Monday, May 22, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - Review

“Guardians of the Galaxy” was the surprise hit of 2014. Writer/Director James Gunn combined the fun of an adventure film and science fiction films with interpersonal family drama to deliver a film that was both comedic, exciting and visually stunning. So, with Gunn stepping back into the writer/director chair for the sequel was he able to deliver on the same magic the first film gave us? Let’s dive in and take a look at “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” in this review…


First, I can’t speak enough praise for the visuals in this movie. The style is vibrant, neon, rich, dark, and it all works together to create worlds that stand uniquely apart from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It felt almost like James Gunn decided to take everything that was awesome about video game arcades in the 1980’s and put it into his movie. Even the characters titled “The Sovereign” flew their war ships like a video game and it made sense to the plot. The "Sovereign" are perfect creations. So, of course, they wouldn’t risk their own perfect lives in space combat. They would fly their ships remotely. It was a nice little touch to story telling that emphasizes Gunn’s creativity.


The overall story didn’t make much sense to me, unfortunately. I was anticipating a Guardians of the Galaxy movie and instead of I was given something else. I have the same issue with this film that I have with “Iron Man 3.” It’s not a Guardians movie in the same way IM3 wasn’t an Iron Man movie. The title should’ve been “Guardians of the Galaxy: A Yondu Udonta Story” just like IM3 should’ve been titled “Iron Man 3: A Tony Stark Story.” The character with the biggest story arc was Yondu. Second, one could argue would be Nebula. The Guardians almost felt like ancillary characters running a sub plot to everything happening with Yondu. Also, let’s not forget “Ego the Living Planet” who is a "Celestial" and also "Caligula." By the end of the film we still don’t know why Celestials are important but we do know that Ego likes to procreate with as many species as possible without restraint. All we know is that both Guardians film have had a Celestial in some capacity make an appearance. So, towards the end of the film when Ego tells Peter that his (Peter’s) action will remove his god status and make him like everyone else we don’t know why that’s a big deal. And curiously, Gunn seems to understand this as he wrote dialogue for Peter that asks the question on my mind, “What’s wrong with that?” What is wrong with losing god status in this cinematic universe? Why is being a Celestial important? These questions are never answered. Also, the scene where Peter and Ego play catch with an energy ball was enough to cause an eye roll to happen. Whoever approved that scene needs to be sat in a corner for 15 minutes for time out. Terrible.


I think my favorite character in this film would be Rocket. While everyone had their moments, Drax and Mantis discussing what it means to be beautiful and love/trust, Peter and Ego discussing what it means to view life forever instead of as a temporary moment, Rocket, Yondu and Groot trying to escape a prison cell together, there’s a lot of great dialogue. There’s some insightful perspectives as well to help create a film that is more than just a comedic romp through space. Gunn really explores deeper philosophical meanings in relationships and life. It's this balance of searching for meaning and comedy that makes this a stand out film in the Marvel Cinematic universe. With regard to the humor, the jokes land for the most part. And some of the visual humor is fun. There’s plenty in this movie to enjoy and it doesn’t ever feel you’re being beaten over the head with one particular joke, or situation. There are a few jokes that don’t land at all. Two that come to mind are Nebula eating the unripe fruit and the second is the Sovereign’s carpet getting jammed while walking to speak with Yondu. These two jokes could’ve been left out and I feel the movie would’ve flowed much smoother and it wouldn't have ruined the intensity the scenes were building towards.


Overall, I did enjoy the movie. Unfortunately, I feel that this movie was made just to set up the third volume which Gunn is writing and will be directing. Unfortunately, I don’t feel this film stands on its own at all. If you haven’t seen the first film you won’t know what’s going on with all the characters. By the end of the film you still won’t know what’s going on with all the characters because everything was being set up for Vol 3 and “Avengers Infinity War,” presumably. If you consider the new Ravagers were introduced to tie up the Yondu story and take over more responsibility in the third installment you can probably see my point more clearly. 



Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” is in theaters now! Despite all my criticisms, I definitely recommend people see this movie on the big screen. It’s a visually delightful movie with some well placed humor and some equally heartfelt moments. There’s a lot to digest in this film and it’s a fun time at the movies. I recommend you watch the first film or revisit it before seeing this one on the big screen just so certain things and cameo’s will make more sense. I review movies and I do so honestly which means the issues I have with story, characters, etc, you might not. All art is subjective and because of that I want people to see this in theaters and enjoy how good this film looks. It’s a special effects adventure in space and totally worth your hard earned dollars. Go check it out!


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Comic Book Review: Superman #22 - DC Comics (2017)

"Black Dawn"
Chapter 3

Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Jaime Mendoza and Ray McCarthy
Colors by Wil Quintana

Lois Lane is searching for her husband Clark Kent and their son Jon.  The boys were out with Damian Wayne(Robin) looking for Batman.  Lois finds out there is much more to her missing family and friends as "Black Dawn" continues.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Rebirth run on Superman thus far.  The "Black Dawn" story line had the seeds planted many issues ago and I feel that this is something that really sets DC Comics apart from many other comic book companies.  There is a plan in place and the stories have been wonderful because of it.  This isn't to say that you need to read all 21 issues leading up to this(plus an Annual and some cross-overs with Action Comics).  If you did read them, it's an added bonus.

The "Black Dawn" stories read a lot like a horror story.  We are also given these stories from multiple perspectives.  The majority of this comic book is from Lois' perspective as she uses her journalistic prowess to find Clark, Jon, Damian and Bruce.  Because this is Lois, we get to see her find much more than she had originally bargained for.  We also are treated to how tough she can be as she takes on assailants and gets to drive the Batmobile.  Superman is the person whose perspective is given to the readers.  There is a revelation at the end of this book that left me clamoring for more.

Doug Mahnke is one of my favorite artists and I am always happy to see his name on the cover.  Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have been putting together incredible stories and they are that much better when Mahnke is in charge of the art.  The inks were nice in this comic as the use of black in some of the more eerie panels was beautiful.  The visuals are spectacular and Wil Quintana's colors add to the spooky feeling.

What are your thoughts on Superman?  Do you like the family dynamic that is used in this series?  What other comic books would you like Maskerpiece Theatre to review?

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Comic Book Review: Superman: Annual #1 - DC Comics (2017)

"Tangled Up In Green"

Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Jorge Jimenez
Colors by Alejandro Sanchez

Hamilton County(300 miles north of Metropolis) is where the Kent's have decided to lay down roots when they were pulled from their universe and placed into the current DC universe.  Clark Kent/Superman is trying to figure out why the land in Hamilton County is so dry.  Maybe Swamp Thing can help explain.

I know the old saying; "Don't judge a book by it's cover."  This comic book has Superman and Swamp Thing on the cover so I threw caution to the wind and decided this is a "must have."  This book was even better than I had hoped.  Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are writing some of the best stories in comic books with their current run on Superman. This "Annual" fits with the story but can be read on its own as well.  The way Superman and Swamp Thing communicated with each other was great.  Swamp Thing helping Superman figure out why the land was drying up was awesome.  Superman didn't want to do things Swamp Thing's way but he can be quite convincing.  

Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez were amazing choices to do the art in this comic book.  This was a very visual story so the art needed to be on point.  The two main characters are very different.  The vibrant Superman and the murky looking Swamp Thing.  Seeing the two of these characters with and against each other was a wonderful sight.  The visuals toward the end of the comic book when Swamp Thing helps Superman see the reason behind the drying of the land were absolutely stunning.  The art alone makes this comic book worth purchasing.  Luckily it has a good story as well.

I am all for another Superman and Swamp Thing team-up in the future.  This was the first meeting of this version of Superman with the current incarnation of Alec Holland/Swamp Thing and I hope for many more.

What are your thoughts on Superman: Annual #1?  Are you reading the Superman series or any other DC series?  What would you like Maskerpiece Theatre to review in the future?  

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Act 211: Brown Eye Cream Pie

Masked Blogster, Mini Mandy, Kevin Moyers and Frankie G. get heavy into sports, some of the great commentators of all time, Frankie's upcoming trip to Chicago, and some extra special ElfQuest trivia.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Comic Book Review: Justice League of America #1 - DC Comics (2017)

"The Extremists" Part One
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils by Ivan Reis
Inks by Joe Prado, Oclair Albert & Julio Ferreira
Colors by Marcelo Maiolo

Batman's new Justice League of America are spread out across the world handling different situations while a group from another world has shown up and they are ready to make this Earth a better place; by ruling it.

