Thoughts & Rambles
Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business by Mark Waid & James Robinson

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Rating: 7.5/10

Marvel’s Original Graphic Novel series 2nd installment gives us an action/thriller spy starring everyone’s favorite web-slinger, Spider-man. Co-written by Mark Waid & James Robinson, with stunningly beautiful illustrations by Gabriele Dell ‘Otto, is a standalone story providing readers with a fresh look at Peter Parker’s parents.

Did you know Richard & Mary Parker actually used to be world-saving CIA agents who fought against Hydra? No? Well the story opens with an even bigger shocker; Peter Parker has a Sister, Theresa Parker, who is a special agent! Say what now? Also, what does the Kingpin of Crime have to do with all of this?!

The story gives you those expected Peter Parker fumbles as he stumbles through daily life thinking about the future and his relationships with other people. Most of the jokes in this are only chuckle-worthy, but I got a good laugh out of Spider-Man making fun of DC Comics’ Batman Incorporated.

There’s a handful of action, but the importance is placed upon a well-paced story that nails down Peter Parker’s altruistic persona, because Spider-Man is the real human being, the real hero with his down to earth feels.

The writing in this is safe for both hardcore and casual fans, but it’s a one-note story without any deeper meanings, just a showcase of Spider-Man being Spider-Man.  What makes this one stand out is solely the stunning artwork from Dell ‘Otto; from the rainy New York nights to thug fights at a casino, to the beautiful city of Cairo, to Spider-Man’s stunning look, it’s easily the selling point of this graphic novel. You also gain a free digital copy as an extra, alongside behind-the-scenes featurette of Dell ’Otto’s art process, which is pretty nifty.

Captain America: the Winter Soldier - Movie Review

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Marvel Studio’s Captain America: the Winter Soldier is a sequel to both Captain America: the First Avenger & Marvel’s the Avengers. The story sets Captain America (Chris Evans) on the path of the righteous man, beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. In the world post-9/11 & other acts of terrorism, with the NSA spying on the common people & national offices, are we living in the world George Orwell predicted? That’s the question of the day when director of SHIELD Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) & Senior Leader of SHIELD Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) plan to launch massive Helicarriers, linked with spy satellites & designed to eliminate potential threats before they even begin.

Where the First Avenger was a colorful superhero movie set in the 2nd World War, The Winter Soldier is a spy thriller of harsher & darker tune. Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo, the duo give us over two hours of Marvel’s finest with intense action, high drama & excellent world building with twists and turns in regards to S.H.I.E.L.D, The Winter Soldier, etc. The movie also in Marvel fashion comes up with great quips, hilarious jokes & Nick Fury gets a god damn Pulp Fiction nod.

The combat choreography is so brutally good to look at, clear shots of close combat & stunts, good use of editing with sound effects ranging from kicks, hits, the soundtrack and even tuning down the sound level for intensity, the gun shootouts are also done using real modern weaponry, not something out-of-place like HYDRA in First Avenger with their sci-fi weaponry. The car chase sequences are quite badass, especially with the Winter Soldier coming to wreck things apart. However the 3rd act CGI extravaganza, while fortunately a bare minimum in this movie, is pretty much the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) doing his best Iron Man impression with a flight-exoskeleton, added with explosions & the ultimate battle against terrorists in the name of Freedom!

Chris Evans embodies the best aspects of Captain America, once again transforming into the Sentinel of Liberty. Quiet, thoughtful, kind & loving that is the public side of Steven Rogers who is also utterly passionate about fighting for a good cause, and that’s what I love about the character. He will waive the American flag and kiss babies in social events, but when it comes down to it, he will assault an enemy base & eliminate all the terrorists to ensure safety. Scarlet Johansson returns as the ex-KBG agent Natasha Romanoff, she definitely gets more development squeezed out of her character, but it’s still a bare minimum at the end of the day. Samuel L. Jackson is the Boss, every single scene he is in, he steals it & you can’t get any more boss than this BAMF.

The Winter Soldier himself is like the Shark in Jaws, when you hear the enchanting theme song Henry Jackman made for the Winter Soldier, your anticipation starts to build up, because when that theme starts to play, the death toll rises. Captain America’s & the Winter Soldier’s backstory are like the other sides of the same coin and make for a satisfying conclusion.

