Archive for April, 2013

[Film Review] Evil Dead (2013)

Posted in Film Review with tags , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2013 by Casey Hutton
Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures.

So…I went into the theater to see the new ‘remake’ of Evil Dead. A movie directed by Fede Alvarez (who also had a part in writing the screenplay) and starring the likes of Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, amongst others.

The official blurp reads: “Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.”

I’m not going to lie. I walked into that theater more than just a little biased. Like so many others (Texas Chainsaw MassacreHalloween, etc.) I was actually expecting to be disappointed.

Although this Evil Dead was NOT Evil Dead, it was still a great horror movie. So if you haven’t seen it yet…then do not expect another rendition of Sam Raimi’s genius. Although still some cheese (which I will discuss later in the post) it is predominantly a kick-in-the-gut horror flick. Just the right amount of oomph combined with blood and gore. Could it have been a little more frightening? Yes. But to be honest, going into a movie named after one many of us (including myself) have watched a hundred times, it’s no easy task to top it.

The team behind the movie’s production did their best to create something new, yet still pay some homage to its predecessors. Small tidbits like the rusted out car behind the cabin, the swing, the vine-rape scene and others. It’s all there. My problem with this tactic is simple. It became a little old after a while. There was not one, but two hand/arm removing scenes, for instance. One with an electric carving knife (which I thought was genius…Easter ham anyone?) and the other via vehicle. But again, it looses it’s panache after the first few references and then moves on into actually hindering the movie from becoming something more.

There are also scenes that top that of films past. The tongue-forking scene was skin crawling. As was the bathroom face assault.

Despite the movies ups and downs, there is no mistake in how good it is. When I left the theater I had a little pep in my step, and although my personal experience was cut short (the theater crew were shooing people out before the credits stopped rolling), I managed to dig up the final credits scene to sate my Bruce Campbell infatuation. Although, I feel that the scene originally hinted at (which might make it to the deleted scenes upon its home video release) would have been great, I loved all 5 seconds!

This is a must see, if not at theaters than at least a renter if you don’t prefer to add it to your home video collection. Although no Evil Dead, it’s a great possession-turned slaughter flick and worth every penny.

[Film Review] This Must Be the Place (2011)

Posted in Film Review with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2013 by Casey Hutton
Photo Courtesy of Element Pictures.

Photo Courtesy of Element Pictures.

This Must Be the Place, distributed by Element Pictures, directed by Paolo Sorrentino and starring Sean Penn is…well…interesting and better than I expected. But, to be honest…I didn’t know what to expect. I had watched the trailer several times at work.

Originally debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, it was released here in the United States in late 2012. The cover of the DVD/BR release is what originally caught my eye. Then, the promo loops hammered it home. However, still unsure, I was not willing to plop down the $14.99 to find out. However, thanks to Netflix (which now provides the title as part of their streaming service), This Must Be the Place will be part of my collection after all.

The blurp at IDBM reads: “Cheyenne, a retired rock star living off his royalties in Dublin, returns to New York City to find the man responsible for a humiliation suffered by his recently deceased father during WWII.”

This, however, doesn’t do the film justice, hence my hesitation at first. Penn does an amazing job here. Deadpan and almost child-like…it’s about a man making amends with a estranged father (post death), the places he sees and the people he meets along the way. The creative team behind the title paint a visual like one I haven’t seen in some time. The casting is simply amazing as everyone involved adds their own flare to the film.

This Must Be the Place is, in my opinion, a breath of fresh air. Many may not like it. I, however, think I can come to watch it several times without growing tired of it.

Two scenes in this movie stand out to me, and all but scream greatness:

1. The scene involving the big-boned child, a single mother and Penn’s character, Cheyenne. The child asks Penn to play This Must Be the Place by Arcade Fire. The exchange of dialogue and the resulting outcome is…well…beautiful.

2. The scene in the gun shop and the discussion involving killing with impunity.

Please, take time out of your day and watch this film. Keep an open mind and chances are, if you were even close to the same mindset I was when the time came to be stunned…you won’t regret it one bit.

