Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Comic Book Review: Empress #1 - Icon Comics (2016)

Written by Mark Millar
Art by Stuart Immonen

The setting is Earth, 65 million years ago and it has a much more futuristic look than you may imagine.  Queen Emporia is looking to escape Earth with her children and the help of a companion.  Emporia's husband, the king, will be none to pleased by this attempt.

Mark Millar has a knack for writing stories that seem way off the beaten path and making them enthralling.  So it's 65 million years in the past and the technology is amazing, you totally buy it.  The first issue gives you enough of a look into the lives where you see just enough of their personalities to know there are those you don't want to mess with and others that are crazy enough to know you probably should mess with them either.  I can only hope there isn't a bunch of time in between issues of this series.

As with most Mark Millar comic books, he gets some of the most talented artists to work with him.  Stuart Immonen is an incredible artist and being able to look at his artwork page after page is a true joy.

What are your thoughts on Empress?  what other comic books would you like Maskerpiece Theatre to review?  Please comment below.

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X-Men Apocalypse - Box Office Review

Arriving in theaters, we have the 6th X-Men movie and the 9th in the franchise of films that stem from the same comic book source material, “X-Men Apocalypse.” This was an ambitious film to make. The introduction of new characters, the continuing story of familiar characters and trying to create a believable scenario in which the end of the world is inevitable, or is it. Let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts of this film in this box office review…



As the film concluded I realized that this trilogy isn’t about the X-Men, it’s about the relationship between Professor X and Magneto. Secondary, but almost as important, it’s about recreating an entire world that was fractured in the “X-Men The Last Stand” film back in 2006. By the time the credits rolled I was grateful that this chapter has closed. I truly believe the franchise has been restored and we can now, officially, move forward without constantly trying to rework what was done over 10 years ago. I could be wrong, but I feel that Bryan Singer took 3 films to right the wrongs done, story wise, in that garbage film. 

There was so much happening in this film it might be a struggle for some to keep up. I am not surprised at how poorly received this film has been considering how much information is shoved in. I’m sure things were lost in first viewing because I know while I was watching Weapon X break free from his cage and escape I couldn’t help but wonder how he got there when we first saw him in a bar telling Professor X and Magneto to “fuck off” back in “XMen First Class." 


The time line jumps around and it’s a challenge for me to believe that Magneto is Quicksilvers father when they don’t look much different in age. However, it’s a movie about a mutant who controls metal and more so there is a level of disbelief to suspend that is appropriate. I can let that slide I suppose, considering. 

I really can’t say enough about James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender’s acting abilities. I, like most I’m sure, appreciate the levels they go to for these characters. The continuing struggle Magneto faces with humanity was elevated again in this film as time after time those he loves are taken from him. Professor X realizes the impact his role as leader and educator can have and how his actions can be profoundly important. Jennifer Lawrence on the other hand just showed up to get a paycheck. Her performance was so bland it was almost insulting. I know she’s capable of more and what I got was so much less than we deserve, knowing her talent. 


I appreciated the new take on some familiar characters as well. We’ve seen Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Jean Gray (and her big scene at the end was incredibly gorgeous) Angel and others. I would’ve enjoyed seeing more of the Morlock’s. I definitely think there should’ve been at least some statement about who they are and why they do what they do. I suppose there was already enough new material for one film. And can we get anything on Jubilee? Why was she even in this film? She served zero purpose. 


X-Men Apocalypse” is in theaters now! I recommend a big screen viewing because the special effects are worth the big screen experience. The movie isn’t great but it is entertaining. If you don’t know anything about the X-Men comics but have been following the movies you’ll probably enjoy this film. If you are a die hard X-Men comics fan you will probably be disgusted. I went into this movie expecting garbage and walked out pleasantly surprised. I don’t know if that’s the ticket for success but it worked for this film. I might even do a second viewing just to catch some of the continuity points I probably missed. It’s a step down from the X-Men Days of Future Past” film but that’s not a slight against “Apocalypse”. “Days of Future Past” was an exceptionally fun time at the movies where as this film was only entertaining.


