Friday, March 31, 2017
Deadly Class #27- Don't fix what's not broken, and writer Rick Remender followed that formula this issue as he crafted a good-old-fashioned-revenge story as the origin of Saya. Remender obviously put a lot of thought into her story as this issue fill us with Saya's tale in a way that fits what we know so far and also gives us some needed emotional depth to an inscrutable character. Excellent!
Monday, March 27, 2017
The link is to the new ‘Justice League’ trailer that dropped over the weekend. It was supposed to be a fist-pumping action trailer showing all the members of the JL in action. In that I thought the trailer did a good job.
However some people are now saying ironically that the trailer is not good because it doesn’t show people anything about the plot. I say ironically because I remember the trailer of ‘Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and the main complaint then was that the trailer showed too much of the plot. There’s just no pleasing some people…
Hey guys, figure out what you want with trailers and stick to that position. Me? I don’t put that much stock into trailers. It is a trailer and just a trailer. I’ll wait for the movie and then decide if it’s any good. You should too.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Champions #6- The writings been on the wall for a few issues already, but the problem of this series is for all to see this issue. That problem being the lack of a overall plot. It seems writer Mark Waid know the problem as he introduced The Freelancers this series as a kind of counterpoint to The Champions. It didn’t quite work as it felt kind of tack-on. Hopefully, this issue is just a bump in the road.
Monsters Unleashed #4- The idea behind Marvel’s latest event is simple; superheroes fight giant monsters. If you want to be technical, there’s also giant monsters fighting against giant monsters, but you get the idea. If you don’t like the idea, then don’t read this series because writer Cullen Bunn and artist Salvador Larroca are running with this idea and having fun with it. With a good balance of action and humor (watch for the Luke Cage/Iron Fist/Fin Fang Foom scene), this issue is great!
Motor Girl #4- Give this Terry Moore; he is a man with a vision. He knows the story he want to tell and has enough confidence in his story-telling to just let the scenes flow. There are pages and pages in this issue where nothing happen and…it works! If you are looking for a unique story that’s like nothing else on the shelf, then you must pick up Motor Girl. It’s not just different; it’s great!
Friday, February 24, 2017
9 months ago, manager Claudio Ranieri performed a sporting miracle. Everyone thought Leicester City would struggle to stay in the English Premier League but the lovable Italian led the underdogs to the Premier League title.
Now, Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as Leicester City. As they say, WTF!
Now I know Leicester City is struggling this season. They are one point above the relegation zone with 13 just matches left, but is anyone surprised by that? The Foxes had always been strugglers so how could the results this season be a surprise to anyone? I mean Ranieri guided them to the title, something that’s nothing short of a miracle and now he is getting sack for the team playing to their previous, expected level?
That’s just wrong, and I don’t mean that emotionally. Claudio Ranieri hasn’t done anything so bad that he deserved the sack. This is a wrong decision by the Leicester City board that smells of desperation and fear. In short, the Thai owners of Leicester City lost their nerve. Too bad Claudio Ranieri is the one who has to pay for their panic.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Astro City #41- After 22 years, Astro City finally got to the 100th issue! In celebration, writer Kurt Busiek gives us a 40-page extravaganza that introduced us to the hero Astro City was named after; the Astro-Naut! As usual, we get to see the action through the eyes of a normal human living in the city, even if this normal human is the former mayor of the city. However this is more than just the story of a hero; it is the story of Astro City from before the start of World War II to the end of it and the beginning of Astro City. This is an amazing 100th issue and I hope there are 100 more!
Elektra#1- First, don’t let the cover fool you. This is the Elektra fans love, and not the watered-down version Marvel had pushed whenever Elektra get a series of her own. No; this Elektra is an assassin who is most comfortable when she is killing and writer Matt Owens is smart enough to let artist Juan Cabal tell the story when he need to. Juann Cabral's art is great. He showed Elektra so full of life when the action and deaths starts but also a little stiff when she’s off the clock. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and it tells readers so much about Elektra without any words for us to read. A very good debut.
Monstress #10-A journey ends and another begins as Maika and gang finally get on the Isle of Bones. Credit has to be given to artist Sana Takeda for making the isle so eerie and creepy but while the sea journey is over, more questions are asked as the Isle of Bones is nothing like what Maika and her small crew expected. Great art, deep story; brilliant!
