Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Comic Book Review: Han Solo #1 - Marvel Comics (2016)

Written by Marjorie Liu
Art by Mark Brooks
Colors by Sonia Oback

Han Solo isn't having his best luck as a smuggler.  The Rebellion seems to recognize this and actively pursues the service of Han Solo, or rather his ship the Millennium Falcon for a race that is well known throughout the galaxy.

Marvel Comics continues their impressive run on comic books based on the Star Wars films.  This book takes place, much like the Star Wars and Darth Vader comic books, after A New Hope and before The Empire Strikes Back.  Marjorie Liu does an incredible job writing this first installment.  Han and Leia's interactions are pretty spot on as far as what you would expect both characters to say within the situations they are put in.  I like that the Millennium Falcon continues to be its own character within the world of Star Wars.

Mark Brooks is an incredible artist and his work here shows it.  The faces are key to these issues and Brooks nails it.  Sonia Oback's colors look wonderful as well.

For those of you who enjoy the Star Wars films, I'd highly recommend the comic books.  I hear the voices of the characters in my head because the writing is fantastic and the art has thus far been phenomenal.  I was fortunate enough to receive the variant cover to this comic book in the June 2016 Zwaag Bag subscription service.  The cover looks like the toys I used to get when I was young.  How cool would it be to get an old Han Solo on card like this?  You can read my reviews of Zwaag Bag on HelloSubscription.com

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

One Man's Soap Box: The Unwavering Belief In The MCU


"The Unwavering Belief In Marvel"

In the past few years two things happened, A really good X-Men film and less than acceptable Fantastic Four Movie were made. Worldwide at the box office these two films were at opposite ends of the spectrum. One succeeded while the other failed leaving a $500 mil difference between movies. At the time everyone blamed the quality of Fantastic Four….No argument from me, It sucked. However what was overlooked was the two Marvel movies based on lesser known characters which both ended up grossing as much or even more than the two Fox films.


How did two lesser known Comicbook properties beat the more popular properties in Fantastic Four and X-men? The answer is the Marvel production company.

For fun lets use Spiderman: Homecoming as an example. When Sony and Marvel where able to reach an agreement for Spidey to come to the MCU, it was met with an overwhelming amount of approval. This never surprised me, but what ultimately did was the reaction or commentary which followed. Anyone I’ve spoken to states it will be the best Spiderman film yet, articles I’ve read state the franchise will be saved. All due to the Idea that Marvel is now involved in making the movie.

From my perspective Marvel doesn’t make superior comicbook movies, example “Antman” at best it was a decent fun movie. However with it being attached to MCU its passed as being a better quality film than what it truly was. Try listing 5 of your favorite comic book movies, how many Marvel movies made the list? Did any solo outing make the list or was it both Avenger and Civilwar? My point being is we are more lenient for a MCU property than we are for any other Comicbook property out there. The reason being it has Marvel Attached to it.


I didn’t write this blog to trash the MCU, I’ve loved all of their movies. However, I have recently read to many blogs, seen to many article and talked with to many people who all will dismiss a good DC movie/TV Show, but still watch a Marvel movie of the same quality or less than and praise it. So before preaching about how Spiderman is safe now its with Marvel, remember one things, the company which brought you both Spiderman 3 and Amazing Spiderman 2 is still ultimately in charged and there is a good chance it won’t be better than Batman V Superman.

Stepping off my soap box now.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Finding Dory - Box Office Review




In 2003 "Finding Nemo" won over movie watchers of all ages all around the world. It had memorable little bits of dialogue that continued in the popular culture long after the film left theaters. In fact, if you tell someone struggling with a difficulty in their life "just keep swimming" they might smile for a moment remembering that little song Dory sang. It only made sense that a sequel would follow. So let's dive in and take a look at "Finding Dory" in the box office review...


The story is a bit more involved than I imagined it would be. I wasn't sure how Pixar could take a fish with short term memory loss and make an entire film around the adventures of a mentally challenged character. They did it and they did it well. They even reminded the audience who the characters are and the story they originated from which was helpful considering this sequel took 13 years to make. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the backstory moved as well as the flashback portions reminding us of the original. 

