August 2007

Movie News

by Alan Rapp on August 30, 2007

in Film News & Trailers

It seems like sequels and remakes are clogging up the mega-plex.  Well, here comes another one.  Disney announced a new Witch Mountain (based in part on the 1975 film Escape to Witch Mountain and its many sequels) which will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kyra Sedgwick.  Enjoy this trailer for 1978’s Return from Witch Mountain with Christopher Lee and Bette Davis.  Larger trailer available in the Full Diagnosis.

Witch Mountain
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Music News

by Alan Rapp on August 30, 2007

in Film News & Trailers

The band is back together.  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will reunite for a new tour in Europe and the US this fall coinciding with the release of “Magic,” The Boss’s first album with the Band since 2002’s “The Rising.”  To celebrate the news here’s my fav Springsteen hit “The River,” here performed by Springsteen and The E Street Band in Paris in June of 1985.  Larger version available in the Full Diagnosis.

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RazorFine Presents – Booster Gold

by Alan Rapp on August 29, 2007

in Comics

Welcome to the second issue of RazorFine Presents Comic Spotlight as we take a look at comic heroes, villians, and everything in between.  This week we examine a screw-up from the future who stole equipment and knowledge and traveled back in time to the 20th Century to become “the greatest hero the world has never known” – Booster Gold.

Booster Gold

Name: Michale Jon Carter

1st Appearance: Booster Gold issue #1 (Vol. 1, 1986)

Currently apearing: Booster Gold (Vol. 2, ongoing series)

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Created by Dan Jurgens, Booster Gold is about as far from a model hero as you can get.  A self-promoting thief from the future who saves the day to win adulation and glory more than do the right thing has come quite a long way since his first appearance back in 1986.

The Greatest Hero the World
Has Never Known

Michael Jon Carter was a famous football star in the 25th Century before being banned for betting on his own games.  Taking up a job as a night watchman in the Metropolis Space Museum he studied the past and with the help of a security robot named Skeets stole a uniform and various super-hero equipment including a Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring and Brainiac 5’s force-field belt.  “Borrowing” Rip Hunter‘s time machine Carter and Skeets journeyed back to the 20th Century where he reinvented himself as the hero “Booster Gold.”

Booster Gold remained in modern day Metropolis, bringing him often into conflict with Superman, and used his celebrity and knowledge of the future to build himself a sizable fortune (though many heroes protested against his commercial deals, merchandising, and celebrity status).  In the late 80’s Booster became a cornerstone of Keith Giffen‘s run of Justice League International.  Booster fit right in with Guy Gardner, Captain Atom, Fire and Ice, and formed a strong friendship with the Blue Beetle (together the two found countless ways to get into trouble including opening a JLI resort on the living island of Kooey Kooey Kooey).

Life after the Justice League, including founding The Conglomerate and a short stint as part of a new team known (or best forgotten) as Extreme Justice, wasn’t too bright for our hero, and at one point he even hung up his costume.

Booster reemerged during Infinite Crisis, and played a key role in DC’s year-long event 52 by saving the newly created DC Multiverse.

 

In his new ongoing series Booster Gold accepts a job from Rip Hunter to maintain his reputation as a super-hero failure in order to use his powers secretly to help Hunter save the Multiverse from potential time anomalies and villains who will prey on them and truly become “the greatest hero the world has never known.”

Booster Gold earned his own episode “The Greatest Story Never Told” on Justice League Unlimited (read the full review).

Here’s a scene with Booster and Skeets.  This episode is an almost perfect portrayal of the early Booster Gold as his attempts at acknowledgment and celebrity only lead to dead-ends (and people constantly thanking Green Lantern for his actions).  And when he finally does save the world, of course, no one ever knows.  Classic.

For me Booster Gold was a staple of Giffen’s mad and hilarious run on Justice League and I’m so happy that he’s earned himself a new series to promote his own brand of super-heroing.  For more on our hero check out Justice League: A New Beginning, Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League

, and all four volumes of 52, all currently available in trade paperback.  You can also check out “The Official Booster Gold Chronology” to find other appearances by our hero.

Comic Rack

by Alan Rapp on August 29, 2007

in Comics

Hmm, we’re about to talk about comics so it must be Wednesday!  Welcome to the RazorFine Comic Rack boys and girls.  Pull up a bean bag and take a seat at the master as we look at the new comics set to hit comic shops and bookstores today from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Wildstorm, Vertigo, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW Publishing, and Image Comics.

This week includes Action Comics, Conan, Silver Surfer: Requiem Teen Titans, Wetworks, and the first issues of Bomb Queen IV, The Last Fantastic Four Story and The Mice Templar.  Also don’t forget the truckload of new graphic novels including Batman: Secrets of the Batcave, The Complete Bite Club, DC/Top Cow: Crossover Classics, Essential Daredevil Vol. 4, Manhunter Vol. 3: Origins, Ninja Scroll, Tangent Comics Vol. 1 and much, much more.

Enjoy issue #36

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Hidden Gem

by Alan Rapp on August 28, 2007

in DVD Reviews 

Every once in awhile you run across a film in the DVD aisle and say to yourself, “What is that?”  That’s how I came across Confidence.  Released in theaters in 2003 the film takes a look at a group of con artists whose latest con has gone south and their last ditch attempt to rectify the situation, get out from behind the thumb of a crime boss, and perform the biggest con of their lives. 

Confidence
Custom Rating

“Tommy Suits always said ‘a confidence game is like putting on a play where everyone knows their part: the inside man, the roper, the shills, everyone that is, except for the mark.’”

Jake Vig (Edward Burns) and his team of con men have just pulled off another successful con.  Everything should be gravy, but then the other shoe drops.  It turns out the money they’ve taken belongs to an unforgiving crime boss (Dustin Hoffman), and then, when one of the team ends up dead (Louis Lombardi), they realize they have stepped into a whole new league.

Now Jake, Gordo (Paul Giamatti), and Miles (Brian Van Holt) must perform a job for the King (Hoffman), trust a mysterious woman (Rachel Weisz), stay ahead of the Federal Agent (Andy Garcia) on their tail who has turned his crooked cop buddies (Luis Guzman, Donal Logue) and try not to get killed or, worse yet, caught.

The film is well cast and these talented actors have fun working together and off of each other.  Hoffman’s casting as a sociopathic crime boss is a little odd (and more than a little over the top) but it is kinda fun to see him in such a different role.  Everyone else fits their roles well and Burns and Weisz pull-off a nice mixture of chemistry and animosity.

As a connoiseur of heist and grift films I enjoyed Confidence.  It’s not on the level of the Ocean’s Eleven films, but with such a star-studded cast, some nice camera work, and some good twist and turns it can make for a fun couple of hours.  The disc includes enough extras for you to give this one a serious look,