Friday, February 17, 2017
Generation 2 has arrived for the Pokémon Go smartphone game and already players are going about catching the 80 new Pokémon that are available. Generation 2 showcase the Pokémon from the Johto region in the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver games and Niantic Games is putting in a few other things for good measure.
The update includes gender-specific variations of the new Pokémon; 2 new types of berries; new hats, shirts, pants, and other items for avatars; as well as Evolution items that are available at PokéStops as some of the Pokémon need these items for evolutions. It’s a big update and I had already seen a Bayleef on a PokéStop.
I’m already behind the curve so why am I still here typing away? See everyone out there!
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Monsters Unleashed #2- Come on! I know Marvel is desperate to push the Inhumans but having an Inhuman with the power to summon monsters is just nonsense. How difficult would it be for writer Cullen Bunn to make Kei Kawada’s power come from some magic or mystic source? An Inhuman? That just hurts the whole miniseries which is too bad because this issue actually moves the story along very well and provide us with some good moment. Earth monsters against Space Monsters? That’s just great right? Too bad Marvel had to force an Inhuman angel on all of us.
Trinity #6- This issue closed off the “Better Together” and I honestly feel that writer and artist Francis Manapul would have been better served if he held off the ending for at least another issue. This issue felt rushed, as if Manapul had to wrap it up before he ran out of pages. Too bad because this was, till this issue, a very impressive start to the series.
Wild Storm #1- I bought this strictly because writer Warren Ellis is writing it. I mean DC is basically giving him free reign to reboot the entire Wildstorm universe. The idea seems like a winner and this issue did nothing to disperse that feeling. As with many of his works, Wild Storm #1 has a dark cynical feeling to it and artist Jon Davis-Hunt’s work fits his story to a T. It will probably take a few more issues before we can decide how good the reboot will be but thus far, it looks good.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
That’s is the headlines as reports are coming in that the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been assassinated at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. In a perfectly staged assassination, Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fell ill at the airport after being sprayed with some sort of chemical.
Reports has it that 2 female assassins staged the most daring assassination and South Korea has immediately point the finger at Kim Jong-Un for ordering the hit. That may be true, considering the relationship between the two half-brothers, the North Korean leader has to be suspect No. 1, but that doesn’t answer the question of “why” and “why now”?
Kim Jong Nam is no threat to Kim Jong Un, and in all previous reports, he didn’t even want the job of being the North Korean leader. So even in the murky world of North Korean politics, there’s a big mystery on why would Kim Jong Un ordered the risky assassination of a non-threat?
It just makes no sense but then this is a man who had killed his uncle before so no one is about to give him the benefit of the doubt. Too bad that unlike spy novels, in real-life, we may never get the answer of why.
It just makes no sense but then this is a man who had killed his uncle before so no one is about to give him the benefit of the doubt. Too bad that unlike spy novels, in real-life, we may never get the answer of why.
Monday, February 13, 2017
The movie award season is upon us and this year the hot favourite to sweep the season is the feel-good musicial, La La Land. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, La La Land is director’s Damien Chazell’s follow-up to his 2014 film Whiplash and much like Whiplash, music played a big role in the movie.
Gosling’s Sebastian Wilder is a musical purist in LA who has just spent his last penny trying and failing to open a jazz club in the city. He meets Stone’s Mia Dolan and the movie is about how the duo chased their dreams amidst setback after setback. Back by strong performances from the two leads, smart direction from Chazall, and good songs; La La Land is one of those strange movie that managed to be both a great romantic comedy and a wonderful drama.
In short, it is great!
It is an exceptional film that pays homage to classic musicals while making it’s mark on the genre. Some people are already calling the movie a classic; I won’t go that far but I can see why they would say so. La La Land is an endearing film that you could watch endless times without getting tired of. Director Damien Chazell had a clear vision for the movie and he implemented it beautifully.
In this, he is helped ably by Gosling and Stone who gave it their all in their performances. The two leads are not natural singers or dancers and that, strangely, played well in the movie. Emma Stone was especially good in this movie and I would be shocked if she didn’t win Best Actress at the Oscars. Honestly I never thought much of her as an actress before La La Land. She’s cute and commendable but I never thought of her as a great actress. I do now.