[Comic Review] Week of 2013/04/03 Highlights

Posted in Comic Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2013 by Casey Hutton

This week seemed to be a fairly heavy week as far as some titles went. Personally, I know my pull list had a little extra oomph than it normally does, and overall, most titles read well.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

As always, Age of Ultron has continued to be strong with issue #4 hitting shelves. Things seem to keep getting thicker as each issue comes along. This time around, Bendis’ one-liners give the title a little something extra, as does his writing style in general. There were a couple “deaths” worth mentioning: [SPOILER] She-Hulk dies while giving Cage a chance to see what all the hubbub is about in Ultron’s ship. The end result is Cage barely making his way to a safe-haven in the Savage Lands to share what intel he gathered and then he too passes on. With all the ‘clumps’ of heroes coming together, it looks like the only way forward lies in the future…literally! If this 10-issue run can keep this up, each release is going to be a power-house on the shelves. And with the big G-Man (Gaiman) on board for Marvel’s final issue…well…let’s just say I’m excited as all get-out. Although what I’ve read is that the UA scenario is going to end in a ‘Marvel NOW’ 2.0-ish revamp, I’m looking toward seeing what all comes about.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Next on the list is, of course, The Superior Spider-Man #7. This series has read great so far. Although I haven’t written much concerning it lately (only covering Issue #2) it still remains strong. I was worried when Ryan Stegman left the art on the title, but the creative team that followed has lended their talent to the series and haven’t come up short once. Dan Slott has kept things interesting with the Octavius vs Peter Parker complication (almost in Ghost-like fashion). Each issue has Parker’s personality/memories growing stronger and his ‘voice’ being ‘heard’. Although curious to see how it all plays out, I have a feeling Parker is going to win out.

There has been much going on in previous issues as well. If you haven’t kept up (like I hadn’t…time was not on my side with my class schedule and personal life) I recommend doing so. I dig the dark and brooding mentality Octavious has brought to the character. With several characters, such as [SPOILER] the Vulture, Jester and Screwball amongst others getting severally beaten and Massacre’s life being brought to an and at the hands of Spider-Man is an interesting twist. Although I’m sure some long-time Spidey fans might disagree, I feel that this adds to the progression of the character. And, now that several parties involved are starting to see this change in the Superhero…well…it’s going to get interesting, especially with this issue lining things up for an Avengers intervention.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

This week, Marvel keeps rolling out solid titles with the first issue of Thanos Rising.  I haven’t read much on previews for this story, so I hadn’t known what to expect when I picked it up. All that I know is, the end result was me being quite entertained as learning a little about the characters past…specifically his childhood. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about a being such as Thanos as a result of childhood ostracism and bullying…but hey…it’s the guilt pleasure of the week. Im looking forward to the next issue, and if anyone even has a remote urge to check the title out, I highly recommend it.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

This brings us to All-New X-Men #10. This series has yet to run out of steam, and for being a bi-weekly release, that is saying quite a bit. The story keeps it fresh and engaging and this issue isn’t any different. This issue sees the induction of Mastermind’s daughter into the ranks of Mystique’s clique, whose ambitions are still rather vague other than whatever it is, is going to cost a fortune to pull off. Cyclops pays a visit to the School in an attempt to explain his side of things and even offering a hand towards those who wish to join him. I felt like this added considerably to the story, especially once you throw in a young Summers being torn as to what to do…having the character with a past mentality see what has happened and end up still straddling the fence as to what path to take…it’s great! And, throw in a climax that had me guessing and anxious for issue #11 to arrive…well…you just have to read it to find out, but I know I was like “WHO?!?” once I set eyes on the last panel!

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics.

Lastly this week, DC made my list of titles with The Flash #18. With the Gorilla Warfare story arc at an end, it’s curious to see in which direction the creative team will take things. This issue felt a little off in terms of direction. Keep in mind this wasn’t a bad thing, although I was left scratching my head.

With things returning to ‘normal’ after everything that has developed was a nice change of pace. Now, however, the Flash is left to deal with a newly introduced duo who have gotten a small taste of powers as a result of previous happenings. That seemed to be the focus, and although slightly humorous encounters ensued…I felt a little overwhelmed with how this new factor was introduced to both myself (as the reader) and to Flash (in terms of no real plot exposure).