This book feels very rushed and in a typical rag-tag group that need to find a way to get along otherwise the Earth is doomed kind of way.  Everything is held together using Batman as the one who brings them together(as if he didn't have enough going on in all the books he's in).  It all feels very forced so I am looking forward to this story to get going and being done so we can concentrate on the overall book and not trying to figure out where everyone fits.  Maybe I am just being overly picky.

Ivan Reis' art is always a pleasure to view.  The action scenes look great as do the closeups.  I also like how Reis is able to have a group scene encompass a page but still have panels within.

Overall, the book is fine.  It would be a nice start for someone looking for a new hero book with some characters you may not be as familiar with.

What are your thoughts on the Justice League of America?  What other comic books would you like Maskerpiece Theatre to review?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Comic Book Review: A Flower in the Field of Lions - Tapestry Comics (2017)

Written by Tyler Button
Art by Ryan Cody

A historical account of France as they fight against British rule.  I have long felt that comic books should go in this direction and even considered doing something similar.  I am happy to see Tyler Button and Ryan Cody take the reigns and give historical accounts of actual events.  This particular offering will go into the story of Joan of Arc and these books will be told per her testimony in fornt of a hostile court.

This particular book is a preview comic that was given to my daughter at the Free Comic Book Day event at Samurai Comics in Mesa, AZ.  Tyler Button and Ryan Cody were on hand and I'm not sure why I didn't request autographs
on the book.  I guess I was concentrating on Button's enthusiasm for the story and both contributors' affinity for the artwork that inspired their period piece.

I enjoyed Ryan Cody's art throughout this book.  The art matched up with the story being told and looked good.  It's a bit violent but not unsettling to view.  I hope that the Kickstarter these guys are starting on May 30th, 2017 is successful.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Comic Book Review: Nightwing #20 - DC Comics (2017)

"Nightwing Must Die! - Finale"
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez
Colors by Chris Sotomayor

Nightwing is on a mission to find his girlfriend Shawn Tsang.  Professor Pyg has his army of demented doppelgangers, including Deathwing(who is figuring out what side he is on).

There is so much more going on in this book than that little blurb I included.  This is the finale in what has been an emotional roller coaster of a story.  Nightwing has been hot on the trail of finding his girlfriend(who also may be pregnant).  Robin(Damian Wayne) is tagging along as he is upset that many feel that Nightwing is the heir apparent to the Batman helm.  Plus you get to throw in layers of bad guys and top layer bad guys taking out the bottom layer of bad guys.  Tim Seeley did a masterful job with this story line.  I'm so glad Superman recommended Bludhaven as a destination for Nightwing(issue #9).

The Nightwing series is wonderful since we have a steady writer in Tim Seeley.  The one thing I wish it had is a steady artist.  Everyone who has worked on this series has been very good, but I feel like it would be that much better with the same artist.  Javier Fernandez did very nice work in this particular comic book.  He gave it a very gritty look which is something I that definitely works when it comes to the street level heroes.  Chris Sotomayer's colors were excellent as well.  The scenery was dark but Nightwing's blue and Deathwing's red really popped nicely.

Nightwing is one of my absolute favorite comic books going.  I look forward to each issue.  Tim Seeley is writing Nightwing/Dick Grayson the way a hero should be written.  Nightwing is a hero full of hope, even when that hope can backfire.  He looks for the good and fights to keep that good alive.  The looking for the good in people works out to Dick Grayson's advantage as Shawn Tsang, his girlfriend, was a villain who was known as The Defacer(it's not as bad as it sounds, she just spray painted artwork).

What are your thoughts on Nightwing?  What other comic books would you like Maskerpiece Theatre to review?

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Comic Book Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW, Free Comic Book Day 2017)

Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow & Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Art (Including Cover): Cory Smith
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Shawn Lee

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been kicking around since I was a kid. To see them as a still-relevant group warms my heart. My daughter is over three decades younger than me and loves the old movies as much as I did back in 1990. One of the best things about FCBD editions of titles is that they introduce new readers and new generations to classic characters. I have to say, this issue does a fine job of that.