The new characters introduced in this film were just as fun as the previous characters in the first film. Are they as memorable? Probably not but that's ok because the screen time we are given is enjoyable, thought provoking and humorous. The journey to find Dory's parents was also entertaining. Also, the special effects team did so well that certain scenes above water looked so good I had to blink a few times to make sure what I saw was digital and not real water. 


It's Pixar and as everyone knows these films always have a way of striking the emotional strings of our hearts and playing them to perfection. This film continued with that tradition. I'm man enough to admit that I did get a little misty eyed. I still suspect someone was cutting onions in the theater but I can't say for certain. It's not the film itself that created a beautiful heartfelt moment. It's the celebration of Dory being a character with a mental handicap still being able to achieve so much. This film did a spectacular job getting the audience to see how someone with a disability can still contribute so much to the community and still succeed in the matters closest to their hearts. The ending really tied all this together in such a beautiful way I felt the heart strings being tugged and it was a genuine emotional moment enjoyed in the theater. 


"Finding Dory" is in theaters now! I recommend a big screen viewing because the film is absolutely worth a ticket price and the animation is fantastic. I wasn't disappointed in this film at all and in fact I'm considering a second viewing. I absolutely abhor 3-D but am strongly considering seeing this a second time but in 3-D. I'm curious if there will be a bump in animation excellence with the added depth that only 3-D can give. I typically see 3-D as cheap gimmick to raise ticket prices without adding any extra value plus I hate wearing sunglasses in a theater. I'll wear sunglass in a restaurant to give off the appearance I'm a rock star but a theater just feels dumb, Any who, enough about me, go see this film!! 


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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sex Criminals: Vol 1 - Comic Book Review

Sometimes a story comes along that gets a lot of buzz. It could be positive or negative and it's up to the readers or viewers to decide on the legitimacy of the buzz. "Sex Criminals" by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky is one of those stories. So let's dive in and take a look at "Sex Criminals" in this comic book review...


The basic premise is simple. Girl orgasms, time stops. Boy orgasms, time stops. Boy and girl orgasm together, time stops and they rob banks. This isn't an overly complicated introductory volume. The issues collected here are filled with dialogue and exposition setting up this world, the characters, the situations & challenges. Both Fraction and Zdarsky have masterfully crafted a story that could be ordinarily boring and lackluster as the readers are tested by having to endure set up after set up. Instead, the amount of fun I had reading this story was surprising. 

The simplest concept of being a teenager and suddenly discovering what "self pleasure" was, is told well. It's universal. That first moment, probably some shame or confusion, of realizing something could feel so good and you did it to yourself. This story explores the emotional and psychological journey that people experience as they grow and sex becomes less mysterious and more about connecting. However in this story, the mystery remains a bit longer because sex and orgasms are natural but stopping time is not. The relationship that develops between the two protagonists is near perfect and the humorous dialogue and banter is such a treat I found myself laughing out loud as I read page after page.


The story is also split between multiple worlds. We have the present story which takes place in the here and now. The flashback sequences which are used to shape and mold the world this story takes place in. Finally, the world that exists while time is frozen. The first two appear almost identical which is fine because it looks great but the world that exists while time is stopped was my favorite. The colors that run across the page to create this futuristic, rainbow like, dream sequence was spectacular. 

Outside of the mainstories there is a plethora of sexual images. I was reading this comic at a local spot I frequent and drew some humorous attention as page after page had some piece of sexual something. Perhaps it's porn on the television, a glowing dildo baton used for combat, a vibrating gun, hand drawn sex positions, two lovers who just orgasmed and now lay breathless but not wordless, a fleshlight that also has a taser in it, there's so much sex it's R rated and I loved it. I couldn't stop laughing at how creatively the story and art all dealt with this world of sexual adventures and misconduct. 


