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Friday, September 30, 2016

Act 178: Farley Quinn

Masked Blogster, Jessie Saenz, Handsome J, Uncle Frank, Kevin and Mandy talk about Phoenix FanFest, Luke Cage on Netflix, Monty Python and a Halloween costume for Jessie.

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

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Comic Book Review: Kill or be Killed # 2 - Image Comics (2016)

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips
Colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser

Dylan is looking for a target as he must kill someone tonight or he will be the one that dies.

Ed Brubaker writes some of the best crime stories today.  I like that this story incorporates elements of a supposed otherworldly type of character.  The main character Dylan is having a hard time believing there is a demon that is keeping him alive as long as Dylan kills on a regular basis.  The first issue has Dylan wrestling with this idea but after some real injuries, our main character becomes more of a believer.

The second issue is all about Dylan not only looking for someone to kill, but also a murder weapon.  This search makes Dylan think back to his past and he is able to find a gun and also bring up a memory that helps him find the right type of person to kill.

Sean Phillips works with Ed Brubaker pretty regularly when it comes to these crime stories and that is wonderful for us; the readers.  Sean Phillips is a magnificent artist whose style captures the grit of the story and gives the best visuals that can be laid down on a page.  The art captures the essence of what the story is about.

I am really enjoying "Kill or be Killed" so far.  I like that we don't truly know if the demon is real or not.  I also like that the main character is going through a lot of emotional issues and that this killing is seemingly making Dylan feel cathartic.  There are only two issues out so go out and get them.

What are your thoughts on Kill or be Killed?  What other comic books do you want Maskerpiece Thatre to review?  Please contact us and let us know.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Comic Book Review: Spider-Man #8 - Marvel Comics (2016)

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Nico Leon
Colors by Marte Gracia

Spider-Man is approached by Jessica Jones and Luke Cage due to Jones being hired by Spider-Man's(Miles Morales) grandmother to see what young Miles is up to.  This verbal exchange happens as Spider-Man is on his way to the Triskellion to meet with Tony Stark.  Spider-Man doesn't know what Stark wants, but if Iron Man calls you, it must be important.

I like the multiple stories happening within Spider-Man's life.  Being spied on by Jessica Jones, meeting with Marvel's biggest heroes and being in the midst of the heroes' Civil War.  This story is fun and is definitely going places.  This is the good part.

The dialogue is a bit cheesy.  There are parts that call out the cheesiness but that's not an excuse.  This book is rated T for teen but the cheese goes well below that.  Luke Cage refers to himself as "badassiest."  Maybe I haven't read enough Luke Cage stories, but I never thought of him as a guy that would talk like that.  I hope the Netflix series doesn't do that.

Nico Leon is a very good artist and conveys the story visually in a nice way.  Facial expressions look great as well as overall body language.  There are a lot of emotions within this story and all were represented extremely well through Leon's artwork.

What are your thoughts on Spider-Man?  Do you like Miles Morales being in the same universe as a live Peter Parker?  Are you keeping up with the Civil War II books?

Please let us know what other comic books you would like Maskerpiece Theatre to review.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Binge Watcher Review: Interrogation (2016)


Interrogation (2016)

Starring:
C.J. Perry, Adam Copeland, Julia Benson, Erica Carrol, Patrick Sabongui, Michael Rogers, Mitchell Kummen

Synopsis:
After the FBI receives a threat that endangers the entire city, an Interrogator and an I.T. Specialist are plunged into a series of mind games with a criminal mastermind, desperately racing against time to uncover the villain’s true agenda as they fight to protect thousands of lives. 


The Good:
This may be the best WWE Studio’s film that has been made couple that with Adam Copeland’s ever improving performance and you end up with a solid movie.

The Bad:
While the movie itself and the star of the movie were solid, the supporting cast left a lot to be desired. I am not saying it was horrible but it definitely felt like a movie which had the cast of a Straight to DVD Movie.