The director duo of Anthony & Joe Russo, with the screen writers of the First Avengers & the Winter Soldier: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely have me hooked for more, I am already anticipating with vivid excitement for Captain America 3, because the world these people have created for Captain America is going to be so exciting to explore.

Hey Drz, it's Wolverine12 from CBR, how ya doin!

Hey Hey Hey!

bernardin:

Michael B. Jordan: Taking it to the house.

housewifeswag:

yessssss.

Michael B. Jordan knows whats up, fuck every racist bitch out there.

aleskot:

Today is the big day. The first volume of ZERO, the exploration/dissection of the spy thriller genre that sort of erases the genre borders as it moves along, is now out in comic book stores all around the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and hopefully some other territories as well. 
This is a big one for me. ZERO is my first ongoing series. Every issue is simultaneously a self-contained story and a part of the big overarching narrative. If you want to know more about it, I recommend reading this interview, which came out before the first issue even went on sale, or this interview, which came out recently. And if you don’t have enough, then this interview takes you through my creative process from a different angle.
This comic is a success. We set out to do something special and we’re achieving it. So this post is, in a way, also a thank you to everyone involved with ZERO: Jordie Bellaire, our astonishing coloring chameleon. Tom Muller, whose wonderful design sensibility inevitably affects how I think of the story and how I feel it. Clayton Cowles, for delivering lettering that is precise and adding storytelling value, something that is rare. Mike Walsh, Tradd Moore, Mateus Santolouco, Morgan Jeske, Will Tempest, for creating the world with us, for being excellent artists and splendid collaborators. To Paul Pope, Becky Cloonan, Chris Burnham, Christian Ward for the variant covers. To Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Ian Fleming, James Ellroy, Jim Thompson, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Terence McKenna and plenty more, for creating works that molded me and ZERO. To Kieron Gillen for the advice and friendship. To the retailers for ordering so many copies. To all the websites and magazines who decided to talk about the comic. To everyone at Image Comics for believing in the comic, and to Eric Stephenson specifically for greenlighting it and for always believing in me. To Ron Richards for giving me support in hard times. 
This isn’t just a comic book coming out. This isn’t just a first chapter of a story. This is proof. 
I can make whatever I want. I can find new wonderful relationships along the way. I can use pop fiction as a vehicle for self-exploration while keeping it very entertaining and commercially successful.
This is proof that comics can be anything. 
You can find ZERO Vol. 1: AN EMERGENCY in your local comic book store. If you don’t have a comic book store nearby (see here), or simply prefer a different option, you can buy it on the US Amazon, the Canadian Amazon or the UK Amazon. 

aleskot:

Today is the big day. The first volume of ZERO, the exploration/dissection of the spy thriller genre that sort of erases the genre borders as it moves along, is now out in comic book stores all around the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and hopefully some other territories as well. 

This is a big one for me. ZERO is my first ongoing series. Every issue is simultaneously a self-contained story and a part of the big overarching narrative. If you want to know more about it, I recommend reading this interview, which came out before the first issue even went on sale, or this interview, which came out recently. And if you don’t have enough, then this interview takes you through my creative process from a different angle.

This comic is a success. We set out to do something special and we’re achieving it. So this post is, in a way, also a thank you to everyone involved with ZERO: Jordie Bellaire, our astonishing coloring chameleon. Tom Muller, whose wonderful design sensibility inevitably affects how I think of the story and how I feel it. Clayton Cowles, for delivering lettering that is precise and adding storytelling value, something that is rare. Mike Walsh, Tradd Moore, Mateus Santolouco, Morgan Jeske, Will Tempest, for creating the world with us, for being excellent artists and splendid collaborators. To Paul Pope, Becky Cloonan, Chris Burnham, Christian Ward for the variant covers. To Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Ian Fleming, James Ellroy, Jim Thompson, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Terence McKenna and plenty more, for creating works that molded me and ZERO. To Kieron Gillen for the advice and friendship. To the retailers for ordering so many copies. To all the websites and magazines who decided to talk about the comic. To everyone at Image Comics for believing in the comic, and to Eric Stephenson specifically for greenlighting it and for always believing in me. To Ron Richards for giving me support in hard times. 

