Friday, November 30, 2012

"Batman: Arkham City" Graphic Novel Review

I'm not a video game player. I never have been and probably never will be. However, the concept and character design behind the "Batman: Arkham City" video game was enough to get my attention when ads started popping up in various places. When I found out DC was doing a five issue prequel comic leading into the game, I immediately knew I had to get a hold of it and read it. I'm happy to report I wasn't disappointed.

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"Batman: Arkham City" Graphic Novel Review

I'm not a video game player. I never have been and probably never will be. However, the concept and character design behind the "Batman: Arkham City" video game was enough to get my attention when ads started popping up in various places. When I found out DC was doing a five issue prequel comic leading into the game, I immediately knew I had to get a hold of it and read it. I'm happy to report I wasn't disappointed.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blu-ray Review: "Vamps"

Amy Heckerling's name on a film as director is usually enough to get me to watch it. She has an undeniable talent for presenting life lessons through her work while capturing a snapshot of a certain cultural time period, whether it be the 1980s through "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," the 1990s with "Clueless," or the 2000's with "Loser" and the CW's successful "Gossip Girl." "Vamps" is Heckerling's latest movie and continues the trend.

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Blu-ray Review: "Vamps"

Amy Heckerling's name on a film as director is usually enough to get me to watch it. She has an undeniable talent for presenting life lessons through her work while capturing a snapshot of a certain cultural time period, whether it be the 1980s through "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," the 1990s with "Clueless," or the 2000's with "Loser" and the CW's successful "Gossip Girl." "Vamps" is Heckerling's latest movie and continues the trend.

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Blu-ray Review: "The Apparition"

I'm always interested in a good ghost story which takes a unique look at the subject of the supernatural. Although I wouldn't necessarily call "The Apparition" completely original, it's an interesting enough blend of different ideas that makes it engrossing. There's a little Asian horror ala "The Grudge" and "Pulse," a very small pinch (thankfully) of "Paranormal Activity," and a bit of "Poltergeist" to top it off.

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Blu-ray Review: "The Apparition"

I'm always interested in a good ghost story which takes a unique look at the subject of the supernatural. Although I wouldn't necessarily call "The Apparition" completely original, it's an interesting enough blend of different ideas that makes it engrossing. There's a little Asian horror ala "The Grudge" and "Pulse," a very small pinch (thankfully) of "Paranormal Activity," and a bit of "Poltergeist" to top it off.

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"Superman: Earth One Volume Two" Graphic Novel Review

Sometimes I think I expect too much when diving into a book written by a renowned scribe like J. Michael Straczynski. Is it fair to have higher expectations just because the author won Hugo, Eisner, and BAFTA awards? "Superman: Earth One Volume Two" is evidence that a person can't hit the lottery every time they play. While the graphic novel isn't a complete disappointment, it just doesn't live up to its hype.

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"Superman: Earth One Volume Two" Graphic Novel Review

Sometimes I think I expect too much when diving into a book written by a renowned scribe like J. Michael Straczynski. Is it fair to have higher expectations just because the author won Hugo, Eisner, and BAFTA awards? "Superman: Earth One Volume Two" is evidence that a person can't hit the lottery every time they play. While the graphic novel isn't a complete disappointment, it just doesn't live up to its hype.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blu-ray Review: "The Muppet Christmas Carol: It's Not Easy Being Scrooge 20th Anniversary Special Edition"


It's hard for any of the 1990's Muppet movies to escape the shadows of the first three classic entries in the franchise starring the charming creatures. "The Muppet Movie," "The Great Muppet Caper," and "The Muppets Take Manhattan" are looked at by many to be Jim Henson's sacred trilogy of films starring the beloved characters. Disney gives "The Muppet Christmas Carol" another chance in the limelight with the "It's Not Easy Being Scrooge" Blu-ray + Digital Copy 20th Anniversary Special Edition.

