October 2010

Comic Rack

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2010

in Comics

It’s a new week so it must be time to talk about comics! Welcome to the RazorFine Comic Rack boys and girls. Pull up a bean bag and take a seat at feet of the master as we offer you this quick list of all kinds of comic book goodness set to hit comic shops and bookstores this week from all your favorite publishers including DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, BOOM!, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes Amazing Spider-Man, Authority, Batman & Robin, Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Cowboy Ninja Viking, G.I. JOE, Invincible, Irredeemable, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, Secret Six, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Veronica, the first issues of Captain America: Man Out Of Time, DC Comics Presents The Flash Green Lantern: Faster Friends, Hawkeye & Mockingbird, Iron Man/Thor, Supeboy, Tron Original Movie Adaptation, Warriors Three, and the final issues of Red Hood: Lost Days, Tom Strong and the Robots Of Doom, Unknown Soldier and Young Allies.

Enjoy issue #103
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Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2010

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
  • IMDB: link

DC Comics and Warner Premiere’s follow up to Superman/Batman: Public Enemies improves on some of the flaws of the earlier film but still struggles to turn a comic arc from the Superman/Batman comic into a animated film.

The story picks up weeks after the events of Public Enemies when a meteroite lands in Gotham Harbor containing a confused female Kryptonian who causes havoc throughout the city before Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Superman (Tim Daly) stop her and realize she’s Kara Zor-El (Summer Glau), Superman’s cousin.

The story gets a little fragmented here as Kara’s attempts to make a home for herself in the Fortress of Solitude, Metropolis, Themyscira, Apokolips, and Smallville all end in destruction. Things aren’t helped by Darkseid‘s (Andre Braugher) army of Doomsday clones (feel free to groan your way through this part of the story, I know I did), her kidnapping and brief stay on Apokolips, before returning to Earth and finally taking up the mantle of Supergirl.

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Teen Titans #88

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2010

in Comics

I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve picked up a Teen Titans comic, but it’s been awhile. This latest new beginning entitled “Team Building” is a good place for new readers to jump in. The team consists of Wonder Girl, Superboy, Kid Flash, Ravager, Beast Boy, Raven, and, if the final panels are to be believed Robin. (Please, oh please, let Damian stay on this team!)

The comic starts out with the team taking on zombie sewer creatures, but the meat of the comic comes inside Titans Tower and the interactions between various members. Those who have been reading the comic on a regular basis might feel like not enough happens here (other than the tease of Damian’s involvement), but for new readers this is a good story that gives you important nuggets of information about the various members and their relationships.

And it doesn’t hurt that it sports a cool cover and inside art from Nicola Scott whose work I loved (and miss) in Secret Six. This one’s definitely worth a look.

[DC $3.99]

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Delivered with Conviction

by Alan Rapp on October 29, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Conviction
  • IMDB: link

Conviction is based on a true story about a man (Sam Rockwell) wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a murder he did not commit. His sister (Hilary Swank), beginning her quest without even a high school diploma, spends the next several years of her life raising her two sons and struggling through college and law school to become the lawyer her brother needs. What may sound like a bad TV-movie of the week turns out to be so much more.

Screenwiter Pamela Gray and dirctor Tony Goldwyn deserve a fair amount of credit for finding a way to share this story without over-simplifying events or falling into an all too easy trap of caricature and cliché.

The film’s central core is the relationship between a brother and sister who love, rely, protect and never give up on each other. It’s the strong performances of Swank and Rockwell (as well as Bailee Madison and Tobias Campbell as their younger selves) that grounds the film as a compelling drama rather than just a feel good story about one woman’s fight against insurmountable odds.

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Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Oracle

by Alan Rapp on October 28, 2010

in Comics

The Insider and Oracle attempt to keep Vicki Vale alive before Ra’s al Ghul‘s hit squad (The Seven Men of Death) permanently silences the reporter. Oracle sends the reserves into battle (Batgirl, Manhunter, Man-Bat, Ragman, Hawk and Dove) while the once-and-future Batman tries to keep the nosy reporter alive.

