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Book Review: He-Man and She-Ra: A Complete Guide To The Classic Animated Adventures
Waerloga69   |  @   |  

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He-Man and She-Ra: A Complete Guide To The Classic Animated Adventures
Hardcover
Written by James Eatock
Foreword by Robert Lamb
She-Ra content co-written by Alex Hawkey
Dark Horse Books
Release Date: August 24, 2016
Cover Price: $39.99

I was never a huge He-Man or She-Ra fan, folks. I was actually a teenager when the cartoons were coming out. I was quite familiar with the Mattel toys, though. My youngest brother, Michael, possessed any number of the action figures and accessories prior to the airing of the cartoons. So while some folks are consumed with nostalgia for this franchise, I am not one of them. I do, however, acknowledge the impact it had on fans. That and Castle Grayskull was kind of badass.

But anyway, we are here to discuss He-Man and She-Ra: A Complete Guide to the Classic Animated Adventures so keep on reading for the skinny on this amazing book!

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Comic Review: Kingsway West #1
Waerloga69   |  @   |  

Kingsway West #1 header

Kingsway West #1
Written by Greg Pak
Art by Mirko Colak
Colors by Wil Quintana
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover by Mirko Colak and Wil Quintana
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 24, 2016
Cover Price: $3.99

I’m a long time fan of westerns. I grew up watching The Lone Ranger, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, and the like. The concept of man living so close to nature and constantly at odds with both his environment and other humans appealed to me for some reason. Later, my attention turned to fantasy novels and role-playing games but the love of a good story set in the Old West was always there. So when someone comes along and mixes the two, I’m always down for a good a read. Kingsway West #1 is most definitely trying its best to find a place in my heart.

Read on and I’ll tell you why!

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Blu-ray Review: Psycho IV: The Beginning
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Psycho IV: The Beginning Blu-Ray Review

Psycho IV: The Beginning
Director: Mick Garris
Screenwriter: Joseph Stefano
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Henry Thomas, Olivia Hussey, CCH Pounder
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 96 Minutes
Release Date: August 23, 2016

Considered one of the first entries in the slasher film genre, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho introduced audiences to Norman Bates, the disturbed proprietor of the Bates Motel. Played by Anthony Perkins, Norman suffers from dissociative identity disorder, assuming his mother’s personality to escape the guilt he feels for murdering her. Whenever Norman feels attracted to another woman, “Mother” flies into a psychotic rage and kills her. The 1960 film has become one of the most recognizable and influential movies ever; the shower scene, in which Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane is stabbed to death, is the most iconic death captured on celluloid.

While Hitchcock’s original is an unforgettable part of cinematic history, the film’s sequels are rarely talked about with the same esteem.

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Blu-ray Review: Ash vs Evil Dead – The Complete First Season
Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  

Ash vs Evil Dead Blu-ray Header

Ash vs Evil Dead – The Complete First Season
Blu-ray | DVD
Directors: Sam Raimi, Michael J. Bassett, David Frazee, John Scott, Ivan Raimi, Rick Jacobson, Tony Tilse
Writers: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Tom Spezialy, Dominic Dierkes, Sean Clements, James Eagan, Zoe Green, Michael Hurst, Craig DiGregorio, Rob Wright
Starring Bruce Campbell, Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, Lucy Lawless, Jill Marie Jones, Kelson Henderson, Ben Fransham, Peter Feeney
Created by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Tom Spezialy
Starz | Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: August 23rd, 2016

More than 30 years after Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, and Rob Tapert created The Evil Dead, the trio came back to work on Ash vs Evil Dead for the Starz network. The series debuted late last year after premiering at New York Comic-Con. Fresh off their appearance at SDCC, and with a little more than a month till its season 2 premiere, the first season is being released on Blu-ray this week. Season 1 saw Ash Williams (Campbell) accidentally conjure the Evil Dead again after reading from the Necronomicon while getting high with a young fluzy. Soon demons and deadites are everywhere and Ash is left to grab his boomstick and rev up the ole chainsaw hand. Joining him in his quest to vanquish evil are his former co-workers and sidekicks Pablo (Ray Santiago), and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). Together the trio was forced to deal with the evils of the book as well as a rogue FBI agent (Jill Marie Jones) and a strange woman with connections to Ash’s past (Lucy Lawless).

More below.

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Book Review: Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny
Empress Eve   |  @   |  

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Jack of Shadows
Rediscovered Classics Series
Paperback | Kindle
By Roger Zelazny
Foreword by Joe Haldeman
Chicago Review Press
Release date: May 1, 2016

Originally published in 1971, Roger Zelazny‘s long out-of-print sci-fi/fantasy novel Jack of Shadows is a hidden gem amongst the author’s works. Chicago Review Press has exhumed the novel from its publishing grave for its Rediscovered Classics Series, adding to it a Foreword by Joe Haldeman (The Forever War) and a redesigned cover that more accurately depicts the world described within.

Zelazny, who passed away in 1995, is best known for his 10-book The Chronicles of Amber saga, and thanks to the movie Argo, his novel Lord Of Light has gotten more attention in recent years. But Jack of Shadows stands out not only for its intriguing tale, but for the fact that the author wrote the story in only one draft, and it’s a good one.