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Blu-ray Review: "The Muppet Christmas Carol: It's Not Easy Being Scrooge 20th Anniversary Special Edition"


It's hard for any of the 1990's Muppet movies to escape the shadows of the first three classic entries in the franchise starring the charming creatures. "The Muppet Movie," "The Great Muppet Caper," and "The Muppets Take Manhattan" are looked at by many to be Jim Henson's sacred trilogy of films starring the beloved characters. Disney gives "The Muppet Christmas Carol" another chance in the limelight with the "It's Not Easy Being Scrooge" Blu-ray + Digital Copy 20th Anniversary Special Edition.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

DVD Review: “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season Two, Part 1: Danger in the Deep”

I'm delighted that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment began releasing "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated" in sets of two with 13 episodes versus four per volume. Many other fans of the Scooby Gang voiced their opinions on the matter and we got our wish. If Warner stuck to their original plans, we would already have another six volumes that take up way too much space in a home movie library. Consumers don't feel like they're getting their money's worth that way either.

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DVD Review: “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season Two, Part 1: Danger in the Deep”

I'm delighted that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment began releasing "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated" in sets of two with 13 episodes versus four per volume. Many other fans of the Scooby Gang voiced their opinions on the matter and we got our wish. If Warner stuck to their original plans, we would already have another six volumes that take up way too much space in a home movie library. Consumers don't feel like they're getting their money's worth that way either.

Read more

Friday, November 23, 2012

“Batman: The Dark Knight Volume 1 - Knight Terrors" Graphic Novel Review

With the recent release of "The Dark Knight Rises" and the re-issues of all the "Knightfall" books in the Batman comic series, I should have known what was coming in a graphic novel entitled "Batman: The Dark Knight Volume 1 - Knight Terrors." How could the geniuses at DC pass up the opportunity to make reference to and use the return of the very character who serves as the main bad guy in the last chapter of Christopher Nolan's hit trilogy of films about the Caped Crusader? After all, the timing is perfect since it's the eve of the release of the movie on Blu-ray and DVD.

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“Batman: The Dark Knight Volume 1 - Knight Terrors" Graphic Novel Review

With the recent release of "The Dark Knight Rises" and the re-issues of all the "Knightfall" books in the Batman comic series, I should have known what was coming in a graphic novel entitled "Batman: The Dark Knight Volume 1 - Knight Terrors." How could the geniuses at DC pass up the opportunity to make reference to and use the return of the very character who serves as the main bad guy in the last chapter of Christopher Nolan's hit trilogy of films about the Caped Crusader? After all, the timing is perfect since it's the eve of the release of the movie on Blu-ray and DVD.

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Blu-ray Review: "Night of Dark Shadows"

It's a great time to be a fan of "Dark Shadows." Thanks to Tim Burton's revamp, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has seen fit to give enthusiasts of the gothic / horror soap what they've wanted for years - high-definition editions of the theatrical releases "House of Dark Shadows" and "Night of Dark Shadows." "House of Dark Shadows" is an abridged version of the Barnabas Collins storyline of the popular television show. However, creator / director Dan Curtis was forced to explore different plot avenues with "Night of Dark Shadows."

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Blu-ray Review: "Night of Dark Shadows"

It's a great time to be a fan of "Dark Shadows." Thanks to Tim Burton's revamp, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has seen fit to give enthusiasts of the gothic / horror soap what they've wanted for years - high-definition editions of the theatrical releases "House of Dark Shadows" and "Night of Dark Shadows." "House of Dark Shadows" is an abridged version of the Barnabas Collins storyline of the popular television show. However, creator / director Dan Curtis was forced to explore different plot avenues with "Night of Dark Shadows."

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blu-ray Review: "They Live: Collector's Edition"

John Carpenter has an interesting track record of films. Many are considered cult classics like "Halloween," "The Thing," and "Escape from New York." Others are held in high esteem by some and shunned by others. I'm referring to "The Fog," "Prince of Darkness," and "Vampires." A select few are seen as outright disasters. One prime example everyone would agree on would be "Ghosts of Mars." A film that seems to fall just a little shy of being considered a shining example of his work is "They Live."

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Blu-ray Review: "They Live: Collector's Edition"

John Carpenter has an interesting track record of films. Many are considered cult classics like "Halloween," "The Thing," and "Escape from New York." Others are held in high esteem by some and shunned by others. I'm referring to "The Fog," "Prince of Darkness," and "Vampires." A select few are seen as outright disasters. One prime example everyone would agree on would be "Ghosts of Mars." A film that seems to fall just a little shy of being considered a shining example of his work is "They Live."

