Friday, September 28, 2012

Review: Dredd

Today is my birthday, from your point of view. I’m actually speaking to you from the past because I don’t want to work on my special day. I was thinking about throwing up a self-indulgent fluff piece but unfortunately I went to go see Dredd this past Sunday and now I need to talk about it.

Dredd is Hollywood’s second attempt at making a movie based on Judge Dredd, a British comic book character first seen in 1977. In 1995 a film version of the comic was made starring Sylvester Stallone as the title character. It’s widely regarded as complete and utter garbage and fans of the comic note that it horrendously messes up the spirit of the original charter. So no sequels for that flick. However in 2012 a new Judge Dredd film hit theaters. When I saw the trailers for this movie I was hooked. I was incredibly stoked to catch this movie; I would have put it on my Summer Movie list…except that it came out in September. It’s directed by Peter Travis who’s done nothing I’ve seen before. There’s about seventeen years’ worth of bad blood for this film due to its predecessor. Does Dredd live up to its comic or is it a repeat offender of extremely shitty cinema?

Full review after the jump.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #9

My catch up of Avengers vs. X-Men continues. Before I get into it I want to point out that the length of this series is a bit ridiculous. I mean really; twelve issues? That’s twice as long as the average modern crossover event.\ This is in line with the old school twelve issue maxiseries of the 1980s (The Secret Wars, Crisis on Infinite Earths) but those books came out over the course of a year. AvX came out in half that time. It feels kind of like I’m drowning in issues of this book. That said DC has released fifty-two issues or so of book over a year (52, Countdown) and in comparison Marvel is almost being restrained. Of course 52 is considered one of the best superhero comics of the 2000s but I’m not convinced people will be calling AvX one of the best comics of the 2010s eight or nine years from now.

Anyway Avengers vs. X-Men #9 was written by Jason Aaron, whom I’m not overly fond of, and the art team remains the same as last time: Adam Kubert on pencils, John Dell on inks and Laura Martin with Larry Molinar on colors. Previous AvX reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

By the way; I've finally read up to issue 11 so  there's no need to protect myself from spoilers in the comment section; it's unlocked now.

More agony AvX after the jump.

[WARNING: Some minor (in my opinion) spoilers ahead]

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #8

Another issue of Avengers vs. X-Men, another dollar. Nothing new to report, just remember that I’ve disabled the comment section temporally so no one accidentally spoilers future issues for me. For the previous reviews click the following: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

This time Brian Michael Bendis is on writing duty while a new art team of Adam Kubert on pencils, John Dell on inks and Laura Martin with Larry Molinar on colors. So let’s get on with Avengers vs. X-Men #8.

Full review after the jump.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #7

I’ve greatly slacked on reviewing Avengers vs. X-Men and by now the series is pretty much wrapped up. So I need to work my ass off to catch up. As of this writing I own AvX through #10 (but I haven’t read #9 and #10 yet) and I will do my best to write them up. They will likely be quick and dirty, but I don’t want to do mini-reviews if I can help it.

By the way according to every nerd source on the internet Issue #11 involves [Spoiler] an important death. Now I don’t know who because I’ve tried to avoid finding out until I actually get to read the book. My first thought is of course Cyclops (for reasons I discussed last last time) I may be temporally locking the comment section for these reviews so no overzealous reader tells me. 

The art team remains Olivier Coipel on pencils, Mark Morales on inks, and Laura Martin on colors and Matt Fraction returns as writer. Previous reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Full review after the jump.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Haywire

I just had to opportunity to finally watch Haywire, an action thriller that was released way back in January of this year. I was desperate to catch this film in theaters but unfortunately I was unable to (which happens a lot to me actually. As many films as I was watch a year I still can’t watch everything I want). Why was I so gung-ho to watch this random movie? I was fascinated by the fact that this was wide release film with a very impressive supporting cast of well known actors (including Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Channing Tatum for some reason) but the star of the film was a woman who I never heard of. Who was this unknown actress that a studio had enough faith in to bill ahead of all these established stars?

It turns out it was Gina Carano who is not famous for her acting but rather as one of the most well-known female mixed martial artists in the world. Guys, Hollywood went out of their way to recruit a woman who’s major claim to fame was beating the shit out of people (as opposed to an actress they teach how to “stage fight”) to star in an action oriented movie. She’s a full-on lady action hero! None of this “married to the director somehow means action hero” bullshit the Resident Evil movies feed down our throats but rather instead we got a woman who actually looks like she can do the stuff they have her do…because she pretty much can. So anyway bottom line is that this flick will either be really cool or f**king bad.

Full review after the jump.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review: Premium Rush

I’m going to go ahead and make this official: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Beta is Dead’s number one favorite actor currently active in Hollywood. Rejoice.

Enjoy that hair while it lasts, buddy
Anyway Premium Rush is the new film from director David Koepp. It’s about bike messengers. Now I don’t like bikers. That may sound a bit harsh but when I drive I’m always finding bikers riding all over the road, running stop signs and red lights and generally being in the way. When I’m walking they tend to almost run me off the damn sidewalk. It’s frustrating. Now I hear that New York bike messengers are pretty much this but turned to eleven. So I guess in theory the “action packed” of a reckless bike messenger would make a good summer action thriller, right?

 In a hilarious turn of event the film’s production studio is being sued by author John Quirk as he alleges that his book The Ultimate Rush was the basis of this movie’s plot. I guess his book is about roller blading messengers in California but also supposedly character names were used as well. I’m not sure how true his claims are but in a situation where Hollywood may or may not have screwed someone out of money I’m usually going to assume that they did the screwing. You know, because Hollywood is evil.

Extreme Bike Messaging after the jump.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nerd Rage #11: Gwen Stacy, Dead or Alive

What? A picture of Gwen Stacy alive and without Spider-Man?
What madness is this?!
I imagine that by now most of you have seen The Amazing Spider-Man (at least if you cared about seeing it). The film has gotten mixed reviews but one thing I think we can all agree on is that Emma Stone was a great female lead in the film, especially compared to Kirsten Dunst in the original Spider-Man trilogy. If you’re not a big comic book fan it’s possible that you were surprised by the fact that Peter Parker was eyeing a blonde girl named Gwen Stacy rather than Mary Jane Watson (even Stone admitted she had no idea who the character was before she took the role). Gwen doesn’t show up in adaptations too often, for actually pretty dumb reasons, but the last few years she’s been appearing a bit more. The Spectacular Spider-Man (the TV show) featured her as a main character and I believe is the first cartoon to do that (the only one time I recall ever seeing her was in one episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series and she was way out of character).

Here’s my point: I was so impressed with Emma Stone’s performance (and the pretty darn good characterization) that I started thinking; why is Gwen Stacy not in the comics today. Well short answer is that she’s dead. She died in 1973 after being killed by Spidey’s archenemy the Green Goblin. The death has stuck all this time, nearly forty years; she’s been dead longer than Marvel’s target audience has been alive. Today I want to talk about Gwen, about her character, about why creators are hesitant to use her and whether or not it’s finally time to bring her back into the fold.

Before we get to the good stuff I want to make it clear that I’m still a fan of the Peter/MJ relationship and am far more interested in seeing that restored than anything to do with Gwen. I didn’t grow up with Spider-Man dating Gwen; I grew up with Spider-Man married to Mary Jane. This is just 1) a hypothetical situation that doesn’t mean anything and 2) even if it’s a possibility with the Spider-Marriage looking to be gone for good it would be a bit close minded of me to not revisit this character.

Let’s learn about Gwen Stacy after the jump.