Thursday, April 27, 2017

Maskerpiece Theatre's May Movie Madness

The crew at Maskerpiece Theatre put together 64 comic book movies in a bracket style competition, and you get to play along! Fill out the attached bracket and email it to frankiegcares@gmail.com for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Then, follow @Maskerpiece on Twitter to vote for who moves on in each match up. It's that easy! The winning bracket will be chosen by Frankie G. Have fun playing along, and good luck!

To listen, click here. To download, right click and "Save As..."

Download your bracket here.



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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Comic Book Review: The Flash #21 - DC Comics (2017)

"The Button" part 2
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Howard Porter
Colors by Hi-Fi

The Flash is investigating the Bat-Cave, the scene where his nemesis, The Reverse Flash aka Eobard Thawne, met his demise(see Batman #21).  Upon his investigations, The Flash decides he must look for clues in a way only The Flash is able to do.

"The Button" story line is blowing me away.  I am thoroughly enjoying what this cross-over event is bringing to the table.  Flash and Batman teaming up to travel through time and universes to find out who or what killed the man who murdered Barry Allen's(The Flash) mother is a recipe for a whole lot of awesome.  The scenes from the time stream were absolutely incredible.  For the DC fans who did not love the "New 52" as much as I did will be happy to see many of the scenes from this comic book.  For those that liked the characters from the Flashpoint series, there is a really cool appearance from someone very familiar to Bruce Wayne(Batman).

Howard Porter's artwork is spectacular in this comic book.  There is so much going on in each panel as he has a full background in just about all of them.  Pairing this art with Joshua Williamson's brilliant storytelling is absolutely extraordinary.  Get to your local comic shop and buy these books before they are gone.

What are your thoughts on "The Button" story?  Which comic book event are you most excited for?  Let us know through social media.

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Comic Book Review: Batman #21 - DC Comics (2017)

"The Button" Part 1
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Jason Fabok
Colors by Brad Anderson

Batman is investigating the button that was mysteriously found during the Rebirth comic book.  Upon finding something unexpected, Batman contacts The Flash who was in the middle of a fight.  Before the Flash could dispose of his foes and get to the Bat-Cave, Batman has a visitor.  Don't read any further if you do not want any spoilers.

This is how you kick of a comic book event.  I am all in on finding out more about this mysterious button as this appears to be a Watchmen tie-in.  Batman sees his father from an alternate universe and also gets into a tussle with the Reverse Flash.  Reverse Flash claims to see God at the end of the comic before he looks to be burned away.  It looks like the aftermath of those that cross Dr. Manhattan(or is that just something we are lead to believe?).

Jason Fabok is an absolutely fantastic person to be doing the art for this comic book.  I've been a huge fan of his work for some time and I really enjoy the way he draws all of the heroes and villains of the DC Universe.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of his work as this story progresses.

What are your thoughts on "The Button?"  Which summer comic book event are you most excited for?  Please let us know in the comment section below or contact us on social media.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Comic Book Review: American Gods #1 - Dark Horse Comics

"Shadows"
Story and Words by Neil Gaiman
Script and Layouts by P. Craig Russell
Art by Scott Hampton

"Somewhere in America"
By P. Craig Russell and Lovern Kindzierski

Shadow Moon is preparing to be let out of prison.  He has a wife waiting for him at home an a job working with his best friend.  Things seem to be looking up for Shadow but there is a storm coming.

I am a big fan of the "American Gods" novel by Neil Gaiman and I was happy that the adaptation to comic book worked as well as it did.  It has been a few years since I have read the novel but reading this comic book brought back those memories and makes me eager to, not only read more of the comic, but to also watch the upcoming "American Gods" live action series on STARZ.

One of the things I find fun about reading adaptations is seeing how similar or different characters look.  When reading a novel, I tend to get a picture in my head and it is interesting to see another person's interpretation turns out to be.  Most people came out very similar, other than Mister Wednesday.  Not a huge deal, just different than what i pictured.  I am sure the STARZ series will be full of surprises in that respect.

