Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Night Movie Reviews

We pushed back our monthly movie review super-post to give Free Comic Book Day the attention it deserved, but we are back on track with four very varied mini-reviews. We've got a foreign treat, a modern zombie flick, a retro-gaming love letter from Pixar, and a Mel Brooks classic that you won't believe came out 20 years ago. Man, we're all so old.

Onwards to the movies!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thursday Threesome: Three Things the WWE is Getting Right

When we did our month of wrestling posts for Marchmania in March of 2012, I was at a bit of a loss. I hadn't really kept up with it at all, having completely missed the Attitude Era and only knowing a few things secondhand through friends and such.

Shortly after we did Marchmania, however, a semi-personal connection got me hooked back in: Damien Sandow. I graduated from high school in the same class as Sandow, and while we were never really friendly (never saw each other out of school, only had a handful of classes together), I realized how serious he was about it when he showed me a picture of himself and Killer Kowalski, who was training him at the time. I always kept my eyes peeled for him as he went through the independent ranks, and while he had a quick run in 2007, it's only now that he's getting the push he's worked for since the late 1990s when he would organize independent events in Worcester.

So what started as YouTubing his matches has resulted in my setting the DVR for Raw and Smackdown, and what started as being a fan of some guy I once knew has resulted in my being a fan of wrestling again. Having watched somewhat regularly for about 6 months now, I have opinions! So that's what we do here, right? Here, for Thursday Threesome, are three things I think the WWE is really getting right:

Review: Lego Man of Steel: Superman Metropolis Showdown!

Okay, Hollywood, listen up and listen good. If you’re making films that AREN’T made into Lego sets then I don’t want to hear about them. And let’s agree to stop giving awards (looking at you, Oscars) to films that don’t have a single Lego set, and yet are absolutely ripe with potential. Lego Life of Pi complete with tiger and boat? Lego Les Miserables Prostitute Docks with an Anne Hathaway minifigure who has removable hair and a miserable face printed on the other side? LIFT YOUR GAME, HOLLYWOOD.

Luckily plucky director Zack Snyder knows where it’s at, and refuse to let his Superman reboot Man of Steel go by without some well-timed Lego tie-ins. Zack Snyder wants Lego and he will defend this right with his fists! Probably. The smallest set: 76002 Superman Metropolis Showdown has just landed on my desk (because I put it there). And clearly this set represents the scene where Superman and General Zod argue about who’s going to pay to park their car.

I’m going to talk more bullshit... after the jump!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The World's End Trailer

The trailer for the last movie in the "Cornetto Trilogy" has just dropped. 

Will Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright be able to live up to the lofty heights of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz with this one? It's certainly looking good so far!

After a zombie film and an action film it looks decidedly sci fi for this one. Looking forward to the gang having some fun with the tropes of the genre. Also I loved seeing the jumping the fence gag from the last two pop up again. ("What, you've never taken a short cut?") I laughed pretty damn hard!

Shaun, Fuzz and Wright's Scott Pilgrim are all favourites in my household. Each getting play pretty often. Definitely a pick to watch when you've had a bad day for me. 

Of course the best news if that with this release of World's End, Edgar can get straight on to work with Ant-Man. Huzzah!

I'll be there opening night for sure. It's a shame the release date is a few months after the UK and US releases but we've been pretty lucky as of late overall. Look for it October 3rd.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spock Vs. Spock!

New Audi commercial may just be the best commercial EVER!

Right? Right!

DC Comics New 52 - Stryder's Weekly Top 5

Happy May everybody!  As the weather turns nice, it may seem like there's just not as much time to spend on comic books every week.  Well, there is!  However, there isn't NEARLY as much time to write about them...which is why I've decided a format change is in order!  Going forward, on any given week I'll share my thoughts on my 5 favourite books for the week!  No more, no less...

So Henceforth, Stryder's Favourite Comics becomes - Stryder's Weekly Top 5!  Let's start right away with the first week of May!

Green Arrow #20 - "I'll give you this, Oliver--You may not be the most gifted warrior in the world, but you are tenacious."

Green Arrow may have managed to slip through rival-archer and man-of-mystery Komodo's fingers last issue, but he won't get much of a chance to rest.  What Oliver doesn't know is that one of his two "Alfred-like" support team members managed to survive the destruction of Q-Core a few issues back and is being held captive by Komodo and his psychotic little daughter.  Now Komodo's broadcasting footage of Naomi, live-feed on Ollie's old website, tied up and impaled on a grave marker.  Komodo doesn't have to chase Green Arrow...Green Arrow will come to him!

Oh I forgot to mention that Oliver's so wounded he can barely stand and also there's a bomb.  How's he gonna solve this?  Using the mighty power of arrows?!? 

Once again, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino make me care about characters that I'd rather find ridiculous.  I don't know how they're turning Green Arrow into such a great comic every month, but they're doing it!  If you only buy one comic this week...

Detective Comics, Worlds' Finest and more after the JUMP!

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness!

