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Friday, August 26, 2016

Act 173: Big Black Mic

Masked Blogster, Handsome J, Jersey Jenn, Kevin, Mandy and Mrs. Blogster talk space docking, Bad Moms, foot jobs, Olympics, the Rocky Horror remake, raspberry margaritas, Wonder Woman and more!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

One Man's Soapbox: A Disconnected Marvel Shared Universe


A Disconnected Marvel Shared Universe

I recently finished the first three seasons of Agents of SHIELD, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the end of season three. I will admit I was very harsh after watching the first season, there wasn’t much to like about the start of the series. However, for the most part many of my concerns went away by the end of season 3 with the exception of one, the MCU’s shared Universe. This is one of Marvels greatest strengths, who didn’t love those end credit scenes that led to Captain America and Thor, however this also may be its biggest weakness.


Let’s ignore the fact that Agents of SHIELD has now gone three seasons with no appearance from any of the Avengers or MCU characters outside of Nick Fury, Maria Hill and Sif. The bigger issue is continuity, this especially is the case with the last two Captain America Movies and to a lesser extent Ant-Man. Let’s start with Hydra, its had a presence not only in Agents of Shield but also Captain America, Ant-Man and Age of Ultron, and before I get started with my point, lets remember that I realize Hydra has many heads and when one is cut off another grows in its place. With that being said it always seemed like I was watching two different universes telling the same story. By the end of Winter Soldier both SHEILD and HYDRA have crumbled with SHIELD being disbanded and the top brass of HYDRA taken down. However by the mid point of Season 3 of Agents of Shield we have two Shield Agency and the true power of HYDRA, and there doesn’t seem to be any plans to cross those two back over in the near future.

Are you confused yet? Are you like me, wondering how the television and Cinematic Universe haven’t crossed yet even though they are ultimately shared? Well its about to get worse, cause now Im adding in the Netflix series. 


The entire plot of the first half of season three of Agents of Shield is the race to uncover humans with powers before HYDRA can locate them. But what about Jessica Jones, a human with powers yet the cross over never happens. Then it happened again during Captain America: Civil War. While in a need to add members to his team, Tony Stark goes out to locate a teenager named Peter Parker. While I understand from a fan stand point how awesome it was to see Spiderman suited up with the other Avengers, wouldn’t Starks first choices be Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage or even Deathlok? 

We are slowly starting to see the effects from the issue plaguing a shared universe concept, first Agent Carter was canceled and then the planned Agents of Shield spin off was canned, its only a matter of time when Agents of Shield gets the ax and is nothing more than a distant memory we pass over on Netflix.

So even though Marvel teases us with an idea of a share universe, they ultimately don’t see the need to address this in any of their movies. So for fans like myself, with each passing movie and season there is a bit of disappointment when we realize that the chance to see some one like a Daredevil, The Punisher or even Ghostrider team up with the likes of Iron Man and Captain America are beginning to fade away. 



Maybe we wont ever see the ultimate team up, maybe we will in one of the upcoming Avenger movies only time will tell. Until then, lets just hope that our favorite Agent of SHIELD finds his way back to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, cause Coulsons man crush on Cap is just way to entertaining. Let us know what your thoughts are of Marvels shared Universe by leaving a comment below.


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Monday, August 22, 2016

Cafe Society - Box Office Review

Woody Allen returns with a period piece set in 1930’s America. Allen has a unique way of creating characters that appear genuine and relatable in his films with a distinct style that is his very own. “Cafe Society” builds on this anticipated style and has some big names to help move the plot along. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts in this box office review…


In my continued efforts of honesty I will admit that I am not a fan of most of the characters Jessie Eisenberg has played. That being said, I feel the nervous Jew who is trying to make it with women and in business was almost near perfect for him to portray. It was like the part was written for him and I found myself pleased with his performance. His delivery and timing of lines and even attitude felt natural. It was probably my favorite performance I’ve seen him give. Steve Carell on the other hand was a different experience entirely. Initially, it felt like his character was so two dimensional and fake it was almost unbearable. It isn’t until we see him seated in a restaurant with Kristen Stewart that he is acting as an idea of completeness and control instead of being genuine. There’s one scene in particular, again with Stewart, where he has to bounce between genuine and fake that is quite entertaining and humorous and it’s here that we see the true persona of his character only brought out by a woman. 


Corey Stoll was also fun to watch as he plays a jewish gangster/club owner who is, in his own peculiar way, helping his family. I would’ve been more surprised by his performance but after watching his performance as the villain in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” movie I was not caught off guard at all. It was interesting to see all the character personalities in this film and even later into the movie Eisenberg and Stewart have a conversation about how they have become what they initially thought they opposed. There’s an arc to each characters story within this film and I found myself entertained. 

Overall, the story begins with a boy who wants to make it on his own in a new town. Then it transitions into a love triangle filled with heartbreak and loss and then into the final chapter where we see each character facing life from new perspectives. The success or failure of this film rests entirely on the characters as this film is, truly, at its heart a character piece. This isn’t an summer action blockbuster and one might wonder why release a film of this nature so early into summer and not closer to the dramatic pieces that drop in Autumn/fall. It’s definitely not an Oscar contender but it’s dramatic appeal and character driven story certainly lend itself more to that time of year over summer blockbuster season.



“Cafe Society” is in theaters now! If you’re a fan of Woody Allen films I’d recommend you see this on the big screen. If the last or only Woody film you’ve seen was “Midnight In Paris” than you can probably Redbox or VOD it and get just as much from it. It’s a charming film that explores what it means to be a family, pursuing your passions, following your heart and finding true love. It’s not a great film and I doubt it will win any Oscars but it won’t ask a lot from you and will provide you occasional laughs. 


