• Title: Once Upon a Time – Season Three
  • wiki: link

Once Upon a Time - The Complete Third SeasonSeason Three took characters to Neverland, the Enchanted Forest, Oz, and back home to Storybrooke. It featured a second curse, a missing year, the deaths and resurrections of multiple characters, and the introduction of both a sister (Rebecca Mader) and love interest (Sean Maguire) for Regina (Lana Parrilla).

The second-half of the season centered around a character from Oz works better than the Neverland arc which grows a bit stale as Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) and her family attempt to save Henry (Jared Gilmore) from Peter Pan (Robbie Kay). Highlights from the season include the time-traveling season finale, Regina taking another step on her hero’s journey, Hook‘s (Colin O’Donoghue) time away from Storybrooke, the escape from Neverland, a battle between sisters, the death and the return of Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle), and Regina and Zelena’s first meeting.

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Astro City #14

by Alan Rapp on August 19, 2014

in Comics

Astro City #14The first-half of a two-part story, Astro City #14 introduces the character of Ellie who has spent the last several years creating something between a scrap yard and museum of former super-villain machines which she has slowly nursed back to health. Despite the once dangerous nature of the robots, Ellie’s desire to fix her metal friends are inspired by only good intentions. Sadly the same can’t be said of her nephew who sees a way to make the robots far more profitable in the short term.

Robot soldiers have been a staple of comics for decades and it’s an interesting take to view them not from the creator or those that battled them but from the perspective of a loving fan of the robots who sees the marvelous creations as far more than only weapons. Artist Brent Anderson has fun offering a variety of different types of robots which make up Ellie’s makeshift museum.

The slimy nephew taking advantage of the old woman is a bit pretty easy to see coming, but writer Kurt Busiek hints that there’s far more to Ellie’s story than we’ve seen so far. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $3.99]

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Worlds’ Finest #26

by Alan Rapp on August 18, 2014

in Comics

Worlds' Finest #26The Huntress and Power Girl‘s return to Earth-2 begins here. I’m on record as being vehemently against the move. Although the Worlds’ Finest #26 doesn’t sell me on the concept it at least doesn’t lose its way by delving headfirst into a war-torn new world. It’s actually odd, but we see very little of the modern day homeworld of the two heriones in their first issue back home.

Worlds’ Finest‘s best issues have all centered on the friendship between Power Girl and Huntress which continues here and (thankfully) doesn’t get overwhelmed by their new surroundings. I’m still not looking forward to months of New 52 Apokolips storylines (or Desaad‘s return) but at least the core relationship of the book appears to remain intact.

Oddly, the comic also continues the storyline on Prime Earth where Tanya Spears has been apparently tapped to take Power Girl’s place (both in and out of tights). How or why this is possible is unclear. I also wonder how long the comic plans to split focus between two worlds taking several pages away from its established stars. For fans.

[DC, $2.99]

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Beware the Batman – Reckoning

by Alan Rapp on August 18, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Beware the Batman – Reckoning
  • wiki: link

Beware the Batman - Reckoning

Wrapping up the three episode arc, “Reckoning” forces Katana (Sumalee Montano) to face the truth about Alfred (JB Blanc), pits Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) not only against Ra’s al Ghul (Lance Reddick) and the League of Assassins but also a collection of recently-freed super-villains who are sent after the Dark Knight by the Demon’s Head, and offer the newest unofficial member of the Bat-Family a chance to shine. Before the episode ends, with the help of his friends, Batman will stand triumphant over not only the League of Assassins but also Professor Pyg (Brian George) and Mr. Toad (Udo Kier), Magpie (Grey DeLisle), Tobias Whale (Michael-Leon Wooley), Phosphorus Rex (Greg Ellis), and Cypher.

