Saturday, August 24, 2019

People Who Like, "Breaking Bad," Should Be Happy About the New Movie

I have never watched, "Breaking Bad," when it was on or its current sequel-prequel series, "Better Call Saul," even though both of them have been loaded with actors whose work I like and I hear so many good things about the programs from fans. I am not opposed to watching the shows, my Netflix que is just an enormous mess of shows and movies that is intimidating to look at for 20 minutes before I go, "Eh, forget it," and just re-watch episodes of, "Nailed It," because I'm overwhelmed deciding what new thing to start. Well, people who loved, "Breaking Bad," and want more answers about its characters (who survived, at least) are probably very happy to hear, "El Camino," will be coming to Netflix October 11th, 2019.

It's a movie that follows-up right after the conclusion of, "Breaking Bad," and I am impressed it was kept secret so well, with only Bob Odenkirk (who is busy with, "Better Call Saul,") letting slip a week or so ago in an interview that something had been filmed without any leaks...at least until he mentioned it. Now folk can get excited and I can try and make myself motivated to binge-through some seasons so I understand the many comments and memes that will most likely occur online as of October 11th.

Friday, August 23, 2019

"Moon Knight," Getting a Show!

Well, this is news that has me excited and cautiously optimistic. That news, of course is that my favorite comic super-hero, Moon Knight, will be getting his own show on the upcoming Disney+ streaming service! He is a darker character and Disney+ doesn't want to stray too far from PG-13 kind of stuff at the most, but I'm frankly just happy to have Moon Knight appearing on a screen in what will hopefully be an entertaining experience. She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel (the Kamala Khan version) will be getting shows as well. This is wonderful news, and makes me even more excited to have some Moon Knight-related books I sent-out for pressing made extra-pretty so they'll look gorgeous on display, "Raw," or in a CGC case.

The one immediate downside in all this is that now I'll basically have to buy a subscription to yet another streaming-service in order to enjoy some (hopefully) high-quality Moon Knight-programming.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Nick Nolte is the One Reason I Would See, "Angel Has Fallen."

I remember seeing, "Olympus Has Fallen," some years ago via Redbox or Netflix and being pretty unimpressed with it. Gerard Butler was a Secret Service agent who saves the President from evil foreigners and corrupt fellow Secret Service agents in order to prevent a special nuclear code from being used to end the world or something. I did not even bother with, "London Has Fallen," and was completely unaware this series had become a trilogy with, "Angel Has Fallen," until I started seeing ads for it this week and read a review by the AV Club who are astounded it is not as terrible as the preceding flicks. There is maybe one reason, and one reason alone I would see, "Angel Has Fallen," willingly if it shows-up some months later in streaming-cue. It has Nick Nolte in it.

Nick Nolte is an interesting man. He loves acting and always brings a strange and engrossing vibe to any character he plays. Whether it was being one of the few good things in the Ang Lee version of, "The Hulk," as Bruce Banners dad, or a man faking being a Vietnam Veteran in, "Tropic Thunder," Nolte excels at both comedy or drama thanks to his weirdo energy. The man has had many ups and downs in his personal life (the infamous 2002 DUI mugshot was pretty bad) but is always a fantastic actor. Hearing he is in, "Angel Has Fallen," playing the grizzled conspiracy-theory-obsessed Father of Gerard Butler's character whose name I don't recall but think is something bland like, "Rick Masters," actually sounds pretty cool. Even if, Angel Has Fallen," otherwise is disposable tripe at least any parts with Nolte on the screen will be engaging.

Note: I looked up the name of Butler's character, it is, "Mike Banning," which frankly I think is about as generic as my guess of, "Rick Masters," so there you go.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

I'm Always Down for More Garth Ennis-Written Punisher


Garth Ennis is one of those writers who even if he is barely putting forth any effort makes really good comics. Creators who spend decades in the field either get better and better to the point where any title they do is solid or slowly decline to the point they go from amazing to terrible. Thankfully, Ennis has just generally gotten to the point his worst works are damn good and his best works are incredible. Some of his best work has of course involved the Punisher, so hearing that he will be doing some new mini-series involving the Punisher as well as (I assume) his take on a really old and grizzled Nick Fury sounds cool. Also, it is icing on the cake that two illustrators I love the work of--Jacen Burrow and Goran Parlov, will each be doing one of the books.