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Friday, August 19, 2016

Act 172: TV and Movie Hodge Podge

Masked Blogster, Mandy, Handsome J and GloryHoundd talk about a variety of television shows and movies while putting back a few beers.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hank Boyd is Dead - Indie Film Review

I received an email asking me to considering reviewing this Horror/Comedy. After reading the entire email, looking over the credits on IMDB and watching the trailer I decided to watch the film and review it here. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I am not familiar with writer/director Sean Melia. So, let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Hank Boyd Is Dead” in this Indie review…


First we can start with the story. A suspected killer has died and a catering service is hired to feed the folks attending the post funeral gathering. Things immediately don’t go as planned as one of the two caterers has to leave. The remaining caterer, played by Stefanie Frame, has to deal with the bizarre family, their questionable past and dangerous future.  Stefanie is an actress I wasn’t familiar with at all but she performed panic, fear, distress and confused all quite well. Overall, I found myself enjoying the story after I was able to get a feel for the tone of the film and the writing style. At first I wasn’t quite certain where the jokes were but that was only because I wasn’t familiar with Melia’s writing. Once I get a sense for his style I found myself enjoying some laughs at seemingly appropriate and (because of my own sense of humor) inappropriate places. The horror aspects of the story were also well done. The suspenseful twists towards the end did in fact surprise me. The story plays out similar to that of a Greek Tragedy and I was, by the end of the film, quite happy I made the decision to spend some time watching this movie.


The characters in this film also were quite different from each other. The initial introduction to one of the characters felt odd but that was only because I wasn’t familiar with the writing style. After a few lines of dialogue it was clear that Michael Hogan was going to be comedic relief. So as the film progressed it was quite surprising to see how his character developed. The character David Wells played also started off feeling a bit two dimensional and forced however by the end of the film I was on board, entirely. His character develops nicely as the movie progresses and the levels his character will go to for his family is truly terrifying and creepy. 



All in all, "Hank Boyd Is Dead" starts off a bit odd but again I feel that is only because I was unfamiliar with how Sean writes film. If the movie didn’t progress as well as it does I probably would be feeling differently. The movie ends well and it’s quite surprising once we get to the third act. The entire story falls into chaos and it’s thrilling to watch. I really enjoyed the characters, the story was paced pretty evenly and the tension builds from start to finish until the film finally ends and we’re left to consider the events that just took place on screen. I recommend giving this film a viewing. You can find it on Amazon and if you enjoy Horror/Comedy indie films I think you’ll appreciate this story. 


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The Binge Watcher Review: Gridlock (2015)


Gridlock (2015)
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Cody Hackman, Stephen Lang, Trish Stratus, Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Steve Byers, James A. Woods

Synopsis:
Former SWAT Leader David Hendrix (Dominic Purcell) and hard-partying movie star Brody Walker (Cody Hackman) must cut their ride-along short when a police training facility is attacked by a team of mercenaries.


The Good:
Action packed movie which falls into the category of “Movies for guys who love Movies” Dominic Purcell proves that he can hold his own as the star of an action movie.


The Bad: 
Not much dialogue to go with the movie, it definitely is a straight to DVD movie, and a Saturday movie at home. 

Final Thoughts:
This film is straight action, there are no other ways to describe it. If you’re fans of Prison Break, The Flash or Legends of Tomorrow, you will love seeing Dominic Purcell’s in this movie……Straight Bad Ass. What makes an action movie though is the villain, Solid action movies need an actor that can make you believe in the evil of the character, Stephen Lang definitely fills those shoes. And for those die hard Wrestling fans Gridlock also stars WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.


Gridlock is currently streaming on Netflix, for you’re next movie night or boring Saturday afternoon at home make this movie a Priority. Let us know your thoughts of the movie and leave your comments below.



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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kill or be Killed - Comic Book Review

The newest story by the talented story teller, Ed Brubaker, introduces us to a modern world that has one man on a mission to kill those bad guys who otherwise would go free. Let's dive in and take a look at my thoughts of "Kill or be Killed" in this comic book review...


While I was on a vacation in Canada we at Maskerpiece Theatre we messaging about the usual business and this comic came up. I was immediately interested in reading this because of Ed Brubaker. I didn't know a thing about the story but I trusted that if Brubaker is writing it the story will be entertaining. 

So, after my initial reading of the first issue I am pleased that my faith in Brubakers storytelling ability paid off. What an engaging story, introduction to the main character, his life and the reasons for why he does what he does throughout the first issue, presumably the series. Here, we meet a man who has been at the end of his rope only to find out that life isn't through with him yet and because of that his lifestyle must change to survive. 


The dialogue feels specific to each character, the art is appropriate and not distracting, considering how dark the topics are being discussed. I am looking forward to the next issue because this introductory issue had me flipping pages and then revisiting those pages to enjoy the art work. If you enjoy Brubaker stories or are interested in finding a new series, I recommend you start purchasing this series. Remember, we're only 1 single issue in which means you can catch up quickly! 


Go visit your local comic book shop and tell them Maskerpiece Theatre sent you. 



Friday, August 12, 2016

Act 171: Chi-Town

While on vacation, Mandy sits down with Jessi, Maria and Jess for girl talk about Chi Town and improv.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Act 170: 1994: The Best Movie Year

Masked Blogster, Mandy, Handsome J and Kevin talk about the greatest year in movie history, 1994.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Act 169: Ranch Dressing Belly Button

Masked Blogster is joined once again by an overflowing group that gets into where you should put your ranch dressing, drunken silliness and an all-Kevin rendition of the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack.

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Follow Maskerpiece Theatre:
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Maskerpiece Theatre is sponsored by MoviePass. See unlimited movies at a theater near you for a low monthly rate.

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