July 2011

Cowboys and Aliens

by Alan Rapp on July 29, 2011

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Cowboys and Aliens
  • IMDB: link

cowboys-and-aliens-posterIt begins with a cowboy waking up in the desert with no memory of who he is and ends with cowboys and Indians fighting aliens for gold. Yeah, you heard me, gold.

Although I enjoyed it, with a title like Cowboys and Aliens I expected the film to be a little zanier, goofier, and far more of a fun summer popcorn flick. What director Jon Favreau delivers is entertaining, at times, but it also feels unimaginative and uninspired.

After waking up in the desert without any memories, Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) makes his way to the nearest town. Almost immediately he gets into a tussle with the son (Paul Dano) of the town’s wealthiest man (Harrison Ford), is thrown in jail for a train robbery, and shoots down a giant alien spacecraft with a strange metal bracelet attached to his arm. You know, just your everyday activities in the Old West.

When several of the townsfolk are taken Jake is roped into helping rescue them as well as a woman (Abigail Spencer) from his past he thinks may have been taken as well.

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Detective Comics #880

by Alan Rapp on July 28, 2011

in Comics

detective-comics-880-coverSplitting the story between the perspectives of both Batman and Commissioner Gordon, the latest episode gives us a Joker story that’s not really a Joker story at all.

One issue away from the title’s wrap-up before the massive DC reboot writer Scott Snyder continues the story he’s been weaving for months and brings events full circle.

Someone has targeted the Gordon family using an old version of Joker venom. Batman is hot on the heels of the Clown Prince of Crime but discovers, perhaps too late, that the Joker isn’t responsible for the attack on Barbara’s mother or the imminent attack on Barbara herself.

I have mixed feelings with the art in the issue which is especially inconsistent with regards to both Batman and the Joker, but the story itself, including the reveal, works quite well. It looks like Detective Comics is one title DC plans to let go out with a bang.

[DC, $2.99]

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  • Title: Covert Affairs – Welcome to the Occupation
  • tv.com: link

covert-affairs-welccome-to-the-occupation

When seven oil executives are taken hostage in Mexico City, one of whom is a deep undercover CIA operative (Sonya Salomaa) on a time-sensitive mission, Annie (Piper Perabo) is sent down to assess the situation and provide intel for an extraction. Just to makes things a little more interesting, her team includes Joan (Kari Matchett) and Ben Mercer (Eion Bailey).

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  • Title: Franklin & Bash – Bachelor Party
  • tv.com: link

franklin-and-bash-bachelor-party

James Van Der Beek guest-stars on a very special episode of Franklin & Bash as Peter’s (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) ex-girfriend’s (Claire Coffee) current fiance. Why does he need a lawyer you ask? Seems he’s been charged with soliciting a prostitute at his bachelor party. Oh that Dawson Leery, will he never learn? Good thing he’s got Zack Morris to stand up for him in court!

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White Collar – As You Were

by Alan Rapp on July 28, 2011

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: White Collar – As You Were
  • tv.com: link

White Collar - As You Were

A new case hits Jones (Sharif Atkins) close to home when a former friend (Jayson Williams) goes missing after sending him confidential information about the private security force he works for. Things don’t get easier when Jones has to ask his friend’s wife (Rochelle Aytes), a woman to whom he was once engaged, for help.

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Reason #24 Why I Love DS9 – Duet

by Alan Rapp on July 28, 2011

in Top Tens & Lists

  • Title: Star Trek Deep Space Nine – Duet
  • tv.com: link

There are many reasons why I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and why it remains my favorite of the Star Trek franchise.

Reason #36: “Duet”

Like most shows the first season of Deep Space Nine had its ups and downs. With a new show, especially one with as large an ensemble as this one, it always takes a little while to work the kinks out. The fact that one of the show’s best episodes took place during this first season makes it all the more special.

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Chuck versus Comic-Con 2011

by Alan Rapp on July 27, 2011

in Nework & Cable TV News 

  • Title: Chuck
  • tv.com: link

Check out these two videos capturing the cast of Chuck discussing the show’s upcoming fifth (and final) season. During the panel we’ll learn what’s in store for Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), the new role for Morgan Grimes (Joshua Gomez) this year, the naming of the one of the final season’s villains, the possibility of a Morgan & Casey (Adam Baldwin) wacky sitcom spin-off, how everyone wants the show to end, and how Vik Sahay is exactly like Summer Glau. There are spoilers aplenty for those who haven’t seen all of last season but it’s worth a look. Here’s Part One. You’ll find Part Two after the jump.

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DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70’s

by Alan Rapp on July 27, 2011

in Comics

dc-retroactive-batman-70s-coverAs DC Comics looks forward to the future and it’s 52 issue reboot of the DC Universe it also takes a look back with a series of one-shots featuring writers and artists returning the characters and stories they told in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s in an attempt to create new tales in the style of those eras.

The first of these Retoractive titles features Batman as Len Wein returns to the character. The story itself isn’t great. I wasn’t expecting a Joker story but I was hoping to get more than the Terrible Trio, but at least it gives me my favorite Batmobile and that old Batman title logo.

Tom Mandrake does a fair job in his artistic duties by given the issue the layout and feel of a 1970’s Batman title. As with all the Retroactive issues this one also includes a bonus issue from the same period (Batman #307). It’s overpriced and not nearly as good as I was hoping for (but still a damn shade better than pretty awful Flash Retroactive issue). Longtime fans of the character may want to pick this up, but others can give this one a pass (escpecially given the $5 price-tag). For Fans.

[DC, $4.99]

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Daredevil #1

by Alan Rapp on July 27, 2011

in Comics

daredevil-1-coverMarvel’s latest reintroduction of Daredevil features the hero stopping a kidnapping by the Spot at a mobster wedding. Of course, our hero doesn’t leave before kissing the bride.

The comic, much like Matt Murdock himself, is less successful at attempting to reintroduce Murdock’s life now that everyone knows he’s Daredevil even though he still denies it publicly. His response is nothing more than “Am not!” If the choice isn’t to have Murdock embrace the public nature of his less-than-secret identity (as Tony Stark has) some form of retcon seems to be in order.

Although this gray area might provide plenty of ammo to help screw up Murdock’s personal life and his role as a lawyer, his response being nothing more than a blanket denial isn’t going to work for very long (nor should it).

The first issue is a good re-introduction to the character plopping the Murdock right back into his old life (even if it does skirt the consequences of Shadowland). Worth a look.

[Daredevil, $3.99]

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Cinderella: Fables are Forever #6

by Alan Rapp on July 27, 2011

in Comics

cinderella-fables-are-forever-6-coverThe six-issue Fables mini-series concludes with a final confrontation between Cinderella and Dorothy Gale aboard a Zeppelin miles above the Deadly Desert.

We learn that though Dorothy (as a sociopathic mercenary) might be the more dangerous of the two, Cinderella knows how to outwit and opponent rather than just kill one. Cinderella proves there is a difference between a patriot and a mercenary (even if she does have to stoop to Dorothy’s level to get her victory).

Up until this mini-series I’ve never been all that interested in the Fables universe, but writer Chris Roberson has delivered a strong series centered around the idea of Cinderella as a super-spy that’s hard to not like.

Although I think it’s a good that the series was limited to six issues, I wouldn’t mind seeing Cinderella return (preferably without Dorothy) for a new adventure next year. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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