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Movie Review: "Red Dawn" (2012)

Remaking beloved classic films is a dangerous job for directors and studios. Many times they find themselves treading on what is considered hallowed ground. The latest trend in revisiting old material is to take a concept from an old movie and loosely use it as the framework for something new yet familiar. A good example of this approach working is "Fright Night." We can now add "Red Dawn" to the list of successful updates.

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Movie Review: "Red Dawn" (2012)

Remaking beloved classic films is a dangerous job for directors and studios. Many times they find themselves treading on what is considered hallowed ground. The latest trend in revisiting old material is to take a concept from an old movie and loosely use it as the framework for something new yet familiar. A good example of this approach working is "Fright Night." We can now add "Red Dawn" to the list of successful updates.

Read more

Monday, November 19, 2012

Actor Josh Peck talks about experiencing a "Red Dawn"

Josh Peck needs no introduction for anyone ages 18 to 25 who grew up on a steady diet of Nickelodeon. He spent his childhood side-by-side with fellow actor Drake Bell as one-half of the comedy duo “Josh and Drake.” Peck also starred with Amanda Bynes on her hit television series from 2000 to 2002. In between all that, he voiced several characters for successful movies and shows like the “Ice Age” movies, “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?,” and “Code Name: Kid’s Next Door.”

Check out the conversation here.

Actor Josh Peck talks about experiencing a "Red Dawn"

Josh Peck needs no introduction for anyone ages 18 to 25 who grew up on a steady diet of Nickelodeon. He spent his childhood side-by-side with fellow actor Drake Bell as one-half of the comedy duo “Josh and Drake.” Peck also starred with Amanda Bynes on her hit television series from 2000 to 2002. In between all that, he voiced several characters for successful movies and shows like the “Ice Age” movies, “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?,” and “Code Name: Kid’s Next Door.”

Check out the conversation here.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Before Watchmen December Issues Reviewed

I put off reviewing the December cover issues of the "Before Watchmen" event because two of the five issues never arrived. After waiting a few days, I decided to get a hold of DC and found out they had been delayed for some reason or another. Fans of the "Watchmen" prequels were no doubt disappointed to find that the latest entries in both the Silk Spectre and Comedian books weren't hitting shelves as scheduled. However, we did get the next chapters in Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, and the Minutemen's adventures.

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Before Watchmen December Issues Reviewed

I put off reviewing the December cover issues of the "Before Watchmen" event because two of the five issues never arrived. After waiting a few days, I decided to get a hold of DC and found out they had been delayed for some reason or another. Fans of the "Watchmen" prequels were no doubt disappointed to find that the latest entries in both the Silk Spectre and Comedian books weren't hitting shelves as scheduled. However, we did get the next chapters in Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, and the Minutemen's adventures.

Read more

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blu-ray Review: "Brave"

As I begin this review, I should confess I'm not a big Pixar fan. Although I do recognize the charm the films hold, I don't find them as entertaining as most people do. Much of that has to do with the animation style. The environments look great, but I find the human beings to resemble lifeless marionettes many times. The atmospheres of the movies are too "cute" for me as well. I'm not big on "cute" when it comes to animated movies.

All that being said, Disney and Pixar's "Brave" is as good as their films come. It has all the right elements of a classic fairy tale with a few twists thrown in to keep things modernized. There's a princess, a witch, and some kooky animals in a faraway land.

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Blu-ray Review: "Brave"

As I begin this review, I should confess I'm not a big Pixar fan. Although I do recognize the charm the films hold, I don't find them as entertaining as most people do. Much of that has to do with the animation style. The environments look great, but I find the human beings to resemble lifeless marionettes many times. The atmospheres of the movies are too "cute" for me as well. I'm not big on "cute" when it comes to animated movies.

