Monday, November 30, 2015

Jessica Jones Review: Season 1 Episode 8 "AKA WWDJ"


Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 8
“AKA WWJD”

Synopsis:
Jessica experiences a strange homecoming courtesy of Kilgrave. Hogarth’s conflict with her 
estrange wife reaches a tipping point.

Review:
Episode 8 brings the creepy vibe and might have made Kilgrave the most interesting 
Villain that we have seen in both Movies and Television for Marvel. Kilgrave desperate to
prove his love for Jessica brings her to her childhood home. While being there Jessica starts to 
relive some of the more painful memories from her own childhood.

Part of the promise Kilgrave made to Jessica was to allow her to make all decisions on her 
own. No mind control will  be used to keep her there or to control her actions. We also are 
treated to a glimpse of Kilgrave’s own past when he shows her video of his parents treating 
him as a lab experiment. Jessica convinces Kilgrave he could use his powers for good, and take him out for a test run 
during a hostage situation, when he finally helps someone he feels good but says he needs Jessica 
to keep him going on the right path. Jessica agrees but ends up capturing during dinner.

Final Thoughts:
This really has been an interesting show thus far. The way they have written Kilgrave and the performance of David Tennant has been Awesome. Kilgrave came across more as a obsessed creep, wanting the approval and love of Jessica, he will stop at nothing until this happens. The Childhood home was a nice treat for all the Fans of Jessica Jones, we get a great chance to learn more about her and the life she used to live while she was still with her parents.

I give this episode Two Thumbs Up, This is turning into a great show and I am now starting to look forward to how they tie Jessica into some of the other Marvel Netflix Universe.


Leave your comment below, and let us know what your thoughts have been thus far.

Comic Book Review: This Damned Band #4 - Dark Horse Comics (2015)

Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Tony Parker
Colors by Lovern Kindzierski

The band is part of a hostage situation inside the French mansion.  Everyone seems to have different agendas as we continue the tale of "This Damned Band."

Artistically, this is one of the most fun series in comic books today.  Tony Parker is able to blend different art styles into each of the books of "This Damned Band" and visually, it all works.  The detailing of the backgrounds are absolutely fascinating.  Paul Cornell's storytelling, which goes from what is actually happening to what is happening in a mind altered way is depicted amazingly well by Parker and Lovern Kindzierski.  Kindzierski's colors are truly remarkable.  

Cornell is giving just enough of a glimpse into what is going on with the band members and other characters within this story to keep you wanting more.  This is a six issue series so I highly recommend picking up the previous issues as well.  "This Damned Band" includes storytelling at its finest along with artwork that fits better than most in comics today.  Issue four continues the tale and would not make much sense if you don't read the first three.  Make sure you ask your local comic shop to get those issues for you.

Also, take a look at all of the covers.  They are reminiscent of rock band posters and album covers from the 1970s.

You can read more of my blogs here on Maskerpiece Theatre and also on http://cinemaheadcheese.blogspot.com/

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Creed: Box Office Review

Ring the bell and jump into the ring with “Creed” because this film is a knock out good time. The movie stays true to the underdog story that is the Rocky franchise. If you find yourself looking for a film that will make you believe you’re watching a championship fight, this is it. The characters are believable and the story makes sense which was a relief. There was a reason to believe that this film had the potential to disappoint and fortunately for everyone who enjoyed it, that was not the case. A bit slow occasionally and a longer run time but worth the theater viewing.

The film stars Michael B Jordan who plays “Adonis Creed”, the son of Apollo Creed from the very first Rocky. If you are unfamiliar with Michael B Jordan I would recommend you go back and watch some of his earlier films. This is a young up and coming talent and his performance in this movie captured moments so splendidly you believe his passion is real. You believe that he was born to fight, born to win. The relationship he enjoys with Sylvester Stallone is endearing.

Stallone plays the retired boxer and restaurant owner, Rocky Balboa. When we meet Rocky we see he’s enjoying the life of a restauranteur in his neighborhood. He’s still got the same old Rocky attitude but he’s older now, more patient and wiser. The time we spend with Rocky on screen is a treat and the hardship that falls upon him really shows what a fighter he still is.

The mentor/mentee relationship between Adonis and Rocky is the main character study of the film and it works. Real life relationships aren’t always perfect and this film doesn’t paint an inaccurate portrait of how the real world works. It’s genuine. It’s raw. And occasionally the writing provides a laugh or two that lightens the overall mood present throughout “Creed.” Even the hospital training sessions show their dedication to each other, the goal and striving to become more.

Ryan Coogler also needs to be mentioned for his directing and screenplay. He’s the man behind the camera and once again he delivers a movie worth our time. His ability to deliver this story and all the characters is fantastic. My only criticism, if it’s that at all, is the film could’ve been shorter. I believe it would’ve been just as entertaining and impacting. Reducing the training montages would be the first place to cut time. Everyone knows that to be a boxer you need to train. Spending as much time as he did on the training montages felt unnecessary. This might have helped with keeping the pace of the film as well. We get so invested in the characters and then the montages happen and we watch him train while Rocky and team shout at him and encourage his progress. Not a lot to digest except there’s a lot of training on screen and Michael B Jordan is in reality as fit as he appears in this film.

“Creed” is in theaters now! I give this film the championship belt and pop bottles to its success. This is a great film to enjoy while in theaters and it even has date potential. So if you find yourself looking for films to see on a date, consider this movie. It lives up to the franchise reputation and provides a fresh story to an already excellent series.

Comment below if you've already seen it and share your thoughts! Join in on the fun of movie watching and share this post with anyone who you feel would enjoy another one of my Box Office Reviews.