The comics will be, "Punisher: Soviet," with Burrows doing art on that and, "Get Fury," with Parlov. These books will most likely be out-of-regular-Marvel-continuity and probably have a MAX label if Marvel digs that imprint up for these books or some other, "Mature Readers," advisory because Ennis loves his comics gory and full of unique-takes on the word, "Fuck." I'm not a huge fan of the Punisher generally, but a creator like Ennis almost always does him justice so between Ennis and some fantastic artists I'm excited.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Sony and Marvel/Disney Are Squabbling

As lots of folk know, "Spider-Man," and his film rights are owned by Sony due to how in the early 2000's before Marvel became absurdly profitable (and bought by Disney) it had to sell movie-rights to not go outright bankrupt. Then in 2008 Marvel made, "Iron Man," then made some more flicks, was bought by the House of Mouse, and here we are today. Disney/Marvel also acquired Fox recently so now the X-Men and Fantastic Four (whom Fox had film rights too) can be in Marvel flicks as well. However, Sony and Marvel have had a very interesting agreement. Essentially, Spider-Man could pop-up in Marvel's movies and Marvel heroes could be in Spider-Man's movies but everyone kept the rights and most of their individual money from those films. There could be other Sony-hero movies (like, "Venom,") and those could involve Spider-Man too even, but no Marvel Cinematic Universe stuff. It was a unique little set-up, but it seemed to work. It may be falling apart now with Sony and Marvel having a nasty break-up.

I think everyone is probably a victim of their own success. Since the newest Spider-Man first appeared in, "Captain America: Civil War," and the rest of the agreed-upon shared movies have wrapped the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have gone on to make even more cash, and Sony probably feels emboldened with their own hero-movies thanks to, "Venom," doing incredibly well. Hence, we have two companies butting-heads over who gets how much much money for each other's flicks and any kind of deal to basically, "Share," Spider-Man is possibly quite dead in the water for now. This is awkward as Spider-Man is now so ingrained with some of the Marvel heroes and them popping-up in his movies, it would be awkward for Marvel to try and completely ignore Peter Parker or the next, "Spider-Man," to drop any pretense of the, "Avengers," existing in his world.

I think some kind of deal will be reached eventually as both Sony and Marvel/Disney know full well even if more cash has to be shared, even more money will still be raised having this shared-Spidey agreement than keeping stuff overly separate. Perhaps we will see a weird splitting-off of stuff, but it would be less messy if an agreement is made.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Rant-Reviews: No Theme in Particular

No Particular Theme
Sometimes when I do these capsule-style reviews there is a particular theme to it all. That honestly is not really the case here. These are just some recently-released comics that I read and had enough of an opinion about to share some thoughts. Enjoy!

Comics and Thoughts About Them

Eternal Thirst of Dracula Book 2 #1
Friend of the blog Mike Wolfer returns with his intriguing, "Dracula in the Tropics circa 1975," series, with Elmer Cantada providing wonderfully lush and creepy artwork. This issue involves a lot of talk as the character who is a descendant of Van Helsing fills his friends-in on just how crazy things have become with Count Dracula wanting his help to destroy a certain breed of vampire who want to destroy both the original vamps and humans. Compared to some of the earlier-issues this one is a bit lighter on action, but there is a nice human-vampire fight at the end of the issue that keeps the pace-up. A good read, in other words.
4 out of 5 stars.

Savage Avengers #4
There are, "Avengers," comics that are very serious and deal in heavy subjects, and then there is the gleeful madness found in, "Savage Avengers." Written by Gerry Duggan it is bonkers. Whether it was Conan the Barbarian (he's in the modern age of Marvel now, don't question it) swinging a passed-out Wolverine around like a weapon to slice people-up last issue or a weird dino-shaped Venom fighting an ancient God of blood-lust in this issue, I was right to predict, "Savage Avengers," was gonna be a weird and fun read. With Mike Deodato providing the artwork too everything looks even more simultaneously gorgeous and grotesque thanks to how the man knows his way around drawing big spurts of blood. It is a bizarre comic. I love it.
5 out of 5 stars.

Black Hammer/Justice League #2
I am a huge fan of almost anything Jeff Lemire does with his, "Black Hammer," brand of comics. Whether it is the original series, its sequel, "Black Hammer: The Dark Age," or the spin-offs, almost everything has been superb (I'll admit, "The Quantum Age," dragged a bit for me, however). That said, "Black Hammer/Justice League," is not outright, "Wowing," me but also is far from a disappointment. Essentially it has the main characters from, "Black Hammer," finding themselves suddenly swapped with some key members of the Justice League with one team suddenly in Metropolis and the Leaguers now on the mysterious farm from, "Black Hammer," convinced they've been trapped there for a decade even though its only been a day.

