Thursday, March 23, 2017

Comics this week

Birthright #23- The problem of having a reputation as a lair is that even when you are telling the truth, people don’t believe you. Mastema faced this problem this issue as her follow mages take her to task for lying to them and while that’s going on, Rya finally meet Mikey again. Writer Joshua Williamson and artist Andrei Bressan are on a roll and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

Elektra #2- I never got the idea of Arcade. I know a lot of creators seem to like the character but I always thought the villain was stupid. The second of issue of Elektra did nothing to change my mind. The issue has Arcada knowing that Elektra is in Las Vegas and trying to get the assassin into his latest Murderworld. Words cannot describe how stupid that is; she is one of the best assassins in the world and he can’t even keep a bunch of teenage heroes in check in Avengers Arena. Artist Juan Cabal once again did a great job showing how much a badass Elektra is, if only writer Matt Owens had pick a better villain…  

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Comics this week

Injection #11- After too long a wait, Injection is back and writer Warren Ellis and artist Declan Shalvey waste no time hitting the ground running. After Maria and Vivek, this arc is on Brigid Roth of the Injection team, aka the female Dr. Who of the team. Much like the previous two story arcs, this issue is full of mystery and you have to love the dry wit on display here. Ellis is clearly having fun with this issue and I can’ wait to see where he go from here.

Monsters Unleashed #5- Since the event started, I thought this event was a lot better than a lot of people think. Unfortunately, Monsters Unleashed stumbles at the finish line with an uninspired finish that undid the good work in the previous issues. Honestly, it looks like writer Cullen Bunn was far more interested in setting up the Monsters Unleashed ongoing series than anything else as the story got out of control in a hurry. Kid Kaiju stepping up to face the Mother was always on the card but creating 5 new monsters out of thin air to take her on? Then having the 5 monsters “combine” to form a giant monster even though at least one of the 5 monsters had been taken out by the enemy? *Facepalm* This is like a bad episode of Transformers. 

Wild Storm #2- No good deed goes unpunished and Angela Spica is about to find that out in a big way as Skywatch, Halo, and International Operations are all gunning for her suit. Writer Warren Ellis is putting his pieces in place for a collision course and there are A LOT OF PIECES. We get fan-favourites like Grifter, Void and Zealot, to supporting characters like Henry Bendix and Christine Trelane, to more obscure characters like Savant (Kenesha). The diversity of the characters is great as well as the fact that although 3 factions are gunning for The Engineer, they are doing it for 3 very different reasons. Can’t wait for #3! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Matrix Reboot?




The Matrix is back! Or at least that’s what the movie studios of Hollywood are hoping for because various entertainment reports are saying that Warner Bros. is in the early stages of bringing back the franchise. I am hoping that never happen.

Now I’m a fan of the original 1999 flick that was nothing short of great, but the greatness of the movie has been diluted by 2 weak sequels that the Matrix creators, the Wachowski brothers/siblings, pushed out. By the time the last Matrix movie, The Matrix Revolutions, was released in 2003 everyone was glad that it would be the last one. Nothing has changed since then.  

So we don’t need another Matrix movie. I have little doubt the career revival of Keanu Reeves is one reason why interest in the Matrix franchise has interest but we don’t need another Matrix movie, no matter whether it is a sequel, prequel, or reboot. Please, just let the franchise die.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Review of Logan


17 years! Nothing shows my age more than the fact that I remember going to the theatres to see the first X-Men movie and seeing Hugh Jackman playing the role that would define his career; Wolverine. 17 years later, we are here; Hugh Jackman playing the Wolverine one last time.

Inspired by the story/character “Old Man Logan”, “Logan” starts in the year 2029. Mutants are on the brink of extinction, with no new mutants having been born in 25 years. With his healing factor, James "Logan" Howlett, formerly known as Wolverine, is still around. Living with the last few mutants left in the world, Caliban and Professor Charles Xavier, Logan works as a chauffeur and hustled for drugs for the benefit of Prof X whose mind is deteriorating due to his old age.

However Logan is approached by a woman, Gabriela, who want to hire him to escort her and an 11-year-old girl named Laura to a place in North Dakota called "Eden". Logan refused but he is soon approached by a man named Donald Pierce who is looking for Gabriela.

After reluctantly accepting the job from Gabriela, Logan discovers that she has been murdered. Logan, Xavier, and Laura escape from Pierce and his cybernetically-enhanced men but Caliban is captured. Looking through a video left behind by Gabriela, Logan and Xavier learn that Laura is a mutant breed by a company called, Transigen.

Transigen has been breeding mutant children using DNA samples from several mutants for the "X-23" project, but as the children got older, the company found the children to be more difficult to control and decided to put them down. The nurses taking care of the children however thought differently and helped the children to escape. Gabriela is one of those nurses and approached Logan because Laura was created using Logan’s DNA. She is, for all intent and purpose, Logan’s daughter. From there, it’s a road trip with the trio trying their best to get away from Pierce and get Laura to safety.

First off, let’s get to the elephant in the room. Yes; not only is “Logan” is not only the swansong of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, it is also the swansong of Patrick Stewart as Prof X. Both actors have indicated that this is the last time they would be portraying the characters and after seeing the movie, I hope both keep their word because this movie is a hell of a way to say goodbye.