As we start, our half-shelled heroes, sans Donatello, are involved in a training mission down in the sewers. As each turtle gets zapped by a laser, they make fun of each other with the senses of humor we're used to. When they get back to their lair, they're greeted by Don and a small golden robot named Professor Honeycutt. The group reminisces about the last time they met up, and they go through moments they've had facing a variety of villains, which nicely introduces new readers to their storied history. The last they discuss is an attack by General Krang, which ended with his arrest. Honeycutt is one of five key witnesses in the trial that could put him away for a long time.

In true Maskerpiece fashion, a set of tentacles drops from the ceiling and shuts down the power. They drop again to snatch Honeycutt, and the battle begins. The culprit in a bounty hunter named Hakk-R, and before his escape, he downloads the names of the other witnesses from Honeycutt's database. This sends the turtles on a quest to Dimension X.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Tentacles!

While this is just a teaser leading to TMNT #73 and TMNT: Dimension X, it's short, sweet, and fun. It does make you want to dig into more of the story on Krang's capture and the crimes that led to it as well as the upcoming hunt for Hakk-R.

The artwork by Cory Smith has a modern/classic hybrid feel to it, and his cover is beautiful. The colors by Ronda Pattison keep the sewer dark and the characters light, making an eye catching contrast. I enjoyed this fun little battle, and I think it'll be a great way to get younger kids into the pizza loving mutants.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Comic Book Review: Justice League of America: Rebirth #1 - DC Comics

JLA Rebirth
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils by Ivan Reis
Inks by Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
Colors by Marcelo Maiolo

Batman is putting together a new team.  A team of heroes that are less God-like and more human.  A group the people of the world can identify with.  The question is, can this group find a way to get along with each other?  Beware: the rest is spoilers.

This book starts out with Batman recruiting Killer Frost.  The two look over the base of operations that Batman has chosen, a secret cave in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island.  From here, Batman and Killer Frost head to Seattle to recruit Black Canary who was a bit surprised the once villainous Killer Frost had come to her city.  The next to be recruited is the alien biker Lobo.  Lobo agrees and the group look to have Ray Palmer, The Atom, join in the fun.  Ray Palmer is missing but his student aid, Ryan Choi, is there and he has been using Palmer technology to search for The Atom.  Batman was against it but Lobo liked the kid.  Now it's the Ryan's turn to recruit so now The Ray is in the group.  Batman rounded out the group by convincing Vixen to join.

This book reminded me of the beginning of Justice League International during the New 52 run.  Batman puts together a group to look good for the masses.  He chooses a leader most of the group wouldn't expect(Killer Frost for JLA and Booster Gold for JLI).  Justice League International was a fun series and I foresee the same with this comic book team.  Having Lobo and Black Canary on a team with Killer Frost should make for plenty of interesting panels.

Ivan Reis is one of my favorite comic book artists today.  It is awesome seeing his work on so many heroes.  The attention he gives to the facial expressions and the poses each character is in is phenomenal.  The colors by Marcelo Maiolo looked amazing as well.  So many of the panels within the book were cover-worthy.

What are your thoughts on the Justice League of America?  What comic book series' are you reading?  Let us know by reaching out to us through social media.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Comic Book Review: Secret Empire / Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man - Free Comic Book Day Edition - Marvel Comics

The following two reviews come from the same comic book.  They are from the special "Free Comic Book Day" edition.

Secret Empire
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

The heroes of the Marvel Universe are in a tumultuous battle with Hydra.  Things are not going well and it is about to get a whole lot worse.

Captain America has been Hydra the whole time despite 70 years of fighting them.  I'm sure the preludes made sense of it but it just doesn't interest me at all.  I read this comic book and Secret Invasion #0 but I think that is as far as I will get.  Let me know when Captain America is back to normal.  It's a comic book event and there is no way he stays a villain.

On the bright side, Andrea Sorrentino is a fantastic artist.  I really enjoyed the visuals in this comic book, even if the story itself does not really get me excited.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man
"...Time Flies"
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Pencils by Paolo Siqueira
Inks by Walden Wong, Cam Smith, Jay Leisten & Paolo Siqueira
Colors by Frank D'Armata

Peter Parker is attempting to have lunch with Mary Jane Watson, head of Stark Industries but as always, some super-villain just happens to be causing mischief/mayhem.  Peter must leave to become the Spectacular Spider-Man and take on The Vulture.  There may be an extra person in play however...

