October 2012

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Disney Style

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2012

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  • IMDB: link

With a hip hip and a clippity clop, He’s out looking for a head to swap, But don’t try to figure out a plan, You can’t reason with a headless man.

adventures-of-ichabod-and-mr-toadThere are numerous holiday specials, mostly Christmas inspired, but a small collection of really good Halloween cartoons. Many fondly remember It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown from their childhood, which I’ll admit also has a fond place in my heart, but my favorite Halloween cartoon was a Disney short that was inspired by Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

As our story opens the nerdy new school teacher, Ichabod Crane, arrives in the small New England town. Although Ichabod is soon popular with the ladies for his manners, training, and knowledge of books, even catching the eye of town beauty Katrina Van Tassel, he’s far less liked by the town’s rough-and-tumble man’s man Brom Bones. 

Not willing lose a girl like Katrina to a man like Ichabod Crane, Bones decides to prove Crane’s cowardice and scare him by telling the story of the Headless Horseman who haunts the local woods looking for a new head. Ichabod is thoroughly frightened and his night horse ride home has him seeing ghosts and specters at every bend and turn.

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Covert Affairs – Man in the Middle

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2012

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Covert Affairs – Man in the Middle
  • tv.com: link

covert-affairs-man-in-the-middle

After learning about a potential terrorist meeting from Eyal (Oded Fehr), Annie (Piper Perabo) puts her career on the line to turn an asset and discover the truth in the next twelve hours. Joan’s (Kari Matchett) concerns about the validity of the intelligence and Annie’s recent decision making forces our protagonist to go over Joan’s head and present her plan directly to Arthur (Peter Gallagher) to turn the girlfriend, a Staff Director for the House Energy and Commerce Committee (Michelle Nolden), of a State Department protected Middle East asset (Haaz Sleiman) in order to prove that he’s funding terrorist activities.

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Coming Soon

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2012

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: Comes a Bright Day
  • IMDB: link

Written and directed by Simon AboudCraig Roberts and Imogen Poots star in this romantic thriller set during the robbery of  London jewelry store. Kevin McKiddTimothy SpallGeoff BellJosef AltinAnthony Welsh, and Ben Cura also star. Comes a Bright Day opened in the UK in July but does not yet have a US release date.

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National Comics: Madame X

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2012

in Comics

national-comics-madame-x-one-shot-coverOriginally created back in 1978, Madame Xanadu has moved around the periphery of the DCU for years, sometimes helping others and sometimes further her own ends. The character was reintroduced in the New 52 as a supporting character in Justice League Dark and now earns her own one-shot with National Comics: Madame X (a title referring to DC Comics‘ former name).

The new version of the character, with her name shortened to Madame X, works as a magical consultant for the mayor of New Orleans after briefly using her gifts for fame which destroyed both her life and her reputation. (I’m guessing somebody at DC really likes The Mentallist.)

The one-shot features Madam X brought in to solve a case involving the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans (who’s not really a voodoo queen), a zombie (who’s not really a zombie), and the murder of a local councilman.

The comic’s not bad, but certainly nothing special. And with a $4 price tag, it probably will appeal to only longtime fans of the character. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $3.99]

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  • Title: Community – Season Four
  • tv.com: link

CommunityFebruary 7th is the new October 19th, at least according to Community‘s Yvette Nicole Brown who tweeted early yesterday afternoon that the show will finally return to the airwaves to begin its 13-episode Fourth Season beginning on February 7th. After the show was yanked from its original return date of October 19th the cast had a little fun at NBC’s expense by stating that whenever the show eventually aired that day would be the nineteenth of October. So, at least for Community fans, it appears that February 7th is now the new October 19th.

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2012

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • IMDB: link

best-marigold-hotel-dvdDirected by John Madden, and adapted from Deborah Moggach‘s bestselling novel by Ol Parker, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel offers a rich cast of English actors in an ensemble piece about a group of elderly pensioners who all move into the same retirement community in India.

The cast is better than the material, but The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sports some noteworthy performances (particularly that of Judi Dench as a recent widow) and boasts the kind of feel-good story most should enjoy without becoming sappy or overly sentimental.

Our group of travelers include a penniless widow (Dench), a gay man (Tom Wilkinson) returning to India looking to reconnect with the love of his life, a henpecked husband (Bill Nighy) and his demanding wife (Penelope Wilton), a kindly but somewhat racist housekeeper (Maggie Smith) in need of a hip replacement, an aging ladies man (Ronald Pickup), and a woman (Celia Imrie) in the market for a new husband.

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Star WarsThe past hour the Internet has been all abuzz with news that George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound, and the rights to the expanded Star Wars universe to Disney for $4.05 billion (half in cash and half in 40 million shares of Disney). Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will take over as President of the company and serve as executive producer for Star Wars: Episode VII which is tentatively scheduled for a 2015 release date.

[via New York Times]

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Castle – Probable Cause

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2012

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Castle – Probable Cause
  • tv.com: link

castle-probable-cause

Beckett’s (Stana Katic) relationship with Castle (Nathan Fillion) is put to the test when all the evidence in a bizarre ritualistic killing (complete with a body stuck to the ceiling of a midtown apartment) leads back to the mystery writer. His fingerprints found at the dead woman’s apartment, video evidence of Castle buying expensive jewelry for the victim, a story found on his computer that perfectly mirrors the murder, and a bag of murder gear found in the man’s apartment, all tie him to the murder.

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Variety is reporting that Frank Grillo has signed on to play Captain America villain Crossbones in the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johansson, and Anthony Mackie as The Falcon

Express.co.UK is reporting that Captain America: The Winter Soldier will also soon have a Sharon Carter as well, (the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent who is Captain America’s current love interst) as Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay is now the frontrunner for the role

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Fables #122

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2012

in Comics

fables-122-coverMy enjoyment for the recent Cinderella mini-series and Fairest has made me take a dip in the broader Fables Universe. Fables #122 begins a new arc featuring the Big Bad Wolf and the mysterious Green Woman who has the power not only to see one’s fate, but assign it as well.

The comic begins with the wolf chasing the young sorceress through the woods and granting her a reprieve only when she offers to tell him his destiny. Learning he only has three days to life, the most powerful beast in the land slips of in deep meloncholy until another creature informs him that his destiny isn’t written in stone.

The woman of the wood doesn’t see fate, but assigns it. And, more importantly to the wolf, she can reassign it if she so wishes. Written by Bill Willingham with some great art by Gene Ha, the first issue of the new arc works extremely well playing on half-truths and magic most fables are known for. I’ll be back. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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