Most of the action works pretty well, even if we are dealing with baddies not really worth caring about (and a few heroes which you could say the same). Although I’m glad for its inclusion, I wish the flashback to the days after Barbara Gordon was shot, including Bruce visiting her in the hospital and a quick montage of her training for her new role as Oracle, were handled a little better.

On the positive side, we do get 32 pages for $3 (not too shabby) and I am glad that this issue lets Barbara correctly recognize and identify Bruce (even if it does take her more pages than I’d like). The ending leads us to a big showdown between Bruce and Ra’s in the final “Bruce Wayne: The Road Home” One-shot.

[DC $2.99]

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  • Title: Tron: Legacy
  • IMDB: link

Featuring scenes from the upcoming film Tron Legacy, here’s Grammy Award-winning electronic music duo Daft Punk‘s “Derezzed” Music Montage from the film’s official motion picture soundtrack.

TRON: LEGACY – Daft Punk’s “Derezzed”

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Sherlock

by Alan Rapp on October 28, 2010

in DVD Reviews , Television Reviews 

  • Title: Sherlock – The Complete First Season
  • tv.com: link

“Do people usually assume you’re the murderer?”
“Now and then, yes.”

Created by former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock takes the famous detective out of Victorian London and into modern day. The first season is currently playing in America on PBS and is available on blu-ray and DVD.

The three episode first season begins with the meeting of Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) in a loose adaptation of “A Study in Scarlet” titled “A Study in Pink.” Aside from introducing the characters to us, and each other, this first episode begins the Holmes and Watson partnership as the pair hunt down a killer on the streets of London.

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Kick-Ass 2 #1 (of 6)

by Alan Rapp on October 27, 2010

in Comics

The sequel to Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.’s comic about a geeky teen turned super-hero begins here.

In a questionable choice, Millar plays with events just enough that both those who came in from either reading the first series or seeing the feature film adaptation will both be up to speed. Mark isn’t with Katie, but Mindy is living with Marcus (as the film suggested) and not with her mother (as told at the end of the first mini-series).

If the first series was about solitary heroes, this new story arc seems to be about teams. Here Mark meets new heroes who have formed their own kind of league (and we get flashes of a promised big epic super-team good vs. evil throwdown in Times Square).

It’s a solid first issue and the look and voice of the characters remain, but… For a comic called Kick-Ass this one doesn’t really. I’m sure there’s plenty of that to come, but this first issue is far more introspection than action, and those wanting to get to the good stuff will have to wait at least one more issue.

[Marvel $2.99]

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Chuck vs. the Aisle of Terror

by Alan Rapp on October 26, 2010

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Chuck – Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror
  • tv.com: link

This episode reunites Chuck (Zachary Levi) with his long lost mother (Linda Hamilton), who claims to be a deepcover double-agent. Frost proposes to help the CIA recover a terror-inducing nerve toxin to prove her loyalty. The result? Chuck gets shot in the heart (literally). And that’s just the beginning.

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The Lorax is coming to the big screen

by Alan Rapp on October 26, 2010

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: The Lorax
  • IMDB: link

It seems every few years Hollywood execs get together to delute a beloved Dr. Seuss tale with an overly long, often insipid, adaptation. (Anyone remember How the Grinch Stole Christmas?) Critics bemoan, audiences are split, and the film is quickly forgotten… until the process begins again a couple of years later. (Anyone remember The Cat in the Hat?)

The tale of The Lorax is my favorite Seuss story. I have very mixed feelings for the animated adaptation that lengthens the original tale and throws in some unnecessary song and dance numbers to what is a moral lesson concerning the effects of unchecked industrialization and greed on nature and the environment. I’m even less sure of a full-length feature starring Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Zac Efron, and Danny DeVito as the voice of the Lorax.

If not ruined, embellished, dumbed-down, or lengthened and stretched too far, the tale could give us a great fable with a lesson every more important today than when the book was first published. Then again, it could be The Cat and the Hat all over again.

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