October 2006

Unlimited Justice League!  Holy Moley!!

by Alan Rapp on October 26, 2006

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Justice League Unlimited – Season Two
  • tv.com: link

justice-league-unlimited-season-one-dvdAfter two seasons on Cartoon Network Justice League was revamped into a series not only about the seven greatest heroes of the DC Universe, but including all the super-heroes who gave their lives to the pursuit of justice.  Fans of any incarnation of the Justice League will find something to enjoy here as the series tries to give a nod to each incarnation.

After the events of Starcrossed, where the league battled the invading Thanagarian army, Hawkgirl is no longer a member of the team, and, now aware of larger threats, the remaining six original members decide to open up the ranks of the Justice League and recruit more heroes.

Gone, for the most part, are the two episode story arcs.  Instead we get individual episodes that pair up original members with some of the new members of the team which include Supergirl, Green Arrow, The Question, Black Canary, The Huntress, Red Tornado, Ray, Rocket Red, Dr. Fate, Captain Atom, the Atom, Atom Smasher, and more.

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Tube Watch

by December Lambeth on October 26, 2006

in Television Reviews , Uncategorized

Any TV show that starts out with 15 minutes of complete chaos, high definition f/x, death, mayhem and total mystery has my full attention. Lost started 2 years ago, with a bang and is still going strong today, with a few lapses in the story-lines and a couple of not so hot episodes along the way, the creators have certainly kept up with the challenge. Lost is seldom dull and will always leaving you want for so much more. I began the show by watching Season 1 and 2 on DVD over the summer, now I have to wait for a whole week before I get to see the next exciting episode and who or what is going to happen next. All along I keep questioning why, how and for goodness sake when.

Lost
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Nothing and no one is what it seems on the island. Survivors from a plane crash are stranded on an island to make a home and try to survive. The first season they spend not only figuring each other out, but themselves and the island. The second season is all about other inhabitants of the island and the hatch, what is the hatch for and why are there are hatches with little labs in them as well. There is also the little matter of other survivors found on the other side of the island, who turned a bit “Lord of the Flies” and just about butchered ship wrecked survivors from the plane, mistaking them for “the others”. Third season stars with a few of the survivors captured by “the others” and the repercussions of blowing up the massive magnetic force field that was in the hatch. There’s more, so much more, but you have to see it for yourself.

Season 3 – So far season 3 has Jack, Kate and Sawyer being held captive from “The Others” who are playing head games and slightly torturing the three. Sayid attempts to rescue the three, but fails and ultimately puts Sun and Jin lives in jeopardy. Here is where the show messes up a bit, the last time we saw Sun, Jin and Sayid was floating out in the ocean over 2 episodes ago. The creators are having a hard time keeping up with 3 different sides to the island, they can’t keep up with all the characters and adding new ones.

Next up Locke makes an appearance, he has no voice and enters a sweat lodge to get visions of how to save his island family. It’s a bit confusing, the last time we saw anyone on the other side of the island was right after the explosion at the end of last season, an explosion that had Locke, Mr. Eko and The Scottish Dude all locked into the hatch. Half way through the Scottish Dude shows up butt naked in the middle of the woods and the ability to see the future, Loche goes and saves Mr. Eko who was kidnapped by a polar bear. Mr. Eko’s saved, Loche has his voice back and the Sottish Dude’s got clothes, next up is a great speech by Loche and a supposed rescue mission to save Jack, Sawyer and Kate.

This leads us to the most recent episode where we find a little more information out about Sawyer and what “The Others” want with Jack. One of “The Others” has a medical problem that could lead to their death, Jack is needed to operate. Kate says she loves Sawyer to keep from getting his ass totally kicked and “The Others” put a big con on Sawyer and his heart. The episode ended with a little more knowledge about where “The Others” are located in coordination with the survivors.

Sneak preview for the next episode promises a little more insight to which member of “The Others” is sick and dying and if Jack can save them. Hardly anything else is given to us as for a rescue mission or where Sayid, Sun and Jin are and what else the Scottish Dude’s visions my help.

The island brings together an interesting mix from all corners of the world; funny that all the characters on the island have a history of bad luck, issues, unhappiness and some are even running from the police. Lost is one of the most riveting TV series on the tube, a must see for those adventure enthusiasts. I’ve got to give it to the creators, they really know how to keep you wanting more and not giving too much away at one time.

Comic Book Shelf

by Alan Rapp on October 25, 2006

in Comics

Hey there true believers!  Today the eleventh issue of our Comic Book Shelf edition hits our newsstand.  Want to know what’s getting released today at the old comic shop but too busy, or lazy (not that there’s anything wrong with that), to bother?  Well no sweat Bat-fans as we’ve got the scoop of what comics and graphic novels are hitting the shelves today.

This week’s releases include Planetary, Daredevil, Trials of Shazam!, Astro City: The Dark Age Book 2, New Avengers, Superman/Batman Annual, Ultimate Spider-Man, Seven Soldiers, Deathblow, and more!

