic. So, yeah, hopefully this one gets better as well.

Cable & Deadpool #4 $2.99

Big sigh here...Fabes, just like Waid, is dropping the ball (consistently) on this book. Rather than keep with the progression the characters have made since he last worked on thed, Fabes has regressed them to their original state, making the book feel like an over-the-top action flik with a plot that could crumble to the ground at any moment.

Wolverine: The End #4 $2.99

Paul Jenkins continues to write the booked to his Origin series, and to Wolvie's life, with mixed results. Introducing a new character that has supposedly been watching Logan throughout his 200+ years of existence, and apparently has had run ins with him quite a few times, only to have it covered up by, among other things, Professor Xavier? Seems like cutting your own throat to me. Gladly this is a mini, and doesn't get on the shelves with any regularity so it hasn't felt like a huge waste of money, but does seem like a waste of time.

Is it me or does it seem Marvel as a company is regressing to their early 90's persona? Sad.

More later.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

It's late, I know!

50 First Dates

Barrymore/Sandler "date" flik that doesn't seem like such a bad concept, besides their last team up gave us The Wedding Singer, definitely a watchable film.

Beverly Hills 90210: The Pilot Episode

Not exactly sure why they went this route, perhaps just testing the waters for season releases. All you 25 year old women out there can relive your high school television watching yers now.

The Chronicles Of Riddick: Dark Fury

Promising prequel to the new film with animation by Aeon Flux creator Peter Chung.

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete 2nd Season

From the guy that helped bring us Seinfeld!

Nip/Tuck: The Complete First Season

Just in time for the premier of Season 2 on F/X. I've heard good things, may be worth renting.

The Simpsons: The Complete Fourth Season

If you really need a reason to buy this then I can't help you.

Xena Warrior Princess: Season Four

All the lesbian innuendo you can handle!


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Quick Jabs

Shrek 2

It's making green (excuse the pun) at the box office, and it's likely the kiddies will enjoy it for the most part. I found it boring as hell for the most part.

The Returner

Japanese (I think) sci-fi flik that blends many familiar plot elements together for a (mostly) interesting movie. There's even a bit of Transformers to be found here. Worth a look, but the English dub is horrible.


TCM had a Hitchcock marathon tonight and I managed to catch this one. Of course I'd seen it before, but not in quite awhile. Like an idiot I spoiled it for the person I was watching it with, apparently they've been living under a rock. Still, I found myself amazed at the amount of detail and plot that Identity "borrowed" or "paid tribute to" during the course of that film. The comparison is obvious once you think about it, but Identity was so well made that it hadn't occured to me before now. I'm an idiot, like I said. For those that don't know, Hitchcock was a flippin' genius, and this is one of the best movies ever made.

Flight of the Navigator

An old Disney flik from the 80's, and one that was damn good. This doesn't get enough credit amongst the sci-fi crowd, mainly because it has quite a few borrowed story elements from other more popular films of the time. Basically it's the story of a kid that gets abducted by an alien spacecraft only to be returned back to Earth eight years later. While everyone else has aged, somehow he hasn't. Unlike alot of sci-fi B-movies, this one has a very well structured plot (even if it does use recycled elements) and a good explination for everything that pops up. I remember it fondly from my childhood, but usually things like that don't hold well over time. This does, in fact it's even more compelling now that I can understand what the film is talking about. Rent it, buy it, whatever, just watch it.

Twentysomething-Jamie Cullum

An English Jazz musician who's making a splash in the States, Jamie Cullum is amazing. Jazz fan or not, this is a must own. His renditions of The Wind Cries Mary, and Frontin' (a song written by Pharrel of the Neptunes, on the newest N.E.R.D. album I believe) are worth the price of admission. Add in All at Sea, These Are The Days, Twentysomething, and What a Diff'rence a Day Made and you've got a winner. Everything else is icing on the cake.


Monday, June 07, 2004

See, told ya'!

The A-Team: Season One

Was it corny? Yup. No matter, this still remains a beloved show with an avid following, I just wish it had some decent bonus material, but just having the episodes will be great.

Along Came Polly

Want to see a good Ben Stiller flik? Well this ain't it!