Final Thoughts:
Interrogation is the third film in the WWE/Lionsgate movie agreement which was agreed upon to showcase emerging talent. If you haven’t figure out yet, this really is to showcase WWE Talent. Interrogation is not the exception, as this movie stars former WWE star and Hall of Famer Edge (Adam Copeland) and current WWE Star Lana (CJ Perry). Usually you would have to be a Hard Core WWE fan to enjoy the movie, but this film is different, Its actually a solid movie

Adam Copeland performance is a major improvement since his first major movie “Bending The Rules”. It’s one of the reason’s this movie came across as much more watchable than most WWE Films.

This movie starts with the interrogation of man who is terrorizing a community and ends with a major twist which you wouldn’t see coming. With a film like this it was nice to see that the action used was spaced between the plot of the movie, leaving the viewer with a nice fast pace film that doesn’t leave you bored and wanting to turn the channel. I recommend this film for your viewing pleasure.


Let us know what your thoughts of this movie were and leave your comments below.




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Monday, September 26, 2016

Bad Moms - Box Office Review

When the trailer begins playing there are times we instantly know what we’re getting from a film and there are times we do not. In this particular case, I knew exactly what I was getting from the trailer and I was glad to walk into the theater, turn my brain off for a bit and just be able to laugh. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts of “Bad Moms” in this box office review…


The first surprise, almost immediate, was that the main character Amy played by Mila Kunis was not a single mother. She was married to a good for nothing man who offered little to the relationship or the family. From the previews I assumed she was a single mother and in fact she may as well have been because the husband offered zero support and only heightened her stress/frustrations. He’s caught jerking off to porn but it turns out that it’s not porn it’s actually a video chat with a girl across the country. And so, the story begins.

The overall story was, I felt, relatable because the characters express many frustrations, concerns, insecurities and emotions I have heard in real life from mothers. Now, being that I am clearly not a woman I can’t speak on the level of relatability but I feel that at least one of the women in this film will speak to mothers on a personal level, if even briefly. The stress for work, self, the home, the kids, the family and more is all discussed and made humorous as well as touching. You don’t dig much further than the surface for these characters but as I stated previously in this review, we knew that from the trailers. 


The story wastes no time which was nice. In fact, I believe the story goes from a crawl to a sprint within the first act. The two mothers who are more reserved and professional turn into party-time, booze infused, dirty talking, morally questionable women in no time. It’s a race to claim freedom and become something from a personal disaster or a sheltered existence. These characters wasted no time and go so far as to have a humorous adventure at the grocery story while shopping for their family, or at least that’s the reason they went to that store to begin with. While this film deals with a few characters it’s “Amy” who drives the narrative and the coming of age tale is fulfilled. What starts off as a comedic look at the life of a woman who is trying to do it all evolves into the story of a woman who does what she can but in that she does all she can for her kids, her work and her personal life. 


Bad Moms” is in theaters now. If you want a fun comedic film that won’t tax your brain, go see this film. It’s funny, at times emotional, and possibly relatable for some women who are single mothers or mothers in a relationship that’s more of a relationshit. If you don’t like crude humor I’d stay away from this film but if your sense of humor knows little boundaries you’ll probably appreciate the comedy and you’ll probably never look at a hoodie the same way ever again. It’s almost hoodie season too which is a shame for those of us who enjoyed and laughed way too had during that scene.


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Comic Book Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #4 - DC Comics (2016)

"Sinestro's Law Part 4: The Fear Engine"

Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Ethan Van Sciver
Colors by Jason Wright

Sinestro contines to fuel his Fear Engine as he awaits the arrival of Sinestro Corps' latest prisoner: Hal Jordan.  Sinestro is in for a surprise as there is a captured Green Lantern but not who he thinks.  Hal Jordan was redirected and taken by someone else while on planet Moga, John Stewart must make a decision as to what he should do next.