The art itself looks good throughout this book.  The art especially shines in the "Somewhere in America" mini story(something else that is in the novel).  I am a big fan of  Lovern Kindzierski's colors as I have reviewed a number of books that he worked on.

I received this comic book in the Comic Block subscription box and you can read my review of the entire box here.  Let me know your thoughts on this comic, the novel, or how you think the television series will be.  Place your comments in the section below or find us on social media.

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe... RANKED!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is 9 years old! I know that I have my favorites and some I see as missed opportunities over the years. I think we all have that. One or more of these films stood out above the rest where others probably fell short of our expectations, assuming we had an expectation at all. With each year, my list evolved as more movies were released celebrating these iconic characters from Marvel lore. Now that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2" is about to be released in theaters May 5th, I thought I'd revisit the world of Marvel on the big screen. From the very first "Iron Man" film by Jon Favreau (released in 2008) to Scott Derrickson's "Doctor Strange" released in 2016, here's where these movies rank for yours truly.


***In Order of Most Enjoyed***

Captain America Winter Soldier (2014)

Doctor Strange (2016)

Captain America Civil War (2016)

Thor (2011)

Avengers (2012)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Ant-Man (2015)

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Iron Man (2008)

Captain America The First Avenger (2011)

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Thor The Dark World (2013)

Avengers Age of Ultron (2015)

Iron Man 3 (2013)

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Binge Watcher Review: Bill Nye Saves the World

 Binge Watcher Review: Bill Nye Saves the World


Hosted by Bill Nye

Synopsis: Scientist Bill Nye explores various problems and misconceptions from a scientific point of view.

Review:

If your childhood was like mine, you grew up watching “Bill Nye The Science Guy” on PBS and in school. You know that science show we all actually enjoyed watching with the real science experiments, yeah that show. Well now scientist Bill Nye is back and as he states he isn’t making a kid show, it’s for grown up kids all around the world. It’s like Bill Nye grew up with the generation that watched him over 20 years ago on TV.  Don’t worry some of the cheesy jokes are still in there, including one STD joke thrown in at Arizona State's (the university I attended) expense, which made me laugh out loud… literally.


This Netflix series is comprised of 13 thirty-minute episodes that discuss some of the most important and controversial topics today.  The format of each episode is very similar to “The Science Guy” episodes we watched as kids. There is a science experiment, a little dialogue, a person goes out to discuss with people in the real world and a group discussion with all sorts of experts. The only issue I had is the fact that each of these episodes focuses on important major topics in society today. I honest do not think thirty minutes is not enough time to have a legitimate discussion about each topic. While it is good that each episode at least starts the discussion, it will really be up to the audience members to do their on research after words if they would like to become better educated on the topics.

I honestly believe the best episode is Do Some Shots, Save the World, an episode based on vaccines and how they work. This episode takes the time to prove valid arguments against antivaxxers by having segments that include real-world examples, a demonstration of how viruses can spread and a sit down with a parent (who had originally chose not to vaccine her kids), and two doctors, one in sociology and the other a Pediatrician. The episode takes the time to break down the issue and also some of the issues with what is leading to parents choosing not do vaccinate. I honestly believe that everyone should take the time to watch this episode.


Because of the topics used in this show for each episode, I’m sure there is going to be a lot of controversy around the show it self. Yes, some people are going to be offended and honestly some people will probably have a right to be upset. The Noah’s arc “joke” was just bad taste, you don’t have to be religious, by all means demonstrate the science. A low blow at religion honestly just wasn’t needed. Based on how easily offended people want to get over things, I wouldn’t be surprised if people get upset about the GMO episode and the Designer Babies episode. Although, I honestly do believe that a lot of people need to be educated on IVF before they pass judgment on the practice.

Overall, the show is a fun adult reminder of the science show we watched as kids. I am very hopeful for a second season with new topics and possibilities to maybe expand on some topics discussed in this season. Honestly I just think the show is a great way to spark people’s interest on common topics and encourage them to do more research on them.   

