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Book Review: Noah Official Novelization; Noah: The Graphic Novel; Noah: Ila’s Story
Empress Eve   |  

Noah graphic novel, noah novelization, noah Ila's Story

Noah: The Official Movie Novelization by Mark Morris
Paperback | Kindle
Titan Books | March 18, 2014

Noah: Ila’s Story by Susan Korman
Paperback | Kindle
Titan Books | March 18, 2014

Noah: Graphic Novel by Niko Henrichon, Darren Aronofsky, and Ari Handel
Paperback | Kindle
Image Comics | March 18, 2014

Somehow, I managed to read Noah: The Official Movie Novelization, as well as the Young Adult adaptation Noah: Ila’s Story, and Noah, the graphic novel adaptation all before ever seeing Darren Aronofsky’s feature film, starring Russell Crowe as the title character.

Each of the adaptations has their merits and I found that I enjoyed all three versions. But, which edition is best? Well, that would depend on what type of reader you are.

...continue reading »
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Anime Review: The Comic Artist and His Assistants
Lord Hobbitsfork   |  

comic-artist-and-assistants-anime

The Comic Artist and His Assistants
Directed by Takeshi Furuta
Produced by Zexcs, Showgate
Voice cast: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Saori Hayami, Arisa Noto, Yuka Iguchi
Air dates: Streaming Mondays at 12:05 p.m. CDT on Crunchyroll

Ah, the venerable harem anime. How many ways can you write about one lucky guy and the bevy of beautiful women who eventually come to either his rescue or ruin? I’ve been seeing one version or another of this genre played out since Rumiko Takahashi’s Lum: Urusei Yatsura and the original Tenchi: Muyou and El Hazard OVA series.

But I digress with this mini history lesson: The point I’m making is that the harem anime is a genre with long legs, usually deliberately portrayed in one revealing manner or another. How then does an old-school otaku like me address new titles in this genre without a jaded eye? It’s not easy, but I’ll try.

...continue reading »
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Blu-ray Review: The Family
BAADASSSSS!   |  

The Family

The Family
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy l DVD l Streaming
Directed by Luc Besson
Starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, John D’Leo, Dianna Agron, Tommy Lee Jones, and Stan Carp
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 17, 2013

Giovanni Manzoni (Robert DeNiro) was once one of the most feared and respected mob bosses in New York. Times have certainly changed. For some unexplained reason Manzoni turned stoolie for the FBI and was moved into the Witness Relocation Program under the supervision of veteran agent Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones). Now he’s Fred Blake, a nondescript writer living in a small town in Normandy, France with his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), son Warren (John D’Leo), and daughter Bella (Dianna Agron). The family hates being so far removed from their familiar Brooklyn neighborhood and all of their friends and relatives, but they try to make the best of a lousy situation.

Their efforts don’t last though; unable to deal with the dual pressures of maintaining a false identity and the inquisitive, somewhat hostile townspeople, the Blakes soon revert to their old ways of violence and corruption, with Stansfield working desperately to keep them in line so their cover isn’t blown. Fred’s obsession with getting rid of the brown water that runs through the pipes of their quaint French home and Warren’s escalating criminal behavior at school eventually bring down the full wrath of Don Luchese (Stan Carp), the imprisoned rival Mafia boss Fred snitched on. The don dispatches a team of heavily armed assassins to Normandy to make the Blakes a blood-stained memory. Unable to depend on further protection from Stansfield and the other Feds, Fred and his family must show the mob back home that a simple name change doesn’t make the Blakes any less dangerous than before.

...continue reading »
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Book Review: Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History Without The Fairy-Tale Endings
Waerloga69   |  

Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbiePrincesses Behaving Badly
Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Quirk Books
Release Date: November 19, 2013

Most people find history dry and boring, suffering through the classes in school because it was required. But there are a few of us that know that history tells the best stories. Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings is proof of this. Disney likes to make everything all cute and pretty but in reality the truth is a far cry from that. The past contains a multitude of ladies who weren’t content to sit on the sidelines, they got up and forged their own destinies. And there were no helpful animals or fairy godmothers backing them up.

Containing short biographies of over thirty women from days gone by, this book is sectioned into seven parts. First off, we have the warriors. Loaded with tales of death and destruction, we learn how these ladies were the match for the men of their day in both physical prowess and warfare. Though many didn’t start off with that intention, circumstances led them to it. One became a pirate, another a general. One even defended her homeland with her infant son in tow!

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Vol. 1
Jimmy theMC   |  

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Vol. 1 bannerT.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Vol. 1
Created by Wally Wood and Len Brown
Written by Phil Hester
Illustrated by Andrea Di Vito
Colors by Rom Fajardo
Letters by Shawn Lee and Chris Mowry
Cover by Jerry Ordway and David Baron
IDW Publishing
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Cover Price: $17.99

Welcome to the superhero team with the most improbable acronym in comic history. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Vol. 1 is a reimaging of the original 1960s comic of the same name by Wally Wood and Len Brown.

I’m not sure if Andrea Di Vito just erased the word balloons of the classic issues or exactly captured the look and feel of the original ’60s run. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents gives every impression, from the frame set-ups to the campy coloring of the team uniforms, that it is a painstakingly crafted throwback.

...continue reading »
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Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
FamousMonster   |  

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Director(s): Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Screenwriter(s): Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Emily VanCamp, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson
Marvel Studios | Walt Disney Studios
Rated PG-13 | 136 Minutes
Release Date: April 4, 2014

If Captain America: The First Avenger is a ’40s wartime movie serial, then Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a ’70s political thriller in the vein of films like Three Days of the Condor and All the President’s Men.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Arrested Development, Community), Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up two years after the events of The Avengers. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) lives in Washington, D.C. where he continues to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. A man in the wrong time, he struggles to adapt to contemporary society.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: American Monsters 2: The Ted Bundy Story
Waerloga69   |  

American Monsters 2 cover bannerAmerican Monsters 2: The Ted Bundy Story
Written by Chris Brimacombe
Art by Chris Brimacombe
Pronto Comics
Release Date: Available now!
Cover Price: $3.00

The title of this one gives it all away. American Monsters 2: The Ted Bundy Story is exactly that, a concise telling of Bundy and his victims’ story. I went into this wondering if we were going to get a different point of view, like perhaps from the perspective of the victims or even a fictional rehash from the killer himself.

Alas, this was not to be. It is a pretty straightforward accounting of his crimes and punishment.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: Rubicon
Jimmy theMC   |  

Rubicon cover by Mario StillaRubicon
Based on an idea by Christopher McQuarrie
Story by Dan Capel
Written by Mark Long
Art by Mario Stilla
Colors by Howling Monkey Studios
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Archaia Entertainment/Archaia Black Label
Release Date: March 12, 2014
Cover Price: $14.99

Rubicon is the brainchild of Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Capel. Take the story of the Seven Samurai, bring it to Afghanistan, and appropriately, cast the US Navy SEALs in the role of the seven noble Samurai — a legendary story that has been playing out for close to ten years now.

Artist Mario Stilla paints a gritty world in a style which reminds me of early Frank Miller, only neater and less confused. The subjects that need to be gritty are almost lost in the detail of their clothing, but when addressing the women in the story, the lines are clean and even. Stilla displays both a proficiency at marrying different styles, and a clear intention that the art tell as much of the story as the words. Frame-by-frame, he shows you what to be focused on as writer Mark Long spins the tale.

...continue reading »
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