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Jessica Jones Review: Season 1 Episode 7 "AKA Top Shelf Perverts



Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 7
“AKA Top Shelf Perverts”

Synopsis:
Malcolm, Simpson, and Trish go rogue to prevent Jessica from carrying out an extreme plan to outwit Kilgrave

Review:
So in the 7th episode Kilgrave makes Ruben kill himself in Jessica’s bed. This causes Jessica to come up with an extreme plan to have herself locked up in a supermax Prison in order to catch Kilgrave using his powers while trying to get into the prison. Malcolm and Trish both work to convince Jessica this is a horrible plan, Malcolm goes as far as cleaning the scene of the crime and dumping Rubens body into the prison. This still doesn’t stop Jessica as she goes in after the body and come back up with the Head. 

Jessica goes to turn herself in and Kilgrave takes over the Police Precinct. He give Jessica a choice to go with him. But he wants her to make her own choices, she has to decide for her self to go with him.

Final Thoughts:
Episode 7 was all about Jessica dealing with the guilt of people dying around her and the murder of Luke Cages wife. We finally get more of an idea of what Kilgraves motive are, he just Love’s Jessica. It might be the most interesting way to play the main villain, he comes across as a true Sociopath. As much as I loved the ending, I find that this episode was a little bit of a lull in the season.


I give this episode One Thumbs Up. Leave your comment below.

Comic Book Review - Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla - Issue 1 - Action Lab Comics

Written by: John Reilly
Art by: Tom Roger & Dexter Weeks

Nikola Tesla is investigating the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhardt.  Feeling that this is more than what it seems, Tesla goes to someone who is believed to be somewhat of an expert in happenings that are out of the ordinary; H.P. Lovecraft.

While the story feels a bit rushed, I kinda get it.  We are dealing with unbelievable circumstances and working with some of the most well known names in science, literature, aviation and even magic(Harry Houdini is in this as well!).  All in all, this is a fun book to read.  Nikola's inventions, tentacled monsters and all around a great time.  

I believe this is a three issue story-arc so I understand moving the story along a bit more quickly from that aspect as well.  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next as Tesla and Lovecraft search for answers in their adventures together.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Act 134: Black Friday Theatre

The gang talks about Black Friday shopping, holiday travels, saying goodbye to Self E Santana(again), and a bunch more stuff!

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Drawn Out: Introduction to the New Artwork Blogs

A question was posed by Handsome J. on the Maskerpiece Theatre Fan Page on Facebook about what everyone would like to see from our blogs.  We were met with some great suggestions including more artwork.  As a group we should have figured that to be the case as the original comic book, "Twisted Magic," is one of our most popular postings.  


With all this being typed, I plan to post more of my drawings on here. 


I had never drawn Chewbacca(at least to memory I hadn't), and a really good friend commissioned me to draw the Wookie for her Star Wars loving sister.  I decided to do a practice run digitally using my Wacom tablet and Manga Studio 5 software. This was my first attempt.  Chewie has become much improved the works that followed this one.  They were not done digitally and have yet to be scanned.  







I was doing a lot of drawing for a series I am working on but at the end of the day I wanted to draw something fun.  Rancid is my favorite band and I wanted to draw someone enjoying the music.  The skulls were added because the lead singer Tim Armstrong  includes skulls in much of his amazing artwork.  This picture and the next one were also drawn with a Wacom tablet and using Manga Studio 5 as the software.






Kevin Moyers and I are working on a comic book series called Blasto the Clown.  We have a post of the first book here in the Maskerpiece Theatre blogs and also on YouTube, complete with voices and sound effects.  I sketched this one before work one day.  There is a bit of a tease of a future character sneaking his tentacle over the bathroom stall. 







You can read more of my blogs here on Maskerpiece Theatre and also on http://cinemaheadcheese.blogspot.com/

Please let us know your thoughts and or artwork suggestions in the comments below.





Friday, November 27, 2015

Jessica Jones Review: Season 1 Episode 6 "AKA You're a Winner"



Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 6
“AKA You’re a Winner”

Synopsis:
Luke hires Jessica to help him find someone who may have skipped town, but she fears he’ll learn too much about her history in the process.

Review:
Episode 6 starts with another flashback of sorts. We are shown more of the powers of Kilgrave as he is playing in an underground highstakes poker game. Ultimately the money he won at the poker game is used to buy the house which Jessica grew up in. we also learn in this episode that Holly while under the control of Kilgrave became pregnant and she is paying the other prisoners money in order to beat her so she looses the baby

The main story in episode 6 starts when Luke decides to hire Jessica to help find the brother of a sister he knows. We learn that this sister has some details on death of his wife, this information creates a panic for Jessica as she is worried Luke will find out that Jessica was the cause of the death. Once the brother is found Luke learns that the cause was due to the fact that the bus driver was drunk while driving. Luke looses control and goes after the driver resulting in Jessica finally telling him the truth of what really happened.  

Final Thoughts:
So Luke knows the truth and wants nothing to do with Jessica now, This was the biggest twist of the season which isn’t surprising at all.  I really want to see how the story with Luke Cage plays out. It will be interesting to see how he comes back and in what way does he help. We know this will happen as Luke learned in this episode that Kilgrave is involved.  

Kilgrave buying Jessica’s childhood home is another interesting development in the story between he two. The more we get of Kilgrave the more I like him as the villain. He may be the best villain in the MCU has outside of Kingpin. Who doesn’t love the fact that Kilgrave is making Jessica sending him Selfies in order for him to still get photos of her. This episode shows that he doesn’t need to use Mind control in order to control Jessica and ultimately this will have consequences which should play out in future episodes.


I give this episode another Two Thumbs Up. Not much to complain about as the show keeps deliver great content. Leave your comments below and let us know what your thoughts were on Episode 6.

Comic Book Review: Batman #45 - DC Comics

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo

Jim Gordon is asked to step down as Batman, Bruce Wayne is still doing what he can to make Gotham a better place for children and Mr. Bloom makes his presence felt.  

We still have Bruce Wayne with amnesia so Batman is just not quite the same.  I keep feeling like we are headed back to getting the brooding Bruce we all love not alas, it's still Jim Gordon.  This isn't the worst story line ever, but I'm just not loving it.  It's feeling like it's going a bit long I keep flipping the pages hoping that Gotham's Knight returns.

