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Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Adam Frazier   |  

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Movie Review
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom
Warner Bros. Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 144 Minutes
Release Date: December 17, 2014

“In all the mountains there was a forging and an arming. Then they marched and gathered by hill and valley, going ever by tunnel or under dark, until around and beneath the great mountain Gundabad of the North, where was their capital, a vast host was assembled ready to sweep down in time of storm unawares upon the South.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Co-written and directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the third and final chapter in a trilogy of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy novel, The Hobbit.

At the conclusion of 2013′s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), and the Dwarves reclaimed the Lonely Mountain, but failed to kill the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). Unable to reclaim his precious treasure, the dragon fled the mountain and set his sights on laying waste to Lake-town.

The Battle of the Five Armies picks up only moments after, with Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) defending his home against the “Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities.” Meanwhile, Sauron sends forth legions of Orcs to the Lonely Mountain to attack Bilbo and the Dwarves. With Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) at their side, the races of Men, Elves, and Dwarves must unite to save Middle Earth from the Dark Lord and his minions.

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Comic Review: Flash Gordon Annual 2014
PS Hayes   |  

Flash Gordon Annual 2014 reviewFlash Gordon Annual 2014
Written by Chris Eliopoulos, Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Jeff Parker and Nate Crosby
Art by Chris Eliopoulos, Faith Erin Hicks, Lee Ferguson, Jeremy Treece, Craig Rousseau
Colors by Jeremy Treece, Marissa Louise, Omi Remalante
Letters by Chris Eliopoulos, Simon Bowland,
Cover art by Marc Laming & Jordan Boyd
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 26, 2014
Cover Price: $7.99

Flash Gordon Annual 2014 is a really more than just an annual. It’s a love letter to the franchise from the creators that all had their work published in it. And, boy, there sure were a lot of them. With five different stories covering the whole Flash Gordon universe, almost nothing goes untouched. But, is it worth the $7.99 price tag and your time?

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Blu-ray Review: Lord Of Illusions
Adam Frazier   |  

Lord of the Illusions Blu-ray Review, by Adam Frazier

Lord of Illusions
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Clive Barker
Screenwriter: Clive Barker
Cast: Scott Bakula, Kevin J. O’Connor, Famke Janssen, J. Trevor Edmond, Daniel von Bargen, Joseph Latimore
Scream Factory
Rated R | 109 / 121 Minutes
Release Date: December 16, 2014

Written and directed by best-selling author Clive Barker (Nightbreed, Hellraiser), 1995′s Lord of Illusions is a supernatural thriller that stars Scott Bakula, Famke Janssen, Kevin J. O’Connor, and Daniel von Bargen.

After investigating an insurance fraud case in Los Angeles, hard-boiled detective Harry D’Amour (Bakula, Quantum Leap) is approached by Dorothea (Janssen, X-Men), a beautiful woman who believes that her husband is in danger. Dorothea is married to Philip Swann (O’Connor), a stage performer whose astonishing illusions have wowed audiences worldwide.

Like Hugh Jackman’s Robert Angier in The Prestige, Swann has found fame by disguising real magic as stage illusions. Swann’s manipulation of the dark arts has made him enemies of a religious cult who wish to sacrifice the magician and resurrect their leader, a sorcerer known as “The Puritan” (von Bargen).

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Comic Review: Conan The Avenger #8
PS Hayes   |  

Conan The Avenger #8 review
Conan The Avenger #8
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Brian Ching
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Letters by Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Cover art by John Picacio
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 26, 2014
Cover Price: $3.50

Conan The Avenger #8 is the second part in “The Damned Horde” storyline that was started last issue. Conan and a VERY mixed up army set out to rescue the sister of one of their own, who’s being held prisoner by a weirdly SOUTHERN villain. I wasn’t aware that Cimmeria had a Mason-Dixon line.

