January 2019

The Great Films – Unbreakable

by Alan Rapp on January 31, 2019

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Unbreakable
  • IMDb: link

“They say this one has a surprise ending.”

Unbreakable movie reviewToday’s Throwback Thursday post takes us back to one of my favorite super-hero movies. Overshadowed by writer/director M. Night Shyamalan‘s far more commercially successful first film and his subsequent slide into mediocrity, Unbreakable stands alone as the one film from his catalog that gets better with each subsequent viewing. A perfect origin story, Unbreakable is a super-hero film without any of the trappings of super-hero films. A low-key, slow-paced drama, the story slowly unfolds while staying true to the basic truths of comic book storytelling. If there’s an anti-Batman and Robin, it’s Unbreakable.

The film has everything going for it including a writer who understood his subject manner, stars perfectly cast as real-life comic book characters, a terrific humor, and some of the best shot scenes of any film from this decade by Eduardo Serra whose framing choices help mold and develop each character climaxing in the traditional birth of a hero that remains grounded in reality more than any super-hero movie before or since. It’s a perfect storm that results in an amazing film that holds up as well today as when it was released more than 18 years ago.

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The Wild Storm #19

by Alan Rapp on January 31, 2019

in Comics

The Wild Storm #19 comic reviewIf you have been waiting The Wild Storm to take a breath and offer an issue that helps explain the various factions and motives at play, you don’t want to miss The Wild Storm #19. Already having explored the tensions between Skywatch and I.O., the latest issue turns its attention to the more powerful players still lurking in the shadows. Not only does issue #19 explain the history of Jacob Marlowe and his alien race, and how its plans to cultivate Earth as a client species became something different, it also helps explain the competing agenda of the Daemonites and their purpose on Earth.

The Wild Storm #19 definitely fills in some gaps and helps explore a few more tweaks writer Warren Ellis has made to this version of the reimagined characters from the old WildStorm imprint.

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Arrow – Past Sins

by Alan Rapp on January 31, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Arrow – Past Sins
  • wiki: link

Arrow - Past Sins television review

Arrow delves back into First Season plotlines in “Past Sins” when the son of the bodyguard murdered in the life raft by Robert Queen (Jamey Sheridan) shows up looking for revenge by targeting Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and the Star City Police Department. As whacked-out loonies go, the baddie of the week is pretty far out there (what did he really hope to gain by targeting police? and how does killing Oliver avenge a death he had no part in?), but the episode fulfills its intended purpose of helping Oliver win some trust with his half-sister Emiko (Sea Shimooka) by throwing his father under the bus. Just how Ollie plans to balance his new public transparency and his knowledge that his sister is the new Green Arrow with attempting to keep Emiko’s trust, however, is yet to be seen.

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Naomi #1

by Alan Rapp on January 31, 2019

in Comics

Naomi #1 comic reviewWriters Brian Michael Bendis and David Walker team-up with artist Jamal Campbell to tell a different kind of story with Naomi #1. Our protagonist isn’t a super-hero or vigilante of any kind, just a (seemingly) ordinary teenager in a small town who becomes obsessed after Superman’s fight with Mongul. Easily the most exciting thing to hit the town in her lifetime, Naomi becomes a bit Superman-obsessed (even discussing the Man of Steel with her shrink).

With some of the flavor of Astro City or Marvels, the opening issue of the series pulls you in by framing the story from an unexpected perspective. So obsessed with the recent events, Naomi begins investigating rumors about the only previous time super-heroes appeared in town. Finding it hard to find anyone who remembers or is willing to talk about it, Naomi eventually uncovers a coincidence to the date of the event and her own life that is too large to ignore.

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  • Title: Carmen Sandiego – The Sticky Rice Caper
  • IMDb: link

Carmen Sandiego - The Sticky Rice Caper television review

Following the two-part opener explaining Carmen‘s (Gina Rodriguez) origins, the show sets in on a more straightforward episode with “The Sticky Rice Caper” which sends our thief to Indonesia. The episode introduces two new characters as part of Carmen’s team in a brother and sister (Michael Hawley and Abby Trott) who first help Carmen allude some mysterious agents in Paris and later help her prevent V.I.L.E. Academy‘s sinister plot to wipe out the rice crops on the island of Java for the sole purpose of profit. Both Crackle (Michael Goldsmith), who gets a harsh lesson about failure from V.I.L.E., and the pair of Chase Devineaux (Rafael Petardi) and Julia Argent (Charlet Chung), and their continued pursuit of Carmen, return in limited roles in subplots not connected to the main storyline.

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