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Book Review: Ghostly Echoes: A Jackaby Novel by William Ritter
Olympus Athens   |  @   |  

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Ghostly Echoes: A Jackaby Novel
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by William Ritter
Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: August 23rd, 2016

Abigail Rook and R.F. Jackaby are on the supernatural case once again, and this third turn brings back some of the past. It seems as if the two of them have 9 lives, especially so in this book. Ms. Rook and resident ghost Jenny Cavanagh have been attempting possession behind Jackaby’s back. A new murder that is eerily similar to the way Jenny herself died, makes them anxious to solve that cold case, before there are any more warm ones. William Ritter‘s Ghostly Echoes: A Jackaby Novel is the strongest one yet.

More below.

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TV Review: Mr. Robot 2.7 “eps2.5h4ndshake.sme”
Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  

Mr. Robot 207 Header

Mr. Robot
Season 2 Episode 7 “eps2.5h4ndshake.sme”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Sam Esmail
Created by Sam Esmail
Starring Rami Malek, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Christian Slater, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, Grace Gummer
USA Network
Air date: Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 10pm

Last week we watched as Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) toyed with Elliot’s mind, making him think his life was unraveling like a cheesy 80s sitcom. The real story was not as fun. Elliot (Rami Malek) was being held by Ray (Craig Robinson) and his goons. Ray created a secret website that offers guns, explosives, women, murder for hire, and basically any other twisted thing you can imagine, and Elliot saw it. Meanwhile Fsociety was trying to hack the FBI. Darlene (Carly Chaikin) enlisted Angela (Portia Doubleday) to put the hack in motion, but that brought Angela face to face with Agent DiPierro (Grace Gummer) who was fresh off her return from China, where The Dark Army (a group of cyber terrorists) murdered several FBI agents. In order for Elliot to get back in the game, it appears he will have to work with Mr. Robot.

Spoilers for this week’s Mr. Robot.

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TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead 2.8 “Grotesque”
Empress Eve   |  @   |  

Fear The Walking Dead 2.8 Nick

Fear the Walking Dead
Season 2 Episode 8 “Grotesque” (mid-season 2 premiere)
Directed by Dan Sackheim
Written by Kate Barnow
Starring Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lorenzo James Henrie, Mercedes Mason, Danay Garcia
AMC
Air Date: Sunday, August 21, 2016, 9pm

Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead…

Fear the Walking Dead, a prequel to AMC’s popular series The Walking Dead, centers on a group of Los Angeles-area survivors of a zombie apocalypse. The second season returned this Sunday with the mid-season premiere, 2.8 “Grotesque.” As this show tends to do, it starts out quite slow, too slow for a premiere, and focuses on one returning character, Nick, even though we’ve been waiting since May to find out what happened to all the people in the main group.

Here’s some catch-up information before we get to the recap of Episode 2.8: The short 6-episode first season introduced us to Madison and her two children, Nick and Alicia, and her boyfriend Travis and his son Chris, who joined up with other survivors to escape Los Angeles. The far superior and extended second season, which will run 15 episodes, premiered in April and saw the group with Victor Strand on his yacht after they are forced to evacuate the city. After several scuffles with some nefarious characters and a failed plan to settle in San Diego (there is no more San Diego!), they arrive in Mexico at a compound run by Celia, the son of Strand’s boyfriend Thomas, who has been bitten and is dying. Turns out, Celia is running some kind of cult of the dead there, thinking that the undead are still people, and Nick is taken in by this belief. Chris, meanwhile, is having some kind of nervous breakdown, and wants his father to let him go — but of course, Travis won’t give up on his son. Madison, on the other hand, is forced to let her son Nick go when he chooses not to follow his mom and sister after the compound is set ablaze and the remaining survivors scatter.

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Movie Review: ‘Ben-Hur’
eelyajekiM   |  @   |  

Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Screenwriter: Keith Clarke and John Ridley
Cast: Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Haluk Bilginer, Rodrigo Santoro.
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 123 minutes
Release Date: August 19, 2016

Since studios are big on remakes that use expensive CGI to achieve looks or stunts that couldn’t have otherwise been achieved when the film was first released, it only made sense that we get a remake for Ben-Hur. But just because it sounds good on paper doesn’t exactly mean that it should be made. Then again, if done well, it could avoid being a complete disaster.

And so that is where the new Ben-Hur from director Timur Bekmambetov finds itself. The film starring Jack Huston as the title character finds itself following other contemporary remakes that just don’t quite measure up to the originals despite their well-intentions to update the age-old story for a modern audience.

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Book Review: Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure
Olympus Athens   |  @   |  

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Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure
Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Ryan North
Riverhead Books
Release Date: June 7th, 2016

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…

What if Juliet accepted her mother’s choice and married Paris instead of Romeo? What if Romeo waited just a few extra minutes before drinking the poison? What if the Capulets and Montagues found a way to forgive each other before the tragic deaths of their offspring? This story has been adapted, retold, reimagined, and regurgitated in so many ways. There’s a reason Romeo and Juliet is one of the most (if not THE most) famous Shakespeare play of all time. As we read and watch, one keeps hoping the outcome will be different, less tragic… and it never is. But what if it could be? That is the gift Ryan North gives in Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure.

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