August 2010

Takers lacks Heat

by Alan Rapp on August 27, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Takers
  • IMDB: link

I love heist flicks and I’m usually willing to cut them an awful lot of slack. On my DVD shelf alongside of Heist, To Catch a Thief, and Sneakers, I own copies of The Newton Boys, How to Beat the High Co$t of Living and After the Sunset. When a new heist flick comes along I’m willing to give it several chances to prove itself. After seeing Takers I might have to reevaluate that position.

It took four writers to put Takers together, and it shows. The film is a mediocre mess of both shots and storylines best left of the cutting room floor. I’m sure the attempt here was to merge the coolness of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise (without Clooney, Pitt, and Cheadle) with the feel of Michael Mann’s Heat (without DeNiro, Pacino, and Kilmer). Not surprising, it’s a disaster in every sense of the word.

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Batman #702

by Alan Rapp on August 26, 2010

in Comics

batman-702-coverThe days leading up to Batman’s “death” are finally explored.

See, if you wait long enough Grant Morrison will give you an explanation. Maybe not a great explanation, but at least something. You only need to needlessly wait months until the story in question is long over and it doesn’t really matter anymore.

As it stands the story is a solid one, and downright linear for a Morrison tale, but the real question behind this “Missing Chapter” of Batman R.I.P. is where the hell has it been for all these months?

There are also a couple of really good lines describing Superman, his abilities, and his larger world, from Batman’s point of view. Better late than never, and worth a look.

[DC $2.99]

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Batman Beyond #3

by Alan Rapp on August 22, 2010

in Comics

  • Title: Batman Beyond #3 (of 6)
  • Comic Vine: link
  • Writer: Adam Beechen
  • Artist: Ryan Benjamin

batman-beyond-3-coverThe Hush storyline continues. Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake (well, a amalgam of Drake and Jason Todd) made their way into the Batman Beyond universe along with references to other classic characters and many new versions of heroes.

This issue give us the death of Calendar Man (and not even in his classic costume! sigh) and a growing schism between Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis.

Although I’m still not sure about this new Catwoman, this issue does give me the one thing I always wanted from Batman Beyond – Dick Grayson. And that’s enough for me…as long as they don’t screw it up. Worth a look.

[DC $2.99]

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Hubble 3D

by Alan Rapp on August 20, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Hubble 3D
  • IMDB: link

What is it about space that so captures our imagination? Is it the vastness that seems to becon, almost tease us, upward and outwards to explore its seemly endless wonders, or is it simply how it allows us another perspective in order to see how small and relatively unimportant one tiny blue dot is in the grand scheme of things? Whatever the reason, since man first turned his gaze to the sky we’ve been captivated with that final frontier just outside our grasp.

Since it’s launch two decades ago the Hubble Space Telescope has been responsible for several breakthroughs in the areas of astronomy and an increased understanding of the known universe. The new IMAX documentary Hubble 3D gives us a short history on the telescope, and its early struggles, before exploring the final service mission of to repair the telescope by the Atlantis crew.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

by Alan Rapp on August 13, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  • IMDB: link

scott-pilgrim-nesBryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim relies heavily on video game style and super-hero fantasies built over an emotional story between a slacker Canadian and, quite literally, the girl of his dreams.

Eric and our own alphamonkey have a few words of their own to say on the subject of the new film from director Edgar Wright, so I thought I’d take things to another level putting the film to the test in the form of an old school video game review.

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Batgirl #13

by Alan Rapp on August 12, 2010

in Comics

batgirl-13-coverThis Batgirl is reminding more and more of classic Peter Parker stories, always getting into more trouble than she can handle, but jumping in anyway with a positive attitude and snappy comeback for each situation. We’ve even got the insightful but self-deprecating narration.

This single-issue storyline puts our heroine up against Clayface (who is used very well here) and his attempt to rob a Gotham bank, but not for what you might expect.

Throw in the seamless addition of Proxy (who just might be an okay replacement for Oracle), the early scenes of Batgirl at college, and Stephanie’s conversations with Detective McHandsome (great nickname), and you’ve got yourself a really good read. Definitely worth a look.

[DC $2.99]

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Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1

by Alan Rapp on August 12, 2010

in Comics

green-lantern-emerald-warriors-1-coverUmmm… Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a Green Lantern title featuring Guy Gardner. Especially one where I mercifully don’t have to put up with Kyle Rayner. But does it have to be this comic? More Blackest Night/Brightest Day nonsense? Can’t we just move on, already?

As first issues go there’s nothing remarkable here other than to set up the main story which will involve Guy’s pact with Ganthet and Atrocitus and involve the Unknown Sector (oooh, spooky) of space.

And, surprise surprise, it seems the Red Lantern isn’t to be trusted. Really? Wow, thanks Peter J. Tomasi for spelling that out for me in multiple panels! Yes, it does give you plenty of Guy Gardner in all his glory but the rest…meh. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC $3.99]

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The Other Guys

by Ian T. McFarland on August 6, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Other Guys
  • IMDB: link

In case you weren’t aware, Step Brothers is the greatest achievement ever in cinema ever.

Okay, it’s not. But at the rate that I, a film dork, think back to the Comedy Extroardinaire from Will Ferrell and frequent collaborator writer / director Adam McKay, it certainly would seem to own a spot on AFI’s top hundred. Following up solid laughers Anchorman and Talladega Nights, the McKay / Ferrell team has proved maybe the most bankable in Hollywood when it comes to laughs. If you’ve gone the past six years without someone quoting a Ron Burgundy line to you, it’s because you haven’t talked to anyone the past six years.

And, as a fan of the divisive Step Brothers, I, more than most, was totally excited for McKay and Ferrell’s newest film, The Other Guys. Maybe it’s because of these high expectations, but this fourth film from the duo appears to be the first hiccup, and unfortunately not a small one.

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Red Robin #15

by Alan Rapp on August 5, 2010

in Comics

red-robin-15-coverTim Drake‘s been shot! Or has he? Plenty of twists and turns have been packed into “The Assassination of Tim Drake.” Although I like the idea of showcasing how far Drake will go to protect his legacy I do take some issue with a storyline that has him pretending to be severely injured by a gunshot in an issue that mentions, but doesn’t include, Barbara Gordon. It’s just a little…unseemly.

I’m assuming Babs will weigh-in on this elaborate plan to throw Vicki Vale off the scent of the Bat-family, and I’m hopeful that the moment will be given the time and weight it deserves. At the same time, if he had weighed the effect of such a plan on one of his closest allies and went forward anyway, it does help push Red Robin further into a morally ambiguous gray area which should give plenty of opportunities for new stories. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC $2.99]

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