If you get the chance and appreciate sex jokes, you will LOVE this first volume. The characters are relatable, stories entertaining, art work splendid and jokes a plenty. It's adult, inappropriate, thought provoking & humorous. I loved it. Go buy "Sex Criminals Vol 1" at your local comic book shop and tell them Maskerpiece Theatre sent you. 



Central Intelligence - Box Office Review


Two powerhouses of entertainment coming together to make what could be the summer comedy hit we've been waiting for. A film that would combine action and humor has the potential to franchise itself if done well. So did "Central Intelligence" meet the expectations I had? Let's dive in and take a look in this box office review...

First, you can't really go wrong with casting Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The guy has so much charisma I'm mostly certain that people would watch him talk about soap for 2 hours. You can't help but find the guy entertaining because his personality is electric. Second, Kevin Hart is probably one of the funnier comedians around right now because of his personality. His jokes might not always hit but you can guarantee that people will laugh at a bad joke when his animated self takes over on stage or screen and blows up into something uniquely special. So putting these two talents in a film together made perfect sense to me. They're both funny, entertaining and charismatic. 

The film itself however didn't quite hit for me the way I had hoped. The characters on screen felt awkward more than they did humorous. It also took far too long to establish the personality of Johnson's character. His overacting and hyper enthusiasm felt unnatural and uncomfortable for me. It's eventually revealed why he acts that way but I would've preferred to get that information sooner than later. At times, especially in the beginning, he's almost creepy. It was an odd choice but eventually it paid off, kinda. 


The story is pretty simple as well. The basic plot is that the CIA believes Johnson's character has murdered his partner and is hunting him down because of the information they believe he has. Of course, it's revealed that he isn't the bad guy but by the time the big reveal occurs I didn't really care because I had concluded that all on my own. The story itself was still entertaining because you have Hart and Johnson leading the charge. Their chemistry on screen was probably my favorite part of the film. These two played off each other so well. Even though the story itself didn't do anything for me, their relationship and interactions did. I'm actually curious if there will be a sequel just because of how much fun watching those two together was. 

The ancillary characters in the film were decent. There is one character who is beyond obnoxious in that he overacts so much in his brief on screen moments I was actually glad he is knocked out by use of a taser. I felt relief knowing he won't be talking anymore in that scene because he's tasered on the floor. So that was a moment of positive film making as far as I was concerned. 


"Central Intelligence" is in theaters now. Sadly, I won't be recommending you view this on the big screen unless you want to laugh and enjoy the main actors. The story is decent, the overall tone is fun but it takes awhile to develop an understanding of the characters themselves and the ending is predictable. It's a fun movie and if you do decide to make it out to the theaters, go for a big screen viewing. You will laugh but you won't walk out of the theater, necessarily, with that same sense of "wow" that you got from action comedies like "Beverly Hills Cop" or Lethal Weapon" films. It's definitely worth seeing on Redbox or VOD. 


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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Popstar Never Stop Never Stopping - Box Office Review

Sometimes a film is made that looks so terrible it might be magical. The tone of the previews, the preview itself, the leading actors all appear to be making something so ridiculous and absurd you question the legitimacy of the thing you're seeing. Perhaps you even wonder, "Is this real? This can't be real." So to what levels of nonsense did "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" reach? Let's dive in and take a look in this box office review...

I walked into this film as part of a double feature day. I basically spent my afternoon in the movies which is fine because how else would I write these reviews if I'm not actually spending time at the movies? Anyway, I wasn't sure what to expect from this film except to believe that this would be one of those comedies that is either so over the top it becomes a cult classic or a complete and utter failure that has me debating leaving the theater mid movie. I was wrong. I don't believe it will become a cult classic but I also wasn't considering a mid movie walk out. Instead, I was delighted to find this film actually applied serious thought to being more than just a ridiculous, over the top, nonsensical piece of cinematic trash. 

The writing dared to explore pop culture and the effect of "celebrity" on individuals in a way that was poignant and humorous. I was surprised at how thought out the basic concepts of this film were and how they were able to make psychology fun. Don't misunderstand me. This film is not an intelligent exploration of human relationships and the positive and negative effects of increased importance in society and the internal alterations that occur in people who are deemed worthy of mass appeal. We are treated, however, to a comedy so unbelievable that the real moments that occur on screen are believable and thought provoking. 

