Saturday, August 3, 2013

Big Brother Power Rankings: Week 6

Another week down, another eviction, another surprising power shift. We also had an endurance challenge for the Head of Household this week, so there be spoilers beyond the jump! Be warned!

Next week, by the way, is DOUBLE EVICTION. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. I love Double Eviction. If you've never watched the show before, next Thursday is the day to do it.

Friday Night Movie Reviews

We might be a bit late with them this month, but that doesn't mean our Friday Night Movie Reviews are any less awesome. As always on the first Friday of each month, we have a grab bag of mini movie reviews to wonder and amaze.

Join us below the cut to see what Courtney, Luke, Jacinta and Jeff have been watching this month!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox

I am generally a fan of books and graphic novel/comic expansions of the television shows I love. Especially when the show has ended and I miss the world and the characters of that show. I've got a collection of Doctor Who books, Supernatural books, the Buffy comic tie-ins and continued seasons; I think it takes a special sort of writer to capture the atmosphere of a television show in a novel and to find the voices of the characters of that show without the actors who have made them what they are. Many people think these books should entirely stand alone as something that would reintroduce the entire world of the media series, but I disagree. These stories build on a world that their readers are assumed to already be familiar with and would not interest their target audience if they were basically a recap of the entire series.

When Titan Books decided to release a series of official Fringe tie-in novels written by Christa Faust and expanding the Fringe world I made excited noises. Here is a world with so much storytelling potential and so many fantastic characters; whom I desperately miss. Would this series be any good? Would Christa Faust get the voices of my beloved team right and add to the amazing array of stories coming out of Fringe?

Faust has been commissioned to write three prequel novels, one for each of the Fringe team from the series; Walter Bishop, Olivia Dunham and Peter Bishop. Olivia's story will focus on the Cortexiphan trials and her teenage years while Peter's will delve into his shady black market dealings in 2008 just before the series began.

The Zodiac Paradox, Walter’s book and the first of the series, takes us back to 1968/1974 and a young Water Bishop, William Bell and Nina Sharp. The trio are investigating their scientific potential and discovering who they really are as scientists and as people. The Cortexiphan trials, their families, the Fringe team and the world of the show are all in their future. During an experiment that Bell and Walter undertake involving a hallucinogenic concoction, they open a portal to another version of reality. An alternate universe. Unbeknownst to them, they allow a terrifying serial killer into our world through the portal and now have to stop him before he kills more people.

Follow me under the jump for more about this exciting official Fringe tie-in!

King Kong the Musical

I love musicals. There is something fantastic about combining theatre with live music performance and telling a story in song. So what did I think when I was lucky enough to see King Kong the Musical in Melbourne? It was excellent! Here’s why.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

WWE Raw Powerslams Perth

The WWE is about as close to real life comic book superheroes as you can get. Cheesy storylines, impossibly buff men, ridiculously gorgeous women, square jawed heroes and diabolical villains all exist in the flesh here.

I've personally been a WWE (well then WWF) fan since I was 13, waaaaaay back in 1998. So that's about 15 years. Crazy. You can tell me its fake all you like. I'm well aware and I don't care. It's just so much damn fun. Try and think of wrestling as a musical. When emotions run high in a musical the characters break into song, here when emotions run high the characters fight.

The WWE Australian tour hit Perth on Tuesday night and my little brother and I went along. We've gone to every WWE show that's been here so far. It's tradition now.

So what shenanigans unfolded during the night? Did John Cena overcome all the odds? (Spoiler, he always does). Hit the jump for my WWE Perth recap!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thursday Threesome: Three Actors You Forgot Were In Band of Brothers

After the success of 1998's Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks & Steven Spielberg teamed up again to produce the ambitious WWII TV miniseries Band of Brothers in 2001. The series was like Private Ryan on 'roids, and won a bunch of awards, including 6 Emmys and one Golden Globe. It also spawned a follow-up of sorts in 2010's The Pacific, which was just as awesome.

It's a fantastic series, and it's easy to forget it came out over ten years ago. A recent re-watch shocked me when I saw how many familiar faces were in it. Actors that we take for granted as part of our entertainment lives these days were just in the early part of their careers when they took their roles as the men of the US Army's Easy Company. We're going to have a look at three of my favourite re-discoveries, which was a tough list to whittle down. I won't be looking at David Schwimmer, because he was already famous before Band of Brothers, and I also won't be looking at Damien Lewis because, c'mon, he was the main guy. If you've forgotten he was in Band of Brothers I'd question if we were watching the same show!