All that being said, Disney and Pixar's "Brave" is as good as their films come. It has all the right elements of a classic fairy tale with a few twists thrown in to keep things modernized. There's a princess, a witch, and some kooky animals in a faraway land.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: “Blade Runner: The 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition”

Watching "Blade Runner" is an emotional investment no matter how many times you see it. I don't know if it's the lighting, the music, the dialogue, or a combination of all of the above. How a science fiction film from 1982 can still have that effect on me after seeing it dozens of times is beyond my comprehension. I always come away from the film with my insides all mixed together with sadness, excitement, and that warm feeling of happy nostalgia you get when you experience something you never thought you could again.

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Blu-ray Review: “Blade Runner: The 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition”

Watching "Blade Runner" is an emotional investment no matter how many times you see it. I don't know if it's the lighting, the music, the dialogue, or a combination of all of the above. How a science fiction film from 1982 can still have that effect on me after seeing it dozens of times is beyond my comprehension. I always come away from the film with my insides all mixed together with sadness, excitement, and that warm feeling of happy nostalgia you get when you experience something you never thought you could again.

Read more

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Nightwing Volume 1: Traps and Trapezes" Graphic Novel Review

Out of the new batch of Batman-Family books, Nightwing is by far one of my favorites. I never gave the super hero much thought before the New 52. However, I decided to give the monthly series a try after seeing the striking preview pages for issue #1. His new red and black suit appealed to me much more than the one with a blue logo. I know it's shallow to judge a comic book icon on looks alone, but they are characters in a visual medium after all.

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"Nightwing Volume 1: Traps and Trapezes" Graphic Novel Review

Out of the new batch of Batman-Family books, Nightwing is by far one of my favorites. I never gave the super hero much thought before the New 52. However, I decided to give the monthly series a try after seeing the striking preview pages for issue #1. His new red and black suit appealed to me much more than the one with a blue logo. I know it's shallow to judge a comic book icon on looks alone, but they are characters in a visual medium after all.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: “The Great Mouse Detective”

Disney is continuing their trend of releasing everything in high-definition with 1986's "The Great Mouse Detective." Based on Eve Titus's "Basil of Baker Street" book series, the movie paved the way for the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s. A great mix of adventure and humor makes this an entertaining homage to the world's greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes.

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Blu-ray Review: “The Great Mouse Detective”

Disney is continuing their trend of releasing everything in high-definition with 1986's "The Great Mouse Detective." Based on Eve Titus's "Basil of Baker Street" book series, the movie paved the way for the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s. A great mix of adventure and humor makes this an entertaining homage to the world's greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Blu-ray Review: "Star Wars: The Clone Wars - the Complete Season Four"

"Star Wars" fans are a fickle bunch. Some choose to believe only the original trilogy is to be taken seriously. Others are willing to accept all six of the films in the live-action series and that's all. I belong to the last group I'm about to talk about. The faction I belong to will devour anything Lucas and company delivers in regards to a "Galaxy Far, Far Away." We're happy to get anything that expands the universe we love so much. Individuals who fall into this category but don't have the luxury of cable, satellite television, or high speed internet connections can now celebrate in the news that Lucasfilm and Warner Bros. released "Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Complete Season Four" on Bu-ray and DVD.

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Blu-ray Review: "Star Wars: The Clone Wars - the Complete Season Four"

"Star Wars" fans are a fickle bunch. Some choose to believe only the original trilogy is to be taken seriously. Others are willing to accept all six of the films in the live-action series and that's all. I belong to the last group I'm about to talk about. The faction I belong to will devour anything Lucas and company delivers in regards to a "Galaxy Far, Far Away." We're happy to get anything that expands the universe we love so much. Individuals who fall into this category but don't have the luxury of cable, satellite television, or high speed internet connections can now celebrate in the news that Lucasfilm and Warner Bros. released "Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Complete Season Four" on Bu-ray and DVD.

Read more

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blu-ray Review: "House of Dark Shadows"

Warner Bros did what any smart corporate giant would do when a remake of an old classic hits the big-screen and Blu-ray / DVD. They released the original films in its shadows. In this case, it was literally "Dark Shadows."