This film is almost certainly guaranteed to offend someone, if not everyone at some point. The jokes pull no punches and go straight to topics that too many people feel are "off limits" which makes this comedy even more enjoyable for me personally. The language is colorful. The characters exaggerated. The songs singable, sort of. This movie embraced itself and lived up to the expectation I had for it. Everyone who made this knew exactly what type of film it was and delivered on that very well. 


"Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" is in theaters now! I don't for one second recommend a big screen viewing. I do think that Redbox of VOD is perfectly acceptable only if you enjoy inappropriate, absurd, crude humor that most people shy away from. If you can laugh at almost anything, this film is for you. If you think certain topics shouldn't be made light of, do not watch this film unless you want to be offended. You have been warned. I enjoyed this movie. I laughed a lot and also found myself laughing louder than normal at some of the jokes. Also, this film crams musical celebrity after musical celebrity into it at one point or another. Plus seeing Justin Timberlake as a weird chef was fun. 

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The Toy Convention

ARIZONA TOY CON (formerly known as ICON) was held in downtown Glendale Arizona. Retailers, private sellers, artists, fans & more filled the floors of the Glendale Civic Center on a very hot Saturday afternoon. Fortunately, the insides of the GCC were adequately air conditioned which allowed all the folks there to enjoy their time & not feel rushed. The general feel of the event was positive as both sellers and buyers talked about the item(s) that they were passionate or curious about. It was fun to hear stories from people about why a certain toy from their childhood was so important and what special memories were associated with an action figure or doll. It's fair to say that the people were enjoying themselves and the the time they spent walking the floor, purchasing items & being told by their kids why one action figure is far better than another one.

The event was easy to find despite the fact it's located in downtown. Fortunately, if you're familiar with Glendale Arizona you know that the downtown has a small town look that is unique to the city. Additionally, parking was easy to find and it was near by. When it's over 100 degrees (38 c) a short walk from your car to the event is preferable. Also, the sidewalks have plenty of trees providing a shaded walk which also helps make the insane heat tolerable. 

If you have an opportunity to visit a Toy Convention I'd say go for it. Nice people dealing with nice people who just want to share some time looking and buying toys. If you have one in your area go check it out and while you're there tell them Maskerpiece Theatre sent you. Now enjoy some photos from the "Arizona Toycon!"
























Friday, June 24, 2016

Comic Book Review: TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything

Written by Dustin Weaver and Ben Bates
Art by Scott Campbell, Dustin Weaver, Ben Bates and Giannis Milogiannis
Colors by Bill Crabtree & Sophie Campbell

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are in a museum after hours because Donatello wanted to show the others two sets of fossilized bones that resemble two very familiar foes.

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would.  There's tons of crazy action and the one liners go on throughout but there's a lot more going on in this story.  Time travel and plenty of foreshadowing to keep you wondering where the story is going to go next.  The title leads you to believe this is basically a Bebop and Rocksteady story but the turtles are heavily involved.

This book was a lot more violent than I thought it might be.  I was pretty impressed that it read as fun as it did but then you would see dead bodies and our two big villains riddled with bullet holes.

The art looked very good in this book.  It was a shared effort and you could see the differences when flipping the pages.  It made for an interesting look.

TMNT: Bebop and Rocksteady came to me in the Comic Block subscription box service.  Check out the awesome exclusive cover.  You can read my Comic Block reviews on HelloSubscription.com.

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Act 163: Old School Q&A

Masked Blogster, Mandy, Handsome J and Kevin Moyers talk more about Phoenix Comicon and answer some listener questions from The Grid in Mesa, AZ.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hush Movie Review


Hush Movie Review

Director: Mike Flanagan

Writers: Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel

Starring: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr, Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan, Emma Graves

Synopsis: A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window.