Mr. Bloom is a pretty cool villain which makes everything better.  He definitely commands the attention of the audience when he makes an entrance with his lanky body and those long fingers he uses to pierce through bodies.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of him and finding out what he has in store for Gotham.

I keep reading this series even though I'm not overly loving it.  I guess I'll see where it goes as I don't see myself not purchasing this book every month.

You can read more of my blogs here on Maskerpiece Theatre and also on http://cinemaheadcheese.blogspot.com/

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Jessica Jones Review: Season 1 Episode 5 "AKA The Sandwich Saved Me"




Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 5
“AKA The Sandwich Saved Me”

Synopsis:
Despite Jessica’s objections, Trish’s new friend Simpson gets involved in the hunt for Kilgrave. Jessica recalls a pivotal moment in her life.

Review:
Episode 5 starts with a flashback…..It’s about time, all the cool comic book shows are doing it. It’s 18 months back and we see Trish and Jessica drinking, Trish is trying to talk Jessica into becoming a hero. In present time Jessica starts to follow Malcolm and truly learn that he is working with Kilgrave. This creates a opportunity for Jessica to not only save her friend but also gives her a chance to catch Kilgrave.

Jessica will need to work with Trish’s new “Friend” Officer Simpson….can you say stockholm syndrome? Simpson knows of a Safehouse which can hold someone of Kilgraves abilities. The plan comes together and Jessica is able to get Kilgrave however things go wrong when his bodyguard catch up and are able to get him back due to the tracker that is on him.

Final Thoughts:
It was a nice blend of flashbacks to give a little of Jessica’s past. The best part of this might be the little nod to her prior Superhero persona Jewel. Trish even had a mockup created of the outfits she had worn in some of the comics. Than there is the final Flashback, Jessica meets Kilgrave while she is stopping the mugging of her neighbor Malcolm. This is were she is ultimately taken over and is the start of her time with Kilgrave. 

We were finally given the opportunity to see why Malcolm has been part of the show, now with him choosing to help Jessica by getting clean it will be interesting to see what his new part will be in helping her. Interesting enough I think he will ultimately be the voice of reason.

There has been a huge difference between Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Unlike its predecessor Jessica Jones introduced the main villain early in the season and within the last few episodes we already have had multiple interactions with Kilgrave. The mental aspect of the games Kilgrave plays is what keeps the show interesting even though he can be caught and ultimately stopped.

Another great episode, I give it Two Thumbs Up. Leave your comments below and let us know what your thoughts on Episode 5 were.

Comic Book Review: The Shadow - Issue 4 - Dynamite


“The Shadow"  Issue #4
Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Giovanni Timpano and Marco Lesko

The issue begins with the Shadow monologuing about a item he took from London in the last issue, and the author of that particular item, while making his way back to America. We then cut to Los Angeles, California, where the Shadow is attending a magicians show for high paying customers who enjoy grand spectacles. More dialogue confirms in the minds of the reader that the Shadow is a servant of justice and will stop at nothing to ensure that the guilty pay for their crimes. The Shadow makes his way back stage to discover who else is behind these recent criminal actions and he’s confronted by the Sandman once more. After a brief entanglement it’s revealed that they aren’t the only two there and it’s not looking good for the Shadow or the Sandman.

This issue was dialogue heavy which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You need some issues to explain more about what has and will be occurring in the series. This felt like that issue. While there is some enjoyable action towards the end the one aspect that I enjoyed the most was a two page spread showing the mind of a writer who composes stories from nightmares. The art work was unique and I was entranced. The panels used to tell the story were not typical squared off panels and it flowed so well across two pages. Excellent work on the art early in the issue.

The Sandman is becoming quite a complex villain as we move from issue to issue getting just a little bit more of his character with every encounter he has with the Shadow. I’m not fully convinced he’s as menacing as I feel we’re being led to believe. He feels like that one villain who talks too much, is a adequate fighter but escapes on some level of luck, similar to Bond villains. None the less, he’s proving to be a challenge to the Shadow and that keeps his character entertaining to read. 

Again, another $3.99 well spent. This series continues to build and build upon the detective type story with the golden age of Hollywood design. The Shadow and all characters present had some enjoyable dialogue this issue and I still look forward to reading the next issue. Who knows what evil lurks in the pages of the next issue? Only the Shadow knows… so stop by your local comic book shop and pick a copy up today. Oh, and tell them Maskerpiece Theatre sent you. 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Jessica Jones Review: Season 1 Episode 4 "Aka 99 Friends"



Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 3
“AKA It’s Called Whiskey”

SYNOPSIS: 
A new case demands attention as Jessica tries to find out who’s spying on her for Kilgrave. Trish’s radio show yields unexpected consequences.

Review: 
Through out most of episode 4, Jessica is trying to figure out who has been spying on her. She enlists the cop who tried to Kill Trish for help and joins the Kilgrave support group which resulted in answers of who has been stalking her. By the end of the episode we learn that Kilgrave’s plant is non other than the junkie neighbor of Jessica

Meanwhile the officer involved in attacking Trish can’t stop blaming himself for his hand in the attack. This leads to him trying to make amends by stopping at Trish’s place to continue talking with her.

Final Thoughts, Episode 4 of Jessica Jones reminded me a lot of a network television. There was a lot of subplots being brought up which at this time does not look like there is any tie in. There was a lot of focus on the after effects from the mind control and how they eat away at the people Kilgrave took over. I also find it interesting with each passing episode, Jessica seems to becoming more normal and adding  a lot more friends to help in her ultimate battle with Kilgrave.

Episode 4 really slowed down the pace from the last, which was a tad bit disappointing however I am looking forward to all reveals to come. I give this episode One Thumbs Up. Leave your comment below, let us know your thoughts of Episode 4.