It's common knowledge critics and moviegoers didn't care for Tim Burton's version of the 1960's gothic horror soap opera. From the outset, Warner Bros. had two potential ways they could go with cross-promoting the home video releases of the original "House of Dark Shadows" and "Night of Dark Shadows" movies with the new theatrical version.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "House of Dark Shadows"

Warner Bros did what any smart corporate giant would do when a remake of an old classic hits the big-screen and Blu-ray / DVD. They released the original films in its shadows. In this case, it was literally "Dark Shadows."

It's common knowledge critics and moviegoers didn't care for Tim Burton's version of the 1960's gothic horror soap opera. From the outset, Warner Bros. had two potential ways they could go with cross-promoting the home video releases of the original "House of Dark Shadows" and "Night of Dark Shadows" movies with the new theatrical version.

Read more

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Interview: Author Andrew Klein Talks About His Book on Metal Legend Randy Rhoads

It's safe to say author Andrew Klein is the biggest Randy Rhoads fan on Earth. Who else would sacrifice years of their life to put together the ultimate coffee table book on the subject? The 10 x 13 volume, simply entitled "Randy Rhoads," contains over 400 pages of color photos and serves as the most detailed work on the life of the iconic guitar player. It was put together with the help of Randy Rhoads' personal friend and guitar student Peter Margolis and writer Steven Rosen, adding even more credibility to this being the definitive tome on who many would call the most influential musician in Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. I had the opportunity to interview Klein about his experiences putting the book together. "Randy Rhoads" is published by Velocity Books and is available for order right here.

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Interview: Author Andrew Klein Talks About His Book on Metal Legend Randy Rhoads

It's safe to say author Andrew Klein is the biggest Randy Rhoads fan on Earth. Who else would sacrifice years of their life to put together the ultimate coffee table book on the subject? The 10 x 13 volume, simply entitled "Randy Rhoads," contains over 400 pages of color photos and serves as the most detailed work on the life of the iconic guitar player. It was put together with the help of Randy Rhoads' personal friend and guitar student Peter Margolis and writer Steven Rosen, adding even more credibility to this being the definitive tome on who many would call the most influential musician in Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. I had the opportunity to interview Klein about his experiences putting the book together. "Randy Rhoads" is published by Velocity Books and is available for order right here.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lot 13 Comic Book Review

I'm a Steve Niles fan to the end. The man is the reason I got back into comics. If it wasn't for the "30 Days of Night" film intriguing me so much, I would never have picked up another one seriously again. If I see a comic or graphic novel with his name on it, I immediately want to read it and hold high expectations. Everything from "Remains" to "The Thing" prequel comics to his Cal McDonald stories is great. Unfortunately, my expectations might be unfairly a little too high at times.

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Lot 13 Comic Book Review

I'm a Steve Niles fan to the end. The man is the reason I got back into comics. If it wasn't for the "30 Days of Night" film intriguing me so much, I would never have picked up another one seriously again. If I see a comic or graphic novel with his name on it, I immediately want to read it and hold high expectations. Everything from "Remains" to "The Thing" prequel comics to his Cal McDonald stories is great. Unfortunately, my expectations might be unfairly a little too high at times.

Read more

Thursday, November 1, 2012

IDW's KISS Comics Continue Winning Streak with Unique Concepts and Storylines


To say that IDW Publishing has successfully revived the KISS comic franchise in a unique and entertaining manner would be an understatement. The band has become an energy that surpasses four physical bodies and now can be immortalized through the spiritual transportation of their mystical souls to other individuals… or possibly life forms? It's sort of like how the real group will live on for many more decades through countless tribute bands across the world. If fans get on board and stay onboard, there's no limit to the adventures we could see the "Four-Who-Are-One" embark on.

Read more

IDW's KISS Comics Continue Winning Streak with Unique Concepts and Storylines


To say that IDW Publishing has successfully revived the KISS comic franchise in a unique and entertaining manner would be an understatement. The band has become an energy that surpasses four physical bodies and now can be immortalized through the spiritual transportation of their mystical souls to other individuals… or possibly life forms? It's sort of like how the real group will live on for many more decades through countless tribute bands across the world. If fans get on board and stay onboard, there's no limit to the adventures we could see the "Four-Who-Are-One" embark on.

Read more