Friday, June 23, 2017

Act 216: Just Throw it at the Wall

Masked Blogster, Mini Mandy, Frankie G, Handsome J and Jessie talk about the Black Panther trailer, the state of DC movies, and more.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Act 215: March... May... June Movie Madness

Masked Blogster, Handsome J, Mini Mandy, Kevin Moyers and Frankie G. go through the remainder of the Movie Madness bracket and question half of the bizarre decisions made in the Twitter polls.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Comic Book Review: Batman #24 - DC Comics (2017)

"Every Epilogue is a Prelude"

Written by Tom King

Pencils by David Finch
Inks by Danny Miki
Pages 1, 4, 8, 10, 12, 16-20

Pencils and Inks by Clay Mann with Seth Mann
Pages 2-3, 5-7, 9, 11, 13-15

Colors by Jordie Bellaire

Batman and Gotham Girl discuss what her future will be.  Batman is also searching for Catwoman As he has some very important things to say to her.

Tom King continues to prove that he is one of the best writers in comic books.  Issue 24 of Batman shows such great sides to the Dark Knight.  Batman is much more revealing on a personal level and he reveals he doesn't know how to be happy.  His unhappy revelation came during Batman's conversations with Gotham Girl during the daytime within this book.  The conversation continues throughout the comic book through colored captions during the nighttime scenes where we see Batman chasing Catwoman.  As the chase draws closer, we get to see Batman talk to Catwoman and it ends with Batman confessing things to her.  The end of the book has fanboys and fangirls everywhere wondering what Catwoman's response will be.

I really enjoyed having multiple artists for this comic.  There were two distinctly different things going on.  Having Clay and Seth Mann doing the artwork for the daytime chat between Batman and Gotham Girl looked wonderful.  They captured Batman's grittiness while still giving softer looks to Gotham Girl.  David Finch and Danny Miki were in charge of Batman's pursuit of Catwoman and the last page with the all-important gesture should be made into a print.  This comic book is excellent.

What are your thoughts on Batman?  What do you think Catwoman/Selina Kyle will say?

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - Review [Spoilers]

The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is a story I think most people in Western culture grow up with. This is not the story we grew up on. This is a modern retelling of a classic story that was met with mixed feelings by many who saw it from what I have gathered. So, does “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” tell a fresh version that is entertaining and fun to watch on the big screen? Let’s dive in and take a look in this review…


There are certain directors whose names, when attached to film, peak my interest. Guy Ritchie is one of those directors. If you tell me Ritchie is making a live action movie about a toucan who always wanted to be a prize fighter but grew up surrounded by nay saying anteaters I’ll still be purchasing a ticket. I enjoy the style in which he films his movies and the way the dialogue is delivered in his movies. They aren’t all cinematic masterpieces but I find them entertaining and that’s enough, on occasion. I was not let down in this movie. Even if you weren’t aware going into the theater that Guy Ritchie directed this you will recognize his visual style immediately. It’s right on par for what I expected and I enjoyed the majority of the film.



The overall story takes a bit too long to tell. IMDB has the run time just past 2 hours. There’s no need for this. This film could’ve been told in 90 minutes I feel. The amount of time it takes Arthur (played by Charlie Hunnam) to deal with his personal issues and accept “Excalibur” could’ve been shortened. I didn’t need to see the same scene over and over just shot in a different location. I get it. He’s got issues. Move the story along, please. I’m assuming the extra time was taken to emphasize the importance of his decision once he accepts the sword from the Lady in the Lake and then again when he’s fighting the fire demon who killed his parents. Curiously, this warrior fire demon looked like a cross between “Surtur” the fire demon (in Thor comics) and “Shao Kahn” (from Mortal kombat 2) which was awesome. Also, adding to the curious things in this movie, the three squid women who were also witches? I think I missed this in the mythology. When this squid monster made its first appearance my first thought was, “Is this Ursala from Disney’s “Little Mermaid?’” Then the squid unravelled itself into 3 squid witches, one of which did resemble Ursala a great deal. Then there’s the giant elephants which looked awesome. The different mages wielding different magic. The bats that were so large they were bigger than humans. The venomous snake that was so large it almost destroyed a castle. And finally, the giant rats that looked a lot like the “R.O.U.S. (Rodents Of Unusual Size)” from the movie “Princess Bride.” I don’t know if they intentionally made these rats look like that as a nod to that movie but I enjoyed all the weird and bizarre this movie threw at me.