Review: In a genre that is now reduced to cheap pops to scare audiences rather than tell an actually story, Hush is a nice break from the current day horror movie stereotypes.  The reality of the situation that takes place during Hush is both bone chilling and terrifying, even more so because this movie could absolutely happen in real life. Maddie, played by co-writer Kate Siegel, is a deaf writer who is living on her own in the woods working on finishing her next book.  John Gallagher Jr, who plays the killer, gives a great performance as a man with no other goal then to slowly destroy his victims.


The simplicity of this movie is what makes it work so well. While this is a story that has been told several times, Flanagan structured the movie perfectly for the audience to feel exactly what Maddie is going through. It is very cat and mouse, but getting to see how Maddie plans her next move really is the most relatable part of the film. The scene where Maddie has to decide her next move literally puts the audience in her head, she knows she can’t run, but if she tries to hide she wont make it. Knowing that flight is not an option, Maddie realizes she must fight to survive this.  She is going to have to kill this man before he kills her if she wants to survive.



I’m not sure who’s idea it was, but kudos to who ever decided not to give the killer a name. With a story so realistic, what is scarier than leaving the villain as a mystery? He could be anyone. Also, the soundtrack, or lack there of sometimes, made this movie. I’m a sucker for a good soundtrack, but being a movie that revolves around a deaf character, taking out the loud sound effects really contributed to this movie. The suspense in the silence did more for the movie than any soundtrack ever could have.

Hush is currently available to watch on Netflix.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Comic Book Review: Dustin Smith's Knight Hunter

There are super powered individuals and, based on the early narrative, it's become a bit blase'.  Apparently, so has kidnapping.  Kyle is one of the main characters of the book and, while he's talking to a group of friends, his brother Trent is kidnapped by a van full of thugs just across the street.  One of Kyle's friends basically shrugged it off as something that happens on a day that ends in "y."

As for the rest of the book, I actually had fun reading it.  It's a bit rushed and some of the dialogue felt a bit forced, but overall I feel Dustin Smith did a fine job.  I assume he did the whole thing as there are no credits, issue # or price on this comic book.

My favorite character was a guy in a smiley face mask.  He uses old movie lines when he enters a room(or rather, he starts to say them but thinks better of it).

If you get a chance to read this book, check it out.  It's full of violence and is a nice introduction as there are now more questions than answers which is what you want in an on-going series(if this is an on-going series).  I received this comic book from the Indy Stash Subscription Service and you can read my review of the contents from that package here.

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Titans Rebirth - Comic Book Review

The DC Rebirth saga continues with Titans and Wally West is trying to solve the mystery that is plaguing the entire DC universe. So let's dive in and take a look at "Titans Rebirth" in this comic book review...


The issue starts off with Wally realizing he's gonna need the help of his old team, the Titans. The only problem is that the team doesn't remember him & assumes he's an intruder. A sudden curious occurrence helps Wally restore fragments of memory to his friends but it still doesn't answer the bigger question affecting the DC Universe but the team realizes they need to get ready.

Overall, the story was pretty simple. The dialogue was also pretty minimal however it was appropriate. There's a nice explanation regarding Wallys absence & what he's been witnessing while gone. In 1 issue we also get a clear sense of the importance his friends have in his life. These aren't just super hero's but friends, dare I say, family to Wally. The struggle he faces during this issue of trying to reason with them while they attack him was fun to read. 


The artwork in this issue was visually delightful. There is some dark room fight sequences, then bright colored rooms with hugs, the ocean landscaping & more. This issue really travels around and it all looks vibrant and well drawn. The fight sequences looked pretty cool as well as we are treated to the different skill sets of the heros attacking Wally & his reactions. Overall, the story looks great and was a treat for my eyes. 

I'd recommend this series for the reasons listed above as well as this appears to be the glue that connects all the other stories together. I could be wrong. I've only read this first issue but the feeling I got was that the writers are using this story to tie all the mystery up that is looming over the DC universe right now. It's a quick read but it looks great. Go visit your local comic book store and pick this issue up! Oh, tell them Maskerpiece Theatre sent you.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Getting My Frugal Drink On...Part 1



When I was asked to come aboard the Maskerpiece Theatre blog I had no idea what to write about... I'm not into comic books as you can tell by my A-Force Assemble #1 review, I'm not a movie goer like Handsome J and I'm not really funny. After many hours and brainstorming sessions over a tall beer or glass of wine I decided to make it my mission to find the best bottle of wine under $10. I know this has been done before, but not by me while drinking.