Comic Book Review: Sons of the Devil: Book 1 - Image Comics/OSSM Comics (2015)

Written by: Brian Buccellato
Art by: Toni Infante

This review isn't about one individual issue, but rather the new trade paperback that collects the first five issues of "Sons of the Devil."   The TPB is actually being released today, November 25th, 2015.  Even better than that, this first volume is only $9.99.  A pretty awesome value for sure, so let's get to the synopsis and review.

Travis grew up as an orphan, having anger management issues and not really knowing anything about where he was born or his parents.  He's about twenty six years old now and doing what he can to keep a job, girlfriend and overall out of trouble.  Trouble seems to find Travis however, and he is slowly learning his past as it seems his past is looking for him.

Brian Buccellato(Flash, Detective Comics, Justice League) is crafting a story that gets more and more intriguing with each chapter.  Each chapter, while focusing on present day Travis, includes a flashback and something that is going on in the darker reaches of one man's world.  There's always something to look forward to as each chapter ends in a way that makes you want to read next one.  The flashbacks to the commune from 1989 and the evil that is happening today that Travis is not yet aware of, truly make "Sons of the Devil" an intriguing story.  Be sure to pick up this TPB today and grab the rest of the comic books(issues 6 - current).

The art of Toni Infante looks remarkable with this story,  Infante captures facial expressions so well and the gritty feel to the line work is so fitting to Buccellato's creepy tale.  The colors are wonderfully blended into this story as well.  Travis' eye colors are important and the other colors do not take away from it.  

There are also bonus stories within the TPB of another character.  I won't get overly into it as I do not want to spoil too much "Sons of the Devil" but I will give a little:

"Parker"
Written by: Jennifer Young
Art by: Ryan Horvath

These stories offer more back story on a character that is introduced within "Sons of the Devil,"  It is fantastic that these stories are a part of the trade paperback, adding even more to the value of this book.  

"Sons of the Devil" is on my recommended reading list.  Whether horror is or is not your thing, "Sons of the Devil" is so well crafted that it's hard to put down.  There are characters that you are able to connect with right away.  You will also find out the characters have an intertwining relationship and it's incredibly well thought out.  To do what Buccellato has done in five chapters without it feeling forced, is truly masterful writing.

A big thank you goes out to Siike Donnelly for reaching out to us here at Maskerpiece Theatre and allowing us to preview "Sons of the Devil" and making it possible for this review to be available to everyone on the day it is released.   

You can read more of my blogs/reviews here on Maskerpiece Theatre and also on http://cinemaheadcheese.blogspot.com/

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Box Office Review: Secret In Their Eyes


Abandon all hope moviegoers who enter a theater showing this film. The dark psychological crime drama that is "Secret In Their Eyes" starts with the chilling murder of a teenage girl. Within the first five minutes of this movie what soul you have will feel lost. The film does well enough to leave some of the murder to your imagination but depending on your imagination that might be worse than just showing it. There is little joy found at all in this dark tale and from beginning to end you journey further down the rabbit hole to encounter some of the worst aspects of humanity... and the movie was enjoyable even still.

Full kudos to director Billy Ray for his delivery of difficult and disturbing material. The performances he got from his all star cast was remarkable. The mental break down scene Jess (Julia Roberts) has when she finds her daughter murdered and left in a dumpster was impacting. Even how frantically she climbed into the dumpster and removed her gloves to feel her daughter while she suffered heartbreak and loss was powerful. You will believe every emotion you see on screen.

If Julia Roberts wasn't enough this film gives us Alfred Molina, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It's an Oscar worthy cast and I don't believe the release of this film to start Oscar season was a mistake.  The characters are believable as only actors of this caliber can be. The characters are rich, calculated, emotional and provocative. There is not a single complaint from the performances I saw on screen. This movie is an acting delight.

The critiques I have for this film are more technical in the way the story was told and the way scenes were captured. The story is told in two time lines, simultaneously. One story is moving forward while the other is feeding us background information. For a while I thought I was on track but then realized I was no longer following the present but the past. I started to wonder if this method was intentionally confusing. If it wasn't meant to add confusion then it missed the mark. The other issue was how long it took to establish a shot. The camera would pan or zoom slowly as if to add tension but it felt slowly paced and tiresome. That being said, the surprise twist ending is well thought out and did in fact surprise me. So there's that.

"Secret In Their Eyes" is in Theaters now! I give this film all the Prozac necessary to keep it in theaters a little while longer. It's not a film for everyone but it's certainly acted well enough for anyone who enjoys topnotch performances. I recommend a theater viewing so Hollywood knows that even a choppy story, acted well, is worth being made with actors of this quality.

Comment below if you've already seen it and share your thoughts! Join in on the fun of movie watching and share this post with anyone who you feel would enjoy another one of my Box Office Reviews.

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Comic Book Review: The Shadow - Issue 3 - Dynamite


“The Shadow"  Issue #3
Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Giovanni Timpano and Marco Lesko

The issue begins with the Shadow battling wild and mysterious beasts who have been released from their cages. After defeating the animals the Shadow finds Sandman in a room full of mutilated human bodies, seemingly dead, and the dialogue between characters tells us there’s more to Sandman than just being a hired hand to kill the Shadow. Furthermore, it’s revealed that there’s another secret society of magicians and in order to find out more about this war that is building the Shadow must travel to London. There he meets one of Houdini’s competing magicians and friend but their time together is cut short when Shadow discovers that she has been poisoned. 

This issue starts off with action and ends with murder. What a ride this issue was! The art work done for the room full of mutilated bodies was enjoyable. It’s not every day I read a comic that has bodies lying dead on the floor from being strangled but somehow the strangling hand was cut off. Also, what type of murderer pops out someones eyes and then lays them next to the head of the now presumably dead body? This issue pulled out all the stops for murder and mayhem. 

The dialogue between Shadow and Sandman was entertaining as well. We learn that Sandman is more methodical than originally thought and he’s not just a hit man, but more a calculated assassin of sorts. The writing also informs us that Shadow realizes his powers are being tested and that he needs to increase his abilities to become more powerful in order to stop the secret societies of magicians that are waging war on each other. 

