Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Graphic Novel Review: "Sweet Tooth Volume 6: Wild Game"


I still remember the first time I came across a "Sweet Tooth" graphic novel. I opened up the package and saw the cover art featuring a half-human / half-deer boy and immediately dismissed it and thought it looked silly. Little did I know as I reluctantly opened it up how captivating, tragic, and exciting it would be. My feelings of respect and admiration toward the series continue to excel as "Sweet Tooth Volume 6: Wild Game" brings the story to a close.

Read more

Graphic Novel Review: "Sweet Tooth Volume 6: Wild Game"


I still remember the first time I came across a "Sweet Tooth" graphic novel. I opened up the package and saw the cover art featuring a half-human / half-deer boy and immediately dismissed it and thought it looked silly. Little did I know as I reluctantly opened it up how captivating, tragic, and exciting it would be. My feelings of respect and admiration toward the series continue to excel as "Sweet Tooth Volume 6: Wild Game" brings the story to a close.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: “Lilo & Stitch 2 Movie Collection” 3-Disc Special Edition


Disney's mission to release its entire catalog on Blu-ray continues with the "Lilo & Stitch 2 Movie Collection" 3-Disc Special Edition. It includes the original 2002 theatrical feature and the direct-to-DVD film "Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch." "Stitch the Movie" is actually the second entry in the franchise, but is obviously left out here because it was considered to be a sort of backdoor pilot for "Lilo & Stitch: The Series."

Read more

Blu-ray Review: “Lilo & Stitch 2 Movie Collection” 3-Disc Special Edition


Disney's mission to release its entire catalog on Blu-ray continues with the "Lilo & Stitch 2 Movie Collection" 3-Disc Special Edition. It includes the original 2002 theatrical feature and the direct-to-DVD film "Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch." "Stitch the Movie" is actually the second entry in the franchise, but is obviously left out here because it was considered to be a sort of backdoor pilot for "Lilo & Stitch: The Series."

Read more

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blu-ray Review: "Oz the Great and Powerful"


"Oz the Great and Powerful" arrived in theaters to mixed reviews from critics and a B+ Cinemascore from audiences. It managed to more than make back its production cost and will be followed up by the inevitable sequel. Sam Raimi's prequel to the 1939 classic now hits Blu-ray and DVD, giving audiences either another chance to see it for the first time or give it a second look in the comfort of their own homes.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "Oz the Great and Powerful"


"Oz the Great and Powerful" arrived in theaters to mixed reviews from critics and a B+ Cinemascore from audiences. It managed to more than make back its production cost and will be followed up by the inevitable sequel. Sam Raimi's prequel to the 1939 classic now hits Blu-ray and DVD, giving audiences either another chance to see it for the first time or give it a second look in the comfort of their own homes.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "Jack the Giant Slayer"


Bryan Singer has never been a filmmaker whose work I've celebrated and adored. It's not that his films aren't entertaining to some degree. However, they always seem to have an issue with pacing, which could just as well be blamed on the writers he chooses to work with. Most of them feel as if they lose their footing in the last act. His latest movie, "Jack The Giant Slayer" is no different.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "Jack the Giant Slayer"


Bryan Singer has never been a filmmaker whose work I've celebrated and adored. It's not that his films aren't entertaining to some degree. However, they always seem to have an issue with pacing, which could just as well be blamed on the writers he chooses to work with. Most of them feel as if they lose their footing in the last act. His latest movie, "Jack The Giant Slayer" is no different.

Read more

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Radioactive" KISS Solo Comicfolios and "The Beast" Coming from IDW Unlimited


In a spectacle that brings to mind their legendary solo albums in 1978, the members of KISS recently headed out on their own again. This time the Starchild, the Demon, the Celestial, and the Catman got their own individual comic books courtesy of IDW Publishing. KISS is never content with the status quo, and the God of Thunder himself (Gene Simmons) encouraged IDW Limited to release special edition Comicfolios of each issue.

The first of the four issues to get the royal treatment is KISS Solo: The Demon. IDW's Chief Creative Officer / Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall wrote the issue and longtime KISS comic artist Angel Medina illustrated. The explosive tale pits the Demon against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ryall shared a little bit of his own excitement about the KISS Solo Comicfolios.

"Obviously, I'm a lifelong fan of KISS, and this is something I'm happy to have in my own personal KISS collection. This Comicfolio is a very cool collectible, and the perfect thing for long-time fans or for someone you're trying to get hooked on rock and roll-or comics-for the first time," he commented.