I am extremely glad I started reading this series.  Robert Venditti is crafting an other-worldly story happening across the universe with some of the most incredible heroes and villains in the DC Universe.  Hal Jordan bringing the Green Lantern Corps together and Sinestro coming back into power and looking to bring his version of order to the universe.  We are only 4 issues in(5 including the Rebirth Issue) and it feels like the best is yet to come.  This is also a comic book to read.  I Enjoy that there are lengthy conversations being had.  I feel like dialogue within comic books is a fading art.

Ethan Van Sciver is an extraordinary artist.  This series is worth picking up for the art alone.  Luckily the story is excellent as well.  The colors look amazing as well.  The use of light and the fact that it looks like it glows is a remarkable feat by colorist Jason Wright.

What are your thoughts on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps?  Are you enjoying any of the other DC Rebirth titles?  What other comic books would you like Maskerpiece Theatre to review?  Please contact any of the blogsters or the social media pages and let us know.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Morgan - Box Office Review

The box office is filled with sequels or reboots and I hear often how people want new concepts or stories on screen. Well, when these movies come out it’s exciting because we’ll be treated to something that we can’t precisely figure out from the trailers. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts of “Morgan” in this box office review…


I was excited about this film from the first time I saw the first trailer. I sat in the theater after the trailer ended and could only look forward to something that felt original, terrifying and well acted. The cast in this film was an immediate selling point and I’d recommend following the link to the IMDB page at the end of this review to see all the talented actors. Unfortunately, this film failed to live up to my expectations and according to Rotten Tomatoes I’m not alone in my feelings. This film has a audience score of 35% and the Tomatometer is Rotten 40%. This film was a disappointment.


The short-comings weren’t actor based and they weren’t special effects based. The actors I enjoyed and the look of the film and the special effects all were entertaining and drew me in. The story fell short, as well as fell apart, in the 3rd act. There’s a scene early on where Morgan is in the forest and sees a deer that is dying because it was impaled by a tree branch. She kills the deer. This is only important because near the end of the movie the character that is chasing her, trying to kill her, also becomes impaled on a tree branch.  Unlike the deer however Morgan doesn’t kill the lady chasing her. So I guess that deer scene wasn’t important because if it was, the tension building towards that ladies death would’ve been completed with her death by Morgans hands. Follow the story telling logic, deer is impaled Morgan kills dear. Lady chasing Morgan trying to kill her is impaled, we as the audience just saw Morgan kill the deer so our tension builds because Morgan should be killing the lady and a surprise character will be responsible for killing Morgan or letting her escape. Either way, the lady chasing Morgan should die because that’s what the deer scene was foreshadowing! 


There’s more to the ending that I won’t spoil because while I hated the third act of this film I’m sure some people might enjoy it and I don’t want to take away the shock value that the film tried to create at the very end. The very end, by the way, also frustrated me. There is almost zero acknowledgement in this film that the ending would be possible. After the final scene I did say out loud in the theater, “Oh come on!” because it was so ridiculous. I get surprise endings where we as the audience are shocked or stunned but there’s usually some ground work laid in the film prior to that “WHOA!” moment at the end which makes that scene more impactful and believable. The only build up I recall is one scene where Morgan is looking at the top of her hands and then the palms of her hands but that’s not enough to build an ending off of. If you look down for popcorn or yawn (which is possible in the third act) you’ll miss it and then the ending makes even less sense.



Morgan” is in theaters now. If you like science fiction horror than the first two acts you’ll enjoy and whether or not the third act is enjoyable will entirely be up to you. If you enjoyed the film comment below and please explain why. I’d love to read why someone enjoyed this movie as a complete film. Maybe you’ll change my mind and I’ll go back and revisit it. Maybe you won’t. Either way let me know. 

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Comic Book Review: The Flash #6 - DC Comics (2016)

"Revenge"

Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors by Ivan Plascencia

Central City had a storm caused by the Speed Force a few issues back that caused many normal people to attain powers just like The Flash.  Since then, a villain named Godspeed has emerged and has begun killing the new speedsters and taking those powers for himself.  The Flash thought he had found and stopped Godspeed but he was wrong and is now on the hunt for him.