Writer Fred Van Lente delivers another solid issue of Conan. There’s a lot going on this issue, and if you haven’t read part one of this story, I suggest you do so before picking up this issue. First, because it’s awesome; and second, just so you’re up to speed on Conan and his mission, allies, enemies, and victims. This… is the fun part of the story. Where all the action is, where the plan is set into motion. Also, we get to find out a little bit more about the “bad guy” behind all this, as well as the “damsel in distress” that was introduced last issue. There’s some great classic Conan characterization in this issue. Van Lente proves that Conan is many things besides a barbarian. In fact, he’s a LOT more: strategist, leader, motivator, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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TV Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine 2.11 “Stakeout”
Olympus Athens   |  

Brooklyn Nine-NineCastLogo

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Season 2 Episode 11: “Stakeout”
Created by Daniel J Goor and Michael Schur
Starring Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller, and Terry Crews.
Air Date: Sunday, December 14, 2014, 8:30pm

Warning! Some spoilers if you are not up to date!

Fresh off the success of the “Giggle Pig” takedown, Captain Holt (Andre Braugher), Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz), and Jake (Andy Samberg) are awarded medals of honor, from Holt’s nemesis Madeline (Kyra Sedgewick), much to Holt’s actual unhidden-for-once glee. The task force is officially over and it’s time for the next big case.

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Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings
Adam Frazier   |  

Christian Bale as Moses in Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: Steven Zaillian
Cast: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley
20th Century Fox
Rated PG-13 | 150 Minutes
Release Date: December 12, 2014

Directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven), White Egypt stars Christian Bale as Charlton Heston and Joel Edgarton as Yul Brynner. An interpretation of the Book of Exodus, Scott’s Old Testament epic features historically accurate portrayals of Israelites and Egyptians who, as we all know, were white people.

The story begins in 1300 B.C.E, where Heston prepares to attack the Hittite army with Brynner. It is here that Brynner’s father, the great Pharaoh of Brooklyn (Seti I, played by John Turturro) tells the two men of a prophecy in which one will save the other’s life and become a great leader. During the battle, Heston saves Brynner’s life, leaving both men questioning their place in White Egypt.

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Disney In Depth: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Blu-ray Review
Brett Nachman   |  

Disney In Depth banner

Guardians of the Galaxy
2-Disc Blu-ray 3D l DVD l Instant
Directed by James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Bradley Cooper
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: Dec. 9, 2014

The United States’ highest-grossing film of 2014 left moviegoers choosing some new figures to dress up as for Halloween. Peculiar and personable, the stars of Guardians of the Galaxy propose a new age of superheroes. Iron Man and crew are not the only saviors in this or any region. The multifarious beings that lead the pack in Marvel’s summer smash steer their way to a generally satisfying home release.

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Comic Review: Magnus: Robot Fighter #8
PS Hayes   |  

Magnus: Robot Fighter #8 review
Magnus: Robot Fighter #8
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Cory Smith & Felipe Cunha
Colors by Mauricio Wallace
Letters by Marshall Dillion
Covers by Gabriel Hardman and Cory Smith
Magnus Logo Design by Rian Hughes
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 19, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Magnus: Robot Fighter #8 is a pretty important issue. Now, I do have a confession to make: I haven’t been following the title for a few months, so I was skeptical as to the level of enjoyment that I would get out of this issue. Would I be able to jump right back into the title and not be lost? Would I still care? The answer to both those questions, is a great big YES!

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Book Review: Lock In
Olympus Athens   |  

Lock In reviewLock In
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
Written by John Scalzi
Tor Books
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Cover Price: $24.99

In the near future, a flu-like virus wreaks havoc across the Earth and kills 400 million people. Some got the flu and recovered. The rest experienced “lock in,” trapped inside paralyzed mute bodies, completely aware of their surroundings with full brain activity (at least the thinking part).

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Comic Review: Elric, Vol. 1: The Ruby Throne
Maximus Prime   |  

Elric Vol 1: The Ruby Throne review
Elric Vol. 1: The Ruby Throne
Written by Julien Blondel
Illustrated by Didier Poli and Robin Recht
Colored by Jean Bastide
Lettered by Gabriela Houston
Titan Comics
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Cover Price: $12.99

As a fantasy enthusiast, I’ve always had a certain curiosity about Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone stories, though I’ve never given them the time they deserve. With Titan Comic’s new graphic novel adaptation, Elric: The Ruby Throne, written by Julien Blondel, I thought it a perfect opportunity to finally delve into the world of the albino emperor; and I am not disappointed.

When Elric of Melnibone hesitantly sets out with his army to vanquish would-be intruders of his realm, he is betrayed in shocking fashion. Will he survive the venture, and if so, what will the deceit and prejudices against him for Elric to become?

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