Overall, this is not your typical “King Arthur” movie but there’s so much craziness put into this film it worked. As I stated above, it could’ve been shortened. However, the characters are entertaining and each for their own reasons and personality. I also enjoyed the witty dialogue that was present throughout the film. If you enjoy his “Sherlock Holmes” films with Robert Downey Jr you’ll appreciate the banter in this film. Arthur’s dialogue and brain works closely to that of Holmes but in a more street savvy manner. Also, Jude Law gave a performance of insanity, desperation, manipulation and sorrow that elevated my enjoyment of this film. As the villain of this film, his acting made the fantastical story believable enough to be entertaining. His commitment to his character was great and as a movie fan I appreciated it.



King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is in theaters now! I almost missed this in theaters and I’m glad I remembered in time to catch a screening. If you want pure entertainment this is a great Saturday or Sunday afternoon movie. It’s action. It’s magic. It’s betrayal. It’s revenge. It’s Guy Ritchie. I definitely recommend you enjoy this movie in the theater or at home once it’s available on Redbox or VOD. It’s just a fun time at the movies, even if it’s little longer than necessary.



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The Mummy - Review [Spoilers]

This is the first film in a new monster movie franchise that is being titled “Dark Universe” by Universal Studios. This was meant to set the stage for the monster movies that will soon follow. In this sixth retelling, we get a slightly different but somewhat familiar story that explores the possibilities of the undead wreaking havoc upon the modern world. The important question (I feel) is did this movie set the stage for what’s to come? Let’s dive in and take a look at “The Mummy” in this review…


First, let’s address the important question mentioned above in the opening paragraph and from there we’ll move into the actual film. I believe there might be some confusion as to why that’s the important question instead of “was the movie good?” Almost immediately after this film was introduced it was also stated by Universal that they were creating a shared “monster universe” and were using this film as the initial offering that would take us into this new franchise. Since they (Universal) decided to make this proclamation and start casting for the other films (Johnny Depp as the “Invisible Man,” Benecio Del Toro as “Frankenstein’s Monster”) it only makes sense that we must consider this as we watch the movie. In my opinion, we don’t have the luxury of just watching the movie simply to enjoy this individual film because we know (assumably you knew, maybe you didn’t in which case this whole analysis will be somewhat of a surprise) it’s meant to tell a story and then set up a whole new world. If you started singing “A Whole New World” after reading that sentence shame on you. “Alladin” is a Disney property and we’re looking at a movie by Universal. Never cross streams, people! Wait, that’s “Ghostbusters” reference and that’s a Sony property. Sorry folks. We’ve gone off on a tangent. Let’s get back on track. Ok, after watching “The Mummy” I don’t believe it did a great job setting up the bigger picture. There’s a scene in the laboratory of “Dr. Jeckyl” where we see a vampire skull, the hand of the “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and more. However, we don’t really get a sense of the terrors that are looming or unknown. We are just told that there’s this mysterious group of folks trying to save the world from dangers unknown to the normal person. There was also a reference to a group of knights who were doing the same thing back in Medieval times but I wasn’t clear on if this new group was the modern version of the knights or not. So, in all, I say nay. This movie doesn’t answer the important question. By the end of the film “Nick Morton” (played by Tom Cruise) is not aware of a possible “Wolfman,” “Dracula,” “Invisible Man,” “Hunchback,” Phantom” or more. He simply rides off into the sunset with his partner in crime. I mean that literally. He’s on horseback and rides off like a cowboy in a western. If this were an Uber rating, I would give this the lowest possible score of one single, lonely, star. Throw the tomatoes at the screen and toss your popcorn in the air folks. This aspect of the story stinks. 



Ok, Let’s dive into the film as a stand alone picture. Overall plot is that two active military guys, who are also treasure hunters, are tying to locate treasure and almost get killed. In being saved, a tomb is revealed and the mummy is released onto the earth once more to conquer humanity. This is a very simple breakdown of the plot as the movie is almost 2 hours long. This movie should not have been this long. This film should’ve been 90 minutes no more. Cut the the entire “Mr Hyde” scene out of this movie, please. Also, in order for the “mummy” to regenerate she must first make out with people and by so doing they are turned into mummy/zombie things. What?! Yes, mummy make out sessions are happening on the big screen. Halfway into this movie I wanted to play a game on my phone. Also, it’s never explained why the character “Chris” keeps showing up as a ghost or apparition to communicate with Nick. It serves to answer plot points about why the mummy is chasing Nick and why she brought him back from the dead but other than that there’s poor writing, bad jokes and not much more. I did enjoy the performance by Sofia Boutella in this film. She’s plays the mummy well and she can deliver some of the creepiest looks and stares in this movie. The 3 films I’ve seen her in I have enjoyed her performance. I’m looking forward to her role in “Atomic Blonde” as well. 