This series will be staying at $3.99 it appears but I’ve accepted that and I still feel it’s worth it. I also still feel that even a dollar less would attract more readers who might not know anything about The Shadow. It’s worth the read if you’re into the 1940’s era detective crime and murder saga’s. It’s worth the read if you’re into magic also. Stop on by your local comic book shop and pick a copy up today. Oh, and tell them Maskerpiece Theatre sent you. 

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Supergirl Review: Season 1 Episode 4 "How Does She Do It?"



Supergirl Season 1 Episode 4
“How Does She Do It?”

Synopsis:
Kara’s two identities are stretched thin when Supergirl must protect National City from a series of bombings and Kara is tasked with babysitting Cat’s son, Carter. Also, James is conflicted when his ex-girlfriend Lucy Lane seeks to rekindle their relationship

Review:
After a week delay and a switch in episodes we finally get episode 4 of Supergirl. Like the first three episodes we are all over the place with this one; but for the first time it fits with the story being told. A lot went on in this episode, between Kara babysitting Cat’s son and trying to stop bombings around National City it seems Kara has to much on her plate. Add in the arrival of Lucy trying to get James back we end up with a cluster. 

The first thing we learn is that Kara is being followed, the tech being used is from Maxwell Lord. So Alex and Henshaw decide to investigate only to learn that it may be the result of an ex employee. By the end of the episode we learn that not only did Lord plan these bombings around National City it was part of a bigger plan to learn more about Supergirl. While Kara was trying to save all the people on the train, Henshaw and Alex assist by trying to prevent a bomb from going off. We finally get to see a little more of Henshaw and ultimately learn that there is a possibility that he will end up as Cyborg before the end of the currently season.

Final Thoughts, I think we have learned a great deal from the switch of the episode. It seems to me the show runs a lot smoother without Jimmy Olsen being present, The Love triangle forming between Kara, Jimmy, and Lucy needs to go away and soon. I am also not sure what Lucy brings to the show only to have her be a distraction from telling of the story and being a connection to Lois Lane. We finally have been given the opportunity to learn more about Lord and its nice to see that the creators of the show have given Supergirl her very own Lex Luthor. Lords need to learn more about Supergirl will be interesting to follow form here on out. I am excited to see what he will become as the show progresses. 


Once again we are left with a lot of pointless story’s, it will be interesting to see if Episode 5 is the starting point of a better build up going forward as the 4th episode seem to have many of the same flaws as the earlier episodes. Do to the structure of this show I have to give this episode One Thumbs Down. Please Leave your comments below 

Box Office Review: The Night Before


There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who celebrate the Christmas season before Thanksgiving and the others who start celebrating after Thanksgiving. Either way, "The Night Before" is humorous enough for both types of folks. It's a film that's aware of it's limitations and it embraces the holiday spirit in refreshing ways. There's plenty of cliche's in this film that help the audience enjoy a festive film that isn't trying to be some dynamic holiday comedy that would've left everyone wanting. It's comical, irreverent, drug and booze filled with enough questionable subject matter to keep you laughing almost the entire time. 

The story is certainly a familiar one. Friends (or family) coming together to celebrate Christmas and at some point acting out selfishly and then realizing by the finale' friends and family are all we have. The film starts with Tracy Morgan narrating the events of the film that led to where we find the best friends Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie). From there we go on a drug and booze fueled romp through New York City looking for the greatest party imaginable. There's some heartfelt moments peppered throughout the film but the bulk of this movie is comedy, sometimes off beat, but comedy all the same. 

It felt like director Jonathan Levine wanted a cast that was completely typecast. Seth is the drug user (which is always funny to me because of how well he plays paranoid and out of control), Joseph is the heartbreak kid looking for love in the bright holiday places, and Anthony is the handsome jock who has a dark secret. This all works well. Yes, it felt campy at times but this combination, oddly enough, worked. These three had chemistry on screen that had folks believing they were best of friends. 

The highlight of the film for me was little touches of authenticity that could've been left out. They decided to add these little gems and that only helped build upon this world they created for everyone to enjoy.The fact they find the only pay phone in town so the drug dealer (Michael Shannon) can call them was hilarious. The fact they were playing Nintendo 64 "Golden Eye" at Chris's mothers apartment (while waiting for the drug dealer a second time) because that was the popular game when they hung out there last, priceless. So many fun moments that kept me laughing almost the entire film.

At the end of it all, I was most impressed with Jillian Bell (Betsy, Isaac's wife). Her onscreen chemistry with Seth Rogen was spot on for what a supportive, slightly crazy, wife could be in my imagination. She complimented Seth Rogen so much while they shared screen time together. At times I enjoyed her performance more than his. A job well done from start to finish.

"The Night Before" is in theaters now! I give this film an elf on the shelf with plenty of eggnog and mistletoe kisses. Just a funny and entertaining film in multiple aspects. You can probably catch it on Redbox and laugh just as hard; however, being surround by people laughing with you is worth the theater ticket price.

Comment below if you’ve already seen it and share your thoughts! Join in on the fun of movie watching 
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Jessica Jones Review: Season 1 Episode 3 "AKA It's Called Whiskey"



Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 3
“AKA It’s Called Whiskey”

SYNOPSIS: 
It won’t be easy to acquire or deploy. but Jessica thinks she’s found a weapon to use against Kilgrave. Luke and Jessica bond over their similarities

Review: 
Episode 3 starts where Episode 2 left off, Marvel really is pushing the envelope with Jessica Jones. I guess Disney really does know what sex is. Best part of the first 5 min of the show was when Luke Cage asks if there are anymore people like them and the big green guy. Another little nod to the Avengers. Finally we find out that its Luke’s wife which died and is the person Jessica has been having visions of. In this episode Jessica also thinks that she has found a way to fight against Kilgrave by using a surgical anesthetic.  Like most awesome plans which are brought up this early, what are the real chance this will have any effect on kilgrave?