I also have to give pops to the ending of this movie. All I can say is “WOW”! The bittersweet ending was just perfect. It shows the cost the two leads made to make their fantasies happen, yet at the same time, it was not a downer but a celebration. Yes, there are scenes of what-could-have-been and they were beautiful in themselves, but in the end these two made it and they were not going to give up their success for anything.
La La Land is nominated for a record-tying fourteen Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards. I’m pretty sure it won’t win that many but after watching the movie I can understand why they got so many nominations. It is just one hell of a movie. Watch it!
Friday, February 10, 2017
Birthright #22- Last issue, writer Joshua Williamson gave us a new perspective on the world of Terrenos by telling the world from the view of Rya. Lightning strikes twice as we now know the backstory of one of the 5 mages, Mastema. Like last issue with Rya, it works beautifully! Not only do we know now that Mastema is Lore’s daughter, we also get a glimpse of the breakdown of the Rhodes family when Mikey first disappeared. An excellent issue all around!
Jessica Jones #5- How do you balance a story in the mean streets of New York with a story about cosmic madness. Most would say it can’t be done, so you have to give credit to writer Brian Michael Bendis for at least trying. The issue didn’t quite nailed it but the idea of a simple man who went mad after surviving the destruction of his world does rings true. That, by itself, makes this a brave issue.
Ms. Marvel #15- After last issue, I was expecting a light-hearted romp about the dangers of the internet. Well, I got the danger of the internet part correct but this was anything but a light-hearted romp as writer G. Willow Wilson went deep. Not only does she show the danger, she also shows the effects your online life can have on your real life. Artist Takeshi Miyazawa’s sleek and expressive art also managed to capture the gravity of the story nicely. Great issue all around!
Friday, February 3, 2017
Champions #5- When I read last issue that Gwenpool was coming to Champions, I was not impressed. I still don’t like the character but I must admit writer Mark Waid worked her into the group very well. Right now, the Champions are filled with serious teenagers who all want to do the right thing in the right way and a guest star offering an alternative perspective is a welcome development. Makes me wonder what other teenager heroes/villains might be coming…?
Monsters Unleashed #2- Okay, let’s get this out of the way first; the change of artist in this issue was jarring. I won’t say artist Greg Land’s work is poor but it is very different from Steve McNiven and that’s a problem. With that out of the way, this issue of MU was on the whole pretty good. We have a lot of monster action as waves and waves of monster lands on Earth and the heroes of the Marvel Universe are trying various ways to repel them. Captain Marvel, Alpha Flight and S.W.O.R.D tried to head off the monsters in space while the Avengers, X-Men, Inhumans etc fight the monsters that managed to land on Earth. In the midst of all this, Elsa Bloodstone finally met up with Kei Kawada and the unlikely duo may be the people who could save the planet from the monster apocalypse. Action with a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure? Count me in; just fix on one artist please.
Moon Knight #11- And further down the rabbit hole we go…that’s the feeling I got when I finished reading this week’s Moon Knight. Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood once again put together a compelling piece of work that show us Marc Spector’s troubled life as well the deep shit he’s currently in. Great work!
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
As many readers of my blog would know by now, I’m not exactly a big fan of the peacock known as Roger Federer. However, it’s just so hard not to give the man his due. Seriously, how many people thought the man had it in him to win another Grand Slam?
I sure didn’t. Roger Federer had just returned from a six-month break due to a series of injuries; hasn’t won a Slam in since 2012; and is now 35 year old. Surely he can’t win another Slam right? Wrong because that’s what the man did. Amazingly, Roger Federer outlasted Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open title, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. He is now the holder of five Australian Open titles and is the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title since Ken Rosewall in 1972.
What can you say? You might not like the man but you must respect him. 18th Grand Slam titles; oldest player to win a Grand Slam in over 40 years; and to win after 6 months out with injuries! What can you say?
One of the greatest rivalries in tennis history received another chapter Sunday night in Melbourne, Australia, as Roger Federer outlasted Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open title, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Like it or not, Roger Federer is just the GOAT.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6- Well, it was bound to happen. The weekly release of the event finally caught up to DC as artist Howard Porter had to rush to finish the series on time. The conclusion was satisfactory though we could have done without writer Joshua Williamson trying so hard to setup the new Justice League of America series. It was kind of forced and just took away from the finish. Overall, a surprising good event!