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Monday, May 30, 2016

The Nice Guys - Box Office Review


If asked, I’m sure you have a particular director that you look forward to seeing additional films from. Their name appears and immediately your interest is peaked and you anxiously wait for the next film to be released in theaters. Shane Black has become one of those directors who, mostly, has been making entertaining films that I am re-watching almost 30 years later (Lethal Weapon 1987, he wrote it but Richard Donner directed it). When the news dropped that he was writing and directing “The Nice Guys” I had high expectations so let’s dive and take a look at my thoughts regarding this film in this box office review… 

The films starts off in Hollywood California in the 1970s. A girl has gone missing, another one dead and as the story unfolds it’s clear that this won’t be just another easy cash grab job for either of the main characters. There’s violence, nudity, car accidents, humor, great music and more in this film. It’s practically got everything you’d want from a murder mystery/cop drama set in Hollywood of yesteryear. 

Russell Crowe plays a hired hand who beats people up who mess with underage girls. Ryan Gosling plays a private investigator whose most recent case involves a missing person who hasn’t been seen since their funeral. These are not your typical hero’s, in the traditional sense, but they are the two men we are routing for as the film progresses. 


The film revolves around the relationship these two men have with each other as professional colleagues but it’s Angourie Rice who really brings a sense of humanity and realism to the film. Her portrayal as the daughter of Holland March (Gosling) is not only believable but enjoyable. She brings out the best in both Jack and Holland and her determination and intelligence added a fresh personality on screen to keep things moving and feeling fresh. 


The Nice Guys” is in theaters now! I recommend you see this film on the big screen. It’s not special effects heavy but the story is entertaining and the characters so remarkably done that it’s worth supporting with your hard earned dollars. I have seen it twice now and the second time was even more enjoyable than the first and I thoroughly enjoyed my first viewing. It's a wonderful blending of "Lethal Weapon" meets "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." If you enjoy character driven stories that keep you guessing and can make you laugh, this is the film for you. It’s quite possibly my favorite film of the year and definitely in the top 10 so far. It's a fresh story and it succeeds without being tied to any other franchise or genre currently popular. Go see this film!



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Sing Street - Box Office Review


Sometimes a film is made that resonates with a particular demographic of movie-watchers. It’s personal, the characters are identifiable and the situations relatable. “Sing Street” was a film that was all of that for me. It's a story based on young high school kids who decide to start a band, create music videos and possibly, for one, win over a girl. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on this film in this box office review…

The film takes place in Ireland during the 1980’s. MTV is a brand new thing that is taking the world by storm and we are introduced to a teenager who is trying to find his place in his world. So in this quest to discover himself and impress a girl he does what every other teenage boy would do, he starts a band (well, at least that’s what me and friends did in High School). From there we are treated to the steps it takes to create a song, a music video and perform live.


The film itself is very simple. Nothing is too surprising or shocking and the characters are all uniquely different. The friends, the school principle, the girl, the parents, the curious brother who is obsessed with music, they each bring something special to the movie. I can’t really say any single character stands out above the rest even the protagonist is taking up the majority of the screen time, which is expected. This film really centers around him despite how many supporting characters join in on the fun. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo plays the role of “awkward teenager just trying to survive high school and win the girl” well. His bandmates are also entertaining in their own right. 


If this film did one thing well it’s character development. The story is written plainly so it was up to the characters to sell me emotionally on this movie. This could be due to the fact that I could identify with the characters because myself and many people I knew were all doing high school bands. So, it didn’t take much for me to relate to these characters. Also, being a fan of music my whole life there was that aspect that was, again, easily relatable. The soundtrack to this film is pretty much 80's new wave. So that's fun. I’m confident that if you had a family member who was into music you’ll enjoy this film. If you didn’t, this might be a stretch for some. 


“Sing Street” is in theaters now! I’m gonna say that you can wait to watch this film on Redbox or VOD. There isn’t a lot of special effects and it feels and looks very much like an indie film. It is an entertaining and charming movie which would make for a great Sunday afternoon on the couch viewing. Plus seeing kids record on the old, gigantic, VHS cassette video camera was fun nostalgia. If you were a high school rockstar or had family that was you’ll appreciate this film. If not, you probably will enjoy it but for different reasons.