This series keeps getting better and better.  I like what Joshua Williamson is doing with the story and causing Barry more heartbreak than most could handle.  Barry does stay ever vigilant which is why he is one of the greatest superheroes of all time.  The reveal at the end of who Godspeed is will really have you wondering what the Flash should do next.

Carmine Di Giandomenico has an interesting artistic style.  I like a lot of the action poses and Ivan Plascencia's colors look wonderful.  This is definitely a splendid read with fun visuals.

What are your thoughts on the Flash?  What do you think of the DC Rebirth titles?  Are there any other books you would like Maskerpiece Theatre to review?  Contact us and let us know.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Binge Watcher Review: Swiss Army Man (2016)


Swiss Army Man (2016)

Starring:
Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Timothy Eulich, Richard Gross, Marika Casteel, Antonia Ribero

Synopsis:
A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home


The Good:
The performance by both Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe were beyond great. You are able to feel the anguish of Dano’s character, and the performance by Radcliffe of a dead man trying to relearn everything with a childlike touch was brilliant. The writing was equally as brilliant.

The Bad:
This would definitely fall into the artsy film category, if that isn’t your cup of tea this movie might be long. 


Final Thoughts:
Not many movies can fit in as many fart and masturbation jokes as Swiss Army Man did and still come pull off with a quality story. The movie itself has a dream like feel with a touch of peter pan. A man with no friends finally finds one in a dead body and the adventure to get home takes off. Its the quest home that we learn the true ability of Radcliffe’s Manny and where we get the name of the movie.


The movie itself is impressive and can be consider excellent, however its never as endearing as it wants to be. It sometimes seems to push to hard to gain the viewers acceptance. In many ways in the end the movie is just that a Dream Like experience, its the wooden boy who never becomes real.


See this movie, in the theatre’s, at home, with friends. you will not be disappointed. Let us know your thoughts of the film below and leave a comment below.



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Comic Book Review: Supergirl #1 - DC Comics (2016)

"Reign of the Cyborg Supermen"
Part One

Written by Steven Orlando
Art by Brian Ching
Colors by Michael Atiyeh

The first issue of Supergirl shows her presently as Kara Danvers, a a struggling junior in high school.  The story also shows flashbacks of Supergirl as Kara Zor-El, an excellent scientific mind in school on Krypton.  Kara Danvers is also having difficulty being a superhero as well, working with the Department of Extranormal Affairs.  She will turn to the only family she has to bring some normalcy to her eclectic life.

This is a nice issue to introduce someone into the Supergirl universe.  I'm not as "in the know" with Superman's cousin as others may be, but I enjoyed this issue.  The reader is shown Supergirl now and how things were on Krypton.  Supergirl's Earth parents are also in this book and you can see it is tough for them as well and you understand their dynamic.  I'm interested to see if this is explored further and how in depth that portion of the story will go.

I like that Supergirl is in high school.  I've found that to be a great way to garner interest within the story.  Somehow we, as readers, are okay with a superhero able to just leave work whenever to save the world(being a billionaire helps in this regard).  School seems to be different though.  The interactions with classmates are usually as awkward as I seem to remember in real life.  Thankfully the writer Steven Orlando didn't try to come up with some sort of younger generation slang or dated references when having the high school kids talking.  There are other books that force feed that to the audience(I've reviewed them and it can be difficult to get over).

If you are looking for a new book to get into or maybe have a young teen who you think might get into comic books, check out Supergirl.  It's fun and there is enough going on with other characters to keep this book interesting.  It's different from the TV show on CBS/CW but it's a good read.

What are your thoughts on Supergirl?  Are you enjoying the DC Rebirth as much as I am?  Please let us know what other comic books you would like Maskerpiece Theatre to review.

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