The storyline and title of the book, "Radioactive," is based on a song taken from Gene Simmons' 1978 solo album. The explosive tale pits the Demon against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Writer Ryall reveals a little of what readers can expect when opening the pages of KISS Solo: The Demon.

"I figured since they've (the Four-Who-Are-One) never really been apart before, I should start out small and ease the character into being in a battle without anyone to watch his back... He's trying to figure out just what the deal is with humanity, why they're so important in the scheme of things. So it opens with him trying to be human and understand humanity, and then the Horsemen attack and he has to decide whether they're even worth fighting for," stated Ryall.

The second issue to be released will be KISS Solo: The Starchild. It's written by Tom Waltz (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and illustrated by Tone Rodriguez (Violent Messiahs). "Goodbye" sends cosmic bounty hunter the Starchild on one last mission to bring in a bad guy before returning to his home and cherished wife.

Next up is KISS Solo: The Celestial. The Spaceman embarks on an interstellar adventure entitled "Fractured Mirror" that sends him into battle against space pirates and himself. Chris Ryall pens the story with Alan Robinson ("Star Wars") taking on art duties.

Lastly, we'll get KISS Solo: The Catman. "Can't Stop the Rain" puts a twist on the age-old tale of "Beauty and the Beast." The Catman must stop an evil being from sacrificing a beautiful virgin female to the dark forces of the universe so he can increase his godlike powers. The tale is written by Tom Waltz and illustrated by Roberto Castro (JSA).

The limited edition Comicfolios will come in laser-cut hardcover portfolios adorned by the band's logo. Special editions of Angel Medina's cover art and exclusive lithographs will be included in each one. Only 500 copies of KISS Solo: The Demon will be made. I would imagine that will be the standard press run for all the titles.

Much like KISS's compilation "The Best of the Solo Albums," IDW Limited will release all four books in one collection entitled "The Beast." It will include a copy of each Comicfolio encased in a die-cut hardcover portfolio hand made for this special release. "The Beast" is the way to go for fans looking to keep their KISS comic book collection up to date. IDW Limited Director Jerry Bennington shared his vision of the Comicfolios.

"We wanted this to feel instantly cool and nostalgic. These remind me of the first time I saw a vinyl album; there's something so obviously COOL about them. This is the comic presentation you can get people into comics with; it's this unique thing that people see and instantly want to hold and own."

You can pre-order the individual KISS Solo Comics or "The Beast" right here.

"Radioactive" KISS Solo Comicfolios and "The Beast" Coming from IDW Unlimited


In a spectacle that brings to mind their legendary solo albums in 1978, the members of KISS recently headed out on their own again. This time the Starchild, the Demon, the Celestial, and the Catman got their own individual comic books courtesy of IDW Publishing. KISS is never content with the status quo, and the God of Thunder himself (Gene Simmons) encouraged IDW Limited to release special edition Comicfolios of each issue.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Movie Review: "Man of Steel"


Just like many children of the 1970s, I had a hard time accepting what I saw in the first trailers for "Man of Steel." How dare someone come along and try to tell me someone else could be Superman besides Christopher Reeve! I do love those movies with all my heart (yes, even the third and fourth ones), but it's been 35 years since we've really seen a new and truly unique vision of the world's first super hero. As much as I protested, the time had come.

Read more

Movie Review: "Man of Steel"


Just like many children of the 1970s, I had a hard time accepting what I saw in the first trailers for "Man of Steel." How dare someone come along and try to tell me someone else could be Superman besides Christopher Reeve! I do love those movies with all my heart (yes, even the third and fourth ones), but it's been 35 years since we've really seen a new and truly unique vision of the world's first super hero. As much as I protested, the time had come.

Read more

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blu-ray Review: "Mad Max Trilogy"


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment celebrates the high-definition upgrade of "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" with the release of all three movies in a special set. The trilogy is presented in a tin box with exclusive art developed for the collection. The Blu-rays are housed inside a single case within its collectible cradle.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "Mad Max Trilogy"


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment celebrates the high-definition upgrade of "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" with the release of all three movies in a special set. The trilogy is presented in a tin box with exclusive art developed for the collection. The Blu-rays are housed inside a single case within its collectible cradle.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "The Town that Dreaded Sundown"


There are some films I haven't seen in my 40 years of life that it seems inexcusable to have missed. Many of those have crossed my path recently thanks to Scream Factory. They've made it a habit to dig up the cult classic gems of the past and give them a much-deserved upgrade to high-definition. Two such movies I failed to see over the years are "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" and "The Evictors."