This is more like it.  Lots of fun dialogue, a superhero in action and trying to juggle his personal life at the same time.  He takes on an old foe and meeting someone else who seems to be taking Paste Pot Pete's gimmick.  There were not many pages as this was a tease for the upcoming Spectacular Spider-Man series in June.

The art looks really good in this comic book.  A Spider-Man would be a tough series to take on since there are so many tall buildings and perspectives for the artist to draw.  This team did a wonderful job of doing this.  The buildings were detailed without being a distraction on the panels.  There is so much to love about Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man.  It looks like I will be adding this to my pull list at my local comic shop.

What are your thoughts on Secret Empire?  Will you be picking up Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man?

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Act 210: The ElfQuest of Podcasts

On a so not nice episode, Masked Blogster, Kevin Moyers, The Unfamous Liger, Mini Mandy and Frankie G. start with a family friendly Masked Lib before getting into the new Hellboy casting, possibilities for The Crow remake, Free Comic Book Day, and the wonderful world of ElfQuest.

To listen, click here. To download, right click and "Save As..."



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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Comic Book Review: Wolverine: Old Man Logan - Marvel Comics

"Old Man Logan"
Written by Mark Millar
Pencils by Steve McNiven
Inks by Dexter Vines, Mark Morales and Jay Leister
Colors by Morry Hollowell, Christina Strain, Justin Ponsor, Jason Keith, Nathan Fairbairn and Paul Mounts

This will not be an individual comic book review as I am reviewing the "Wolverine: Old Man Logan" trade paperback that I received in the Comic Bento subscription box.  The book collects Wolverine #66-72 and Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size.

The premise is that this tale takes place in a future where all of the villains got together and beat all the heroes and divided the United States between each other.  Not many heroes remain.  Logan hasn't unsheathed his claws in over fifty years as he raises his family on a farm near Sacramento, CA.  Times are tough and Logan is struggling to pay rent to the hillbilly Banner family.  Hawkeye comes to Logan with a proposition to make some fast money during a road trip.

For those that read Millar's "Wanted" comic book series, yes, this is the same premise.  Somehow all of these egotistical villains decided to get together to destroy the heroes and found a way to divide everything up between each other.  I know they are make believe characters in a make believe world, but why would Doctor Doom agree to ruling the Midwest and let Red Skull control the East Coast and Washington D.C. in particular?  And then there's Magneto.  Why would he only want Las Vegas?  Also, why would he agree to the slaughter of mutants?  Paste Pot Pete ended up with Paste Pot Creek so that part makes sense.

Millar keeps his Hulks in the same form as they were in "The Ultimates" comic book series.  They eat people.  Apparently Bruce Banner had a whole lot of repressed feelings in that genius mind of his.  He ends up mating with his cousin, She-Hulk, and creating a "special" Hulk family.

Hawkeye has become a drug-running Daredevil.  He has glaucoma and needs Logan to read the map.  Hawkeye is still driving the Spider-Buggy but at least Logan can tell him where to turn and such.

The overall story was pretty entertaining and it was fun to see where some of the heroes were taken out.  Finding out how Wolverine had been beaten and broken was a sad sight.  I'm sure you can guess that Logan can't keep the claws hidden for too long and Wolverine does end up going on a rampage.

The artwork in "Old Man Logan" is stellar.  Steve McNiven was an amazing choice to bring out the visuals for this series.  There is just enough detail to be jaw dropping but not distracting.  Logan and many of the characters are much older now and the wrinkles in the forehead and the way the people stood made you realize they've gotten older but you still wouldn't want to mess with them.  The backgrounds looked incredible as well.  Did I mention that the Venom Symbiote finds a Tyrannosaurus Rex host?

Overall the story is worth reading.  It reads pretty quickly as Millar is the type that really just writes dialogue and the artist is responsible for telling the story around the dialogue.  Luckily Steve McNiven is the artist so you get good dialogue with remarkable artwork.