Join me below the cut for a flash-back to 2001.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

DC Comics New 52 - Stryder's Weekly Top 5

What's the frequency, Kenneth?  Um...This week's comics were released on July 24th, 2013, and there was much rejoicing in the land!  Let's take a look...

Batman/Superman #2 - "Don't worry.  I've got a friend taking care of it."

An extremely young, inexperienced Batman and Superman meet for the first time and immediately start fighting!  Suddenly, they hear a loud BOOM and they're both - somewhere else...

This issue picks right up from the point that the first left off, with OUR Batman and Superman teleported away against their wills and deposited on Earth 2!  Of course this opens up all sorts of chances for misunderstandings and wacky doppelganger hi-jinx!  Particularly since our heroes don't know or trust each other at all and also have no idea that the Multiverse even exists!  They've got so much to learn...

Great second issue!  Lots of fun, brilliant artwork and some cool cameos!  Not to mention some pretty funny moments and some pretty touching ones, too.  Greg Pak and Jae Lee hit it out of the park again!  I am particularly enjoying this book just because it's like nothing else in the New 52, particularly the visuals...although I love the story too and can't wait to see where this is going! 

What other comics made the cut this week?  Find out after the JUMP!

Television Roundup #2

Here we are again rounding up some new shows I have tried out recently. As before, I haven’t necessarily finished these shows and am giving a small snippet of a review of them based on whether or not I think I can continue!

This round's picks? Elementary, Vikings, Lost in Austen, Miranda and Suburgatory.

The Book Was Better Episode 53: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (with guest host Jacinta!)

The Book Was Better is the podcast where two willing test subjects submit themselves to the (usually) shitty tie-in novelization of notorious films.

ARRRR! In this week’s episode we pop on our parrots and whack out our peglegs, as we search for treasure in the much maligned, completely unnecessary Pirates of the Caribbean (4) On Stranger Tides! And my first mate (and hopefully not my last) is my dear friend Jacinta, who may or may not be high on rum. Johnny Depp’s career might be limp, but we’ll be sure to raise your mizzen mast!

Also! Is this the worst book we’ve EVER read? We’ll make a pretty convincing case for WHY towards the end...

ARRR! Ye can download it right now at the official site, subscribe to us on iTunes, and join the scurvy knaves on Facebook!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Luke Versus Jeff in an EPIC ROBOT ALIEN SHOWDOWN (or, they debate the finer points of "Pacific Rim")

Jeff and Luke were talking about Pacific Rim last week, and it turns out that there was quite a bit to talk about. Instead of yelling at each other on the internet, we chose to have a civil discourse and share it with the masses. Agree? Disagree? ROBOT SMASH?! Let's find out!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review: The Wolverine!

Fox has had a funny way of handling their X-Men properties. The studio has coveted their film rights to these characters and have continued to churn out movies to prevent said rights from reverting back to Marvel, and yet they've frequently seemed reluctant to fully realise the characters they've paid for. And never was this clearer than in 2009's maligned X-Men Origins: Wolverine which presented a softened, watered-down hero battling against cheap knock-off characters that barely resembled their comic book counterparts. It lacked substance - not uncommon with this genre - but, even worse than that, it lacked style. And it left most audiences with little faith or interest in the cinematic future of Wolverine.

However, one thing made me excited about the proposed sequel. Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) was hired to direct and right these wrongs, presenting a far darker (and more faithful) vision. Alas, that all fell through (the most popular theory is that the studio got squeamish about his harder take on the material), leaving director James Mangold to pick up the pieces. And yet even Hugh Jackman himself has been promising that this new film, simply titled The Wolverine, would make up for missed opportunities. It would bring Wolverine back to his comic book roots, darker, grittier and going totally beserk.

Now, I'll start by saying that I don't think Jackman was trying to hoodwink us this time. I think there's a sincerity about The Wolverine where Hugh and the crew are genuinely trying their best to deliver all these things. Bulked up bigger than ever before (and near naked for most of the movie to prove it), Hugh narrows his eyes, grits his teeth, and gives everything he has to unleash. But does he still have what it takes? And are Mangold and the screenwriters up to the task?

I'll tell you what I thought... after the jump!