Saturday, October 19, 2013

National Theatre Live - Othello Review

Every year or so we are treated to some National Theatre performances, recorded live and broadcast to cinemas around the world. The 2013/14 program looks particularly stunning and features productions of Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Habit of Art, a 50th Anniversary NT celebration, Frankenstein and early next year Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus and an encore of the stage production of War Horse. I am more than a little excited about this. I love live theatre, Shakespeare and last year got to see Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller and had my mind completely blown.

On Sunday last week we hit Luna Leederville for the Othello screening featuring Adrian Lester as the Moor and Rory Kinnear as Iago. These sessions are limited so check out and find out where your nearest screening is.

Follow me under the cut for a review of NT Live's encore presentation of Shakespeare's Othello.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Prisoners Review

There has been a terrific run of great, quality film making these last few weeks. In fact, I haven't seen anything I haven't really enjoyed in some time. Gravity blew me away and Rush exceeded all my expectations.

Prisoners has been on my radar for a few months after seeing the first trailer. Jackman and Gyllenhaal in a tense, psychological suspense film? Sign me up! Even the mere trailer filled me with complete unease and dread.

Does the movie keep this run of great films in tact?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible by Neil Connelly

There's a mixed history for me with prose superhero stories. Some, like Austin Grossman's Soon I Shall Be Invincible, work within the framework of the stories it is trying to ape in prose to come up with a good story. Some, like Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart, subvert those tropes in a way that speaks to the stories it is mimicking, but with a good twist. The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible tries to be the latter more than the former, but with a slightly different twist to it. While it tries, in a sense, to be a character study of an older, aging superhero (think an adult version of Mr Incredible from The Incredibles), the book comes across more like a McSweeney's-fication of the superhero prose genre than anything else, and it doesn't always work.

Thursday Threesome: Three Lego sets that might get me back into collecting.

It's been a little while since I've bought a Lego set. I've been picking up minifigures here and there, but I haven't bought a solid set in years. Why? It's not because they haven't been coming out with quality sets. I think I could jump into any line (even Lone Ranger) and be happy to add most sets to my collection. 

The issue for me has just been time and money. The big downer for any collection. But there are photos and rumors floating around the internet that are worth breaking the bank over. The good news is that my kids are just about to hit the age where I can buy Lego sets (for them, of course), build them (with them, of course), and then place the completed sets on Dad's Lego shelf where they are never be touched again.

So what is pulling me back into it? Click through the jump to see.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DC Comics New 52 - Stryder's Weekly Top 5...uh...2!!

Hey folks!  I have to be honest...I'm on vacation right now and wasn't going to post ANYTHING this week at all!  HOWEVER...2 of the best comics I've read in ages both came out last week and I can't just let them pass by without comment!  We'll get back to 5 whole comics NEXT week...for now, enjoy my Top 2 released October 9th, 2013:

Batman #24 - "This is madness--you know, Alfred.  The thing we're building down here."

Whoa!  In this Double-Sized "Zero Year" issue we are treated to the first appearance of BATMAN!  The Dark Knight rises to try and end the Red Hood Gang and their mysterious leader once and for all!  The Legend of the Bat truly begins this night, the evening before the anniversary of Bruce Wayne's parents death!  Amazing!

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have really outdone themselves to make this the best re-imagining of the Batman origin they possibly could, and they've succeeded far, far beyond my expectations!  This is easily my favourite issue of the New 52 Batman comic yet, and that's saying a lot, as there have been some really excellent issues!  Instant classic.  People will be reading this comic and all of "Zero Year" for years and years to come, for sure!  Really good work!

What other comic blew my socks off this week?  Here's a's a BRAND NEW TITLE!  Find out what after the JUMP!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Orphan Black: Teaser, Review and Analysis

Recently I have been really enjoying Continuum and The Following - however, another show has come along that has blown them out of the water; Orphan Black. If you are into science fiction, good story telling and amazing acting then this is for you.

Orphan Black tells the story of Sarah Manning a small time grifter with an abusive boyfriend and a complicated past. Sarah has come back to Canada after 10 months away from her child and her foster brother. While at a train station she encounters a young woman in distress. The woman looks identical to Sarah, but before Sarah can ask any questions she throws herself in front of a train. Sarah takes the woman's bag and assumes her identity, intending to take the woman's life savings and get her own life back on track.

Orphan Black is simply one of the best sci-fi series’ around, with strong story telling and character development and a kick-arse female lead, which is exactly what we need right now.

Follow me under the cut for a teaser, progressive review and analysis of Orphan Black’s first season.

[Note: I will warn for spoilers at each section]

Tuesday Trio: Three Recent Reads You or Your Kids Can Enjoy

With the real world getting in the way, it's been hard for me to keep up with a lot of stuff beyond reading. The good news is that I've had a lot of extra time to read lately, and while not everything I've read lately has been great, there have still been quite a few highlights out there, and those highlights have been mostly for the kiddie set. I read a lot of young adult stuff as is, and picking up a good genre title that could introduce some young ones in your life to the genres you love can always be a challenge. So, in honor of the Tuesday after an American long weekend, here's a trio of recent genre fiction that you may have some interest in:

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 64: Howard the Duck (with guest host Courtney Coulson!)

This week we tackle one of my personal childhood favourites. You hate it. I love it. Hells yeah, Howard the Duck! After refusing to do this episode multiple times, guest host Courtney Coulson returns under much duress and does her plucky best to talk about anything other than the book at hand!

This is a novel that seems to have so little faith in its source material that it constantly veers off on wild, nonsensical, audaciously padded tangents, and we’ve recorded a loving tribute to that meandering style with this equally nonsensical, well-padded 90 mins of show. Listen to this one at your own risk!

You can download it right now from the official site!

Or why not subscribe to us on iTunes, like our Facebook page, and join the discussion in our friendly Facebook group!