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Angry Birds - Box Office Review


Historically, video game movies have been one disappointment after another in theaters. Going all the way back to “Super Mario Brothers” in 1993 it’s been one long train of missed opportunities or box office bombs. Hollywood takes an intellectual property that has storylines, developed characters and an established fan base and somehow can’t make it work. So maybe the key is to make a film that only has a fan base. Let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Angry Birds” in this box office review…

If you want voice talent for a film then here’s your answer. This film is stacked with talent. Unfortunately, the lead voice actor Jason Sudeikis comes off more as a frustrated bird than an angry bird. I have enjoyed many performances of his but when I think angry I expect something similar to Lewis Black playing the emotion “Anger” in the Pixar movie “Inside Out.” However, Josh Gad playing “Chuck” the super fast bird was delightful. His vocal performance capturing the high energy and optimistic nature of this bird was spot on. I loved it. 

The story deals with how everyone has a role to play in their community. They might be an outsider but at some point, duty will call and it will be their time to shine. This is a comedy after all so that means it’s not as serious as I might have made it sound just now. There’s a few laugh out loud moments but mostly I found myself chuckling. I will say that I felt the trailers gave away some of the more humorous moments which was disappointing after I realized it. 


Angry Birds” is in theaters now! If you have kids you might consider taking them to the theater for a family viewing. The only inappropriate joke I thought was the eagle peeing in the water the birds were playing and splashing around in. This was in the trailer so it shouldn’t be too surprising for anyone. Overall, it’s humorous and the way they integrate the aspects of the game into the film were fun to watch. If you don’t have kids you can probably skip this film and see something else, like “The Nice Guys.” I wouldn’t say this film is as disappointing as previous video game movies but I will say it’s a step in the right direction without being a “must see” film. 


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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Comic Book Review: Mars Attacks: Occupation #3 - IDW Publishing (2016)

"The Martian Hero"
Written by John Layman
Art by Andy Kuhn
Colors by Jason Lewis

The Martians now occupy Earth and now hold Gladiator-like contests using humans and robots.  Ruby Johnson is a champion that needs to do everything she can to continue surviving in this harsh Martian world.

Truth be told, I didn't exactly enjoy the "Mars Attacks" movie.  With that said, this comic book is an enjoyable read.  John Layman put together a story that is fun but he also included the right amount of seriousness at the appropriate times.  I also like that this was the third book and I'm able to enjoy it without the previous two issues.  Too many times, it feels like comic series start over to try to bring in new collectors.  Here's a tip: #1 rarely starts at the beginning.  If you think you might enjoy a comic book series, jump in.  You'll catch yourself up soon enough.  Plus if you like it, there are ways to read the previous stories.

Andy Kuhn does well drawing the Earth that has been conquered by the Martians.  I'm sure Kuhn had a great time drawing the otherworldly characters along with the robots and the now disfigured characters that have been transformed by their Red Planet oppressors.

I received this book in the Supply Pod subscription box.  Living in Arizona, I attend and now host panels at Phoenix ComiCon every year and the comic book I received has the exclusive cover for the 2016 con.  The cover looks great with art by John McCrea.  If you are attending Phoenix ComiCon, please come say his at one of our panels.  We even have prizes courtesy of HelloSubscription.com.

What are your thoughts on Mars Attacks: Occupation?  Were you a fan of the film?  What comic book conventions will you be attending in the near future?  Please comment below and be sure to follow @MaskedBlogster on Twitter.

Here are a couple panels that I will be co-hosting:

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
Sketchy ScreeningDalyn owns a struggling comic shop, and his friend Matt decides a reality show is the best way to help business. Unfortunately, his disastrous employees, customers, and rival are doing all they can to make a mess of things. Join the cast and crew for this new comedy series debut! Q&A to follow.

Friday, June 3rd, 2016
Abnormal Entertainment Presents: Sci-Fi FondueCome join in the fun of our (recorded) Live Podcast as we send up our most beloved and Cheesiest Sci-Fi properties from the 1980's.  Celebrate those movies of the 80's that were so bad, they were good.  Be prepared to groan and always have your facepalms prepared.  Brought to you by the good, if slightly off, folks at Abnormal Entertainment.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Act 159: Dungeons and Podcasts

The hosts start chatting about wanting the community to get more involved with the podcasts and lo and behold, two guests join us to chat about Dungeons and Dragons and Phoenix ComiCon.
The location for this podcast is at The Grid: Growlers and Games in Mesa, AZ.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Act 158: Masked America - Theatre War

Masked Blogster, Handsome J and Mandy discuss Captain America: Civil War as they record live at The Grid: Growlers and Games in Mesa, AZ.