The Dead Zone: The Complete Second Season

A show that's better than the movie it was based...oh, wait, it was a book too wasn't it. King's classic has been given new life with this series, much like the man starring in it. Good stuff, for the most part

Field Of Dreams

A movie about baseball that turns out NOT to be a movie about baseball. When Costner was at his finest, this is truly a great film.

Just Shoot Me: Seasons 1 And 2

There are so many "classic" shows that have been ignored in the TVDVD craze, instead we get this.

M*A*S*H: Season Six Collector's Edition

How many seasons did this show have? Geez. Remains a fave among many, many people, so someone out there will enjoy it.

Quantum Leap: The Complete First Season

THE BEST SHOW EVER ON TV. Got it? Now go friggin buy it. Do it. Now.

Reality Bites (10th Anniversary Edition)

Now this is a good Ben Stiller movie! Worth at least a rent.

Robocop Trilogy

Outside of the first film being a great B-Movie and Frank Miller being involved in the sequel, there's absolutely no reason to buy this. None.

Tour Of Duty: The Complete First Season

Another war show. From what I remember it wasn't half bad.

Who's The Boss?: The Complete First Season

The Good? Alyssa Milano gets introduced to the world. The Bad? Eventually we get Charmed. The Ugly? Tony Danza's career when the show ended!


Friday, June 04, 2004

A letter to Tony

Here's a letter I recently sent to Cinescape.com's Tony Whitt regarding change in comics, take a look:

Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how much I've really enjoyed the last two weeks of your column, heck, the last month for that matter. It's nice to see different things popping up here, I loved the creator interview, and your comments about Supes brought up some very interesting points. Unfortunately I've never been an avid follower of the character (outside of SMALLVILLE anyway) so my opinion may not exactly matter. However, for me to become a follower alot would have to change. I think JMS is writing a far better "superman" over on SUPREME POWER than probably anyone on any SUPERMAN book I've ever read. You are right, the problem is that he's a character that's extremely hard to relate too, and as (a person who fancies himself) a writer I can tell you it makes the task of telling interesting stories with him that much harder. Should those things (invulnerability, etc., etc.) be changed? Yes and no. Bottom line, it's never going to be our call to make. I think the biggest problem lies in the fact that companies own these characters, and as companies they want them to be easily identifiable to new and old fans alike, but what they end up doing is alienating those of us who "grow up", for lack of a better term. Don't get me wrong, I love my superhero books, but I'm no glutton for punishment, I refuse to read the same stories year after year and then travel the message boards griping about how stagnant the book is, I'll simply quit reading it. Your point about the cosmetic changes rings all too true as well, and that's something else that bothers me. Again, companies want easily identifiable icons, and "fans" want the comics to be like they were when they were growing up, and will gripe about it until it happens. Case in point, Hal Jordan. It's taken awhile, but the "fans" finally have their GL back (or will shortly) and soon it'll be as if he never died (a la Green Arrow) and the world will be a much happier place. Right? No, it just leads us to stagnation, treading the same damn water we've been treading since the 30's. So you don't want alot of cosmetic changes? Okay, well how about we change the man behind the mask (so to speak)? The GL changes are probably the most indentifiable, there was Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Jon Stewart (or is that John, I never remember), but there are others. I might be the only person in the comics community who'll stand on a chair and shout "The Clone Saga was a good idea!" until my lungs bleed. Granted, it was poorly executed, but negating years uypon years of Spidey stories may have been the most original idea in a book about guys in tights since those two nice Jewish boys created that invinceable man. For some reason we as a community are unwilling to accept real changes to our beloved characters. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think this happens in any other medium...well maybe Wrestling, but certainly not on TV shows (sitcoms being a possible exception). On soap operas there is a constant state of change, which brings the viewers back for more.. On TV changes end up getting made to try and bring in the viewers, where as in comics they somehow drive them away. No matter how much promotion these companies seem to do (hell, I'm sure the only reason DC hasn't been bankrupt is because of its AOL-Time-Warner affiliation) nothing sells new comic books. The first Spidey film was huge, yet look at the sales for the book...they don't reflect that at all. The movie did not sell the book, and I'm certain nothing will, at least not in the numbers the company wants. In my personal opinion, it's time to move on, time for creators to create something new, and for companies to give them the chance, to actually promote these new ideas. It won't happen, but it's a nice thought. Yeah, occasionally it's fun to revisit my youth, but one of the things about growing up is realizing those things you loved as a kid really weren't that great anyway. Don't believe me? Try watching an episode of the THUNDERCATS or SILVERHAWKS sometime. Or maybe even the old SPIDER-MAN or X-MEN cartoons. There's a DVD out now with the first season of the old TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 'toon, go pick it up, see how long it takes before you realize the show was goofier than you remember. I'll give it three minutes tops. Again, it's is nice to have those things around to remind you of how great being a kids was. I love my TRANSFORMERS DVDs, along with all the other I've mentioned, and occasionally I'll pop one in and try to remember what I was like when I originally watched those shows. The same goes with comics. I was a huge X-Force fan, and occasionally I'll pull out an old issue and reread it, but it's never as good as I remembered. It's unfair that attitudes like that (things must be as we've always had them!) have all but crippled an entire industry, and for some reason these companies seem fit to cater to them. In the words of Vince Neil: Change, Now It's Time For Change.