I can't even bring myself to post a picture of the first contestant of this mission, Grape & Vine Wine Company's American White Zinfandel from Livermore and Ripton California. Granted I paid a whopping $3.50 at CVS for this, but I'm here to help others not make that mistake. The American White Zinfandel tasted like the wine vinegar and smelt just as bad. I have never thrown a glass of wine away until the day I tried this wine. Needless to say that this is going to be the bottom of the list and hopefully my taste buds will not be assaulted again.

Our second wine was much better...
Casal Garcia Vinho Verde (Rose Wine) imported form Protugal by Aveleda Inc in Pawtucket RI. This selection came from A.J.'s Fine Foods for $6.99 and was delightful. This bottle was crisp, refreshing and kind of reminded my of a wine spritzer as it was a little carbonated.This is the kind of wine you can drink all day by the pool on a warm summer day and into the evening. I could also see using this wine to make my own sangria.

For now my list reads...

1. Casal Garcia Vinho Verde
2. Grape & Vine American

Readers if you have any suggestions that I should try please let me know! I can't get to every bottle with out a hint and I'm really trying not to leave any wine unturned.

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Warcraft - Box Office Review

This is one of the most popular video games on the planet earth. It only makes sense that a film would be made. You have all the great elements of a fantasy story built into the game so why not make a film that captures the essence of this franchise? A lot was riding on this film to be a success. Video games, historically, have not been awesome. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Warcraft” in this box office review…

There’s plenty to be skeptical about with this film even before walking into the theater. It’s a film about a video game that is world building and character building. This isn’t your typical game where you start at level 1 and go to 10 and that’s the end of the game. This is very expansive game that continues to build and evolve its playability around the world. There’s a lot that could be utilized for story telling and I felt they used enough to tell this story. They chose a few characters and built this film around them and that was fine. In fact, this film had so much content that it could’ve been two films and I would’ve be just as happy. 

The basic premise is that one world is dying and so these beasts or “Orcs” must find a new world to inhabit lest they die. Paradoxically, the force that helps keep them alive kills everything else thus creating quite the conundrum. The other half of the story is that the world being inhabited must find a way to defeat these new villains and their magic to survive or be killed in the process. There really isn’t much to the basic story and that’s ok. The sub plots that all tie together make this film entertaining and enjoyable. The story of the slave girl, the king, the wizards, the warriors and the sacrifice for family all elevate this film into something uniquely special. 

I understand that trilogies are a popular thing in Hollywood. I get it, I really do. That being said, I feel this film could’ve been two films and covered some of the missed opportunities in the story incredibly well. There is so much world building in this film that I felt the story suffered a bit. That’s my one big issue with this film. There was so much crammed into the movie. If this was two movies I feel the story would’ve been more developed and I would’ve understood the characters better. I didn’t fully understand the importance of the magic wielders or the counsel of wizards. They protect reality but can I get more to how that has been important and will continue to be important? If they had a second film I believe that sub plot could’ve been explored more and I would’ve been even happier with the film. 


The computer animation in this film I was happy with. I don’t know how well it will translate from the big screen to home theaters. I hope it’s comparable. The magic sequences in this film had me wide eyed and smiling. I will always enjoy good film sequences that show the grandiose imagery of mysticism. This was a film that did well in that particular special effects category. I even enjoyed the battle sequence between the orc warrior and orc wizard. This is a special effects heavy film and thankfully I enjoyed the artistry that went into creating this world on the big screen.


“Warcraft” is in theaters now! I recommend a big screen viewing if you enjoy fantasy films and special effects films. The effort and time that went into making this film is worth the big screen ticket price. It’s not a great film but it’s entertaining and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would walking into the theater. Don’t expect a lot from the characters or story but do look forward to a visually stunning adventure that will have you shoving popcorn into your face at a possibly alarming rate.