This isn’t just a comic book coming out. This isn’t just a first chapter of a story. This is proof. 

I can make whatever I want. I can find new wonderful relationships along the way. I can use pop fiction as a vehicle for self-exploration while keeping it very entertaining and commercially successful.

This is proof that comics can be anything. 

You can find ZERO Vol. 1: AN EMERGENCY in your local comic book store. If you don’t have a comic book store nearby (see here), or simply prefer a different option, you can buy it on the US Amazon, the Canadian Amazon or the UK Amazon

The Lego Movie - Movie Review

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Everything is awesome; everything is cool when you’re part of the team! Directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller team up again for their 3rd excellent comedy, this time living the dream of an awesome Lego movie! The story is about Emmet (Chris Pratt), your average yellow-faced construction-working lego man, but wait! He is special! The chosen hero! The Neo of the Matrix! And thus begins the quest to save Lego-kind from the evilness of President Business (Will Ferrell)!

Everything is better when people stick together and thus Emmet is accompanied by the Master Builders: Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), the Wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), the Pirate Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), an Anime Cat-Unicorn hybrid Uni-Kitty (Alison Brie), 1980s-something Space Guy (Charlie Day being his awesome self) AND THE GOD DAMN BATMAN (Will Arnett). Other characters include Superman (Channing Tatum), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill), Wonder Woman (Cobie Smolders), Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), Abraham Lincoln on a space chair & tons of super awesome cameos done in good Phil Lord & Chris Miller fashion, coming out of nowhere for a nerdgasm!

Lego Movie is a beautiful looking movie, creating a variety of different realms from the Old West to Middle Zealand to Lord Business’ evil lair. The backgrounds and characters are a delight to the eyes, having a clever way of depicting the Lego movements, showcasing really great animation when it comes to building with bricks. The explosions are especially awesome looking. Batman’s ridiculous theme song and the music, overall, is good for the background. Plus, “Everything is Awesome” is an incredibly catchy tune to flute!

What makes this movie so especially beautiful is that not only is it hilarious, but it hits you right in the feels with its excellent 3rd act. The movie makes fun of the classic chosen hero with the world coming to an end trope that Hollywood seems to love, but at its core this is a tribute movie. It’s a tribute to everyone’s childhood, every child having their wild imagination and creating the most awesome adventure time of their life. Go see it. It’s one of the best comedy movies of the past decade. Not to mention a darn awesome Batman movie!

agentmlovestacos:

Dogs and lions, living together…mass hysteria!

via saxonogy:

tekena:

A lion and a miniature sausage dog have formed an unlikely friendship after the little dog took the king of the jungle under his wing as a cub.
Bonedigger, a five-year old male lion, and Milo, a seven-year old Dachshund, are so close that Milo helps the lion clean his teeth after dinner.
The 500lbs lion dwarfs little Milo, yet after the dog took the disabled lion into his protection as a cub, Bonedigger has rarely left his side.

Miniature sausage dog

The Best Movies of 2013

Here are my top 12 films of 2013, it includes some that are technically 2012 films, but weren’t released over in Europe until in 2013, which also shows will also reflect on my 2014 list. Movies such as see 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club, Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, Prisoners or Out of the Furnace are movies I won’t see until later on 2014, but I don’t wish to wait to publish my list for that long. Hence because of the two 2012 films I have on my list, I decided to extend this by two slots.

1) Django Unchained: Tarantino’s grand revenge epic about a once slave turned into the fastest gun in the South, with one of the best movie soundtracks for years to come, smooth dialogue and magnificent performances all around from Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo Dicaprio, Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx, this spaghetti western literally made me a nut for the genre. Thank you Tarantino.

2) Hunt: It’s a cruel world, when people become suspicious of Mads Mikkelsen’s character as a pedophile; a small village turns against its own. It’s a nasty take on today’s social world where even the tiniest rumors can make people so afraid and confused, they will turn their backs on their friends and see them as enemies. Utterly brilliant movie with Mads Mikkelsen’s strongest performance to date.

3) Filth: It might owe a lot to Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting movie in regards to storytelling & music influence, but James McAvoy’s performance as corrupt detective Bruce Roberts is the best black comedy I’ve seen all year. It’s crude, disgusting and downright vile; I loved every single moment of this movie.