“Logan” is great! It is not just a great superhero movie; it is a great movie period! A lot of people have said the movie is like a western and I could see why. Logan and Prof X are like two aging gunslingers going out on one last ride and they went out like heroes! This is a fitting end to the characters and I hope I never see Hugh Jackman or Patrick Stewart as Wolverine and Prof X ever again because they set the bar high in this movie and it’s just that hard to see how they could top it.

Not only that, “Logan” also set things up nicely at the end for Laura to take over the role as the Wolverine. Considering that X-23 has taken over the name of Wolverine in the comics already, this would exactly be in line with the comics. FOX could even use her and her friends as X-Force.

The only unfortunate thing about the movie is the lack of a good villain. This has been the problem with the Wolverine movies from the start and it continue on with this one. Pierce was never a true threat to Logan and X-24 is just forgettable. Dr. Zander Rice might as well be named Mad Doctor XXX.

Outside that problem, the movie was great. “Logan” is a gritty, violent, but thoughtful superhero movie that in my mind is the best X-Men movie ever. The bittersweet yet uplifting end of the movie reminds me of the ending of La La Land; sad, sweet, and perfect. Watch “Logan”, this movie is great! 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Comics this week

Astro City #42- One of the great things about Astro City is the fact that writer Kurt Busiek writer superhero stories that most comics just don’t touch on. This issue we got a glimpse of the life of a forgotten supervillain who is marooned on a tropical island. When the chance came to get off the island, the villain jumped at it but then found that, despite himself, he actually enjoy his forced retirement on the tropical island. I thought it was great that the only one who remember the villain was his nemesis and even younger villains who use tech the supervillain pioneered don’t remember him. Another great issue of Astro City!

Copperhead #11- I can’t remember when was the last issue of Copperhead, which should tell you just how long this this sci-fi western has been on hiatus. After all this time, writer Jay Faerber attempt to keep things going by continuing on from where we stopped. On one hand, I can understand this, but I can’t help to think it would be better if Faerber had done a recap or something at the start to remind everyone where the story was at.

Jessica Jones #6- That’s it? After 6 issues, the first story arc is over and I can’t believe this was it. Jessica Jones is clearly a passion project for Michael Bendis but I hope the writer would come up with something better in the next story because the end of this one was very…meh. After all that build-up, the way the villains were taken out was just laughable. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Review of John Wick 2


What is the strangest Hollywood action franchise currently in existence? If your answer is John Wick, then give yourself a clap because you are right.

In 2014, an action film starring former A-lister Keanu Reeves came to the screen and knocked everyone’s socks off with non-stop, stylist, beautifully choreographed action scenes. It was a fun film that was a surprise hit. Come 2017 and we now have John Wick: Chapter 2 and it is still a non-stop, stylist, beautifully choreographed action film!

Director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves doubled down on what made the first film tick and then went on a “world-building” mode as we get to see the world John Wick is set in. Set shortly after the end of the first film, John Wick tracks down his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 at a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov, brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef. He dispatches Tarasov's men in a violent fight that heavily damages his car but spares Tarasov after getting an agreement of "peace" between the two.

After arranging repairs for his car, John is visited by Italian crime lord Santino D'Antonio who called in a “marker” John owned him. An unbreakable promise between the two parties, John had no choice but to agree to kill Santino’s sister, Gianna. After doing the deed, as John expected, Santino send his men to kill John to tie up loose ends.

They failed and Santino put out a $7 million open contract on John's death. John goes after Santino and while he managed to kill his men, Santino himself escape to the Continental. He makes it clear that he intends to seek indefinite refuge there but John shoots and kills D'Antonio, opening himself to retaliation from the whole of the underworld.

As I wrote earlier, John Wick 2 is a doubling down of John Wick so if you like the first movie, you would probably like this one as well. The movie is bigger, with more car chases, more gun-fu, and more locations. The film starts with a bang and the action do not stop.

It is also pretty funny with some comedic moments mixed in. The script and plot is nothing to write home about but the witty dialogue was a pleasant surprise and served the film well. Helping this is the simple fact that few can served up one-liners with a face more stonily than Keanu Reeves.

However don’t hope for any emotional scenes like the one in the first movie where John screamed at Viggo on why he needs to kill his son just for killing his dog. John Wick 2 is a far less emotionally engaging film than the first movie, and there aren’t a lot of people to cheer for in this movie. The movie makes no bones about the fact that almost everyone, including John Wick, is a “bad-guy” and the movie is about bad people killing worse people.

Still, if you are looking for an action thrill ride, you can’t go wrong with John Wick 2. This is one film that’s know it’s an action flick and is unafraid to show it. Watch it!  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Garfield is Male!


You would think that’s a given right? I mean how many times has Jon, Garfield’s owner, said “Good boy” to him? How many times has Garfield called himself a “he”? I mean Garfield even has a girlfriend he treats badly! Garfield is clearly male right?

Not according to some and the worse thing is; they may have a point.

It seems that 2 years ago, Garfield’s creator Jim Davis (in a bout of total insanity) was quoted as saying “By virtue of being a cat, really, he's not really male or female or any particular race or nationality, young or old."

No one really cared about the quote 2 years ago but then a satirist dug the quote up and updated the Garfield Wikipedia entry to reflect the fact. Cue a war on Wikipedia between the various editors and Garfield's gender was changed no less than 20 times before an administrator of Wikipedia stepped in to lock the gender as “male”.

Right now, the war had died down because Davis released a statement saying "Garfield is male; he has a girlfriend, Arlene." Good to know Mr. Davis, but it really shouldn’t be a question in the first place.