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "The Town that Dreaded Sundown"


There are some films I haven't seen in my 40 years of life that it seems inexcusable to have missed. Many of those have crossed my path recently thanks to Scream Factory. They've made it a habit to dig up the cult classic gems of the past and give them a much-deserved upgrade to high-definition. Two such movies I failed to see over the years are "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" and "The Evictors."

Read more

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Japan Gets a Taste of Comic Book Convention Life


Comic book and pop culture conventions are a regular staple here in the United States. I would venture to guess there's one happening at least every other month somewhere in the country. It used to be fairly difficult to meet a favorite celebrity from a TV show or movie. However, if you're willing to pay the money you can have your picture taken with them and signed in the matter of a few hours now. As bizarre as it may seem, it's something that can almost be taken for granted in our country.

For some countries, it's not as easy to run into the guy who played Freddy Krueger or Samwise as it is in Dallas, TX. The month of May was a big deal for TV and movie enthusiasts in Japan. The country saw their second Comic-Con type event and it was a big success.

The Hollywood Collector's Convention (or "HollyCon" as it is affectionately called) grew larger this year both in attendees and guests. The previous event had only one guest on its roster. "Back to the Future" and "Star Trek" actor Christopher Lloyd made the trek from California to Tokyo to give the good citizens of the country their first taste of comic book convention life.

2013's HollyCon took place at the Grand Palace Hotel in Tokyo, Japan. The guests of honor for the event were actors Robert England ("Freddy Krueger" in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies) and Sean Astin ("Samwise" in the "Lord of the Rings" movies). Just like American conventions, the celebrities signed autographs and met their fans. They posted for pictures with them and had question and answer panels where they interacted with excited crowds.

This year's Hollywood Collector's Convention further proved that there is an audience for these types of events in Japan. It will be interesting to see how it will grow in the future. The San Diego Comic-Con and Dallas Comic-Con are both proof that things which start out small definitely don't stay that way.

Go here to see pictures of Hollywood Collector's Convention No. 2.

Japan Gets a Taste of Comic Book Convention Life


Comic book and pop culture conventions are a regular staple here in the United States. I would venture to guess there's one happening at least every other month somewhere in the country. It used to be fairly difficult to meet a favorite celebrity from a TV show or movie. However, if you're willing to pay the money you can have your picture taken with them and signed in the matter of a few hours now. As bizarre as it may seem, it's something that can almost be taken for granted in our country.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Graphic Novel Review: "Aquaman Volume 2: The Others"


"Aquaman Volume 2: The Others" continues to re-establish the King of Atlantis's position as a super hero just as important to the DC Universe as Green Lantern or The Flash. The second collection of the monthly series contains issues #7 through 13. Writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis energetically bring the character's complex and adventurous tales to life.

Read more

Graphic Novel Review: "Aquaman Volume 2: The Others"


"Aquaman Volume 2: The Others" continues to re-establish the King of Atlantis's position as a super hero just as important to the DC Universe as Green Lantern or The Flash. The second collection of the monthly series contains issues #7 through 13. Writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis energetically bring the character's complex and adventurous tales to life.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "Lifeforce Collector's Edition"


Scream Factory brings us 1985's space vampire flick "Lifeforce" to Blu-ray for the first time ever. Although Tobe Hooper's blend of sci-fi and horror didn't fare well at the box office when first released, it's gained a cult following over the years thanks to video and DVD. "Lifeforce Collector's Edition" includes both the theatrical cut and a longer director approved version.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "Lifeforce Collector's Edition"


Scream Factory brings us 1985's space vampire flick "Lifeforce" to Blu-ray for the first time ever. Although Tobe Hooper's blend of sci-fi and horror didn't fare well at the box office when first released, it's gained a cult following over the years thanks to video and DVD. "Lifeforce Collector's Edition" includes both the theatrical cut and a longer director approved version.

Read more

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blu-ray Review: "The Howling: Collector's Edition"


I can always count on Scream Factory to present me with opportunities to revisit the cult classic horror films of the 1980s. "The Howling" gets an upgrade, marking the first time the movie has ever been available on Blu-ray. Many werewolf fans are wondering if the film feels aged in a high-definition format. I'm happy to report It's not without its faults, but holds up quite well.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "The Howling: Collector's Edition"


I can always count on Scream Factory to present me with opportunities to revisit the cult classic horror films of the 1980s. "The Howling" gets an upgrade, marking the first time the movie has ever been available on Blu-ray. Many werewolf fans are wondering if the film feels aged in a high-definition format. I'm happy to report It's not without its faults, but holds up quite well.