4) Only God Forgives: Nicolas Winding Refn & Ryan Gosling team up for the Revenge hunt movie, where the hunted is the perspective and the hunter is antagonist, but what chances do you have when the Hunter is literally the God of Vengeance? Brutal, intriguing and downright addicting, this is Nicolas Winding Refn’s spiritual successor to Valhalla Rising.

5) Big Bad Wolves: It’s an Israeli film about torture; do I even need to say more about this brilliant black comedy? Tzahi Grad’s deep voice makes him the badass father of the year, while Haim Ilfman’s score gives a haunting atmosphere to the gruesome sceneries.

6) Silver Linings Playbook: Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence give an optimistic movie that deals with the heavy subject regarding mentally ill people, it had my tears flowing at the end!

7) Don Jon: Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s movie about today’s sex addiction, sex culture in general and the true values of relationship. Scarlet Johansson’s subtle performance as a manipulating bitch to Don Jon going the Cougar Path is nothing short of true romance, I would have preferred if Don Jon could have gotten his hardcore porn fantasy come true, but perhaps American cinema isn’t ready for that just yet.

8) The Place Beyond the Pines: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper & Dane DeHaan give a story of choices and the impact they leave behind, a great drama on consequences & legacy.

9)  Spring Breakers: The gangster movie for the MTV generation, bikini glad bitches chasing for the American Dream with James Franco as a rapper, what’s not to love?

10) Pain and Gain: Michael Bay’s 90s Gangsta movie offended critics & people alike and I love it. Dwayne Johnson & Mark Walhberg are cynical narcistic dumbasses who will go thru anything to gain the American dream, and I love it.

11) Escape Plan: This movie is hands down the best dumb action movie I saw, full of chemistry between Sylvester Stallone & Arnold Schwarzenegger, I will never buy into the idea of Stallone being a genius, but it’s one of its strong charms that makes me appreciate this action flick.

12)   The Dark Knight Returns: Jay Oliva’s adaptation of Frank Miller’s grand Batman story is a true homage, Jay Oliva delivers the drama and action with this superhero epic that turns into the battle of the gods, with Jay Oliva the second star of this movie has to be Christopher Drake, who gives us a grand synth album full of 80s film vibe.


Honorable mentions in no particular order:

-          Seven Psychopaths
-          Mud
-          Vikingdom
-          Ninja: Shadow of a Tear
-          Blue Caprice
-          The Frozen Ground
-          2 Guns
-          Lovelace
-          Wolf of Wall Street
-          Captain Philliphs
-          Call Girl
-          The Conjuring
-          Elysium
-          Adéle: Chapters 1 & 2
-          Metallica: Through the Never
-          This is the End
-          The Wolverine: Unleashed Extendet Edition
-          Devil’s Pass
-          Resolution
-          Superman Unbound
-          Riddick
-          Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox
-          Behind the Candelabra
-          The Master
-          Byzantium
-          What Maisie Knew
-          Zero Dark Thirty
-          The Croods
-          Desciple Me 2
-          World War Z
-          Man of Steel
-          The Iceman
-          Frozen
-          Fast & Furious 6
-          Fruitvale Station
-          Kick-Ass 2
-          The Counselor
-          The Pacific Rim
-          Gangster Squad
-          Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
-          Olympus Has Fallen
-          G.I Joe Retaliation
-           The Evil Dead

Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug - Film Review

Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the 2nd part of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. The 1st film has a quote from Gandalf regarding storytelling: “Well, all good stories deserve embellishment.” If that was the case for “A Long Journey,” then “Desolation of Smaug” is where young Frodo Baggins has to interrupt Bilbo; “Bilbo! Stop smoking Pipe-weed! Legolas can’t do all that!” because, this is the most over stretched fantasy action movie that just never seems to end.

 There really isn’t much of a depth story. You have the two central plots. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Thorin (Richard Armitage), Balin (Ken Stott) & the rest of the Dwarves are on the quest for Erebor to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the Dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). The secondary plot is Gandalf’s quest to find out the truth behind Dol Guldur & who really is behind all this evil.