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Comic Book Review: Secret Empire #0 - Marvel Comics (2017)

Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Daniel Acuna

Captain America is a Hydra agent and now he is putting a plan in place to fully take over the world by strategically taking out the heroes of the world.

This story line started about a year ago and it just doesn't impress me.  I feel like Captain America being an agent of Hydra belongs in the old "What If..." comic book series.  I received this comic book in the Marvel Collectors Corps subscription box which is the reason why I read this comic in the first place.  My copy has Rocket and Groot on the cover which is the reason it's a keeper.  I look forward to this story ending as I've heard it is rumored Marvel will be going in a "back to their roots" type of run in the near future.  I like exploring other sides to characters but Cap being a Hydra agent all along just doesn't do it for me.

Daniel Acuna is an incredibly talented artist and definitely a wonderful choice to be in charge of the visual interiors when it comes to a comic book of this magnitude.  Acuna is tasked with drawing the heroes of the Marvel Universe throughout the entire issue.

I doubt I will be purchasing any of the other comic books in Secret Empire but at least I got to read one of the books to see if it was worth me forking over five bucks an issue.  Seriously Marvel, the cover prices are too much.  Get some advertisers to pay for it or use a less expensive paper stock.

What are your thoughts on Secret Empire?  I'm sure I'm in the minority on this as I have read many friends' posts on social media.  I look forward to reading all of your thoughts whether it be in the comments below, on social media or via email.


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Fate of the Furious - Review

The eighth film in a franchise about heists, over the top action sequences, cars and family. The roster of talent continues to grow in this series and we, as movie goers, get the benefits of A-list talent appearing in these movies. Does this recent installment in the Fast franchise live up to expectations or does it stall out right after the movie begins? Let’s dive in and take a look at “Fate of the Furious” in this box office review…


I walked into the movie theater with a single expectation. I wanted an insane, over-the-top, wild and ridiculous on screen adventure. The trailers gave me this expectation. When I saw dozens upon dozens of cars driving themselves out of buildings and 2nd story windows, the Rock skiing on ice while driving a car and throwing a torpedo, I knew this would be pure ridiculousness and I couldn’t wait. I’m happy to report that the film lived up to my expectation. This movie had so many unbelievable action sequences and stunts that I was wearing the dumbest smile from start to finish. This was so unbelievable it was remarkable and I enjoyed every minute.


The overall story is a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) manages to get the family first, family man, Dom (Vin Diesel) to turn his back on his family to help her. The writers did a decent enough job asking and answering the questions I had about the overall plot. Why would he turn his back on family? Why is he helping this incredibly beautiful woman who seems hell bent on destroying things? Why does she need Dom’s help? All of these and more were asked and answered by characters in the film. The story had a few surprises as well. Let’s take a moment to give credit where credit is due. The big reveals in this film were well done and well placed. The film didn’t start with big surprises. The twists, if you will, were gradual and placed appropriately in the movie. Overall, job well done on the story.


The action sequences and stunts were eye candy. The fight scene in the prison was absurd and wonderful all at the same time. The fight scene on the airplane with the baby was unbelievable, adorable and exciting. I personally believe these films need to deliver on the action and cars in order to be successful. This film did not disappoint. Even the two “Nobodies” in the film were campy and fun. The dialogue was comedic at times as well. Overall, this film was just a fun action/heist flick. The complaints or critiques I could have don’t feel appropriate because of where my expectation was walking into the theater.



Fate of the Furious” is in theaters now! I definitely recommend you see this movie on the big screen if you enjoy action movies. There was a slogan back in the 1990’s on cable television every weekend, “movies for guys who like movies!” The message being conveyed was that you’re about to watch a movie that has minimal plot and lots of action. This slogan was of course implying that men are mostly brain dead neanderthals who can’t appreciate a complex plot but I digress. When I walked out of the theater my first thought was, “This was definitely a movie for guys who like movies but a little bit better.” The story is more developed than I expected. The action was exactly what I wanted. The cars and the tank all look great on the big screen. Definitely worth your hard earned dollars. Go see this film!