For those with an itch...

Picked up Scratch #1 ($2.50) at my local shop this week, and I can't really say that it was fantastic. Now, don't get me wrong, it is Sam Keith, and the man is always great, but this particular story lacks that certain charm most of his work seems to have. His stuff from the last few years (Four Women, Legs, the Zero Girl stories, along with his Wolverine/Hulk series at Marvel) have all been brilliantly executed, so I was expecting no less here. Sadly, it was a bit of a let down. The character of "Scratch" seemed a bit underdeveloped, not to mention his new friends. The main plot is a bit cliche (towns people try to drive out freaks with torches and pithforks, that sort of thing) and the art doesn't seem nearly as colorful and inventive as Sam's usual work, I think his recent cover work for Marvel was far better. Of course there are alot of things to consider here, first of all he's going to be dealing with Batman, which I'm sure DC is hoping will be a selling point for the book, so it may have been necessary to get the initial set up out of the way, leaving plenty of time to spend on Bats. Not necessarily a bad decision, it just doesn't leave you with any emotional connection to "Scratch." Second, Sam's work almost always reads better in a collected form. In fact I can't think of any exceptions to that, at least when he's working on characters he's created. Maxx and Epicurus (Both with Messner-Loebs, in fact Epicurus was written solely by Messner-Loebs, so scratch that one...no pun intended there) certainly read better that way, as do the Zero Girl stories. Four Women and Hulk/Wolverine are almost required to be read that way, otherwise the shock of the stories lose a bit of their edge. I will say this, for the page or so that Batman is in the book, Keith makes me want more, in fact I was giddy with anticipation after reading his portrayal, but the subsequent story of "Scratch's" origin left me somewhat cold.

I will say I'm probably jumping the gun on this, trying to form an opinion about something that isn't even halfway through is a bit like watching ten minutes of a 90 minute movie and deciding you don't like it. I'm crossing my fingers that the story goes somewhere, or that at the very least we get more Bats, because Keith has a great handle on him. Here's hoping.


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A few notes...

Tony Whitt has a review of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men #1 over at Cinescape.com. While he raves about the book (Giving it an A+, something I don't think I've seen, at least not in awhile.) I definitely had a few problems with it. A solid issue, especially artistically (Beasts costume not withstanding)which was printed on the crappiest damn paper possibe. I think I've seen toilet paper with more thickness. Hell We'd be better off if they'd just printed it on a roll of Bounty. So, head on over to check out Tony's comments on the book, he's got some valid points, it really is a fun book, just don't think it was particularly worth the bucks I shelled out for it, looks like I'll be waiting for the trades.

There's also a new Comicscap column up, very good stuff discussing the need (or lack there of) for change in superhero comics.

Also, DavisDVD has a few interesting tidbits for all you DVD buffs, oh and don't forget Cinescape's DVD shopping list. I promise, next week I'll be putting one up here. Heh.