Magneto #7

by Alan Rapp on July 26, 2014

in Comics

Magneto #7Magneto‘s vagabond mission across the globe to unearth who is behind the rise of attacks on mutants leads him to Hong Kong based on the intel provided by his new friend Briar Raleigh. Allowing himself to be taken prisoner, Magneto wakes in a prison where he is put into combat against a Predator X for the enjoyment of paid spectators whose thrill of the fight swiftly evaporates when they discover just who they’ve let in the building.

Although the mutant-hunting creature is harder to deal with than at the peak of his powers, Magneto uses the Predator X’s strengths against it before turning his fury on those in charge of the operation. Despite the fact that the reasons for Cyclops and Emma Frost‘s power loss was explained a month ago (a finale which involved our lead character), Magneto’s power loss hasn’t been fixed (or apparently even yet explained) in this issue. In the overall scope of things Magneto seems to be lagging behind the other X-books. Of course that may be why Marvel has put two issues of the series out in less than a month. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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  • Title: Batman – Zelda the Great / A Death Worse Than Fate
  • wiki: link
  • wiki: link

Batman - Zelda the Great

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we continue to look back at the more memorable moments of the Dark Knight Detective on the big and small screen. It’s interesting to note that Catwoman wasn’t the first female villain to battle the Dynamic Duo on the 1966 Batman TV-series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The return of the April Fool’s Day brings the return of an unknown thief who robs Gotham City’s banks of exactly $100,000 for the third year in a row. With no leads other than the robber’s bullet proof vest and odd fibers left at the scene, Batman decides to plant a fake story in the newspaper that the stolen money was counterfeit in hopes of drawing out the culprit to make another robbery attempt.

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Lady Zorro #1

by Alan Rapp on July 26, 2014

in Comics

Lady Zorro #1Introduced in Matt Wagner’s Zorro Rides Again series, Lady Zorro is brought out of retirement by Zorro himself who needs her help to recover a sacred Indian war axe, stolen by mercenary soldiers with whom she discovers she has unfinished business.

Although I could have done with a bit less cheesecake from artist Rey Villegas, for a comic titled Lady Zorro it’s certainly nothing unexpected. For those unfamiliar with the character’s origins writer Alex de Campi works in Esmeralda’s troubled past while centering the story around characters and events both crucial to the protection of California and tied to personal vengeance (on both sides after Esmeralda dispatches the female friend of the soldier responsible for the slaughter of her family in a rather brutal manner).

If your interest wasn’t already piqued beforehand, Lady Zorro #1 won’t do much to sell you on the mini-series but Zorro fans will likely enjoy the swordplay and the chance to see Lady Zorro in action once more. For fans.

[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]

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Batman – The Last Laugh

by Alan Rapp on July 25, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman: The Animated Series – The Last Laugh
  • wiki: link

Batman - The Last Laugh

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we turn out attention back to the Dark Knight’s more memorable moments on the big and small screen with another episode from Batman: The Animated Series. Drawing on both the mix of a classic comic story and the set-up of the climax of Tim Burton’s Batman, “The Last Laugh” brings the Joker (Mark Hamill) back to Gotham on April Fools’ Day to gas the entire populace using an innocuous-looking garbage scow which allows the villain a free run at mischief, mayhem, and robbery.

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Graceland – The Unlucky One

by Alan Rapp on July 25, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Graceland – The Unlucky One
  • wiki: link

Graceland - The Unlucky One

The morning after Mike‘s (Aaron Tveit) somewhat hollow victory that threw a wrench into the Solano Cartel’s drug smuggling operation, but netted the FBI no big fish, the harsh light of day brings with it news of Jakes‘ (Brandon Jay McLaren) arrest and Paige (Serinda Swan) taking the place of one of the human trafficking victims who is now lost in a system Mike and his team know almost nothing about. Already keeping Lawrence (John Kapelos) locked down in a safe house not knowing who the identity of the Solano’s mole inside law enforcement who disrupted the operation and not knowing who to trust, Mike decides to use the uncooperative insider to get any information out of Lawrence which might lead the team to Paige, but to do so he will need Briggs‘ (Daniel Sunjata) help.

