April 2011

Fast Five

by Alan Rapp on April 29, 2011

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Fast Five
  • IMDB: link

fast-five-posterThere’s insane and then there’s INSANE. Every time I thought the latest edition of The Fast and the Furious franchise had hit the limits of insanity they proved me wrong and found new ways to defy logic, common sense, and basic laws of nature. There’s a scene in last summer big-budget version of The A-Team where the team attempts to fly a tank that is falling through the air. The last twenty-minutes or so of Fast Five feel a lot like that.

With the exception of Michelle Rodriguez (whose character was killed off in the last installment), Fast Five brings together all the major characters of each of the films and picks up right where Fast & Furious left off with springing Turetto (Vin Diesel) from a prison bus.

Fast Five also gives us a new lawman. After the team is framed from the murder of two Federal Agents (because hunting them down for crimes they actually committed would be silly) the US Government sends the best to bring them in – Dwayne “Now that I’m back in the WWE you can call me The Rock again” Johnson.

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Harry Potter and the final trailer

by Alan Rapp on April 28, 2011

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • IMDB: link

The end is nigh! Check out the trailer for the final film in the Harry Potter franchise featuring Harry’s (Daniel Radcliffe) final confrontation with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his unresolved homosexual feelings towards Ronald Weasley (Rupert Grint). Okay, I might be making the second part up. Emma WatsonHelena Bonham CarterGary OldmanTom Felton, Bonnie Wright, and Alan Rickman all return as well. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hits theaters everywhere on July 15th.

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Power Girl #23

by Alan Rapp on April 27, 2011

in Comics

  • Title: Power Girl #23
  • Comic Vine: link
  • Writer:Judd Winick
  • Artist:Sam Basri

power-girl-23-coverSuperman and Power Girl finally discover who’s behind the magic dinosaurs rampaging across the city. Problem is, it’s Zatanna.

Okay, it’s not actually Zatanna. It’s a magic-stealing douchebag (I believe that’s the clinical term for his condition) who is trying to copy Zatanna’s powers and incorporate them into his own. Let’s just say Zatanna, Power Girl, and Superman might have something to say about that.

Also in this issue we finally see Power Girl’s new, and safe for public consumption, alter-ego Karen Starr. Despite the risks Power Girl has decided to go public in her other, less-super, identity, but she has made a few changes to help disguise the buxom blonde-haired super-woman from the public.

It’s not a great issue, but it does have magic dinosaurs and a pretty good appearance by Zatanna (who keeps to my rule that she’s far more interesting guest-starring in other books than in her own current monthly title). Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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Darkwing Duck #11

by Alan Rapp on April 27, 2011

in Comics

darkwing-duck-11-coverAlthough it might not be as good as last month’s issue (which was the best issue of the series so far – and one of the best comics I’ve read in 2011), this one’s still brings the fun as Darkwing Duck, Steelbeak, and Femme Appeal make their way through the secret fortress of F.O.W.L.

The issue spends quite a bit of its time wrapping up of the cool ideas and story elements introduced in issue #10, including the giant robotic Walrus and Gosalyn and Honker‘s confrontation with Ammonia Pine, before giving us an inevitable betrayal that leaves our hero at the mercy of Duckthulu (who has converted most of St. Canard into his mindless zombies – including Launchpad).

We’ll have to wait another month for the conclusion of the Duckthulu arc. I’ve enjoyed this storyline, but I’m ready for a new story arc. Even if this issue can’t quite live up to the insane level of awesome of last month it’s still definitely worth a look.

[Boom, $3.99]

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First Look – The Avengers

by Alan Rapp on April 27, 2011

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: The Avengers
  • IMDB: link

Here’s a pretty pic from the set of The Avengers, which believe it or not has finally started shooting. After the jump you’ll also find a letter from director Joss Whedon to the fans.

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Super Dinosaur #1

by Alan Rapp on April 26, 2011

in Comics

super-dinosaur-1-coverOkay, it’s a comic book entitled Super Dinosaur about a super-smart kid and his best pal who just so happens to be a smallish nine-foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex in robot armor who helps save the world. What’s not to like?

The comic centers around Derek Dynamo, the son of struggling uber inventor and discoverer of “Inner Earth’ (a hidden world in the center of the Earth where dinosaurs still exist) – Doctor Dynamo. Making modifications to his father’s work Derek and Super Dinosaur work together to to the legion of dinosaurs under the control of evil scientist Max Maximus from grabbing control of the powerful, and dangerous, DynOre.

Okay, so it’s not Shakespeare. What it is, however, is fun! This series regathers the team of writer Robert Kirkman and artist Jason Howard who gave us The Astounding Wolf-Man. This comic has much the same feel (including the possibility of the fun being weighed down at times by somewhat shaky storylines). If you liked Astounding Wolf-Man, which I did, then this one should be right up your alley.

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The Spirit #13

by Alan Rapp on April 26, 2011

in Comics

the-spirit-13-coverThe three-part storyline featuring “The Professor” (a villain who uses toys, robots, and automotons to kill – think the Toyman only creepier) concludes. Once again it’s Ellen Dolan who steps up to save the The Spirit by destroying a robot created in her likeness.

This issue has all kinds of creepy sexual undertones (as to how the Professor planned to use this copy of Ellen Dolan), but it’s also balanced with tension, mystery, and fun which makes sure it never becomes too unseemly.

Although the epilogue makes sure we’ll never see the character of the Professor again, which I’m a little sad about, it’s the right choice. Writer David Hine foreshadowed the tragic end of the character over the course of the last couple of issues and presents us with a moral to the story: Never scorn a woman, even a robotic one.

The Professor may have been defeated, but the man who hired him, New York gang boss Shonder Zeev, is still out there. We’ll have to see how this larger storyline plays out over the next few issues. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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Coming Soon

by Alan Rapp on April 26, 2011

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: Another Earth
  • IMDB: link

Written and directed by Mike Cahill, Another Earth earned a standing ovation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In the film, the discovery of an alternate planet Earth will effect the lives of a young astrophysics student (Brit Marling) and a composer (William Mapother) who are linked by one tragic night. Jordan BakerFlint Beverage, and Robin Taylor also star. Start looking for this one when it hits theaters on July 20th.

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Avengers #12

by Alan Rapp on April 25, 2011

in Comics

avengers-12-coverThe final issue of the Infinity Gauntlet story arc begins and ends with a little slight of hand. Personally, I would have liked the Thanos storyline to play out in a different way, but what we get here certainly works (even if it is slightly disappointing).

We also get all the Infinity Gems joined together for the first time in years and under the control of a single master – Iron Man. Once all the gems are assembled together Stark faces the same dilemma of everyone who has worn the gauntlet – do I use this power to fix the world? Although not that surprising, his conclusion is dramatically well told and does line up with Stark’s personality. There’s no question, this is the choice he would make.

In the end the Hood goes back to jail, the Red Hulk becomes a permanent member of the Avengers, and we see Steve Rogers making a compromise he wouldn’t have made three or four years ago. It may not be as good as the last issue, but it’s still worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Coming Soon

by Alan Rapp on April 25, 2011

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: 30 Minutes or Less
  • IMDB: link

Jesse Eisenberg reteams with Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer in this dark comedy about a pizza boy (Eisenberg) and his best friend (Aziz Ansari)  who are forced to rob a bank by a pair of criminals (Danny McBrideNick Swardson) who strap a bomb to the pizza boy’s chest. Bianca KajlichMichael PeñaFred Ward, and Dilshad Vadsaria also star.  The insanity begins on August 12th in theaters everywhere. NOTE: This is the red band trailer, so be warned it is NSFW.

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