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(Review) DC Universe Rebirth Issue 1


I wasn't certain where my expectations should be for this new start on familiar titles of DC comic lore. I know that comic book shops and DC have been publicizing this issue quite heavily on social media. It has been the "talk of the town" if you will, since it was introduced. Curiousity prevailed and I found myself in a comicbook shop in San Diego purchasing this title. I'm on vacation? Not anymore. I'm pausing that so I could read this issue and write about it for everyone who follows us. So let's dive in and read about my thoughts on this first issue entitled, "DC Universe Rebirth". 


The story starts off with us discovering that a Flash is responsible for trying to solve the mystery that these new issues will be attempting to explain. Flash certainly has his work cut out for him as it's unclear whether or not he'll survive his travels or be lost in the speed force forever as he travels from hero to hero searching for someone who remembers him. He needs help trying to discover who is the time thief that appears more powerful than Darkseid.

From there we are introduced to many other characters and it's explained that someone is not tampering with the timeline but actually stealing time and feelings from all the timelines thus creating new concepts for familiar hero's and villains. This reality even altered romantic relationships and changed lovers to colleagues, left feeling an unexplainable loss. Also, it's revealed that some of what we thought we knew about certain powers aren't actually accurate and there's more at stake than previously imagined. 


Overall, I enjoyed this issue. Introducing so many characters, concepts and storylines could be considered a Herculean task and I felt this first offering did well enough to establish where DC comics is headed. Plus seeing Doctor Fate make a sudden appearance is always cool. 

I can understand the frustrations that some folks might have on starting or rebooting the comics all over again. I can also see the side of those who feel this move is nothing more than a cash grab DC might be achieving. All that considered, I enjoyed this first introductory issue. It was only $2.99 to see where the universe is headed and it's worth it. I'll still read the "New 52 Deathstroke" for as long as they print them and I might start reading some of this new Aquaman if I'm feeling adventurous. Who knows? I'm just saying I enjoyed this first issue. 


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Preacher - Television Program Review

Episode 1
"Pilot"

I have long credited the Preacher comic book series for solidifying my love for comic books.  Creators Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon masterfully put together a story that brought comic books to a whole different level for me.  You can only imagine my excitement for the television series.

The television show version of Preacher has premiered and I'm having torn emotions about it.  As a fan of the comic book, there's a large part of me that wants something that is more true to the source material.  That did not happen in this first episode and based on the preview for the next episode(in two weeks, what's with that??).

Preacher spent much more time introducing characters as opposed to what the series will be about.  Jesse Custer, a Preacher who is having a tough time reaching his fellowship.  Cassidy, a vampire who has taken a liking to the Preacher.  Tulip, someone from the Preacher's past who definitely has a bad ass streak.  The characters seem about right, but the story is still off.  I'm interested to hear what people who haven't read the comic book series think of this show.

While the show starts off in outer space with a flying beam of light, the rest of the show takes place on Earth.  I'm hoping we get more back story on this beam of light and I hope we start seeing the places that are not on Earth.  The magic of the book series was not quite captured in the first episode.  I hope the show runners, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, have a good plan in place or this may be a short lived series.  As it stands, it looks like this story is staying in the small Texas town of Annville rather than the Preacher going on his hunt.  I know, I'm going a little cryptic here but I know not everyone has read the comic book series.

There was a lot of good in this episode.  The violence and action was pretty awesome.  we were treated to some very gruesome scenes and I hope that continues.  Also, the introductions of the characters have happened so we don't need to go through that in the next episode.  Cassidy sometimes wears his trademark sunglasses so that part is goo(hate when he's not though).

So there's your fanboy review.  I can try to say it's a different telling of the story but Preacher isn't Batman or Captain America.  Preacher was a series unto itself and worked because of the one story told.  There weren't multiple writers and different origin stories.  Well, I guess now there is.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

(Spoiler Free) Captain America Civil War - Box Office Review

Captain America: Civil War” is the third film in the franchise. Marvel has been using the Captain America films to move their cinematic universe forward as well. After each of the films we see the next phase of films moving in a new direction. So let’s jump in and take a look at my thoughts on “Captain America: Civil War” by Marvel Studios and Disney…

I’m not sure how it’s possible but each film in this franchise gets better. This is not the normal routine for films. You typically see a great first film that spawns sequels that get more money and worse stories. There are exceptions, but in general, we don’t see growth with trilogies we see decline. The Captain America trilogy is the exception. The characters become more three dimensional, more developed and more relatable in all senses. 