What are your thoughts on "Wolverine: Old Man Logan?"  What other comic book series would you like us to review?  Find us on social media and let us know.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Circle - Review

There are a few times of the year when a movie is released that leave me wondering if it will be a hit or a bust. January through March, August and September are the months that can either surprise me or provide a subpar movie experience I’ve come to expect. These are the months that make movie reviewing feel like actual work. So, did “The Circle” fall into the category of surprise or disappointment? Let’s dive in and take a look in this review…


The director, James Ponsoldt, doesn’t have a resume that is impressive enough to make me comfortable with a cast of this caliber. This is actually the second film of his I’ve reviewed. The first review being “The End of the Tour” back in 2015. This review is for a film considerably different in that this is a fictional story based on the idea of an information company akin to “Google” slowly growing in power and influence. The other is about a writer and his life. It’s clear that the stories are different however they are similar in that both films are character based stories. Neither film is action oriented. Perhaps it was the size of the cast that was the stumbling block for James to get real emotions conveyed on screen in this movie. Clearly, we cannot blame the actors because they are talented. Some are established, some up and coming, but all of them are talented. So I place the flat, almost two dimensional, delivery of each character squarely on Ponsoldt’s shoulders. We as the audience should have enjoyed intense, stressful, thought provoking characters and dialogue. Instead, we are left staring at the big screen in wonder at how so much talent can act with such mediocrity.


The overall movie was not well constructed either. The screenplay was adapted from a book and often much is left out in transition from page to screen. I think everyone who has read a book and then watched the movie thought to themselves, or perhaps said to a neighbor or friend, “The book is better and has so much more to the story.” This movie felt like they took only the important chapters and then shot the film. The story didn’t really flow and it felt choppy. We meet characters but then certain ones change without real explanation (Karen Gillan), or they don’t have much to do in the film but are integral to the overall plot (John Boyega). It’s very disjointed and that’s unfortunate. I’m sure the book is great. I haven’t read it but they decided to make a movie from it so something has to be in the pages that made this story worthwhile. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t capture whatever the magic of the book is at all. In fact, the ending is so abrupt the only character to mirror the emotion of the film at any actual point is “Stenton” played by Patton Oswalt. He has one last line in the film right at the end, then walks off screen. That about sums up this film. Just one thing after another happening with no rhythm or flow.



The Circle” in theaters now! I don’t recommend people see this film on the big screen. If you wish to watch it in the comfort of your own home, go for it. I was disappointed in this film because the talent was there to make this something truly worthwhile and it didn’t deliver. It was probably my most disappointing film to watch in 2017 so far. I’m even bummed out while writing this review. I really wanted to enjoy this film and instead I was bored and let down. No bueno folks. No bueno at all.


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Free Comic Book Day Part 2

Handsome J and I decided it would be fun to do a tour of comic book shops in the Phoenix, AZ area on Free Comic Book Day.  As the day was quickly approaching, we decided it may be in our best interest to, rather than go together, we should divide and conquer.

My first destination was actually a comic book shop that both Handsome J and I ended up going to.  The difference is, we went at much different times.  Jesse James Comics in Glendale, AZ had a special midnight opening and they had multiple guests and plenty of comic books to giveaway.  I did not get an ooportunity to get pictures of all of the guests but I was able to strike up a conversation with Jeremy Clark who had a table set up and he was actually on a recent podcast with us.  Funny addition to this story, I ended up Jeremy Clark at three different destinations.  He's super talented and a pleasure to chat with.

Jesse James Comics had some great giveaways.  Those who arrived and were wearing wristbands received a special pack of free comics, including an exclusive to Jesse James Comics edition of Youngblood #1.  Once inside the shop, the twisting and turning line also brought shop-goers to ten more free comic books.  Two were comic books from the branded Free Comic Book Day table and then eight more comics from the specially chosen stacks of comics.  They were actually really cool comics and I picked up a few I had been meaning to read(X-Men '92 #s 1-2 and Jessica Jones #s 1-3 to name a couple).

I also was able to add some other books to my collection as most of the recent back issues were only $1.00 each.  I was able to pick up #1-5 plus the Rebirth issue of Justice League of America for just a dollar per issue.  This will be an annual destination for sure.