If you’re looking for graphic novels you don’t want to miss Black Panther: The Bride, Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes: Strange Visitors from Another Century, Daredevil: The Devil, Inside and Out, Heroes Reborn: The Fantastic Four, Showcase Presents the Phantom Stranger Vol. 1, and more.

For the full list check inside…

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New on DVD

by Ian T. McFarland on October 24, 2006

in Home Video/DVD News 

Another Tuesday, another batch of DVDs thrown at the consumer to purchase.  Ah, capitalism.

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Just in time for Halloween, it’s three scary movies!  There’s Monster House for the kids, Slither for the gut-busters out there and, scary enough to make anyone wet themselves, Nacho Libre

Film:

Monster House – You may have read last week’s column when I declared Over the Hedge to be the best animated film of the year.  This was a sloppy statement, because I had completely forgotten Monster House.  Erie, unnatural and with a bit of sophomoric humor (Mountain Dew bottles are used to store . . . similarly colord liquids,) it was a perfect realization of how a The Twilight Zone movie for the whole family would look like.  Another plus of the film is the look – instead of jumping on the bandwagon of making everything look more real in CG movies today, House went for style.  Instead of having every character’s hair blow gently in the breeze, this one just glues the hair down to the head, in a style not unlike claymation.  And best of all, it never ascends PG-rated frights, making House a great way to introduce your kids to scary movies.  Alan enjoyed the ride too, as you can read by kindly clicking here.

Nacho Libre – I love Jack Black.  I loved Napoleon Dynamite.  So, naturally, when I heard that Black and the director of Dynamite, Jared Hess were making a movie together called Nacho Libre, I was very content.  One year later, I was somewhat less content while in a theater watching Nacho.  Why?  Because I never perceived that a Jack Black vehicle could be so mind-shatteringly dull.  As hard as this film tries to be so obscure and silly that it gives the viewer a wave of giggles; Nacho only has one scene that inspires chuckles, every other shot is just of Black and friends being weird.  Aaron didn’t exactly disagree in his short review

Slither – 2006 has been a good year for comedy.  It’s given us Little Miss Sunshine Borat, Strangers With Candy and Little Miss Sunshine – all delivering laughs in high abundance.  But even in such a successful year for humor, Slither has a good shot of being the funniest movie of the bunch.  A send-up of horror a la Shaun of the Dead, Slither takes up the particularly simple (and easily achieved) task of pointing out everything mindless about a horror movie.  Shaun and Slither will find an identical audience, with the only differences between the movies being that the latter is less romance-oriented, and a lot scarier.  Scary enough, with its red and shriveled man-eating slugs, to be the creepiest movie put out in at least the last year.  If justice is alive, then Slither will find an audience on DVD.

Special Edition:

Reservoir Dogs: 15th Anniversary Edition – Hot off the heels of the 10th Anniversary edition comes this third edition of those ear-cutting Dogs to DVD.  Compared with the long line of Special Features from the last edition, 15 doesn’t have much to offer.  It scraps off just about everything from that edition except deleted scenes, while adding a couple of docs and . . . get excited . . . ENGLISH SUBTITLES!  A purchase for the die-hardiest of die-hard fans.

Television:

Batman Beyond: Season Two – Okay, nothing’s ever going to top the Bruce Timm-produced Batman from the 90s.  It’s just not going to happen.  Having said that, Batman Beyond is not a complete waste of time.  One of the first cartoons to embrace a jagged, straight line-oriented look that has come to dominate action cartoons today, Beyond was carefully designed and written to keep it from falling into just being a kids show, with solid plot lines that could appeal to any nine-year-old boy and his dad.

SNL: The Best of Saturday TV Funhouse The Ambiguously Gay Duo?  Ex-Presidents?  As someone who watched and studied Will Ferrell era SNL throughout middle school in the hopes of becoming funnier, the Robert Smigel helmed short cartoons hit close to home.  The crude animation paired with obscurely silly humor worked better than many of the live-action skits on SNL, and with voice actors like Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert what reason don’t you have to check this out?

The Swan – You’re kidding me.  I mean really, you’re kidding me, right FOX?  I still have a hard enough time believing there was ever a show like The Swan, a reality show where they turn the less attractive members of our society into beauty queens, and torture the contestants by not letting them within sight of a mirror while they undergo plastic surgery liposuction and recovery from such procedures, but now you’re putting it on DVD so it can live on forever?  Really?

That’s My Bush! – Before I was allowed to watch South Park, my parents and I would make an occasion of every Wednesday night to watch That’s My Bush!, a live-action show about George W. that mocked the average American Sit-com just as much as the American President, created by the same guys that gave us South Park.  With the annoyingly perfect neighbor, a catch-phrase that ended every episode (“Oh Laura, one of these days, I’m gonna punch you in the face!”)  and even a traditional, couch dominated Sit-com living room set that occupied the White House, Bush somehow managed to be hilarious regardless of your feelings on the namesake of the show.  With only 13 episodes, it left office early but used its time wisely.

This Week

by December Lambeth on October 23, 2006

in Uncategorized

So what’s out there this week?  Well today we’ll take a look at the films scheduled to be released which include a great deal of limited release and indie films like The Bridge, Climates, Cocaine Cowboys, Conversations with God, Cruel World, Death of a President and Shut Up & Sing. Don’t worry, there are a few you will get to see at tyour local theaters like Catch A Fire and Saw III.