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
After the unfortunate success of “The Force Awakens”, Lucasfilm have confirmed that the next Star Wars movie will be called “The Last Jedi”. Stated to be released in December 2017, fans have already begun flooding the internet with speculation on who is “The Last Jedi”.
After the death of Obi-Wan and Yoda, Luke Skywalker was the sole surviving Jedi but at the end of “The Force Awakens”, Rey found Luke and many fans are assuming Luke will train her and she will be “The Last Jedi”. Some fans even speculate “The Last Jedi” would be Kylo Ren as he was trained by Luke.
Honestly, I think fan boys are speculating for no reason other than trying to get themselves hyped for the movie. I think the answer of who is “The Last Jedi” is pretty simple. The movie crawl of “The Force Awakens” clearly state that Luke is the last Jedi so guess what; question answered!
Friday, January 20, 2017
Monsters Unleashed #1- After the terrible Civil War 2, Marvel has gotten the hints from fans and got their latest event off to a flying start. From the opening, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Steve McNiven have monsters dropping from the sky and refused to let up on the action for a single moment. They even had all the teams on hand for the event so in this issue you get to see everyone from the AVENGERS to the CHAMPIONS as they clash with the monsters. Having said that, the most interesting things in this issue were the hints dropped that the most important people in this event are Elsa Bloodstone and the boy who summoned Fin Fang Foom. Hopefully it would prevent this from becoming a total slugfest…
Spider-Gwen #16- There’s a crossover? I didn’t know Spider-Gwen was having a crossover with Spider-man till I opened this issue and saw that this was Part 2 of the story "Sitting in a Tree". Basically this issue continue the story from SPIDER-MAN #12 which finds Miles and Gwen on Earth-65 looking for Miles’ father who somehow became a SHIELD agent. Since I don’t collect Spider-man, I have no idea what’s going on and can only say Marvel need to do a much better job marketing their crossovers.
Trinity #5- The answers to the mystery of what the hell is going on are slowly revealed this issue as writer and artist Francis Manapul setup the conclusion of the opening arc. At times very slow, I have to say this has been a good opening arc to the Trinity series. Not only do we get great character moments with the Trinity, we also see a uniquely sympathetic villain in Poison Ivy. DC needs to bring more issues/series like Trinity. It’s great.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
I’m not a fan of survival games. I’m also not a big fan of mods. Yes, I can see why some gamers out there love survival games and why a lot of people spend hours going through numerous mods for fun. I get all that; I’m just not a fan.
However some modders for the game ARK: Survival Evolved really caught my eye when they changed the game with a mod that made perfect sense and actually looked very fun. In ARK: Survival Evolved, you play a man or woman stranded naked, freezing and starving on the shores of a mysterious island called ARK. Then you must hunt, harvest resources, craft items, grow food and even tame dinosaurs. Yes, the island called ARK is one that time had forgotten and ruled by wild dinosaurs.
In a mod called Pokemon Evolved however, a mod team replaced ARK's dinosaurs with…you guessed it; Pokémon! Not only that, there’s actually another mod called ARKMon that does the same thing! In both mods players can tame, fight and in some case even ride the Pokemon.
So for those gamers looking for more Pokemon to catch, ARK: Survival Evolved is a game you might want to check out. Just make sure to add the mods for some extra Pokemon fun.
Friday, January 13, 2017
Birthright #21- The flashbacks are back but this time, it worked! I had said several times in the past that writer Joshua Williamson overdid it on the flashbacks but this issue showed how well it could if it is not overdone. Also helping the matter was that this flashback was told through the eyes of Rya, the winged warrior that was Mikey’s lover on Terrenos and the mother of his child. Excellent!
Jessica Jones #4- After 4 issues, I can safely say this about Jessica Jones; writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos are doing this for the fans. If you are a fan of Jessica Jones before, you will love this new series. If not, Bendis has no interest in getting you on board. The main problem of this issue was the reveal that Jessica is a mole for Captain Marvel. It came out of the blue and didn’t quite work, but fans would still love it for the snarky interplay between Carol and Jessica. If you’re not however…
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4- Writer Joshua Williamson sure likes his cliffhangers! After last week’s reveal of the origin of Max Lord’s group, the end of this issue has Max getting his hands on the item he was looking for and it was big. He also gave artist Fernando Pasarin a lot of room to show his talent with plenty of epic, blockbuster action. As I had said earlier, this event has been better than expected thus far and on that front, nothing has changed. It’s still very good.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
In 1998, FIFA expanded the World Cup from 24 teams to 32. Since then, the 32-team finals had been a staple of the World Cup. Not anymore! Gianni Infantino, who took over FIFA just 11 months ago, promised that he would repair the damage done during Sepp Blatter's tenure.