 I can’t say any of the characters I mentioned get any sort of development, besides arguably Kili (Aidan Turner), because he is introduced into a love triangle between him, Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) & Legolas (Orlando Bloom), but there is no advancement to the character. Speaking of Legolas, why did Peter Jackson ever think we needed him in this movie? It’s one thing to have fan service, but when you make Legolas & Tauriel the ones with most action sequences, with the elves pulling so many over the top stunts, surfboarding not only on shields this time, but on Spiders, Barrels, Orcs & Dwarves. I guess Jackson tries to compensate since Thorin gets to surfboard on melted gold, because why not? Stories deserve embellishment?

 The biggest issue the movie has is its excess amount of action sequences from the Orc raiding party led by Bolg. Why an issue? This legion of Orc horde can infiltrate the Kingdom of Mirkwood, go unseen by anyone in Laketown, how did Sauron manage to have an army of Ninja Orcs and why didn’t we see the Orcs pull off these tricks in the Lord of the Rings? How can hundreds of Orcs manage to be so unseen when the 13 Dwarves are always spotted instead? There had to be at least over 300 Ninja Orcs, since Legolas kills about 180 of them during the course of this movie.

What Peter Jackson always does best is showcase the gorgeous landscapes of Middle-Earth. Beon’s Hall, Mirkwood, Laketown & Dol Guldur all looks beautifully detailed. The new characters also look stunning: Beorn is a behemoth, Bolg’s huge stature mixed with his destroyed face makes him the brutish Orc you’d never want to see & of course how could I not talk about how magnificent Smaug looks like? The eyes, the glorious wings & every little detail about him is just what the fans wanted, his booming voice with the Englishman mannerism is perfect. It’s just the biggest insult for the character to be completely humiliated, because Jackson felt the need for the 3rd act to have some big action sequence, so Smaug is trying to play cat & mice, only the mices outsmart the heck out of Smaug, making him into a bitter sad fool.

“Desolation of Smaug” is also a badly paced film; it doesn’t have a conclusion of its own, which is disappointing because this means the first 40 minutes of the 3rd movie “There and Back Again” have to be spent on concluding the story arcs of this movie.

If “A Long Journey” is a drinking game where you have to take a shot whenever Gandalf saves everyone with deus ex machima, then “Desolation of Smaug” is a drinking game whenever the heroes get captured.

Thor - The Dark World - Film Review

Marvel Studio’s Thor the Dark World is a sequel to both Thor & Marvel’s the Avengers. It’s a story about Thor (Chris Hemsworth) being the ox-headed warrior his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) claims to be, while also being a romantic comedy. The story centers around Jane (Natalie Portman) who gets her hands on this ancient dark power Aether, which is the McGuffin of the storyline; this sets the Dark Elves led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) on a hunt for her, endangering all the 9 realms.

Alan Taylor is the director & the man has his eyes on the detail, because this is such an exciting world to see, it’s a mixture of fantasy blend together with science fiction, it is heavily influenced by Star Wars & Jack Kirby, the Dark Elves especially look like vile ravagers, especially Kurse. Asgard in itself looks glorious, so do the Asgardian warriors, especially Heimdall (Idris Elba), Taylor does have a good sense of where to put the camera. However the believability of Asgardian warriors taking out “Orcs” with Bazookas with their swords & shields could have been executed better, but I had a nerdgasm, it was so Jack Kirby.

I admit; I went in with high expectations.  I love fantasy settings, I think Thor is a great comic character & Alan Taylor’s work on Game of Thrones really set my hype factor high… & the film failed to reach my expectations.  The script really falls flat. Cliché after another, plot holes that utterly break the movie apart, scenes that don’t make sense, the lack of spirit, because it’s only Loki who has a well written character arc, everything else is circled around the Aether, so while the actors give a good performances, they’re just assets for this “romantic comedy movie”.  The movie is watchable enjoyment, if you want to turn off your brains and simply enjoy great scenery with action sequences, romance & comedy blend together for a good casual night with friends after a bar visit, to learn the important morale: It is easy to fool others, but even easier to fool yourself. That is the tragedy of Loki Laufeyson.

I must warn you however, as usual, there are post-credit scenes to anticipate fans for more goodness, but this time, the fans receive horrible “acting” from Beniccio del Toro & awful Romantic Comedy cliché at the very end.