There were many people, myself included, who called this film “Avengers 2.5” because of how many characters it has. I’m happy to announce it is but it’s also a Captain America movie at its core. I’ll explain as I’m hoping you expected. The story involves several characters but the heart of the film beats because of Captain America. His actions are what drive the plot forward and by the end of the film completely shake the foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, the actions of the other characters in this film matter, but it’s the choices that Captain America makes that progress the franchise and the larger cinematic universe. 

Spiderman! Spiderman! I don’t care as much as some. I was excited to see Spiderman make his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe but that’s because I trust the creative team at Marvel. I love the Spiderman character, don’t get me wrong, but I was more excited at the possibilities the creative folks at Marvel can deliver on. Spiderman was great in this film and his character was really true to some of the older silver age comic versions of Peter Parker/Spiderman. Plus the film was able to poke fun at itself with how attractive Aunt May is. 


Black Panther. I have been looking forward to seeing his character brought to life on the big screen. I was not disappointed. I was having a text discussion with my brother about his character and I mentioned how Black Panther was literally like the NFL’s best running back. He just pushed his way through every single superhero on his way to achieve his goal… well, almost every superhero. It is a Captain America movie at the end of the day. His character in the comics was brought to life in this film so wonderfully. I loved the wisdom in his character but also the passion, determination and strength. He easily stole the movie for me. The end scene where he is with Zemo and he realizes the path he was on must alter because of the circumstance now knowing the villain.. powerful. 

Zemo. Ok, in the comics he’s a purple leotard wearing, swashbuckling nemesis to the Avengers and Captain America. Marvel decided that they were going to go another route this time around and create a villain that was more criminal mastermind with a personal vendetta. I loved it. The puppet master curiously pulling the strings behind the scenes only to try and… well, I won’t spoil it. I thought his character was one of the best villains in a Marvel movie so far and I’m happy they seem to be figuring out how to create villains. Let’s continue to be honest, Marvel has work to do on creating villains but they did well in this film. 




“Captain America: Civil War” is in theaters now! Go… See… This… Film!! I have seen it twice so far and it only gets better. There’s so many great scenes in this film and the characters are all fantastic. Could it have felt overcrowded? Absolutely. But the characters are all so unique and have their own personality that is so developed you don’t even notice. You only get to appreciate the film and all it delivers on. This is a definite big screen viewing!


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Act 157: TyTy Theatre

Cosplayer TyTy calls into the show from Bend, OR to talk about her costumes, living life in Oregon, beer, comic cons, Disneyland, Universal Studios and just wait until we get her started on Star Wars.  This is a really fun interview that you're sure to enjoy.
Follow TyTy on social media:
Twitter - @tytycosplay
Instagram - tytycosplay
YouTube - TyTy Television

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Supernatural Review: We Happy Few


Supernatural: We Happy Few

Director: John Badham

Writer: Robert Berens

Staring: Jared padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Ruth Connell, Emily Swallow, Rob Benedict

Thank you Robert Berens and John Badham! Thank you for this episode filled with awkward family bonding and “did that really just happen” moments. Honestly, I could watch Misha Collins and Rob Benedict bicker all day long. The back and forth between Lucifer and God was better than I could have asked for and some. Robert Berens did an amazing job writing a scene that seems unfathomable and then making it relatable for everyone. Who hasn’t had a moment where they felt betrayed by their parent and then want nothing more than a heartfelt apology, just to hear those two little words, I’m sorry.

 

As if getting Lucifer and God on the same page wasn’t hard enough, the gang some how convinces the angels, the demons and Rowena with a few witches to come together to fight the darkness. Honestly, for a good moment there it looks like it’s going to work. For a brief second it looks like things, for once, are going to go in favor of the boys. The saying "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" seriously holds up at the end of this fight. That moment just before the last commercial break where you seriously think that Amara had indeed killed God was one of the most shocking moments in the whole series of Supernatural. Just the concept of witnessing God die and then the repercussions of living in a world with out a God. It is mind-boggling. While that would have been a great ending point of the episode, waiting a whole week to find out God actually did not die yet would have been a buzz kill for the start of next week’s episode. Good choice to reveal that now rather than later. 