This movie might go down in cinematic history as one of the best cast films to be one of the most disappointing films. I did not have high expectations for this film walking into the theater. In fact, my expectations were low and they still were not met. This is not a monster movie. It’s a pseudo action meets horror meets love story that doesn’t work at all in my opinion. If you’re reading this and you enjoyed it, that’s awesome. I’ve been in the arts my entire life. I understand how some people can like stuff and others not. I get it. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I did not. The fact that the main character becomes the conqueror or death, or a mummy, or whatever he is, in order to kill the mummy, resurrect his love interest only then to revive his partner in crime to continue being a treasure hunter… I swear on graves of people I don’t know, this is all part of the story… is so absurd it was frustrating. Give credit where credit is due, there is more than one line about the main character Nick being a bad guy. So why then would a bad guy not continue being a treasure hunter now that he controls death, is fair. However, the movie is ludicrous and disappointing. Cinemascore has this film as a “B-“ and I don’t understand how. 



The Mummy” is in theaters now. Skip this film on the big screen. You’ll want to watch it at home on Redbox or VOD simply to understand where this new franchise is going. If not for that, there’s no reason to see this film. It’s not good and I was disappointed it cost me $5. I went to a before noon showing when it’s affordable and even that was more than this film is worth. Fingers crossed the franchise corrects the mistakes made in this film so the rest of the stories are enjoyable. 



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Friday, June 9, 2017

Act 214: I Have a Butthole

Masked Blogster, Handsome J, Mini Mandy, Kevin Moyers and Frankie G. discuss their thoughts on Phoenix Comicon including the guy who wanted to kill Jason David Frank, the controversy with UltraSabers, mismanagement of staff, Blogster's drunken day, and Easter comics.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Churchill - Review

Independent films arrive in theaters with little advertising on occasion. This would be that occasion. I hadn’t watched a trailer, seen a movie poster or saw a review for this film leading up to my decision to see this in the theater. In fact, after I decided to see this film, I watched the trailer on my iPhone while walking to the car, to drive to the theater, to see this film. I enjoy history so a film about World War 2 intrigued me. So did this unknown indie film about World War 2 manage to win me over? Let’s dive in and take a look at “Churchill” in this review…


I’m not sure this movie was entirely historically accurate. For an independent film it felt like there was Hollywood story telling mixed in. I mean, it felt like creative liberties were taken with the characters in a way not familiar to me in historical biopics. Curiously, for a story that takes place in the United Kingdom there were few english accents. This was vexing but it didn’t last long. Like a movie with subtitles, 5 minutes in I no longer really noticed and was enjoying the film.



Overall, this movie explores the life of Winston Churchill leading up to D-Day. We see his thoughts, his feelings and his desire to ensure that minimal casualties are had. This is a story about conflict. It’s not a story about conflict simply because it’s World War 2. It’s a story about conflict for a man, a leader, a husband and friend to the King of the England. The story examines the mental, physical and emotional impact of being a leader and (more importantly) being a leader in a time of great war. Winston (played by Brian Cox) shows us that change is inevitable and it’s not always easy to accept. Cox performed his role well. This was crucial to this film, more so than normal. The majority of screen time he occupies and if he wasn’t believable the whole movie falls apart. I’m happy to report, the movie is fine.



I didn’t find the overall story to be that compelling on screen. The actual real life story is far more compelling. The story is split between characters who felt three dimensional and two dimensional. It almost felt like the actors were instructed to act as simply as possible. Churchill, his wife, the King of England, his secretary Helen and Smuts were rich characters that gave us subtle nuance and emotions. The rest felt like they should be performing in a made for tv movie instead of an independent film.