Read more

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Movie Review: "The Purge"


From the moment I saw the first trailer for "The Purge" and read its synopsis, I knew I had to see it. The concept was so frightening yet intriguing. One thing's for sure. No one will leave the theater and immediately forget the film. I'm willing to bet many audience members will reflect on it for the next couple of days.

Read more

Movie Review: "The Purge"


From the moment I saw the first trailer for "The Purge" and read its synopsis, I knew I had to see it. The concept was so frightening yet intriguing. One thing's for sure. No one will leave the theater and immediately forget the film. I'm willing to bet many audience members will reflect on it for the next couple of days.

Read more

Monday, June 10, 2013

Blu-ray Review: "Warm Bodies"


Summit Entertainment brings home zombie romance comedy "Warm Bodies" for fans of the walking dead to enjoy. Zombie movies are a dime a dozen right now. This charming little mix of action, horror, and a love story changes things up a bit. It provides a satisfying experience, yet left me surprised there wasn't more funny parts.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "Warm Bodies"


Summit Entertainment brings home zombie romance comedy "Warm Bodies" for fans of the walking dead to enjoy. Zombie movies are a dime a dozen right now. This charming little mix of action, horror, and a love story changes things up a bit. It provides a satisfying experience, yet left me surprised there wasn't more funny parts.

Read more

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blu-ray Review: “LEGO Batman: The Movie - Super Heroes Unite”


 Not content to just be plain old building blocks, the LEGO brand has grabbed up licenses to create products based on everything from "Star Wars" to "Harry Potter" and competitors Marvel and DC Entertainment. What was once just a toy has transformed into an animated phenomenon that simultaneously lampoons and pays homage to the biggest franchises in pop culture.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: “LEGO Batman: The Movie - Super Heroes Unite”


 Not content to just be plain old building blocks, the LEGO brand has grabbed up licenses to create products based on everything from "Star Wars" to "Harry Potter" and competitors Marvel and DC Entertainment. What was once just a toy has transformed into an animated phenomenon that simultaneously lampoons and pays homage to the biggest franchises in pop culture.

Read more

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Batman Fights Dracula" for the First Time 46 Years Ago... In the Philipines


Forty-six years ago, Batman met the original Prince of Darkness for the first time. It wasn't in the pages of Detective Comics or Batman Magazine as many would think. Strangely, the first epic battle between the two creatures of the night was a 1967 color Filipino film entitled "Batman Fights Dracula."

Take a breath before you start feverishly clicking away on Google looking for a link to a torrent of the movie. Unfortunately, "Batman Fights Dracula" is what Hollywood refers to as a "lost" film. There are no existing copies of it to be found anywhere. At least, no one has located one yet. Who knows what could be in the basement of some old projectionist's house somewhere in the Philippines.

Not much is known about "Batman Fights Dracula" except what can be found on the only existing promotional piece from the film. A poster features a few shots from the movie and the names of the actors and filmmakers.

Batman / Bruce Wayne was portrayed by S.O.S Daredevils member and stunt coordinator Jing Abalos. The emblem on his chest was some type of human figure instead of the familiar Bat-symbol.

Award-winning actor Dante Rivero took the role of Dracula. Ramon d'Salva played Dr. Zorba. Most likely his character was a villain, as d'Salva was cast as the bad guy in many of the films he starred in.

Rolan Robles was Ruben, who was probably Robin. The poster features the Boy Wonder, but no character named Robin is listed on it.

The poster also shows the Filipino Dynamic Duo in several scenes that promise a lot of super hero action. Batman stares down a bloody-mouthed Count Dracula as he holds one victim in his arms with another lying at his feet. Other images show the Caped Crusaders leaping on a speeding truck, riding a motorcycle together, and taking part in hand-to-hand combat with what must be Dracula or Dr. Zorba's henchmen.

Chances are "Batman Fights Dracula" was fashioned after the popular campy American TV series which was airing at the same time this was released. It's been labeled a comedy, but obviously featured plenty of action as the poster shows. Maybe someday a copy of the movie will be unearthed and Batman fans will get to see firsthand. If and when that day comes, the legend surrounding the lost treasure will most likely be more interesting than the film itself.

The Dark Knight and the Count met again years later in two different formats. They traded blows and matched wits with each other in 1991's alternate reality "Elseworlds" graphic novel entitled "Batman / Dracula: Red Rain." The two crossed paths for a third time in the 2005 animated feature film "The Batman vs. Dracula."