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Star Wars #20

by Alan Rapp on August 18, 2014

in Comics

Star Wars #20Dark Horse Comics’ classic Star Wars series comes to a close here wrapping up the final arc as Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca race to rescue Leia’s childhood friend who has been working for years as a Rebel spy inside the Empire. Rescuing Seren from the determined robotic bounty hunter IG-88 is easier said than done, but by the end of the issue the core group is safe, the mission is successful, and Luke shows off a little foreshadowing of the Jedi Master he is destined to one day become.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m disappointed to see the work writer Brian Wood and artist Stéphane Créty have done on this title come to an end. Their 20 issue run is some of the best comics Dark Horse put out in the Star Wars Universe and I wonder what else we might have see had their run been able to continue.

Star Wars #20 works as a final issue giving each of the core members their own moments to shine while teasing us on adventures we sadly won’t be able to see continue as the rights return to Marvel Comics (who, after what we’ve seen here, have some big shoes to fill). Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

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Star Trek – The Menagerie

by Alan Rapp on August 17, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Trek – The Menagerie
  • wiki: link
  • wiki: link

Star Trek - The Menagerie

Offering the show the opportunity to use footage from the unaired pilot episode, the First Season’s only two-part episode featured rebellious Spock (Leonard Nimoy) standing trial for stealing the Enterprise and taking it to the forbidden planet of Talos IV and the return of the show’s first captain Christopher Pike (Sean Kenney/Jeffrey Hunter). “The Menagerie” is possibly the best example from the original series of the human side of the Vulcan science officer getting the best of him where his loyalty to his ship and captain comes into conflict with actions that, at least on the surface, are highly illogical.

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Rage

by Alan Rapp on August 17, 2014

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Rage
  • IMDb: link

RageIf you expect anything more from Rage than yet another throwaway B-movie from Nicolas Cage you are bound to be disappointed. Set around the life of a former mobster turned businessman, the film follows the decent of Paul Maguire (Cage) when his teenage daughter (Aubrey Peeples) is kidnapped and later found dead.

After her body turns up shot by a Tokarev traced back to the Russian mob, Maguire believes it must tie back into a hit from the old days involving a dead Russian mobster. Rounding up his old crew (Max Ryan, Michael McGrady) for answers and payback, Maguire’s actions threaten to start a gang war across the entire city.

Starting out like Taken, Rage turns into a revenge flick when the body of Maguire’s daughter is found. The trouble is the script by Jim Agnew and Sean Keller relies far too much on twists and coincidences to be compelling. And despite the number of long-held shots by Paco Cabezas Rage isn’t nearly as deep or dramatic as it aspires to be.

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The Pretender – Prison Story

by Alan Rapp on August 16, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: The Pretender – Prison Story
  • wiki: link

The Pretender - Prison Story

Fueled by both a childhood simulation Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) becomes a prison guard on death row at Oakfield Penitentiary in order to poke around the case of a car thief (David Proval) convicted of first-degree murder on the eve of his release from prison. Jarod is spurred on by the man’s daughter (Rebecca Cross) who spent youth becoming a lawyer and despite the recent setback still believes in his innocence.

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All-New X-Men #30

by Alan Rapp on August 16, 2014

in Comics

All-New X-Men #30After (finally) wrapping up the Xavier and the Future Brotherhood of Mutants storyline last month, All-New X-Men takes a break and gives the characters a chance to breathe. All-New X-Men #30 deals primarily with the state of two relationships, one which has been brewing for several months and the other which turns out to be a pleasant surprise.

As the cover suggests, this is the issue where Angel and X-23 finally get together. It’s certainly an odd pairing, but as Angel states during the issue he doesn’t need to know why he likes Laura only that he does. This is a relationship I’m going to want to see develop over the next several months.

The other major plot thread involves Emma Frost trying to pick a fight with Jean Grey, but not for the reason you may suspect. The ending of that story completely changes the pair’s dynamic (which didn’t have anywhere to go) and opens up the door for several new possibilities between Scott Summers‘ ex-girlfriends as actual friends. Poor Cyclops. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Selena Gomez’s Signature style for Fall

by Alan Rapp on August 16, 2014

in Advertisements

Selena Gomez’s Signature style for Fall

Adidas NEO called on Selena Gomez to promote the Selena Gomez’s Signature Collection’s Fall line. You can find the pics from the photo shoot inside.

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