Overall, the movie isn’t great but the story we go on with Churchill is. I personally enjoyed the examination of a man who has been a fighter and leader his whole life and now in the autumn of his years, he is faced with the reality that he must adapt and change his leadership style. We take this journey the entire film. It’s not until the finale of the movie that we see his transformation and because of that I enjoyed his story. It’s complex. Here is a man who is hellbent on avoiding storming the beaches because of the number of soldiers who will die. This is enough to warrant his behavior but Cox delivers a performance that suggests much more. There’s layers to his stubbornness. He isn’t stubborn for the sake of being stubborn. It turns out he’s not so much stubborn but reluctant because of the guilt he carries with him from a similar strike he ordered that resulted in mass casualty. He doesn’t want to relive that loss and be responsible for the deaths of young soldiers and because of that, he is conflicted. He is layered and complex. It was brilliant. By the end of the film I didn’t see his character as a stubborn old man who refused to work with the allies in defeating the Nazis. I saw him as a man at war with himself for never forgiving himself and carrying the weight of loss for so long on his shoulders.



Churchill” is in theaters now. You can skip this movie in theaters. If you enjoy character study films this is worth the time on Redbox or VOD. If not, you probably won’t enjoy it much. It’s not a long film but it’s slow and methodical. I did enjoy the journey we go on with Churchill but the overall movie did little for me. Also, if you enjoy historical movies this does little to tickle your fancy. You don’t need to know much about World War 2 to appreciate this and you won’t learn much about the war either, in case you already don’t.



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[Spoilers] Wonder Woman - Review

This is the fourth film in what Warner Brothers is calling the "DC Extended Universe." What has been met with an occasional mixed reaction and predominately disparaging comments, this series of movies pressed on giving us iconic characters like Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor and the Joker. We also received lesser known characters like Deadshot, Killer Croc and Harley Quinn. Curiously, it wasn't until this year that we got a movie about (arguably) the most recognizable female hero of all time, Wonder Woman. So, was "Wonder Woman" able to defeat the consistently negative press and bolster expectations going forward for this DCEU? Let's dive in and take a look at "Wonder Woman" in this review...


I wrote on social media just before walking into an early Thursday evening screening that I was experiencing medium expectations blended with high hopes and a side of curiosity. This DCEU started off with "Man of Steel" which I moderately enjoy. Next we got the train wreck that was "Batman V Superman" followed by the half terrible, half enjoyable "Suicide Squad." In baseball terms, we got a runner on first with two outs, zero runs scored. I wasn't sure what to expect because the films haven't instilled any positive confidence. The early press buzz online was positive. The trailers looked great. I'm happy to report the movie is enjoyable beyond my expectations.


The film is a hero's journey or coming of age tale. We meet "Princess Diana" when she is a little girl with the Amazons. From there we see here grow into a beautiful, lethal warrior whose heart guides her every move. She's a selfless warrior who is passionate, deadly, intelligent and outspoken. I was pleased with Gal Gadot's performance as Wonder Woman. She started off as an innocent minded young woman who saw the world only by what she had been taught and by the end of the movie she is mature, heart broken, experienced in war and aware of the atrocities humanity is capable of. Gal plays the emotions quite splendidly.


Enter Chris Pine who plays "Steve Trevor" the infamous love interest of Wonder Woman. The performance Pine gave was exactly the performance I expected him to give. For this, I was pleased. The onscreen chemistry between Pine and Gadot was an unexpected surprise. The band of fellows that Pine collaborates with was equally enjoyable and their on screen chemistry was another unexpected surprise. The biggest take away for me regarding the good guys was that at no point did I feel the men were being emasculated. This was a genuine concern I had walking into the theater. I didn't want this film to feel like a feminist propaganda film that would limit the audience. It did not, at all. These guys were strong, capable men who complimented the story. It's because of this, I feel that ladies and their fella's will be enjoying this movie together for awhile. It at no point ever felt like a movie designed or geared for specifically just women. This isn't a life time movie. It's an action film that explores what humanity, with its history of violence and self destructive tendencies, deserves. I was elated with this aspect of the movie.


The villain, Aries (the god of war), was a twist in a twist for me. I knew that the character "Sir Patrick" was not what he seemed. I did not once assume that he would in fact turn out to be none other than Aries himself. I thought he might be working as a spy for Aries and that would be appropriate as Pine played a spy. So there would be a sort of spy vs spy thing happening. So, the big reveal was a twist in a twist. It was a fun revelation at the end of the film as well.