Due to the backlash Hope is receiving from the public due to her murdering her own parents, Jessica convinces Trish to do an on the air interview with Hope. This plan backfires when Trish goes off on Kilgrave and emasculating him on the air. The consequences from this puts Trish in the crosshairs of Kilgrave who sends a cop to try and kill Trish, fortunately Jessica was there. For the first time this season Jessica actually finds Kilgrave when she followed the cop back to the apartment he is currently occupying. 

Final thoughts, the third episode of Jessica Jones really ramps up the action. We finally get the chance to see the full control of Kilgraves mind control. I personally am enjoying the slow reveal of the relationship between Kilgrave and Jessica, just great writing for this show. This episode presented many different possibilities for plot twist in upcoming episodes. While we finally learn Jessica killed Luke’s wife, the ultimate question will be why Kilgrave decided to have this done. How will this effect the relationship between Jessica and Luke, what does Kilgrave ultimately have in store for Luke. Also during the same flashback, one thing stood out, Jessica stopped listening to Kilgrave, does this mean she has the power to push him out?

How creepy was the room with all of the photo’s of Jessica? Plus David Tennant’s voice provide a creepiness second to non, has Marvel found its best Villain? 


This so far is the best episode, which isn’t surprising as most Netflix Series have great build ups. I give this episode Two Thumbs Up. Leave your Comments Below and let us know what your opinion of this episode was.

Comic Book Review: The Shadow - Issue 2 - Dynamite



"The Shadow"  Issue #2
Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Giovanni Timpano and Marco Lesko

The issue begins with the Shadow in a graveyard speaking to the grave of Houdini who has been dead for 10 years. We cut to a shipping yard where the Society of United Magicians is seeking the aid of “Sandman” who brings with him boxes full of mysterious and powerful creatures. From we cut to the Shadow interrogating a man who tells us the back story on Houdini’s last great spell and it’s origins., why the Magicians want it and what it’s potential power is. 

“The Shadow” continues to entertain in this second issue. We find out how desperate the Society of United Magicians is and to what lengths they’ll consider to achieve their goal. The Shadow continues to build on his knowledge using his detective skills and interrogation methods that only he has at his disposal. The final pages reveal that there’s more danger in store for our hero and I can’t wait to read how the Shadow handles this threat. 

This issue was $3.99 but could’ve been $2 and still been just as enjoyable. I don’t feel the $4 price tag was unreasonable but this series could be less expensive and would probably reach more readers. “The Shadow” is a fun read and it’s sometimes campy delivery works well. I’m excited for read more in this series and want to see how far the magicians will go to achieve the knowledge that they seek. 

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jessica Jones Review: Season 1 Episode 2 "AKA Crush Syndrome"




Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 2
“AKA Crush Syndrome”

Synopsis:
Jessica vows to prove Hope's innocence, even though it means tracking down a terrifying figure from her own past.

Review:
Episode 2 Start with Jessica in an interrogation room being questioned on the events from the shooting in the Elevator. During the Investigation cops found photo’s taken of Luke Cage and end up questioning him as well.  Its seems there is some tie to a woman who died and Cage. I am guessing she must have died due to Jessica and this is the reason she has been following Luke. Jessica try’s to explain the photo’s telling a story about being hired by the woman’s husband which he is currently sleeping with. The woman’s Husband decides to get a few buddies to go and rough up Luke, while this is happening Jessica goes to help and finds out that he has his own “Powers/abilities”

We also get Jessica going to visit the girl in prison, we learn from this visit that Kilgrave is trying to search for someone like Jessica, making the girl Jump and jump in order to see if she may have the same abilities. It seems from the bits and pieces we keep getting that as much as Jessica is afraid of Kilgrave, He might have the same fear of her. We also know Kilgrave blames Jessica for leaving him to die after getting hit by a bus. 

To save the girl and prove that she is innocent Jessica must find proof that Kilgrave is real in order to convince Jaryn to take the case. This leads her in search where she finds that not only did Kilgrave get a surgeon to perform an operation to get two new kidneys but also had the paramedic at the scene give his Kidneys. 

Final Thoughts, We finally get our first glimpse of David Tennant as Kilgrave. I just wish we got a chance to see him wearing Chucks. (yes, I am guessing you will have to put of with a lot of Doctor Who References as Tennant was my favorite Doctor). We see a scene where Trish Walker is training. What role can we expect from her character going forward. Overall the show is great at the slow burn, and for being such a Dark Comicbook show it has grabbed my attention fast. A little side note, the composer of Jessica Jones, Sean Callery also did all the music for 24.

Overall I give this episode One Thumbs up. Leave comments below on your thoughts of the show

Comic Book Review - Star Wars #10 - Marvel Comics




Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Stuart Immonen

Luke Skywalker has been captured by a Hutt gangster and is now being forced into combat for entertainment.  Chewbacca and C-3PO are on the hunt for Luke.  Han Solo and Princess Leia are fleeing the Galactic Empire with the assistance of Han's "wife" Sana.

There is a lot going on in this book but by the end it all looks to be coming together nicely.  The Han Solo, Princess Leia and Sana verbal exchanges are well done but the stars of this comic book are Chewbacca and C-3PO.  Who would have thought that these two would make such a fantastically entertaining team?  Threepio doing the talking and Chewie doing the roaring and pummeling.

Luke may be finding some of his Jedi answers soon, but he's got a serious battle ahead of him.  Han and Leia are on the way to the moon where Luke has been captured but it's going to cost them as Leia makes an unsavory deal with Sana.

This book was going really well until the final page.  A Gungan is giving information to one of the characters.  It kind of looked like a pirate Jar Jar Binks.  I'm really glad it was on the last page as it left me feeling underwhelmed.  The speech in the balloons was very Jar Jar-like.  I hope this isn'y a recurring character.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jessica Jones Review: Season 1 Episode 1 "AKA Ladies Night"



Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 1 
“AKA Ladies Night”

Synopsis:
Jessica Jones is hired to find a pretty NYU student who's vanished, but it turns out to be more than a simple missing persons case. 

