Once Upon a Time – Heroes and Villains

by Alan Rapp on December 17, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Once Upon a Time – Heroes and Villains
  • wiki: link

Once Upon a Time - Heroes and Villains

After wrapping up the Frozen arc last week, Once Upon a Time‘s mid-season finale bids farewell to both Elsa (Georgina Haig) and Anna (Elizabeth Lail) who return home to reclaim their kingdom, throw a wedding, and eat some chocolate. Of all the casting choices the show has made over its four seasons Haig and Lail are arguably the best at creating living versions of their animated counterparts. With that arc wrapped-up, the show turns its attention back to Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) who only moments before achieving everything he’s ever desired sees it all slip from his grasp as Belle (Emilie de Ravin) banishes her power-mad husband from Storybrooke forever (or at least until the show returns from mid-season hiatus).

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Ooh La La, It’s Barbara Palvin in Paris

by Alan Rapp on December 17, 2014

in Books & Magazines

Barbara Palvin - L'Officiel Paris Magazine (January 2015)

Hungarian model Barbara Palvin can be found in the January issue of L’Officiel Paris Magazine. View the pics from her photo shoot inside.

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The Hobbit: Thank God It’s Finally Over

by Alan Rapp on December 17, 2014

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • IMDB: link

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesPeter Jackson returns to give us the third (and thankfully final) installment of his bloated adaptation of a 300-page children’s book. As with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the best things about the final entry to the franchise are Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Benedict Cumberbatch providing the voice of Smaug. However, Smaug’s story ends fairly quickly (despite what the movie posters would have you believe he’s on-screen for all of 20 minutes) and the series by this point is so packed with characters (five separate armies worth) Lilly gets far-less screentime than you’d want from the movie’s most interesting character.

Since the Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers Jackson’s adaptations of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien have been a series of diminishing returns with a few bright spots (such as Smaug) that are increasingly obscured by the same CGI ogre action scenes and small character moments all of which have been done better in the previous films. And the stories aren’t easily wrapped up as Jackson continues his plodding pacing to fill yet another two-and-a-half-hour film. I enjoyed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I’ve liked moments from the three separate Hobbit films, but oh my God am I thankful it’s finally over.

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  • Title: The Librarians – And the Horns of a Dilemma
  • IMDb: link

The Librarians - And the Horns of a Dilemma

The series’ first episode without Flynn Carson (Noah Wyle) struggles a bit as the Librarians-in-Training go after an evil corporation which has recreated the maze of the Minotaur under its offices. Wyle’s abscence leaves the show without a central character to focus the adventure around as Eve (Rebecca Romijn) has her hands full in just keeping her charges alive and the distrust between Jake (Christian Kane) and Cassandra (Lindy Booth) continues to fester.

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Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #5

by Alan Rapp on December 16, 2014

in Comics

Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #5Setting up the mini-series finale next month, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #5 brings Buichi Kubo to the land of the Komori Ninja Clan as old enemies will put aside their differences to work together to take on the invading aliens and their tripods of destruction.

Although there’s plenty of action, we don’t get as much of Usagi Yojimbo in this issue as the majority of the the issue focuses on the kamakaze attack of the Komori and samurai and most of the final few pages deals with Lord Noriyuki attempting to convince the Shogun’s emissary Minister Hina of an unconventional plan to destroy the last of the alien invaders.

As Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #5 comes to a close it teases us with what writer/artist Stan Sakai has in mind for the finale as everything involving the alien destruction has led to the creation of a weapon powerful enough to take on the enemy. That last panel is amazing! I can’t wait to see it unleashed! Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.99]

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Atlantis – The Day of the Dead

by Alan Rapp on December 16, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Atlantis – The Day of the Dead
  • wiki: link

Atlantis - The Day of the Dead

Atlantis has zombies! Who knew? Picking up where the “The Marriage of True Minds” left off, the latest episode sees Jason (Jack Donnelly) make an uneasily alliance with Medea (Amy Manson) after their tumble down the pit leaves them surrounded by zombie soldiers raised from the dead by Pasiphae‘s (Sarah Parish) curse. His decision to trust his queen’s enemy, however, may well lead to the biggest regret of the champion’s life.

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Hawaii Five-0 – Ke Koho Mamao Aku

by Alan Rapp on December 15, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Hawaii Five-0 – Ke Koho Mamao Aku
  • wiki: link

Hawaii Five-0 - Ke Koho Mamao Aku

When a rodeo cowboy dies on a Martian training facility Five-0 is called in to investigate in an episode that takes the opportunity to explore some more exotic locales of the Hawaiian Islands including HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) and Kalapana Lava Gardens. Eventually the investigation uncovers a connection to a missing prized race horse whose worth it turns out is more than enough to kill for.

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Covert Affairs – Frontforwards

by Alan Rapp on December 15, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Covert Affairs – Frontforwards
  • wiki: link

Covert Affairs - Frontforwards

Hoping to beat Aleksandre Belenko (Shawn Dowyle) to the only surviving member of Auggie‘s (Christopher Gorham) unit he hasn’t tortured and/or killed, Annie (Piper Perabo), Auggie, and McQuaid (Nic Bishop) head to Buenos Aires. Finding former CIA Agent James Decker (Kenny Johnson) in prison and discovering Belenko has used them to discover the location of his illusive prey, the three put their heads together to come up with a quick and dirty prison break scenario to get the former CIA agent of out prison before Belenko’s men can find him.

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48th Loutzenhiser Award Winners

by Alan Rapp on December 15, 2014

in Film News & Trailers

Birdman

Last night the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, a group which I’ve been proud to be a member for several years, met to discuss and honor the films of 2014. Handing out awards in 12 different categories the night’s big winner was Birdman taking home Best Picture, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), and Best Original Screenplay.

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Detective Comics #37

by Alan Rapp on December 15, 2014

in Comics

Detective Comics #37After taking down a delusional Mad Hatter, Batman turns his attention to a crime that Harvey Bullock has been persuing for weeks without any real leads other than graffiti left as a signature for each crime. The death of a Wayne Enterprises’ executive brings the detective and Batman both to Wayne Tower just in time to discover what explosive situation Anarky has left for them.

After a couple of months off, Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul return to Detective Comics with the opening of this new arc. I’ve never been a huge Anarky fan, but the villain does have his uses especially if (as this issue suggests) this is the first time he’s been active in Gotham City.

The method which the super-villain uses to turn the office building into a bomb works (at least for a Batman comic book), although we still don’t know why he has chosen to target a building full of Bruce Wayne’s employees or what Anarky’s end game might be. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

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