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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Book Review: Smasher
Olympus Athens   |  

Smasher bannerSmasher
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Scott Bly
The Blue Sky Press/Scholastic, Inc.
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Cover Price: $16.99

“A long, long time ago…” there was a special boy named Charlie, who could feel the Hum all around him. He was learning (secretly) to manipulate it, under the tutelage of his too harsh grandfather. Charlie is bullied, as most unlikely heroes are. A robot girl from the future, Geneva, “smashes” in to save him from those bullies in order to enlist him to help to save the future from “The Future.”

The city of LAnges in the year 2042 is in danger of losing its humanity to a bigger bully, Gramercy Foxx, corporate billionaire inventor. Charlie has to harness the power of the Hum to stop Foxx, who can make everyone he comes in contact with do whatever he wants. “The Future” will expand that to the world. Charlie only has Geneva, the Hum, and a puppy.

Smasher by Scott Bly will keep the YA audience enthralled with this time-traveling thriller.

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Comic Review: Shotgun Wedding
Maximus Prime   |  

Shotgun Wedding #1 cover by Edward PunShotgun Wedding
Written by William Harms
Illustrated by Edward Pun
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Cover by Edward Pun
Top Cow Productions, Inc.
Release Date: April 2, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Never, ever leave your fiancée at the altar, especially if she’s a trained assassin. In Shotgun Wedding, a new four-issue weekly mini-series event from Top Cow, writer William Harms and illustrator Edward Pun serve up a bitterly cold plate of revenge. Like the famous play The Mourning Bride by playwright William Congreve says, “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

When international hitman Mike Stone leaves his partner and fiancée, Chloe, on their wedding day, Chloe plans a devastating course of retribution, not only with Mike as the focus, but also his loved ones. Years later, Mike is set to marry again, this time to a woman who believes him to be a simple antiques dealer. When Chloe finally catches up to him, she’s ready to unleash a wrath the likes of which no one could ever prepare for – and she’s not working alone.

...continue reading »
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