Review:
The long awaited Netflix Series from Marvel is finally here. The first episode starts with Jessica in the middle of an investigation for her Private Investigator business, Alias Investigations. We are introduced to Carrie-Anne Moss’s character Jeryn Hogarth, a high power lawyer who Jessica Free lances from time to time. As we will learn later on, Jessica is currently living her life after events of being somewhat of a superhero. We find her coping with the being controlled by a man named Killgrave by drinking……and for a Marvel show, she is drinking a lot. Even while drunk, Jessica thinks she is haunted by the thoughts of Kilgrave only to find out he isn’t dead like she had thought. During the first episode Jessica is sought out after being recommended to a couple looking for their daughter. As she gets into her investigation she learns more that Killgrave has something to do with the missing girl. Few of the moments within the first episode show Jessica abilities, Like her ability to jump to extreme lengths and her un-match strength while lifting a car.

Few of the character we have met so far during the first episode. Luke Cage, who will have more of an impact down the road and is currently part of her investigation and Jessica’s estrange friends Trish Walker. Will she become hellcat in the future? 

Final Thoughts, its a very interesting first episode of this netflix show. Much like Daredevil, this show is made to be a bit darker than the majority of the Marvel Universe. Also like Daredevil this show is based in the same time period as the events of New York. The intriguing part of Jessica Jones is how dark this show will get, as seen with the last scene of the first episode, we see the couple looking for their daughter get gun down in the elevator by their daughter who is being controlled by Kilgrave. 

Like many first episodes of any series, this episode concentrated on introducing many characters. The benefit of Netflix is the ability of the creators to take there time and introduce everyone correctly. The way they are building up Kilgrave is awesome. I am loving it. The creator’s also pick the perfect actress to play the part of the lead character. Kristen Ritter couldn’t be more perfect……and if you have seen “Don’t Trust The Bitch In Apt 23” you would know exactly why. Oh and for all you Dr. Who fans, the brief glimpses and the voice of David Tennat is just awesome.


I give this episode Two Thumbs Up. Please let us know what you thought of the first Episode.

Comic Book Review: The Shadow -Issue 1 - Dynamite


“The Shadow"  Issue #1
Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Giovanni Timpano and Marco Lesko

The issue begins with a magician, Carlini, dying in bed and being greeted by “The Society of United Magicians" who are in search of Houdini’s last great magic trick, from beyond the grave. From there it cuts to a circus where the Shadow is trying to apprehend another magician while battling circus freaks, who are literally shooting themselves at him from cannons. It’s revealed that the Magicians are searching for Houdini’s secret with violent means but only the Shadow knows Houdini’s secret and the Magicians will not stop until they’ve uncovered the secret… by any means necessary.

What a fun trip back into the world of “The Shadow” and mystery meets crime drama. All the aspects of the Shadow are captured here and even the dialogue is appropriate to the character and the world this story takes place in. Old cars, old planes, old guns, classic outfits and hairstyles, it’s all here. Even the font used when the Shadow laughs and disappears feels right. If you’re a fan of the Shadow you’ll appreciate this issue. If you aren’t yet a fan, you might still enjoy the campy feel of a 1940’s murder mystery that deals with magicians.

The initial issue was only $1 and well worth it. The story is well paced and keeps you engaged without slowing down too much for dialogue. The swiftness in which the Shadow moves is captured here as well and if you grew up listening to, or recently have enjoyed, the old radio shows you can hear Orson Welles maniacal laugh each time the laugh happens in this issue. I’m curious to see where the story goes with this nefarious group calling themselves “The Society of United Magicians” and I hope after reading you are too. 

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Act 133: Thanksgiving Fun

Masked Blogster, Mandy, J-Double, Jersey Jenn and Self E Santana to talk about sports, geographic locations and what they're doing for Thanksgiving.

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Comic Book Review: Deadpool VS Thanos #4 - Marvel




“Deadpool VS Thanos”  Issue #4
Written By: Tim Seeley
Art By: Elmo Bondoc, Ruth Redmond and VCs Joe Sabino

The issue opens up with Eternity and Death discussing judgement when they are interrupted by the In-Betweener. From there we see Thanos and Deadpool freeing Mistress Death and then being granted all of Deaths power to combat Eternity. This doesn’t go as smoothly as Mistress Death would Hope as Deadpool realizes that life is important and her power is removed from him and left to Thanos who battles Eternity. A surprise visitor shows up and grants Deadpool certain powers to fight for Eternity and stop Thanos and certain revelations are made that show Deadpool might be more insightful than he let’s on.  

Another enjoyable issue that has some laugh out loud moments from the Merc with a mouth. The art continues to be one of the main delights in this series as Deadpool and Thanos travel the cosmos, Hell and beyond in pursuit of Death. The attention to detail and coloring for each location helps build on the concept that the characters are traveling all over. It feels like Deadpool and Thanos are actually in these realms and not just the same location with a slightly different look. 

Towards the end of the issue there’s some great dialogue between Deadpool and Thanos that show the true nature of Thanos. Tim Seeley went with Thanos being surprised with Deadpools perspective and it’s accuracy and truth which I thought was a great idea. Ultimately, Deadpool realizes that the life and death balance makes eternity all the more important and beautiful which does not sit well with Death. The closing observations by Deadpool really allow you to appreciate his quick wit because now it’s with the understanding the shallow comments originate from a deeper place… like his lover for the Golden Girls TV show. 

This issue is $3.99 and worth it, again. This story builds and builds until you completely understand and appreciate the final battle between Deadpool and Thanos. It’s a fun read and it has some thought provoking perspective on the value of life and the importance of death. Hop over to your local comic book store and pick up the issue and back issues if you haven’t read them yet.  Oh, and tell them Maskerpiece Theatre sent you. 

