September 2010

Superman/Batman #76

by Alan Rapp on September 30, 2010

in Comics

  • Title: Superman/Batman #76
  • Comic Vine: link

For a comic that boasts the names of two of DC Comics most famous heroes in it’s name Superman/Batman has been largely forgettable. There are several reasons for this which include so-so storytelling, hit-and-miss art, and the fact it takes place outside of DC’s continuity.

With issue #76 writer Judd Winick puts Dick Grayson under the cowl for the first time. The story begins just after Final Crisis and runs, roughly, up to the present. That’s quite a bit of ground to cover. Given that, the result is a bit mixed.

On the plus side the story gives us Superman’s perspective on the death of his friend in some pretty well-written scenes between Supes and Lois, and later with Wonder Woman, and (more than a few) shots of the Man of Steel staring into space. There’s also a very human, if completely un-characteristic moment when Superman sees Dick in the Bat-suit for the first time. It works, but it’s a little heavy-handed for my tastes.

For an issue of this title it’s one of the best, but that’s not saying much. Aside from a panel here and there (such as Batman being brought back to the Batcave) I’m not that impressed with the art by Eddie Berganza who can’t seem to draw Superman the same way in any two panels (there was even one panel I thought he was weaving Superboy into the story for a moment!), or draw him significantly different than anyone else with dark hair seen here. That said, it’s a story that should be told as well as read. Worth a look.

[DC $2.99]

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Human Target – The Complete First Season

by Alan Rapp on September 27, 2010

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Human Target : The Complete First Season
  • tv.com: link

Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) is a former assassin who now works to save lives as a security specialist by blending into the background, diagnosing a threat, and eliminating it.

Along with former police detective Laverne Winston (Chi McBride) and the unscrupulous Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley), our hero tries to protect various clients by putting himself in harms way. The series is loosely based on the Vertigo Comics series about a detective/bodyguard who assumes the identity of the target as a master-of-disguise (which isn’t a skill set of the TV-character).

[click to continue…]

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Deadpool Team-Up #889

by Alan Rapp on September 26, 2010

in Comics

  • Title: Deadpool Team-Up #889
  • Comic Vine: link

Is that Deadpool, in a tank, chasing a talking gorilla, across an isolated island in the middle of nowhere? Why yes, I believe it is!

Seriously, what else do you need to know? Not enough? Hmm… what if I told you the next scene involves Gorilla Man in a giant suit of armor bashing the tank in and… oh, don’t want to give too much away now do I? (But one scene does involving Deadpool lassoing a pterodactyl).

The latest team-up pits Deadpool and Gorilla Man against each other by a beautiful damsel in distress who, it turns out, may not actually be in distress, or beautiful, or, in fact, a damsel. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

[Marvel $2.99]

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Darkwing Duck #4

by Alan Rapp on September 26, 2010

in Comics

  • Title: Darkwing Duck #4
  • Comic Vine: link

Darkwing Duck‘s return to crime-fighting continues in an issue filled to the brim with baddies (Megavolt, Bushroot, Quackerjack, The Liquidator, and Taurus Bulba), surprises (guard dogs riding guard flamingos, an appearance of the GizmoDuck armor under the the command of Gosalyn), action aplenty, and even a cameo by Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews.

All in all, not too shabby. Oh, and did I mention we finally get an appearance of NegaDuck, too? Darkwing and the gang save the day, but it appears more evil is lurking in the shadows. Worth a look.

[BOOM! $3.99]

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Castle: The Complete Second Season

by Alan Rapp on September 23, 2010

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Castle: The Complete Second Season
  • tv.com: link

Mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) returns for another season to shadow, and bother, NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) in the second season of Castle. (Read the first season review here.)

Highlights from the season include the publication of Castle’s first Nikki Heatnovel “Heat Wave,” vampires, the “best case ever” concerning a dead con man who may, or may not, be dead (and may, or may not, be a secret CIA agent), models, a dominatrix (Dina Meyer), a missing bullet, a two-parter involving a serial killer obsessed with Nikki Heat, a murdered bigamist, a Mayan curse, a new boyfriend for Beckett (Michael Trucco), and Alyssa Milano guest-stars as Castle’s long-lost love, and the one who got away, in A Rose for Everafter.

The five-disc set includes all 24 episodes from season two as well as a short collection of extras including a set tour from the show’s sidekick detectives Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas, bloopers and deleted scenes, Fillion spending some time with various members of the cast and crew while on a location shoot, a featurette giving credit to those who play the many, many dead bodies seen on the show, and a pair of music videos from the episode “Famous Last Words.”