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The Rise of The Money In The Bank PPV


"The Rise of The Money In The Bank PPV"

In 2005 the WWE was short on entertainment and even shorter on Superstar talent, the biggest show of the year had begun to become stale. In efforts to spice up Wrestlemania, the creative team came up with the Money In the Bank concept. This would pit multiple WWE Superstars up against each other, fighting for a brief Case which held a contract that could be cashed in at anytime for up to a year for the Heavyweight Championship. For the next 5 years the match would be one of the two matches which stole the show each year, it would create intrigue and fresh storylines until it was ultimately cashed in. 


By the time 2010 rolled around, the Money In The Bank Match was one of the most looked forward to matches and WWE decided it was time to give it its own Pay Per View. This might have been the smartest move that WWE made in the past 10 years. As a result something funny started to happened, MITB quietly moved to become an equal to the Royal Rumble. It’s a match that creates stars while pushing them to the forefront of the WWE Universe.

This past Sunday was no different, With Dean Ambrose stealing the show and winning the MITB Briefcase it elevated another star and by the end of the night we had a New WWE Champion. Finally the fans have what they really want, a Ambrose Championship reign. 



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Now You See Me 2 - Box Office Review

In 2013 we were asked to believe the impossible. Movie watchers were taken on a magical journey with four characters who fancied themselves to be modern day “Robin Hood” like hero’s. The film was enjoyable and successful enough to get a sequel, even though it took 3 years to make. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Now You See Me 2” in this box office review…

First, I’m not overwhelmingly a fan of Jessie Eisenberg but he does well in this particular role. I’m not entirely sure what it is about this character he identifies with so well that makes his screen time fun to watch but whatever it is, nice work. He delivers the arrogance, cockiness and slight “chip on the shoulder” attitude incredibly well. The supporting cast is also entertaining but Woody Harrelson is by far my favorite character in this series. This is important because he actually plays two different versions of his character in this film as it is revealed he has a twin. The back and forth between himself was so enjoyable and humorous. 

The story doesn’t really ask much from people as it’s similar to the first film. Theres a new face added to the series as Daniel Radcliffe is cast as the antagonist. His role adds a slight twist to things that make this film stand on its own which was a positive. However, there’s the build up towards the end and the big reveal at the end of the film that really made me smile. The story continues to shape and develop around the “Four Horsemen” and that works. This film did have one major storyline that felt forced, which was kinda odd for me. Mark Ruffalo’s character felt somewhat forced to me. The film starts with some backstory on his character but it’s the four horsemen who move the story. His presence felt like a Mcguffin than an actual character. I can’t give much away without ruining the ending but it’s in the finale that my head tilt slightly in confusion. I asked myself, “Was his entire role in this film to serve as just a means for the story in a possible 3rd film?” If so, that’s a bummer. 


The one thing this film did well was entertain. It made such little sense but was such a treat to see. It was actually quite refreshing. It’s an original story and for that I instantly give it bonus points. It’s not a familiar book, or comic book or franchise being rebooted or video game. It’s just its own thing in the cinematic universe and that’s ok. We need more original ideas right now I feel and this is one of those films. It’s not a great film as there’s some story issues that ask a lot of the audience to go along with. It is, however, great to watch. Today we are fortunate enough to have special effects that almost appear as real as the clothes the actors wear. This helps in the some of he scenes as the movie demands a high level of disbelief being suspended. 


“Now You See Me 2” is in theaters now! I recommend seeing this on the big screen because of its originality. I’m hopeful that people will really get out and see these types of films to help show Hollywood that we’re ready for new and exciting stories. Don’t misunderstand me and think that I’m not a fan of the franchise films that stem from books, comic books and video games. I absolutely am but I also really appreciate fresh films with new perspectives. It’s what I feel Marvel does well. They take comic book mythos and create a fresh look at familiar stories in a way that feels brand new. If you don’t see this in theaters, definitely Redbox this or watch it at home wth VOD.



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