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Binge Watcher Review: Elementary



Elementary
Staring: Johnny Lee Miller & Lucy Liu

Synopsis:
This is a modern day take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Classic character Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock leaves present-day London for Manhattan after a stint in rehab. Once in New York, Sherlock takes back up with consulting for the police with his new sober companion Dr. Joan Watson.

The Good:
If you are at all a fan of Sherlock Holmes you will enjoy this adaptation. Its an interesting take having Holmes in New York, this has opened the show up to so many new possibilities with out having the need to tie to the original stories. Each week there is a new mystery which needs solving while the show still runs with an over all story line. Also many may dislike the change from Dr. John Watson into a Female; however the switch has worked and much of that is to the credit of Lucy Liu. The chemistry between Sherlock and Joan from protégée into partner through the three season is what keeps the show interesting. 

The Bad:
The liberties the creators took with he characters can be frustrating, as much as I have enjoyed the switch from John to Joan its still hard to wrap once head around. The change which I dislike the most is with James moriarty being made into Jamie Moriarty. This frustration is more evident due the writers making Moriarty as Ilene Adler. After watching the show through the first three season I understand the change however the creators missed out on a chance to have two great character instead of just one. I am also a little disappointed that we don’t get 221B Baker Street, the famous home of Sherlock Holmes. Instead we only get the occasional reference and one episode which they visited London.

Finally Thoughts:
Johnny Lee Miller is awesome as Sherlock Holmes, he has made this character so much better to enjoy. Is he Benedict Cumberbatch….No But we shouldn’t compare to BBC version, it is still better. However if you need a Sherlock Fix, Elementary is a great choice. Like many shows today, the soundtrack absolutly enhances the show especially with the music selected for the last scene every episode.


Give Elementary a Try, its currently on Hulu and its definitely worth some binge watching time.

Comic Book Review: Paper Girls #2 - Image Comics (2015)

Written by Brian K. Vaughn
Art by Cliff Chiang

The girls are on the run from whomever, or maybe whatever came along and dropped some sort of device that has an Apple insignia on it.  Mackenzie feels they need more protection, so they're on the way to her house to get a gun.

More mystery than ever in the second issue of "Paper Girls" as the girls are on the run and see out of the ordinary behavior from passers by and creatures never seen alive.  We also get a glimpse of Mackenzie's home life and why we may be seeing this tough girl attitude from her.

Brian K. Vaughn is spinning a tale that gets more and more intriguing and leaves you with, while different circumstances, cliff hangers in both issues.   Cliff Chiang's art is as eye popping as ever and gives the reader the visuals that compliment the story Vaughn is writing.

"Paper Girls" #2 is available in comic book shops now and has the low cover price of $2.99.

You can read more of my blogs here on Maskerpiece Theatre and also on http://cinemaheadcheese.blogspot.com/

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Arrow Review: Season 4 Episode 7 "Brotherhood"


Arrow Season 4 Episode 7
“Brotherhood”

Synopsis:
Team Green Arrow’s ongoing battle with Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) is complicated by a shocking revelation. Thea’s (Willa Holland) bloodlust returns and she loses control in front of Alex (guest star Parker Young)

Review:
Arrow continues with the fast pace beginnings, the episode starts with Team Arrow fighting HIVE’s army of Ghost. As soon as we get back to the Arrow Cave 3.0, Diggle decides to fill Oliver in on the information that he received from Captain Lance on his brother Andy. When the team goes after Darhk again Diggle learns his brother is still alive and working with HIVE. Diggle is having issues with Andy being alive, battling with thoughts of betrayal. This causes Oliver to want to rescue Andy, giving him the benefit go the doubt that he is being mind controlled the same way the rest of the Army of Ghost are as we learned from the Docks. 

Not only did we get more of Ray Palmer in this Episode, but we also got the ATOM helping the team out at the end of the episode. It seems Ray is struggle with the impact that he has left on Star City. By the end of Episode 7, Ray decides he needs to go search for his meaning in this world. As he said coming back to do the hero stuff will still happen…….Cough** Cough** Legends of Tomorrow.

What can make this episode better? The return of Malcom Merlin. Love the character, I am more than happy that he has been a reoccurring character. Malcolm is back due to the effects of Thea Killing members of the league will be wearing off. Marlin decides that the best course of action is to feed the blood lust with criminals who have gotten away with horrific crimes……Does anyone else feel a Dexter vibe at all?

Final Thoughts, there seemed to be a lot going on in this episode. Damien Darhk finally introduced himself to Oliver, as he wanted to “request” that Oliver drop his plans to redevelop the bay. When Oliver asked what he would do if he said No Darhk informed Oliver he would no longer run Unopposed for Mayor. It’s nice to see that Oliver has grown a lot from last season and is listening to his friends as he has decided to “Fight Darhk in the light of Day”. Which means we might see more of a battle for Mayor between the two.
We also learned that Thea has some ability to defend herself from the affects of Darhk, when Darhk touched her it also seemed to fend off her blood lust. I am guessing this has something to do with the Lazarus Pit. She also asks that Malcom helps to create a way to make this permeant. I am waiting to see how Malcom ultimately learns how to use this power to his advantage, got to love villains. 

I personally enjoying that Oliver has become the voice of reason this season. Its been long time coming, but its a nice switch from when Diggle was always that voice for Oliver. I am intrigued to find out what affect Andy will have on Diggle going forward. Is he really Diggle’s actual brother? If he is, Is he truly part of HIVE, I am wondering if there is some type of twist in the works where Andy is actually undercover with the organization. This was definitely 4 years in the making, I love that the creative team has kept strong with stories they started in the early seasons.

Did anyone else absolutely love the fight sequence at the docks? It was done using one straight shot multiple times, reminding me of season ones episode when Oliver rescues his Step dad. This was a great episode and it seems like the creative team is hitting on all cylinders this season. Its early but this might be the best season yet. I give this episode Two Thumbs Up.


Let us know what your opinion of Episode 7 “Brotherhood” was. Leave your comment below.