As always I love the scenes with Rowena and Fergus… um I mean Crowely. I feel like they will come to an end some day, so getting more of those in always makes me happy.  I’m really hoping that with how things played out with Lucifer, Castiel is back and hopefully the wonderful Mark Pellegrino will some day make another appearance on the show. Misha Collins did well as Lucifer, but I want Cas back and Pellegrino as Lucifer just puts a smile on my face. If that can’t happen though, then Lucifer you get right back in there with Cas, Misha can carry those reigns.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Money Monster - Box Office Review


There are times when a movie is released and it doesn’t have the best marketing. The movie going audience doesn’t know if it will be worthwhile in theaters or should be skipped until it’s available on Redbox or VOD. “Money Monster” is that film. We were treated to a few trailers but nothing that really sells the movie for what it turned out be after seeing it. So let’s dive in and take a look at 
“Money Monster” in this box office review…

We have Jodi Foster directing, George Clooney and Julie Roberts leading the film. So far we’re on pretty solid ground for expecting a film that’s both engaging and entertaining. It only builds from there. All the characters in this movie bring their own personality to this film and create a world that is both tense, humorous and human.


The story is a revenge tail. Sounds simple, I know. However, the writing in this film takes the basic concept of one man seeking revenge to something much more. I walked out of the theater pleased at how much I enjoyed the overall story and how it surprises within the basic concepts. 

The tone of the film bounces around from incredibly tense, to humorous, to personal. It’s a story written in modern time so the topics discussed are relatable because they impact our life right now. Also, the reaction to some of the events are completely modern. I was impressed with how “right now” this film felt. The writers did their part on studying modern life and implementing that into the film to really elevate this into something that is believable, assuming the events on screen happen in real life. 



“Money Monster” is in theaters now! I could write about how good the acting was but it’s George Clooney and Julia Roberts. This film is worth the big screen viewing even though it’s not a visual spectacular. The characters are developed, the story makes sense, it’s entertaining and worth the ticket price. This is a great date movie or you could spend the matinee ticket price and enjoy it. It’s gonna entertain you and surprise you. Go check it out and share your comments below. 

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Comic Book Review: The Flash #51 - DC Comics (2016)

"Under the Gun"
Written by Van Jensen
Art by Gus Vazquez & Joe Eisma

The Riddler has revealed himself as the one who has put the drones throughout the city and the overall architect of the plan to take out the Flash.  The Scralet Speedster definitely has his hands full with the Riddler as he is a villain that has back up plans for his back up plans.

I am a huge fan of this series.  I'm kind of sad knowing that the rebirth is coming soon and this may bring the closing of this book series.  Van Jensen is writing an amazing story that I don't want to end.  I like when villains from other comic books come through to take on heroes that they would normally never see.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the Riddler really wants in Central City.

This book has gone through many artists and art styles since Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse left.  It looks good but it's kind of odd when you are binge reading.

What are your thoughts on the Flash?  Are you looking forward to DC's Rebirth?  Please let us know in the comments below or contact us in the Maskerpiece Theatre Fan Page on Facebook.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Keanu - Box Office Review

If you are a fan of sketch comedy then you probably know the names “Key and Peele” and for good reason. These two incredible comedians took the comedy world by storm back in 2012 with their hilarious show “Key and Peele” and please youtube some skits for laughs. So what happens when two brilliant comedians take the next step into film making? Well, lets dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Keanu” in this box office review…

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this film. I knew I would laugh and that was the bar for me. Make me laugh and I’ll be happy.  The advertising campaign for this film wasn’t blowing me away and there wasn’t a push for “big name” actors appearing in the film either. So, for an initial big screen viewing I just wanted them to make me laugh and they did. I had some very loud laughs and if you’ve ever seen a movie with me you know that “loud” is an appropriate descriptive word. There were some chuckles as well. Overall, it delivered on laughs and for that I was happy.

The story was surprisingly well written. I was not expecting some of the twists which added to my level of enjoyment. It wasn’t just a story about a guy and his cat but a look at life when you’re determined to achieve what you said you’d achieve. The characters were mostly adequate and I didn’t feel they took away or distracted me from enjoying the film. 

On the other side of things, this film did feel like it was made by two people who haven’t made a film before. I felt the disconnect in the story because it did feel, at times, like scenes and not an entire story. The visual side of the story worked but the actual story felt choppy. I’ve used this phrase before in other reviews, but “paint by numbers” is how I would describe it. You could feel the steps to get the story from point A to point B, C and so on. This is not to say the story suffered, because I enjoyed the story overall. I’m merely saying that I could feel the step by step approach. It’s the first film though so I’m not going to dwell on this point. I have faith that future films will progress and be even more developed and entertaining. 