Well, you know what they say about election promises right? Seriously, what a blatant money grab move it was to increase the World Cup finals to 48 teams! Yes, I know Infantino say increasing the number of teams at the World Cup is so that more teams and countries can ”dream” but that’s total bull and everyone knows it. FIFA is doing this strictly for the money.
There’s no other reason for it since enlarging the World Cup to 32 teams will do nothing for the World Cup except diluting the quality of play. Since the World Cup was increased to 24, critics had complained that some unworthy teams have been sneaking their way into the tournament. Well, that problem is about to get a lot worse from 2026 onwards.
But who cares right? Money talks and new president or not, money is the only thing that matters in FIFA.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Last month I wrote about the confiscation of 9 Singapore armoured personnel carriers in Hong Kong. I state then that Singapore should just ignore China. It seems that this is exactly what the Singapore government is doing and the Chinese government seems to be caught out by Singapore’s non-action.
China’s wants from Singapore are very obvious and they had made no bones about it. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, openly said at a ministry briefing that “China hopes other nations, including Singapore, follow the one-China principle. This is the foundation for bilateral ties between China and any other nation.” In short, China wants Singapore to dial down or cancel military ties with Taiwan.
I can see the view from China. The sums must have seen simple to them. We have your armoured personnel carriers, you want them back, you cancel military ties with Taiwan, withdraws Singapore’s stand on the South China Sea issue, and we give them back.
However the Singapore government is refusing to play ball and instead is choosing to go the legal route. Singapore’s Foreign Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, even so far as to openly say in Parliament that the Singapore Government prefers to await a legal resolution and will not enter into a dialogue with China on the issue. In short, there’s no deal to be made here. Singapore will wait.
What was a simple dish for the Chinese to eat has turned out bad as the Singapore government is showing that they are willing to make things as uncomfortable as possible for China and Hong Kong for holding on to their vehicles. Not helping the Chines is the fact that the vehicles will have to be returned to Singapore is beyond question. China cannot hold on to the vehicle forever without creating an international incident that far exceeds the value of the 9 vehicles, and the Singapore government is showing their mettle in this situation.
I fully support the Singapore government’s stand on this issue. China and Hong Kong clearly has no right to hold on to the vehicles and refusing to pay their price for getting the vehicles back is the right thing to do. Keep it up Singapore!
Friday, January 6, 2017
Can you break a contract with a telcom if they provide bad to terrible service? I have to ask because ever since I signed up for the Starhub Fiber in August, I have been having non-stop problems with it.
The problem is that the internet connection is very inconsistent. I would be surfing, suddenly the connection would go down for a few seconds, before it would go back up. I didn’t keep count but I must have called their customer service over 20 times in these 4 months but the problem still persists. It is literally impossible for me to play online games when the problem happens and it seems Starhub has no idea what to do to fix it because it seems I’m not the only person with problem with their fiber.
You know what’s worse? I didn’t even want their fiber in the first place! I’m a long time subscriber to Starhub but I was using their cable connection. In August when I renew my contract, I wanted to have the cable but was told I can’t because everything was on fiber. Left with little choice, I signed up for fiber.
It was a terrible decision.
So a word of warning to all Singaporean out there; do NOT subscribe for Starhub fiber. It is shit. Go to another telcom if you need to, but do NOT go for the Starhub fiber. You will regret it. You have been warned.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Justice League #12- I must say Maxwell Lord is a character I don’t usually get. Several writers think of him as a great villain but I just don’t get it. This issue at least changed my view a little on the character. Serving as a prequel to Justice League Vs Suicide Squad, this issue reintroduced the character to Rebirth and it was one hell of a reintroduction. Writer Tim Seeley got a good handle of the character and even gave us a good rundown on Checkmate. Outside a misstep at the end on Amanda Waller, this issue was excellent.
