September 2012

The Flash #0

by Alan Rapp on September 29, 2012

in Comics

the-flash-new-52-0-coverAlthough not all DC’s Zero Issues have been actual origin tales (which is weird, because I thought that was the point?), Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato deliver just that in this retelling of the Flash‘s origin, the accident that gifted a police scientist with super-speed, and Barry’s Allen’s first adventure as the Scarlet Speedster.

For those familiar with Barry Allen, especially writer Geoff Johnsrecent retelling his origin which introduces the idea of the unsolved murder of his mother which drove Barry to become a cop, there’s no much new. However, the use of Barry’s father as the man, innocent or not, convicted of her murder is worth noting. As is Barry’s obsession with proving his innocence.

Flash #0 also gives us the lighting strike which gifted Barry with his super-speed (thankfully the New 52 doesn’t figure out a way to “improve” the classic retelling the way they screwed up Captain Marvel), Barry’s creation of the suit which fits in his ring, and his first action all clad in red and yellow. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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  • Title: The Big Bang Theory – The Date Night Variable
  • tv.com: link

big-bang-theory-date-night-variable

The show’s Sixth Season premiere (holy crap, has this show really been on the air five full seasons?) gives us three fights, two dates, and one interloper. Dreading his contractual obligation to an anniversary date night with Amy (Mayim Bialik), Sheldon (Jim Parsons) enlists the help of the group’s lonely third wheel – Raj (Kunal Nayyar). Meanwhile Leonard (Johnny Galecki) tries to get Penny (Kaley Cuoco) to discuss the status of their relationship under the guise of a low-key night of all her favorites.

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Cute, but not exactly Pitch Perfect

by Alan Rapp on September 28, 2012

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Pitch Perfect
  • IMDB: link

“I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“But you have fruit punch and Rocky!”

pitch-perfect-posterCashing in on the success of Glee, Pitch Perfect takes viewers on the wacky ride of competitive a capella competition. Based on the book by Mickey Rapkin which examined the real-life underground subculture of competitive collegiate a cappella groups at three separate universities, Pitch Perfect desperately wants a to be a celebratory parody for college choirs in the same way Bring It On was for cheerleading. Sadly, nowhere near as clever, Pitch Perfect plays much more like one of Bring It On‘s straight-to-video sequels.

Anna Kendrick stars as Beca, a disgruntled college freshman whose father (John Benjamin Hickey), a professor at the university, is forcing her to get an education (what a dick, right?) when all she wants to do is head to New York and begin a career as a DJ. Making a deal to give college life a try, Beca begins working at the college radio station and is pressured into signing up for The Barden Bellas, an all female singing group, by an upperclassman (Brittany Snow) who hears Beca singing in the shower (and jumps in to sing along with her in one of the film’s more awkward scenes).

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Hotel for Monsters

by Alan Rapp on September 28, 2012

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Hotel Transylvania
  • IMDB: link

hotel-transylvania-posterI usually enjoy animated films in all shapes and sizes, but I can sum up my heightened interest for Hotel Transylvania in two words – Genndy Tartakovsky. For those who don’t recognize the name, Tartakovsky is responsible for creating Dexter’s Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and a little slice of awesome known as Samurai Jack. Tartakovsky also help produce The Powerpuff Girls (and write my favorite episode of the series).

Although Hotel Transylvania isn’t Tartakovsky’s creation, you can certainly see his fingerprints all over the film in a script he helped punch-up and his influence to push the movie towards a more high-energy animation style resembling Tex Avery’s classic cartoons. The result is a fast-paced, zany comedy with just enough of the director’s deft touches and humor to make it stand-out from more generic animated fare. At times the film certainly panders with obvious (and even cheap) jokes for the kids, but Tartakovsky’s take on a hotel for monsters is better than it has any right to be and should satisfy kids and most adults as well.

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Looper

by Alan Rapp on September 28, 2012

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Looper
  • IMDB: link

looper-posterWritten and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom), Looper gives us a time travel story that focuses on how far a man will go to protect his future, and how far the world will go to stop him. In the year 2072 time travel has been outlawed but is still used by gangsters and shady corporate big wigs who send their victims back in time to be killed in the days before the invention of time travel by hired assassins known as Loopers, thus creating the perfect crime.

The film centers around the actions of a single Looper named Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose largely empty life is filled by bad diner coffee, learning French, doing lots of drugs, shooting hooded strangers who suddenly appear in an empty field and disposing of their bodies, and carrying a torch for a stripper (an alluring, and scantily clad, Piper Perabo) who cares only for his money. In other words, his life is perfect (for what he wants out of life – money, women, and drugs), at least until the arrival of his Loop (Bruce Willis) derails his entire future.

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