“Keanu” is in theaters now! I feel you can wait to redbox this film or stream it on any VOD service you use. This isn’t a movie that needs to be seen on the big screen but it should be enjoyed at home on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Plus, the George Michael soundtrack is hilarious and you’ll never listen to his music the same way again. Enjoy folks!


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Comic Book Review: The Flash #50 - DC Comics (2016)

Written by Van Jensen
Art by Jesus Merino & Paul Pelletier

The Flash is under arrest and being taken to Iron Heights Prison.  That's where the action really takes place and we also get the huge reveal of who has been so bent on getting the Flash put away.

This book blew me away.  I loved seeing what happened with Iron Heights prison and that wasn't even as big as the reveal of who the Trickster has been getting his tech from.  Van Jensen has written an amazing story arc and I am looking forward to the next issue.

The art looks fantastic.  This is especially the case once the scene moves to Iron Heights Prison.  I really liked the way the villains were drawn once the story got there.

There was also a bonus story at the end of this book.

Wally West, The Fastest Kid Alive in WWFD
Written by Van Jensen
Art by Joe Eisma

Wally West recognizes he is going through some changes and is hoping to find ways to deal with it.

This was a fun story.  Wally West in gym class and being able to talk to his future self and find out he is a speedster.  This was an absolute joy to read.  Kids discussing what they would do if they had the Flash's powers and Wally getting to use his powers without anyone knowing.

The art looks good too.  All the facial expressions look great, especially when the kids look surprised.

What are your thoughts on The Flash?  What other comic books would you like Maskerpiece Theatre to review?  Please comment below or reach out to us on Twitter @MaskedBlogster 

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Jungle Book - Box Office Review

The older some of us get the more opportunities there are to see stories from our childhood adapted to live action adventures. The “Jungle Book” (originally an animated Disney film made in 1967) has endured decades to maintain a special place in the hearts of all of us who remember our first time experiencing this fun adventure. The idea of taking animals who talk and creating a believable world where man can coexist in live action is quite the challenge so let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “The Jungle Book” by Jon Favreau

I will be honest as I always am when reviewing these films. I was excited to see this film. It was in my Top 10 most anticipated films of the year. However, I am a professional so I’m able to take a step back to examine the aspects of film making from a non biased view point, even though I was already inclined to believe it would be excellent. This film didn’t disappoint me at all. The story, classic. The adaption, superb. The voice actors, spot on. The computer generated imaging, beyond excellent. There is so much to enjoy in this film.

First, since this is a live action film I appreciated the time and attention to detail that went into making the visual world this film inhabits. You might believe that the time they spent working on this film was probably beautiful and torturous because of the wild jungle setting we see on screen. Well, the CGI (computer generated images) used in this film was revolutionary. We see a jungle but they made this film on a stage in California. This is the most ground breaking technology used for film to date. So when you see this, remember, this jungle was created, probably, on an Apple Computer. Amazing. 

Next, how do we bring these animated animals to life? You hire some of the most talented actors alive to come and do voice work for you. This is exactly what Disney did. The characters personalities jump to life because the skill of the actors voicing these characters is unbelievable. Jon Favreau must be one of the most agreeable directors in hollywood to have a career of working with so many talented people. This film is stacked with talent and I recommend you clink the link to view the IMDB page on all the talent in this film. There’s way too many to mention, so I recommend you do visit their page. 


However, the story will hinge on who you cast to be the “man cub” raised by wolves with the power to create “mans red fire” and Neel Sethi knocked it out of the park. Enter an actor who’s first major film role is this film. This kid was acting on green screens and when you consider how lovable his character is while knowing he’s got no real previous acting experience… WOW! I was not expecting his performance to impact me as much as it did. This kid did exactly what was needed for the film and that won me over.


“The Jungle Book” is in theaters now! I give this film all the bananas and fire that King Louie will want. And if you’re a fan of the original and some of those songs, you won’t be disappointed. This is a must see big screen film! If you can still see it on IMAX, do it. If not, still go see it. It’s a great movie for a date, or just a casual matinee viewing. GO SEE THIS FILM!



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