Would I like some commentary, or a pre-packapged t-shirt? Sure, but for less than $2 an episode you could do far worse than pick up another season of Castle on DVD.

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The Event

by Alan Rapp on September 22, 2010

in Nework & Cable TV News 

  • Title: The Event – I Haven’t Told You Everything
  • tv.com: link

Okay, let’s get this straight, NBC’s premiere of The Event was far from the mind-boggling, life-changing, epic TV-event that the network promised. Less than halfway through the first episode I’d already made a couple of educated guesses as to what the show is really about. The show definitely amped-up the tension, but for all of its cockteasing it told a very fractured, and only mildly interesting, story. You can check out the big secret ending below or watch from the beginning. I may give it a week or two but I’m very much in doubt that this one will live up to the hype.

The Event – I Haven’t Told You Everything

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Castle – A Deadly Affair

by Alan Rapp on September 22, 2010

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Castle – A Deadly Affair
  • tv.com: link

Crime novelist Rick Castle and Detective Kate Beckett are back from their summer break, and I couldn’t be happier. Nathan Fillion is perfectly cast as the smug mystery novelist, and Stana Katic is just the right mix of smart and sexy. My only complaint with last season was the late swerve that kept them from getting together in the finale. Maybe this year? (I won’t hold my breath.) Anywho, the third season’s opener finds Castle in the doghouse with the NYPD and even arrested for murder. Take a look.

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The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season

by Alan Rapp on September 21, 2010

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season
  • tv.com: link

This season finally puts Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) toghether in a real relationship as well as giving Jim Parsons plenty of fun crazy to play as Doctor Sheldon Cooper. (Sorry, Sheldon’s not crazy. His mother had him tested.) Parsons even took home the Emmy for Best Actor for this season.

Season Three also includes a trip to the emergency room, two appearances by Sheldon’s arch-nemesis Wil Wheaton, Howard (Simon Helberg) gets a girlfriend (Melissa Rauch) and gets a fantasy visit from Katee Sackhoff, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) faces possible deportation, the one ring to rule them all, Sheldon’s short stint working at the Cheesecake Factory, and we finally get the story of how Leonard and Sheldon met.

In terms of extras the three-disc set is a little light but the third disc does include a set tour and a disciussion of the show’s third season by the show’s creators over dinner. The version I picked up also included a “Bazinga t-shirt” for the same price. (I wish other DVD-sets would do this!)

Fans of the show’s nerdy humor should enjoy this season which includes several memorable moments and some fun scenes of my favorite relationship on the show between Sheldon and Penny (such as this one) as well.

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Chuck Versus the Anniversary

by Alan Rapp on September 21, 2010

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Chuck – Chuck Versus the Anniversary
  • tv.com: link

Team Bartowski returned last night with a mission to Moscow, the search for Chuck‘s mother, and a surprise announcement from Ellie. Oh, and they brought along a few guest-stars including Dolph Lundgren, Olivia Munn, and Linda Hamilton as the missing Mrs. Bartowski. Not a bad way to start off your fourth season.

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Glee: Road to Regionals

by Alan Rapp on September 20, 2010

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Glee: Season One, Vol. 2 – Road to Regionals
  • tv.com: link

New love. Old enemies. Madonna. Kiss. Olivia Newton-John. Gaga. And the Journey (at least this step) comes to an end. We even get a little Vanilla Ice, a “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” a “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. What more could you ask?

The second-half of Glee‘s first season includes some memorable numbers and a strong finale. Highlights include the Joss Whedon directed episode “Dream On” with Neil Patrick Harris, the very funny music videos for “Run Joey Run” and “Vogue,” and the Rick Springfield song I should have seen coming but still surprised me.

This three-disc set includes a small group of featurettes on the costumes and choreography of the show as well as the creation of the Madonna episode and Vocal Adrenaline’s big number. The best feature, however, is the Glee Jukebox which allows you to watch just the musical numbers from all of the nine episodes.

There are a couple stumbling blocks along the way. Rachel’s (Lea Michele) relationship to rival Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) both begins and ends more abruptly than I’d like, the storyline involving Rachel’s mother (Idina Menzel), while strong, feels a little rushed, and I’m not the biggest fan of the musical choices for “Funk.” Even with these small complaints the second volume is solid and definitely worth picking up.

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