C’mon in and let us get you ready for the week!

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Here’s what’s scheduled to hit theaters this week.  Want to know more?  Just click on the title for film info including a full cast list.  Want a closer look?  Just click on the poster to watch the trailer.

Opening Friday:

Catch A Fire

From a powerful storyteller and director, Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence), Catch A Fire is a heartbreaking and heroic South African journey. Based on a real-life hero, Patrick Chamusso, this political thriller of a normal everyday guy who lives a close edged life during the new Africa under apartheid. He coaches, provides for his wife and two daughters and stays out of the politics; keeps his nose clean until Colonel Nic Vos suspects him of a sabotage against the oil refinery. Wrongly accused and put through brutal torture, not only on himself, but his wife too, Patrick begins to fight back and becomes what they have accused him of. Be prepared for a powerful and heart tugging tale.

Saw III

The puppet-master is back for the third round of cruel, twisted and sadistic crap. What a sick franchise Saw has become, when will it ever stop? I can’t stomach one ounce of this human torture and grotesque displays of bondage and torment, but someone must, cause it’s back again. Same guy abducts another young innocent and puts her through hell to keep another one of the master’s puppets alive as he goes through self mutilation and torture to solve the puzzle. Just in time for Halloween, I sure do miss the less gruesome days of Freddy and Jason.  Director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II) returns with Tobin Bell, a.k.a. Jigsaw.

Opening Friday, in Limited Release:

Cocaine Cowboys

Director, Billy Corben (Raw Deal: A Question of Consent) creates a documentary about the cocaine trade in Miami since the 70’s and how it has turned the glamorous paradise into a homicidal cesspool. Amongst the glamour, partying hot spots and good times of the early 80’s to the destruction of a beautiful place through the cartel, Cocaine Cowboys is a gritty film about real life tragedy.  Alan was lucky enough to see this at this year’s FilmFest KC just weeks ago.  The film opens in limited release on Friday in select cities, but if you aren’t in a city where it will be showing you can always check back with us on Friday and check out Alan’s review.

Conversations with God

Based on the true story of Neale Donald Walsch, a down and out on his luck kind of guy who finds God and millions in his international best seller from it. If I sound like a bit of a pessimist, that’s because I am. If you are a true believer and God answered your needs, do you really sell it to the highest bidder?  Sorry, had to go on a bit of a personal rant. Here is another way to help boost sales of an internationally acclaimed book that has “helped millions worldwide”. Conversations with God gives the audience a play by play of what happens to this down and out man between the point of despair to the answers he received within and finally ending with being a bestselling author.

Cruel World

Indeed it is a very Cruel World, but that isn’t exactly what the film is about. A sore loser from the reality show becomes completely off his rocker and traps the 9 other contestants into his own reality show. One by one, as they are voted off the island (if you will), the coeds are slaughtered. What a twisted and sick thing to throw upon an unexpected audiences, a reality show full of coeds, Edward Furlong and death all wrapped up in a very low budget package.  Also starring are Susan Ward, Sanoe Lake, Laura Ramsey, Aimee Garcia, Nicole Bilderback, Andrew Keegan, and Jaime Pressly.  It opens in limited release on Friday.

Death of a President

From the films site: DEATH OF A PRESIDENT follows the investigation of the fictional assassination of President George W. Bush in October 2007. Combining real archival footage with a credible but fictional story, “Death of a President” presents a fascinating and thought-provoking political thriller. Read further details. I’m going to have to see this film; it’s going to be one hell of a controversy.  Directed by Gabriel Range and co-writtne by Simon Finch; the pair worked together in the past to make The Men Who Broke Britain and The Day Britain Stopped.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on Friday.

The Bridge

The Bridge is a documentary of the most famous jumping off points in life, The Golden Gate Bridge. Shot from two different perspectives and hundreds of hours of film with interviews from suicides friends and families, film makers Eric Steel, Peter McCandless and Sabine Krayenbuhl put together this somber look at human inner sufferings while the rest of the world goes on their daily chores. The film was shot in 2004 capturing the smallest human link between 24 people and their 4 seconds to death.  It’s Rated-R for it’s pull-no-punches subject matter, so not your typical family fare.  The documentary opens in limited release on Friday.

Shut Up and Sing

Rock on Dixie Chicks. Spend a day in their shoes, see what it was like to be the country music’s lead female group to speak their minds against our noble president. Shut Up and Sing is a documentary that follows the Dixie Chicks lives through out the past 3 years of tours, marriage, death threats, family, political attacks and making music after the comment about Bush. I’m glad we are in another country fighting for their rights and freedom of speech (keeping women from being hidden and abused), but all along we are suppose to oppress our true believes and stay under an invisible veil in our own country. What makes all of this wrong is not only the opposition the government took against these 3 young ladies, but what we as a nation did. What ever happened to freedom of speech and having our own beliefs? I must question, would the same exact interrogation had happened to a male who would have spoke the same way? Is it time for us to burn our bras again?