"Batman / Dracula: Red Rain" is available now in paperback, hardcover, and standard comic book forms.

"The Batman vs. Dracula" is available now on DVD and as a Digital Download.

"Batman Fights Dracula" for the First Time 46 Years Ago... In the Philipines


Forty-six years ago, Batman met the original Prince of Darkness for the first time. It wasn't in the pages of Detective Comics or Batman Magazine as many would think. Strangely, the first epic battle between the two creatures of the night was a 1967 color Filipino film entitled "Batman Fights Dracula."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Graphic Novel Review: “Batman Incorporated Volume 1: Demon Star”


There can never be enough Batman books featuring Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Countless story arcs utilize the notorious villain either as a central character or the mysterious antagonist who pulls the strings behind the scenes. Although the Dark Knight always finds a way to foil Al Ghul's plans for the moment, the arch villain continues to return and cause more trouble.

Read more

Graphic Novel Review: “Batman Incorporated Volume 1: Demon Star”


There can never be enough Batman books featuring Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Countless story arcs utilize the notorious villain either as a central character or the mysterious antagonist who pulls the strings behind the scenes. Although the Dark Knight always finds a way to foil Al Ghul's plans for the moment, the arch villain continues to return and cause more trouble.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "The Last Stand"


After a disappointing turnout in theaters for Arnold Schwarzenegger's first leading role in a film since 2003, "The Last Stand" has hit Blu-ray and DVD. It's a good thing we live in a day and age where movies get a second chance in a home entertainment environment. All the people who dismissed it the first time can see what they missed out on.

Read more

Blu-ray Review: "The Last Stand"


After a disappointing turnout in theaters for Arnold Schwarzenegger's first leading role in a film since 2003, "The Last Stand" has hit Blu-ray and DVD. It's a good thing we live in a day and age where movies get a second chance in a home entertainment environment. All the people who dismissed it the first time can see what they missed out on.

Read more

“Batman and Robin Volume 2: Pearl” Graphic Novel Review


"Batman and Robin Volume 2: Pearl" gives us more of the complex dynamics of the Bat-Family. At times, it begins to feel like a prime time soap opera based around the Dark Knight and his dysfunctional bunch. I don't mean that in a negative manner, either. It adds an emotional level that strengthens the book and elevates it above your simple action / adventure fare.

Read more

“Batman and Robin Volume 2: Pearl” Graphic Novel Review


"Batman and Robin Volume 2: Pearl" gives us more of the complex dynamics of the Bat-Family. At times, it begins to feel like a prime time soap opera based around the Dark Knight and his dysfunctional bunch. I don't mean that in a negative manner, either. It adds an emotional level that strengthens the book and elevates it above your simple action / adventure fare.

Read more

Monday, June 3, 2013

Author Alan Dean Foster Reflects on What Could Have Been the Official "Star Wars" Sequel


Everyone knows there's a certain amount of animosity between "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" fans. The rivalry was even touched on in 2009's "Fanboys," which served as a love letter to George Lucas and his space saga. Many people on both sides of the science fiction fence were surprised when they heard J.J. Abrams was taking the reins of both franchises.

Read more

Author Alan Dean Foster Reflects on What Could Have Been the Official "Star Wars" Sequel


Everyone knows there's a certain amount of animosity between "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" fans. The rivalry was even touched on in 2009's "Fanboys," which served as a love letter to George Lucas and his space saga. Many people on both sides of the science fiction fence were surprised when they heard J.J. Abrams was taking the reins of both franchises.

Read more

"Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns" Graphic Novel Review


When "Batman Beyond" premiered in 1999, I couldn't have been more excited. A show which featured my favorite super hero set in a futuristic Gotham City that resembled the world of "Blade Runner" was almost too much for my geek heart to process. It never disappointed me and assured fans of the Dark Knight that his legacy would never end. Twelve years after the last official episode of the series aired, the futuristic crime fighter's adventures continue in both Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond comic titles.

Read more

"Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns" Graphic Novel Review


When "Batman Beyond" premiered in 1999, I couldn't have been more excited. A show which featured my favorite super hero set in a futuristic Gotham City that resembled the world of "Blade Runner" was almost too much for my geek heart to process. It never disappointed me and assured fans of the Dark Knight that his legacy would never end. Twelve years after the last official episode of the series aired, the futuristic crime fighter's adventures continue in both Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond comic titles.

Read more