[Comic Review] Week of 2013/03/27 Highlights

Posted in Comic Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2013 by Casey Hutton
Photo Courtesy of IDW Publishing.

Photo Courtesy of IDW Publishing.

I have to say that I’ve been happy with IDW Publishing’s Judge Dredd title. I’ve been a fan of the character since I was a child and subscribed to 2000 A.D. Although lacking the British magazine’s variousness, the fact that this focuses on Dredd and the world in which he lives is what keeps it on my pull list.

With the addition of this weeks Judge Dredd#5, the creative team behind the title continues with their robot revolution story that we’ve seen take a slight hiatus with the clone and Judge Tarjay stories.

In this issue, Judge Dredd must respond to a Droid that turned on its owner, a teenage sensation that films his adventures into the seedier side of Mega-City One and releases them for public consumption.

The biggest difference in IDW’s version compared to others is that it’s not the raw styling that I’ve grown up with. It’s not bad, by any means…it just takes me a minute or two to adjust each issue as I’ve been used to previous artists interpretations. I do, however, appreciate the direction the team has taken Dredd into.

Photo courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Photo courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Marvel seems to be turning themselves around a bit with their whole NOW platform. Some series, like the All-New X-Men and Superior Spider-Man have been solid since day one. When I heard they were going to be putting out an Age of Ultron, I will admit, I was a little skeptical. When the second issue was release, I was advised I needed to check the series out. After a twist of the arm (no, not really…I am an easy sell, after all) I caved and picked up the first issue. I was amazed. The art is great and the writing even better. Bendis and crew are superb at what they do and their packaging is tight. When I went back the next day, issue #2 was waiting in my pull box. When This week’s #3 came out, I was down-right giddy.

In this issue, Captain America’s big plan starts to unfold and as it turns out, a deal is going to be had…or at least, on the surface. I have to say both the route taken here, the characters involved (and I must say that even though I am not always a huge fan of all of Marvel’s superheroes here everyone gets a bit of the action). The climax is also a resounding “Huh” moment, and has me waiting to see what is going to happen next! And I have to say that I’m more than a little curious to see how they manage several ‘tie-ins’ that are on their way (Superior Spider-Man and Fantastic Four being released this week as well).

Photo courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Photo courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has been one of those titles I’ve been waiting for every since I read it was coming to store shelves. Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 was a decent enough prelude to the title and I have to say that I was impressed. With Guardians of the Galaxy #1…I’m left slightly scratching my head. In a ploy, Peter Quill’s father managed a little ‘reverse psychology’ on his son, and for whatever reason and to what unknown end…managed to get Peter to be at the right place at the right time as earth was going to be attacked.

The artwork here is great. Although not a shiny as some of the others that have come out this week, this one does manage to hold its own. The writing, for what it is, is decent enough. My only complaint here is that not much ground is covered in the limited page number alotted. Unfortunately, Iron Man/Tony Stark makes an appearance and from the looks of things will be around for a while. Not that I don’t like the character, but I do often times get tired of the same handful of heroes popping up throughout Marvel’s line.

This series is worth checking out, as it’s still in its early numbers who knows which direction the creative time is going to take it. I just hope that issue #2 will have a bit more to sink my teeth into.

P.S. Rocket Raccoon Enough said.

Photo courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

Photo courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

I cannot say enough concerning Dark Horse’s The Black Beetle series. Every issue is amazing and enjoyable. When I first saw Francesco Francavilla’s work, I adored it. Seeing it here, even more so. I’m a sucker for noir-style pieces and this simply screams pulp. The overall feel of it is enough to make me want more.

In this story, we find the Black Beetle continuing his search for the mystery nemesis from the previous issue. Stumbling across one another’s paths once more, we find the Black Beetle on a little bit of the receiving end the unknown character’s whim. Making some progress, the ending of the issue is in preparation depicts the Black Beetle all dressed up and heading into a club club.

The artwork is phenomenal. I dig the styling and the choice of color palette. The story is engrossing. Overall, I will most likely say this is the best release of the week and worth checking out.