Justice League Vs Suicide Squad #3- Taking a breather from the action, writer Joshua Williamson slowed things down by giving us some background on Max Lord’s team and their beef with Amanda Waller. There’s some interaction between the JL and the SS which reveals the characters of the teams and some of their history, but this issue is Lord’s team. In a way, not a lot happened in this issue and it is the weakest issue so far but everything must be put into context. It’s been a pretty solid series thus far. So after 2 issues, this is the first misstep of the series, but I would say it was a pretty minor one. Read it!
Moon Knight #10- Wooh! I thought this series was good before but I didn’t know what I was saying because this issue made the previous few issues looked like crap! Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood made magic as they dove into Moon Knight like never before, including how Marc Spector’s problems began all the way from his childhood. This is a must-read people; read it!
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
When I heard that Rogue One was out, I thought it made sense for Disney to make the movie. After all, The Force Awakens was nothing but a remake of A New Hope so for Disney to go back to the lore of A New Hope makes perfect sense for the gutless wimpy company that created Mickey Mouse.
Rant off; now onto the movie.
Rogue One is the latest of the Star Wars movie and unlike The Force Awakens, it is very different from all the previous instalments of the franchise. More than any of the other Star Wars movies, this one was a war movie and in a way, it’s strange it took them so long to make a war movie of Star War because…well, the whole saga is about the never-ending war between good and evil right?
More importantly, the movie works!
The movie is about the construction of the Death Star and how it affects lives even before it began blowing up planets. The movie starts with Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic catching up with fugitive research scientist Galen Erso. Krennic need Galen to complete the Death Star and Erso's wife Lyra was killed in the ensuing confrontation. However their daughter Jyn managed to escape and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.
Fast forward 15 years and we now see the adult Jyn in prison. However she was soon busted out by the Rebels. At the Rebels main base on Yavin 4, Rebel leader Mon Mothma informed Jyn that the Rebels broke her out for a reason; a pilot Bodhi Rook had defected from the Empire and he claims he got a message from Galen about the Death Star. However this pilot is being held by Gerrera.
Led by Rebel intelligence captain Cassian Andor and his droid K-2SO, Jyn travelled to Jedha in an attempt to extract Rook. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera who shows her a message from Galen. Galen had secretly built a weakness into the Death Star and directs them to retrieve the schematics from a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif to discover it.
However the Imperial knows something is up and Krennic orders a low-powered shot from the Death Star to destroy Jedha's capital, causing the death of Gerrera and his group. Grand Moff Tarkin congratulates Krennic on the success of the Death Star before using Rook's defection and security leak to take control of the superweapon. From there, it becomes a race as the Rebels tries to steal the plans from Scarif while the Imperial try to find out what Galen was hiding from them.
Just looking at the plot of the movie and you could tell that Rogue One is no remake. To me, that by itself makes the movie far superior to the imitative crap called The Force Awakens. Rogue One was also helped by some solid performances. Felicity Jones was solid as the lead, but I was really impressed by Mads Mikkelsen who made the most of a very limited role. His performance as Galen was nothing short of excellent and he even managed to make Galen’s dying speech work for him. Considering how ridiculous the dialog was, that took skill!
There was also some beautiful action in this movie. The battle of Scarif was sprawling and confusing, but that’s the way it usually is in war and the movie didn’t shy away from that. The movie also didn’t shy away from the deaths. I won’t spoil the ending but I must say I’m a little surprised by the final death toll of the movie.
I shall always say director Gareth Edwards, writers Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, must all be massive Star Wars fans because they successfully made a Star War movie that link neatly into the existing plot of the original Star Wars trilogy. As it has been widely said almost by everyone who had seen the movie, the end of Rogue One goes neatly into the start of A New Hope and that was great to see.
However not everything in the movie worked, especially the middle section of the movie. There was a lot of moving parts as the story jump from planet to planet, and not always for a good reason. It seems that the writers believe more locations equal to the movie being more epic, so prompt have the characters flying all over the place.
The movie also assumed you had watched all the Star Wars movies already. When Jimmy Smits showed up as Bail Organa, the movie assumed you know who and how important he is. Same goes for Mon Mothma, Grand Moff Tarkin, and several others.
Overall however, Rogue One is a fine addition to the Star Wars saga and gives me new hope (pun intended) that Disney is not going to destroy the franchise as I had feared after The Force Awakens. Watch it!