There are some nice little flourishes to the book, such as Gail being annoyed she can't swear freely in the DC-world and Bruce Wayne practically going-mad from how peaceful life is when he thirsts for a crime to fight, but overall nothing that, "Big," is being said other than how, yeah, it would be pretty zany if these characters switched realities. Perhaps as the book proceeds a point behind all of this (besides Dark Horse and DC making money) will become clear, but right now this is more of a, "Wouldn't it be cool if these characters swapped places," kind of story than something deeper--which is a little disappointing considering how clever the, "Black Hammer," books at times can be.
3 out of 5 stars.

Show's End #1
A new release from Mad Cave Studios, this book is focused upon a traveling freak-show when decades ago when such a thing was a common sight. Back then freak shows were both popular and looked-at with immense suspicion. Writer Anthony Cleveland portrays this well and introduces another wrinkle to the story with a young girl who seems normal and wants to tag-along with the freak show but may be the most dangerous person under the big-top. Jeferson Sadzinski provides some stellar illustration, making the, "Freaks," look different but never as gross caricatures--with the writing by Cleveland also expertly walking the fine line of portraying these people whose varying disabilities rendered them judged by a society they just wanted to survive in. I look forward to the next issue for sure!
5 out of 5 stars.

White Trees #1
Reading this comic published by Image and written by the generally-zany Chip Zdarsky with artwork by Kris Anka set in a fantasy world where a bunch of retired warriors have to rescue their kids could have been formulaic, but three things make this delightfully different.

1. The heroes once were mighty but are really out-of-practice to an almost embarrassing degree.

2. A number of characters are Queer which is nice in the often super-Heteronormative field of Fantasy stories.

3. Kris Anka draws a lot of dongs.

Now, the comic is not an, "Adult," read, but just sometimes has a dong show-up in the same manner that lots of comics seem to randomly have topless women as fan-service, but here the fan service is a big elf-penis. Between the solid writing mixed with great fight-scenes and plentiful phallus-appearances this comic has something for everyone and is a good start to the two-issue mini-series (yep, it is just two over-sized issues, interestingly). If you like fantasy stories and enjoy (or at least don't mind) illustrated dicks this is a comic you ought to read.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

In Conclusion...
To conclude, we talked about a wide-range of comics from heroic cross-overs, to the freak-shows of the past, and well-drawn male genitals. Yeah, there really wasn't much of theme at all today besides how comics are fun to read, was there?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Flashback Friday: You Know, "Glee," Should've Ended Three Seasons Earlier Than it Did

Ryan Murphy is a man who knows how to make television that is both great and at times absolutely terrible. He's given us some incredible seasons of, "American Horror Story," and ones I would like to pretend did not happen. "American Crime Story," had a fantastic first season about the O.J. Simpson trial and did a solid job with its focus in the second season on the murder of Versace, but it got a bit tedious how the episodes kept traveling back in time in an effort to make things a little more complex in a manner that seemed more forced than necessary. "Nip/Tuck," was both simultaneously amazing and atrocious at once, often. Then, of course we have, "Glee." The show, "Glee," was one Samii introduced me to and a program that would at times be ingenious with smart plots and great dialogue while at other times it seemed a bit lazy and self-indulgent. In other words, it was a Ryan Murphy show.

I have a hot-take on, "Glee," however, and that is basically how instead of going for six seasons it probably either should've ended with three or had a much different focus in the later seasons than it did. You see, at the end of the third season of, "Glee," many of the main characters/students graduate from the High School. Everything has a big air of finality even though other newer students have appeared as well. Still, lots of the characters are going off to do their own big things and there are some incredible scenes, such as when Finn takes Rachel to the train station and tearfully says goodbye (we miss you, Cory Monteith, you were a quality actor), and then....the show kept going. It followed a lot of the main characters as they went-on to live their lives other places and focused on the new students too, but then would come-up with weird ways to shoe-horn the old characters back into their hometown to a degree that it seemed like an alum swung-by every episode.

The show plodded along, and it was just a case of diminishing returns for me as it slowly dragged itself to a shrug of series finale after six seasons when three would have perfect--or even maybe if the show had just fully embraced keeping its attention on the younger students instead of continuing to try and keep the graduated ones on the show even as as their stories became less and less interesting. "Glee," by no means became a bad show, but I think if it had stopped when it was ahead that may have been better. I suppose there are many shows that went a lot longer than they should have, but as long as things aren't atrocious there is still a charm to a past-its-prime program, I suppose. Still, "Glee," should've ended three seasons earlier than it did.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

This New Comic-Book Publisher Is Off To a Really Bad Start


Comic-book publishers come-and-go with startling frequency. Some have been here for decades and are quite stable but others pop-up, make some books (if they are lucky) and then go bankrupt and fade away. For every new publisher who looks really promising (for example, Bill Jemas' latest venture, AWA, is building hype well along with a stable of talent) there are those who seem doomed from the start. For example, "Terrific Production LLC." That is not a typo, it is just, "Production," and it has not been making itself look good.