I got about three hours of sleep and then we got the family ready and it was time to head to our next destinations.  Next up was Samurai Comics in Mesa, AZ.  This is the must-attend event of Free Comic Book Day in Arizona.  This feels like a miniature Comic Con there are artists and writers galore.  The event is put on by ACME, the Arizona Comic Mini-Expo.  As far as free comic books go, attendees were limited to three unless they brought a school ID or library card, then you could get five.  The manager of the shop, Justin, does an incredible job orchestrating this event.

 Samurai Comics is the place where I bought my favorite item.  Tim Seeley,who currently works on the Nightwing comic book for DC Comics, was signing autographs and selling books and artwork.  Mr. Seeley had a stack of comic book boards that were from lesser known works and didn't generally have a ton of action.  The thing is, it's original art so I couldn't pass up the price.  I did not see anything with tentacles so I went with a page featuring a pimp.  I liked that there was a close-up of a hand holding the cane.  This is the type of artwork that aspiring artists should observe.

Next up was Gotham City Comics in Mesa, AZ.  The line went through the back entrance and brought you into the store.  The back entrance has a really cool painted wall.  You actually enter through the TARDIS.  There was no limit on comic books that I know of.  The attendees were incredibly polite and nobody seemed to be grabbing at everything and they really just picked up what intrigued them.  I picked up a few comics that I did not get from the other shops and said "Hello" to Jeremy Clark as he was set up at a table here as well.  Gotham City Comics had a bit of a scavenger hunt as they partnered with the local businesses.  There were live bands on the street and the atmosphere was fun.  We had another stop to make so we left the hunting to the other patrons.

Our final destination is a favorite of Maskerpiece Theatre.  Fantastic Worlds Comics in Scottsdale, AZ.  We recorded a podcast at Fantastic Worlds Comics recently and I was able to chat with the owner, Bill, for a few minutes.  I found out that the shop had a huge line in the morning and the folks that work at the shop could barely get through the door.  Since I arrived in the afternoon, there wasn't a line but there was a steady flow of patrons that were eagerly taking advantage of the sales.  There did not seem to be a limit on free comic books here either but you could tell many people had already come through.  They did have a few good issues left so that was nice.  My daughter did incredibly well as Fantastic Worlds is the most kid-friendly comic book shop I have ever been to.  Every time I am at Fantastic Worlds Comics, I see an interaction with a child that you can tell makes a young person's day.  This is the shop for the lifetime collector.  Fantastic Worlds Comics is also the place to go for key issues of comic books.  Free Comic Book Day was an incredible time to go as most of those issues were 30% off.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  I know the picture is small, but yes, that is Jeremy Clark in the photo.  He was setting up his table But I didn't interrupt him.  I didn't think he needed to be bothered by me for a third time in twelve hours.

That was our family outing across that started out in the west valley of Phoenix, AZ late at night and ended in in Scottsdale.  We had a lot of laughs, met some incredible people, chatted with old friends and walked away with a whole bunch of comics.  The countdown has begun for the first Saturday in May of 2018.

What did you do for Free Comic Book Day?

Follow Maskerpiece Theatre:
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You can support our show  and Abnormal Entertainment on our Support Us page.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Free Comic Book Day! Part 1

We at Maskerpiece Theatre live across town from each other. This means when "Free Comic Book Day" arrives we get the pleasure of sharing with you the different shops we were able to visit on the sides of town more convenient for us to travel to. Here's a look at a few of the shops I visited today for "Free Comic Book Day" in this first installment of fun.

"All About Books & Comics" and "Bonus Round" Bar/Arcade








"Samurai Comics" Grand Opening! 









Jesse James Comics!






Drawn to Comics!








On behalf of the Maskerpiece Theatre community,  thanks for supporting local today!!

Comment below with your favorite issue or item or piece of art from "Free Comic Book Day!" 

Follow Maskerpiece Theatre:
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Facebook: /MaskerpieceTheatre and Fan Page
Twitter: @Maskerpiece -Masked Blogster @MaskedBlogster -Mandy @moviefreakgirl -Handsome J @jbrunansky -Matt @MpTheatreMatt
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Maskerpiece Theatre is sponsored by MoviePass. See unlimited movies at a theater near you for a low monthly rate.

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