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Comic Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Volume 1: High School Is Hell
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Buffy The Vampire Slayer #1 header

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Volume 1: High School Is Hell
Created by Joss Whedon
Written by Jordie Bellaire
Art by Dan Mora
Colors by Raul Angula
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Cover by Matthew Taylor
BOOM! Studios
Release Date: May 22, 2019
Cover Price: $14.99

The words “reimagine,” “reboot,” and any other iteration of starting something anew when it comes to fandom have never particularly appealed to me. In fact, if I’ve read or seen the original, I typically avoid the updated version. However, there are some exceptions.

When it comes to Buffy the Vampire Slayer – my favorite television series – I can’t help but find excitement in anything new related to the franchise. If I’m being completely honest, though, when I’d heard that BOOM! Studios would be reimagining the beloved characters that I grew up with for a modern world, I had some serious reservations. Nonetheless, writer Jordie Bellaire and illustrator Dan Mora set out to slay those worries and doubts, and despite my concerns, I now believe that into this generation, they are the chosen ones.

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Movie Review: Aladdin
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Aladdin

Aladdin
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie, John August
Cast: Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Alan Tudyk, Billy Magnussen
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
Rated PG | Runtime: 128 Minutes
Release Date: May 24, 2019

There is absolutely no room for error when it comes to adapting a Disney animated classic into a live-action film. The studio has recently found some modest critical and commercial success with some of their titles. But the one common thread that each of them shares is that all of them are a part of a legacy and each has a large existing fanbase. So the bar of expectation for a live-action take on Aladdin is pretty high. Especially when it comes to capturing the same spirit of the story, themes, and music. But most of all, the characters, like Aladdin, Jasmine, and the unforgettable Genie.

Luckily, Guy Ritchie‘s take on the film is something that stays true to the spirit of the animated original while still maintaining his style of filmmaking. A huge surprise at best, the film captures everything that we love about the animated original through its cast, especially with Will Smith‘s Genie and Naomi Scott‘s scene-stealing performance as Princess Jasmine. With some slight updates to the story and songs, along with a brand new song from Alan Menken, this version of Aladdin is an upbeat and fun contemporary take on the 1992 original.

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Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Ghosts Of Saltmarsh
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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Ghosts of Saltmarsh header

Dungeons & Dragons: Ghosts Of Saltmarsh
Hardcover
D&D Accessory
Wizards Of The Coast
Release Date: May 21, 2019

It was just yesterday that I was making pirate jokes and telling my wife she needed to get an eyepatch (full disclosure, she had allergy issues). But today I am all about the seafaring adventures detailed within Ghosts of Saltmarsh, sans pirate jokes. In fact, this compilation holds the keys to almost endless possibilities.

When we talk about Dungeons & Dragons we seldom think of anything on the high seas, but the modules have long been available for play. Dungeon Masters the world over have delighted in sending player characters to their doom, er, I mean on adventures.

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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Dooku: Jedi Lost By Cavan Scott
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FunWithDeadTrees   |  @   |  
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Star Wars: Dooku, Jedi Lost by Cavan Scott

Star Wars: Dooku: Jedi Lost
Audiobook
Written by Cavan Scott
Full cast audiobook narration (6 hours and 21 minutes)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release date: April 30, 2019

Before he was the Count of Serenno, the leader of the Separatist Army and became known as Darth Tyranus, Dooku was a Padawan to Jedi Master Yoda and best friend to Sifo-Dyas. He also served as a teacher to a young Qui-Gon Jinn before leaving the Jedi Order entirely. This is the Dooku that assassin Asajj Ventress is interested in learning more about and how the story in Star Wars: Dooku: Jedi Lost sets down its roots.

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Book Review: Marvel Studios: Avengers: Endgame – The Official Movie Special
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Avengers: Endgame Official Movie Special book review

Marvel Studios: Avengers: Endgame – The Official Movie Special
Hardcover
Edited by Jonathan Wilkins
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release date: April 30, 2019

What else can be said about the Marvel Cinematic Universe that hasn’t already? 11 years, 22 films, one universe. The most comprehensive and sprawling movie saga ever attempted has proved a critical and financial success and changed the film industry forever. At the very least it’s made us all sick of the word “universe” when discussing movies. Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame is mowing does box office records quicker than its heroes dispose of supervillains and it may soon become the most lucrative film of all time. If you’ve been in a hole and haven’t seen it, or like me you’ve seen it multiple times, a perfect companion piece just came your way in Titan Publishing’s Avengers: Endgame: The Official Movie Special available now in hardback. This behind the scenes look is perfect for MCU fans in your life.