Owned by Andrew Rev, the company is most notable for acquiring the rights to publish the old Rob Liefeld creation, "Youngblood." Apparently Lielfeld has not truly owned a chunk of the rights to these characters for some time and the company that did up and sold them to Rev. Liefeld and Rev do not like each other at all, and even though I have my own feeling about Liefeld, he seems pretty spot-on in this situation of disliking Rev. Rev is doing one of the most annoying things someone can do to get business contacts--blindly tweeting at famous creators a desire to work with them.

Yes, that's right, a man who owns am multimedia company is doing the same thing as those people who you vaguely recall meeting once or twice that, "Friend," you on Facebook only to immediately try to sell you a product except this is even worse because it is just tweeting at random professionals tweets aimlessly. This is the equivalent for comic-creators of a cold-call from a telemarketer interrupting your dinner. I could be wrong, but Terrific Production LLC. does not look like it will be achieving much success in the field of comics or any of its other multimedia endeavors. Don't worry too much about Liefeld either, however, he already is working at a new line of characters that look just like his other teams of Youngblood, X-Force, etc. I guess he knows his formula and sticks to it!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I Almost Wish All These Mass-Shootings Were a Conspiracy

I've made my opinion clear before on gun control, having written my extremely fiery article, "Fuck the 2nd Amendment." I believe the constitution is a living document that needs to be updated at times and considered what guns are now versus what they were centuries ago calls for consideration of what kind of country we are living in where people get confused about which mass-shooting the news is talking about because they are happening within a day of each other. Seriously, anyone who is opposed to common-sense gun legislation needs a long hard look in the mirror. Meanwhile those in political power do nothing, crowing on about illegal immigrants and violent video-games. I worry more about racist white men killing people in mass-shootings than I do immigrants, “Stealing,” jobs, yet the GOP hollers on about walls with Mexico while ignoring its own homegrown extremists. I feel sorrow, and one thing that makes me laugh amid all this sorrow--albeit a bitter and ironic laugh--is people claiming this is all some big conspiracy.
That's right, this is one massive attempt by the Deep State, Illuminati, or some other nefarious force to create mass-shootings that are either orchestrated secretly and then carried-out, or if you really want to sip the crazy-juice are not even real shootings, it is all somehow actors and green-screens and CGI. I almost wish it were one big conspiracy, because that is in a way comforting. It would honestly make me feel a bit better to think this is part of some, "Master," plan and everything is being carefully plotted-out to happen in a precise manner with a bunch of false-flag operations. This would make me feel better because the honest truth is just so terrifying and depressing.
The real truth in all this is that there is no master plan, no secret plot, no super-powerful elites causing these mass shootings. The horrible fact is that it is all random. It is people who are hateful or otherwise disturbed who had all too easy a time getting access to deadly weaponry and being able to carry out a mass-shooting because our Nation refuses to do anything about these almost-daily tragedies. Politicians are in the pocket of the NRA or utterly spineless against a President who appeals to the worst instincts of a populace that voted for him. The fact there is no rhyme or reason to all of these shootings, that they just keep happening because they are simply able, is horrific. I wrote this a couple days ago after the El Paso and Dayton shootings and have finished editing it today. The sad thing is this could be posted almost any day of the week lately, America has such a gun violence problem. It's all just a conspiracy though to take away our guns though, right?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

I Love This New, "Everything but the Bagel," Seasoning

I don't always get to the popular store, "Trader Joe's," all the time as I have to mentally prepare myself for how the one closest to our house has the parking lot from Hell (I think that is a legal requirement for a Trader Joe's store). When I do get there however I love this tamales you can buy to steam and my latest obsession is the, "Everything but the Bagel," seasoning you can buy. Others on the internet adore it too thanks to its masterful blend of salt, garlic, and seeds that can take an otherwise drab bagel and really liven it up. Every morning lately I have looked forward to toasting a bagel, spreading some cream cheese-styled dairy-free spread on it  (I'm cutting-back on dairy more) and then sprinkling this delicious seasoning on my bagel that helps make every bite magical. It's a good time.

"Everything but the Bagel," does not just have to be limited to bagels either. We put it one some steamed green beans one night and cheesy-broccoli another day (hey, I said I'm cutting-back on dairy, not quitting it). It could quite possibly be put on any item that would benefit from an extra bit of salt, garlic, and sesame, so the possibilities are quite endless. That said, however, I still love it best on a bagel. I really want some now so I ought to get to bed so I can enjoy it tomorrow morning...

Note: This piece is purely my opinion and was not commissioned by Trader Joe's or anyone else. I just really like this seasoning to a borderline-unhealthy degree.