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Casting Batgirl

It was recently announced that DC's Batgirl will be an upcoming movie from Joss Whedon.  I was immediately excited by this news.  I feel like Joss Whedon is an amazing fit for a strong female superhero.  I have enjoyed his works in film, tv and comic books.  Whedon was the writer for Astonishing X-Men for Marvel and what he was able to do with Kitty Pryde's character makes me more than confident he will make an incredible film.

Batgirl's alter ego is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham police chief Jim Gordon.  She is trained by Batman and has a little something going on with Dick Grayson aka Robin/Nightwing.  This could be a really interesting story so I'm glad Joss Whedon is the guy in charge.

Since Joss is going to busy with all the writing and directing and such, we at Maskerpiece Theatre though we would lend a helping hand in the casting department.  I posed the question to the Maskerpiece Theatre contributors: Who should be cast as Batgirl?  I have the responses below.  They are in no particular order as we each picked somebody.


















Addison Timlin


















Karen Gillen


















Summer Glau


















Rhonda Rousey


















Emily Browning


















Shailene Woodley


















Liv Hewson


I used the cover photo of each actress' IMDB profile.  What are your thoughts on our choices?  Who do you think would be the best actress to play Barbara Gordon/Batgirl?

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Comic Book Review: Spider-Man: BLUE #s 1-5 - Marvel Comics

Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Tim Sale

Spider-Man: BLUE is a retelling of a younger Peter Parker and his first love, Gwen Stacy.  It's also a the tale of how Peter first met Mary Jane Watson.  The life of Peter Parker has always been pretty complicated with him juggling life as a photographer and being a student and of course; being Spider-Man.  If that doesn't complicate things enough, now throw in a pretty girl.  Scratch that, make that two pretty girls.  Did I mention Spider-Man always seems to have a villain show up at the most inopportune times?

This review has some spoilers in it.  It's not exactly a new series though, so read it anyway.  Maybe it will entice you to pick up the trade paperback.

I absolutely love the way this story is told.  This is actually a
recollection of Peter's life, as told by himself on a tape recorder.  Peter is telling the story to Gwen Stacy, his first love, who would ultimately meet her demise.  I thought that this book was going to be the story of Gwen Stacy meeting her death but it was actually about Peter thinking back to his younger years and hanging out with his friends Harry Osborne, Flash Thompson and the afformentioned Gwen Stacy.  He also recollects his many foes he had to face in a short period of time.  Peter also remembers that time he hit the jackpot; meeting Mary Jane Watson.

For those of you who may not know about the Betty and Veronica type of struggle that Peter Parker had, two beautiful women seemed to have a thing for him.  This collection of comic books tells the story amazingly well.  Jeph Loeb does a wonderful job in mixing dialogue between characters along with Peter speaking to Gwen via tape recorder. Toward the end of the series, Mary Jane walks in on Peter talking to the tape recorder.  What she says is enough to bring a tear to the eye.  Hats off to the Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale for creating such a memorable page.

Tim Sale was such an extraordinary choice to be the artist for Spider-Man: BLUE.  He has a style that captures what Spider-Man is all about.  He also is tasked with drawing so many of ol' Web-Head's foes as Kraven the Hunter has gathered some of Spidey's biggest baddies to bring down the wall-crawler.  This series includes Green Goblin, Rhino, The Lizard, Vulture, Scorpion and more!  This must have been a fun project.  Spider-Man has some of the greatest villains in all of comics.  He is one of the greatest heroes of all time and is the face of Marvel in my opinion.

I received the trade paperback in the Comic Bento subscription box and you can read my full review for the box here.

What are your thoughts on Spider-Man: BLUE?  Who is your favorite Spider-Man Villain?  Post a comment below or find us on social media, we enjoy interacting with all of our fellow True-Believers!

Follow Maskerpiece Theatre:
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