If you saw The Hobbit in IMAX in December then you may have been treated to a preview of the first ten minutes of J.J. Abrams’ long awaited sequel: Star Trek Into Darkness. And it was fantastic. Fast paced, action-packed and funny, it was exciting to see these characters return amid the unrelenting chaos of colourful new worlds, creatures, and concepts. It reeked of confidence, and successfully ramped up my anticipation, assuring me that Abram’s must have created something pretty great.

Because, let’s face it, they hype up Abrams’ projects a lot. They are shrouded in secrecy, and he makes a point of not rushing into things until everything’s in place. We should feel assured that if he’s taking his time, instead of cynically cranking out a sequel, then it should be because he wants to do something unexpected and special. And the trailers seem to promise us dark times ahead with raised stakes and heightened emotion. Is Into Darkness really the Star Trek equivalent of The Dark Knight? Is it a raw and twisted game-changer?

Sadly, no. No, it’s not. It’s an entertaining enough blockbuster but has a surprisingly simple story that you could probably piece together from the watching trailers, watching the original films, and reading old character entries on Wikipedia. So temper your expectations and join me... after the jump!

F**k Yeah Game of Thrones Recaps! Episode 6: The Climb!

After battering our eyeballs with constant action for the last couple of weeks, blood-and-boobs fantasy epic Game of Thrones slows down the pace a little this week. That’s OK, Game of Thrones! You’ve earned it! Put your feet up and relax a bit as we enjoy The Climb. (Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that this will be both a literal AND metaphorical climb? I’m onto your games, Thrones!).

To find out what this ill-informed, didn’t-read-the-books, ruffian thinks, join me as I recap the crap out of it... after the jump!

The Book Was Better Podcast: Teaser for Episode 42!

The Book Was Better is the podcast where we tend to rip the shit out of the book of the film.

In this week's mini teaser episode I finally reveal the great guest host crossover event I've been teasing for a while. Two world super powers will clash annoyingly as we tackle one of our most ridiculous movie novelizations yet! Brace yourself!

Download it right now from the official site, or why not subscribe to us on iTunes and make me feel better about myself.

Game of Thrones 3.05 and 3.06 Book Comparison and Review

As we reach the crescendo of season three, are you staring to wonder what you might have missed? What’s really going on in the game? What are Littlefinger and Varys playing at? How much more arse can Lady Olena possibly kick? Game of Thrones continues to both amaze and horrify, with the awesome developing male-female bromance between Jamie and Brienne, and some truly awful ice climbing adventures!

Under the jump I’ll take you through some speculation based on what happens at a similar time in A Storm of Swords, and give you some analysis on what the show has changed and why.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror

With two episodes to the end after this adventure, Doctor Who serves us up a murder mystery type episode complete with bowler hats, accents and stubborn horses. The preview last week didn’t fill me with joy, or even give me an inkling that this story might be any good. But with Mark Gatiss back at the writing helm there was always a possibility, and this episode delivered.

The fantastic Jenny and Madame Vastra are back, solving mysteries and filling me with joy. Their Sontaran butler come security guard Strax is a delight as ever. Lady Ollena Tyrell from Game of Thrones takes a break from sparring with Tywin and Tyrion Lannister to play Mrs. Gillyflower (Diana Rigg is a marvellous woman and actress) and I have no idea where all the chatter on the internet is coming from about Matt Smith losing his spark, but it’s nonsense. He’s just as magnificent in this story. Perhaps the surprise breakthrough is Rachael Stirling as blind Ada. What a heartfelt and stunning performance!

Enough chatter, let’s go under the cut for some of the detail about what made The Crimson Horror an especially ‘Who’ episode.

Monday Morning Catch-up

It's amazing how much the real world can get in the way of one's blogging responsibilities. I've had a lot of little things to share that, at this point, might just be easier to bring about in one big post. Some of the videos may not be 100% safe for workplace consumption, so you've been warned...

El Professore Movie Reviews: The Raid (aka The Raid Redemption)

Director: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian
* * *
I hate trends and avoid being trendy if at all possible. That's why when I won the dvd of this highly touted Indonesian action film on ebay last summer, I stashed it away. There were plenty of other, rarer films I hadn't yet seen (that's ALWAYS the case, though) and I wasn't too interested in watching a film that has been the rage of the blogosphere, no matter how highly praised it was. But now that the hype has finally died down, I decided to dig it up and see what the big shit deal fuss was about.

Full review after the break.

Book Review: The Art of Iron Man 3!

I goddamn love movie art books. At last year's Free Comic Book Day I grabbed and reviewed The Art of The Avengers and this year I followed the proud why-not-call-it-a-tradition by purchasing the handsomely heavy Art of Iron Man 3.

Marvel has shown a knack for producing both beautiful and comprehensive art books that document the production of their films, and Iron Man 3 is no exception. In fact, I would argue that this particular tome is even more essential than its predecessors as it details some incredible and intricate design that barely flash across the screen. Have you ever wanted to see all 42 Iron Man armours, presented clearly, in order, with all of their code names? I certainly did and, as far as I know, this book is the first resource to do that.

Plus there's plenty of more. I'm going to barrage you with info and opinions... after the jump!