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Book Review: William Shakespeare’s Get Thee Back To The Future!
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Get Thee Back to the Future! book review

William Shakespeare’s Get Thee Back to the Future!
Pop Shakespeare Series (Book 2)
Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
Written by Ian Doescher
Illustrations by Kent Barton
Inspired by the work of Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and William Shakespeare
Quirk Books
Release Date: April 23, 2019

We all know the story. An earnest teen, who just wants a new truck to take out his girl, his dad to stand up to his boss, and to rock out at a show, gets caught up in his wacky scientist friend’s scheme to steal some plutonium so he can time travel. Things go awry when said teen (Marty) gets sent back in time instead and lands in all sorts of hot water. His mom has a crush on him, he has to train his dad to stand up for himself, and the town bully (boss in the future) is on his case. He also accidentally almost erases himself from existence. With the help of the “Doc” from the past, Marty must right the wrongs and get Back to the Future! But what happens when you put the most famous writer of all time’s stamp on it?

A delightful mix of ’80s fun and loquacious language. Check out more on William Shakespeare’s Get Thee Back to the Future! by Ian Doescher here below.

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Movie Review: A Dog’s Journey
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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A Dog's Journey

A Dog’s Journey
Director: Gail Mancuso
Writer: W. Bruce Cameron, Audrey Wells, Wallace Wolodarsky, Cathryn Michon, Maya Forbes
Cast: Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Kathryn Prescott, Henry Lau
Distributor: Universal Studios
Rated PG | Minutes: 108
Release Date: May 17, 2019

Going into a film like A Dog’s Journey, you can expect to be a little bit overcome with emotion and sentimentality. It’s going to be the kind of thing that plays well with dog owners as it speaks to the nature of how much they care for their beloved companions. A love letter to dog owners at best, its strength lies in presenting that care and love on screen. With the help of obvious manipulation and engineered emotional triggers, this sequel to 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose uses these canines to hit all the sweet spots that will have anyone, even the cynics, shed some tears.

Just don’t expect to share that some love or concern for some of its one-dimensional characters. Check out my full review below.

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Comic Review: Bone Parish: Volume 1
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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Bone Parish: Volume 1 header

Bone Parish: Volume 1
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Jonas Scharf
Colors by Alex Guimarães
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Cover by Lee Garbett
Boom! Studios
Release Date: May 1, 2019
Cover Price: $14.99

We all know that drugs can kill. But what if they were made from the dead? Because that is straight up what Bone Parish: Volume 1 is about from the get go.

Suppose you could live as a celebrity, experiencing the feelings they felt, all for the low, low price of your moral compass. But there are far worse things than simply robbing the dead of their bones to make drugs. In fact, those far worse things have just started to take notice.

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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston
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FunWithDeadTrees   |  @   |  
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Star Wars: Queen's Shadow by E.K. Johnston

Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by E.K. Johnston
Audiobook narrated by Catherine Taber (Publisher: Listening Library)
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
Release date: March 5, 2019

I am neither a lover nor a hater of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. I saw each of the three movies in theaters as they were released and I even own a copy of each on DVD. However, I don’t really watch them regularly and I’m not very familiar with related content, such as The Clone Wars animated series. I don’t identify with them as I do the Original Trilogy or, for that matter, the Sequel Trilogy or the Star Wars Story films. They’re just kinda, well, there.

Suffice it to say, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to reading Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow, a book revolving around Padme Amidala set in the midst of the Prequel Trilogy. (I feel like I used these exact same words to describe how I wasn’t initially excited about that Hondo Ohnaka book.)

Then I started getting into it. (This line sounds familiar, too.)

...continue reading »
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Book Review: William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls (Pop Shakespeare Book 1)
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Much Ado About Mean Girls book review

William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls
Pop Shakespeare Series (Book 1)
Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
Written by Ian Doescher
Illustrations by Kent Barton
Inspired by the work of Tina Fey and William Shakespeare
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: April 23, 2019

The William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series of books has been a big hit for Quirk Books, where writer Ian Doescher adapted the highly popular installments of the Star Wars saga into the style of a Shakespearean play. If only high school English requirements could be this fun!

Therefore, it’s not surprising that the publisher is now branching out with a new Pop Shakespeare series that will tackle other popular films in the same manner. And what better way to launch this spin-off series than with a story that takes place in high school?

For William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls, the author playfully gives Tina Fey’s 2004 big-screen teen comedy Mean Girls the Shakespearean treatment, where, sadly, “fetch” still hasn’t caught on. But when it comes to Doescher’s ability to cleverly and faithfully convert our favorite movies into Shakespearean masterpieces, the limit doth not exist.

...continue reading »
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