Captain America: The Winter Soldier

by Alan Rapp on September 10, 2014

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • IMDb: link

Captain America: The Winter SoldierSeeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the theaters my initial reaction was that the Captain America: The First Avenger sequel was an improvement over the first film and one of Marvel Studio’s best efforts. I’m happy to say the movie holds up on Blu-ray. I actually enjoyed it a little more the second time around.

The wide sweeping conspiracy of Hyrda begins sweeping changes in the overall Marvel Universe, immediately effecting Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (leading to the TV show’s strongest episodes), but more than that The Winter Soldier is a good Captain America story full of strong performances (making great use of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow) along with plenty of intrigue and action. Sure the movie wastes Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and the final battle feels a bit too much like a video game with infiltrating and swapping out the chips in hovercrafts of death, but those don’t detract from a strong storyline filled with plenty of comic book goodness. For more on the movie read my original review.

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Instagram Intervention with Troian Bellisario

by Alan Rapp on September 10, 2014

in Short Films

Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario may have a problem with Instagram.

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Superman #34

by Alan Rapp on September 9, 2014

in Comics

Superman #34Superman‘s joy over reuniting Ulysses with his parents is short lived when the two orphans find themselves battling the man behind the recent attacks on Metropolis. First The Machinist manages to take control over Ulysses pitting him against his new best bud, but the tragedy for the Man of Steel comes later when his new friend takes deadly action to stop the madman which only leaves an innocent dead. Well, I guess it could have been worse. I mean Ulysses could have completely ignored every other conceivable option and just snapped the guy’s neck. Right?

Next month’s issue will tell readers quite a bit of what Geoff Johns has planned for Ulysses and how Superman reacts to his new friend’s use of deadly force. (Zack Snyder suggests a high five.) Too by-the-numbers for my taste, “Men of Tomorrow” seems to have taken its expected dark turn leaving the continued bromance between the new friends in serious doubt. For fans.

[DC, $3.99]

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Coming Soon

by Alan Rapp on September 9, 2014

in Nework & Cable TV News 

  • Title: The Flash
  • IMDb: link

The CW has put out new trailers and cast interviews for The Flash starring Grant Gustin as CSI investigator Barry Allen who after nine months in a coma awakes to discover he has become the Fastest Man Alive. Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Panabaker, Candice Patton, Rick Cosnett, and Carlos Valdes also star. You can find the other videos inside. The Flash premieres on October 7th.

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Coming Soon

by Alan Rapp on September 9, 2014

in Nework & Cable TV News 

  • Title: Arrow – Season Three
  • wiki: link

The trailer for Arrow‘s Third Season offers fans their first look at Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer, glimpses of Ollie (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) in a relationship and Thea‘s (Willa Holland) training, and the return of several supporting players including Laurel (Katie Cassidy), Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne), Sara (Caity Lotz), Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), and Diggle (David Ramsey). Season Three begins on October 8th.

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All-New X-Men #31

by Alan Rapp on September 9, 2014

in Comics

All-New X-Men #31With the instructors busy with other business, the time displaced X-Men along with the returned Angel and X-23 (whose new relationship is cause of great interest for the entire school) set off to find and rescue a young mutant just coming int her powers. However, what the group doesn’t yet know is the type of her mutation and how her uncontrolled ability to open doorways to alternate dimensions will leave on member of the team stranded in the Ultimate Universe.

Although I think it’s very possible for these characters and this comic specifically to get time/space dimension fatigue beginning so quickly after wrapping up a storyline involving villains from the future, Brian Michael Bendis’ choice to bring Jean Grey into a universe he knows so well (he did help create it after all) does open the door for some intriguing possibilities as long as the arc doesn’t overstay its welcome (a problem the title has had issues with in the past). Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Doctor Who – Robot of Sherwood

by Alan Rapp on September 8, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Doctor Who – Robot of Sherwood
  • wiki: link

Doctor Who - Robot of Sherwood

Allowing Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) to choose the destination, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is flummoxed when her dream to meet the legendary Robin Hood (Tom Riley) produces exactly (more or less) what she suspects. Disbelieving everything about the fairy tale unfolding before his eyes, The Doctor sets out to discover what is really going on with Robin, his Merry Men, and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Miller) whose robotic soldiers are stealing gold from the local populace.

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Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #2

by Alan Rapp on September 8, 2014

in Comics

Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #2In the second issue of the mini-series set 20 years into the future of Usagi Yojimbo, the pair of wary warring armies attempt to deal with the unexpected arrival of an alien spaceship crash landing in the middle of the battlefield. It’s obvious from their actions, attacking both sides indiscriminately, that the squid-like aliens don’t come in peace.

The invaders’ hidden motives, technical superiority, and odd tripod constructed machines pay homage to H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds and we see Usagi’s life has gotten no less complicated over the years as writer/artist Stan Sakai continues to tease us with hints of our hero’s past and regrets regarding his son.

We still don’t know what the aliens ultimately want, but Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #2 certainly sells them as a legitimate threat which only someone like our own rabbit ronin might be able to handle. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.99]

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SHAZAM! – Wisdom

by Alan Rapp on September 8, 2014

in Short Films

  • Title: SHAZAM! – “Wisdom” (full)

As this DC Nation short shows, sometimes even the wisdom of Solomon can’t help the world’s mightiest mortal.

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Beware the Batman – Monsters

by Alan Rapp on September 8, 2014

in Television Reviews 

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

Beware the Batman - Monsters

The arrival of a group of heavily armored and well financed thugs roaming the streets of Old Gotham, along with a mysterious savior whom the neighbor has dubbed their Golem, brings Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) and Katana (Sumalee Montano) to Gotham City’s poorest part of town. Unmasking Metamorpho (Adam Baldwin) as the Golem doesn’t stop the mercenaries working for the imprisoned Simon Stagg‘s (Jeff Bennett) daughter Sapphire (Emmanuelle Chriqui) nor the out-of-control District Attorney Harvey Dent (Christopher McDonald) intent on taking down the city’s vigilantes by any means necessary.

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