"Wonder Woman" is in theaters now! I've seen this movie twice already. I'll be seeing it a third time. I definitely recommend you get over to your local theater and enjoy this summer blockbuster. It looks great on screen and the story is equally enjoyable. At its core, in my opinion, this is a movie that explores what it means to be part of a society that destroys itself, time and time again. What does humanity deserve? Should we be encouraged to kill, torture and destroy each other because it's built into the fabric of our being? Should we chose love to quell the fires inside us to help our neighbors and stop the ravages of war? The movie is about growing up, seeing the world for what it is and then making a choice. The 3rd act is a mixture of action and philosophical debate. Aries isn't trying to destroy humanity because he's evil. He's decided to show his father Zeus that he (Zeus) created something evil, man. He's not a villain for the sake of being a bad guy. In the same way Wonder Woman isn't a hero just because she's destined to be a hero. The emotional journey this film goes on is delightful. It explores hope, love, tragedy, loss, duty and honor. I loved this film. I hope you will as well. Go see this movie!!


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Friday, June 2, 2017

Act 213: Crusty Sex Swing

After some crusty Masked Libs, Blogster and the crew talk about Frankie G's Chicago trip, KFend, Mini Mandy, GloryHoundd and Tyler Button talk the new Tower of Terror replacement, Kevin talks about his publishing headache, thoughts about Wonder Woman, and their script writing.

Find Tapestry on twitter @tapestrycomics.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Cosplay From Comicon.

We had a cosplay event downtown this past weekend. Everyone who showed up looked fantastic! Unfortunately, I was only able to be there part of Saturday but it was still a great time. I want to thank everyone who stopped and posed for Mini Mandy and I as we walked the exhibit floor taking in all the Con had to offer. Hopefully some of you are reading this because you got a flyer from Mini Mandy after I was able to take a photo reminding you about your picture and where to find it.

If you like Cosplay I think you'll appreciate this look at all the incredible folks who really put some work into their outfits. Enjoy these pics and share them with folks who also appreciate Cosplay/Cosplayers. These folks deserve the recognition!


















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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - Review

This series of films have been getting steadily worse. Since 2003 we have been following the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow despite how ridiculous and abysmal the stories became. Now, we have the fifth, and possibly last, film in the franchise. Does this reignite the excitement from the first film or do we send it down to Davey Jones locker with the other films in this franchise? Let’s dive in and take a look at “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” in this box office review…


The magic of this franchise is officially gone. There’s a level of charm that still exists but the magic is no more. As a fan of the characters I was let down. The movie begins with the most ridiculous bank robbery and only continues to thread pieces of a story together that never really work. It felt like there was so much more written for this film than what was put on screen. Or there was an idea for more that they couldn’t figure out how to convey so they didn’t. And as such, we are left with a story that was as pieced together as some of the dead shipmates hunting pirates.


This film didn't really venture into uncharted waters either. It followed similar plot points from the previous movies. For example, the East India Trading Company was trying to control the sea by owning the heart of Davey Jones in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead’s Man Chest.” We have this same story but with the English government. However, this whole subplot is pointless. Its characters and story should have been left out. When Captain Jack escapes the guillotine on the island, that’s where those characters should’ve been left. Also, the cameo by Paul McCartney was so oddly placed it didn’t even make sense. It was one more thing that could’ve been left out and we would’ve been all the better.


The entire movie isn’t even really about Captain Jack Sparrow. Up to this point, the franchise is about his misadventures and the folks who are, for one reason or another, forced to go along with him. The writers decided to tie up all the loose ends and give us a finale for the main characters. Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner finally get to be together. Their son, as an adult, finds true love and unites his family. Captain Barbosa finally gets to die with honor and prove he’s more than just a pirate, which has always been his struggle. Captain Jack finally gets the Black Pearl and to be Captain. The entire movie is a resolution for the previous 4 films. The stories are so paint by numbers it felt lazy. Barbosa had the one inspired story but that was not enough to save this film.



Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is in theaters now! Skip this movie on the big screen. As the title suggests, there’s no tale to be told in this movie. If you’re a fan of the franchise, like me, you’ll most likely be disappointed by how little care was put into this movie. It’s not the worst of the franchise but it certainly isn’t as good as the first two films. There’s plenty of other good films in theaters right now that I’ve reviewed. Go back and read those reviews and then decide which one you’ll see instead of this.


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