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  • Title: The Pretender – The Better Part of Valor
  • wiki: link

The Pretender - The Better Part of Valor

Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) becomes a firefighter in order to investigate a series of warehouse fires, the latest of which killed a local firefighter. While befriending the victim’s father (Patrick Cronin) and fighting with another member (Isabel Glasser) of the “Fighting 16th” who blames herself for the death of the only other female firefighter on the squad (and Jarod for replacing her) the Pretender uncovers an insurance scam which is not only responsible for the increased number of arsons but also the murder of the firefighter who stumbled onto the situation in the line of duty only to be killed by another firefighter (Michael O’Neill) to hide the truth.

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Lucy

by Alan Rapp on July 25, 2014

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Lucy
  • IMDb: link

LucyFalling back on a long debunked myth Hollywood fell in love with years ago that somehow a person only uses 10% of their brain, the latest movie from writer/director Luc Besson casts Scarlett Johansson as a completely unexceptional young woman whose mind is opened up by a designer drug allowing her to access more and more of her “unused” brain. The result feels very much like a script where only a fraction of 10% of a person’s brain power was used to write it.

Unapologetically becoming more and more like The Matrix as Lucy’s intelligence grows and gives her access to the hidden code of the world (which is never adequately explained despite the narration by Morgan Freeman‘s character) and various super powers, Besson’s story never differentiates between the ability to absorb knowledge and knowledge itself. Just because Lucy suddenly has a bigger brain doesn’t mean she still wouldn’t have to learn the knowledge or skills (including advanced computer coding and foreign languages) to properly use them.

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Perception – Inconceivable

by Alan Rapp on July 24, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Perception – Inconceivable
  • wiki: link

Perception - Inconceivable

Kate (Rachael Leigh Cook) calls in Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) to help work an unusual case involving a grieving mother and the woman (Sadie Stratton) who stole her fake baby doll. Where one woman was a grieving mother who had the doll made to resemble the son she recently only to lose him when the dollmaker (John Hans Tester) sold him to another customer the other would-be mother honestly believes the baby doll to be completely real. When one woman turns up dead, with the baby missing and the other woman with an ironclad alibi, one of the show’s more unique murder investigations begins and only gets stranger when they discover a real missing baby is at the heart of the entire sordid mess.

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Silver Surfer #4

by Alan Rapp on July 24, 2014

in Comics

Silver Surfer #4And I’m done. I’ve become increasingly less interested in writer Dan Slott’s new version of the Silver Surfer as the series has gone on. Returning Dawn Greenwood to Earth the Surfer encounters the Guardians of the Galaxy (in a shoehorned movie reference) whose treatment of the Marvel Universe’s most noble and tragic character makes as little sense as Slott continuing to fill the Surfer’s dialogue with various pop culture references. Sigh.

Removing his silver coating again (which still makes NO GODDAMN SENSE as it has been long-established that he’s no longer human underneath) we even get Norrin Radd stuffing himself full of Clam Chowder. Groan.

And on attempting to leave our hero finds himself trapped inside the barrier long since removed by Galactus meaning the most interesting aspect not toyed with in Slott’s version of the character (his limitless ability to travel across all of space) has been removed along with his dignity and nobility. Kill me now.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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  • Title: Pretty Little Liars – The Silence of E. Lamb
  • wiki: link

“Maybe we should put down the puzzles and walk away.”

Pretty Little Liars - The Silence of E. Lamb

Despite the actions of Mona (Janel Parrish) and her new cabal, in the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars it’s the Liars own doubts and concerns, and those of their loved ones, which begin splintering the group still adapting to Alison‘s (Sasha Pieterse) return. With Aria (Lucy Hale) busy with her new volunteer job at Radley trying to uncover the story behind the unusual drawing of Alison’s mother, and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) standing-in for her helping out the still injured Ezra (Ian Harding), it falls on a discontented Hanna (Ashley Benson) to show up with Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Ali for an impromptu dinner party thrown by Mrs. Fields (Nia Peeples).

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