The X-Women

Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: Uncanny X-Men #521 (April 2010)

I just read the newest issue of Uncanny X-Men and it was pretty good. For the past year the team has been living in San Francisco dealing with everything from racist skinheads to Norman Osbourne's Avengers. They recently raised Asteroid M from the Pacific Ocean and are currently residing there, declaring it a safe-haven for mutantkind. In the previous issue a pack of mutant eating Predator X's were unleashed on their new home. After dispatching those creatures with the help of the newly re-powered Magneto, The X-Men find out who sent the predators after them and head to New York to have a little chat with them. So Wolverine, Colossus, and Psylocke arrive in NY and are promptly engaged in battle with the bad guys, who actually are beating the X-Men pretty good until the mutant mercenary Fantomex shows up and starts wrecking s**t all over the place. He's like Snake Plissken, as he is a loner who likes messing up people. But it's a typical day for the X-Men in this issue. The art by Greg Land is stellar once again and the story by Matt Fraction has all the mutant geek babble and required heroics of any good X-Men story. No, what makes this issue note-worthy is the cliff-hanger on the final page that shows a mutant who has been missing from the scene for about two years now. Most people thought that this mutant would never return but they have and it will make for a super charged storyline. And no I'm not talking about Jean Grey. She's been killed and brought back so many times, it has become a running joke. So, I won't give away who the mutant is, but if you stopped reading the X-Men, now would be a good time to pick it up again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Review: The Hangover is hilarious

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Hilarious movie from the maker of Old School and Road Trip. The story is simple enough: two days before his wedding Doug and his three friends head for Las Vegas for a blow-out bachelor party. It's so awesome, they don't remember a thing next morning. Like Doug is missing; there is a tiger in the bathroom; a baby in the closet, a missing tooth, and more. The antics of the three guys as they try to re trace their steps and find out what happened the night before and oh find Doug so he can get married. It's been awhile since I laughed this hard during a movie. The situations these guys get into are non stop. They all are equally funny starting with Bradley Cooper, who I have never really liked in anything before this. He was obnoxious as hell as the fiance in Wedding Crashers. But here he is equally cool and funny as Phil, the married one. It's a perfect role for him and he nails it. Ed Helms is also very good as Stu, the one who loses his tooth and ends up marrying a stripper played by Heather Graham. And then there is Zach Galifianakis as Alan, the bearded one who is so weird it's funny when he just stares and doesn't say anything. About the only one who doesn't get to cut loose is Doug, the groom played by Justin Bartha. Maybe for the sequel he will get to do more. The Hangover is a surprise comedy that never gets too raunchy except for the end credits which kinda get a little graphic. But all in all, this movie is hilarious from start to finish. Plus it has a cameo by Mike Tyson who is actually tolerable for once. One of the surprises of the year.

Phil Wenneck: Tracy, it's Phil.
Tracy Garner: Phil, where the hell are you guys?
Phil Wenneck: Listen, we fucked up. We lost Doug.
Tracy Garner: What? We're getting married in *five hours*.
Phil Wenneck: Yeah... that's not gonna happen.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Human Target: One of the coolest new shows on TV

Thanks to some friends at work, I have been watching the supremely entertaining new series, The Human Target. The show, which airs on Fox on Wednesdays is a breath of fresh air amid all the reality shows, crime procedurals and medical series currently dominating the TV landscape. Mark Valley, fresh off of playing a twisty FBI agent in Fringe from last year, is perfect as Christopher Chance, a unique bodyguard/private detective who interferes with murder attempts by impersonating the intended victims to draw the killers' fire.While he is helping his clients, he is also trying to stay hidden from his former employers, who remain a mystery. But evidently they have a grudge against Chance and they can't wait to find him. Valley is supported by Chi McBride, who plays Winston, Chance's handler. And Jackie Earle Haley is on hand as Guerrero, a tech savvy specialist. The trio make a well oiled team. And Valley handles all the action scenes with a healthy dose of real he-man heroics. But he also manages to keep the show very light as things never get too serious or dark. Which is a good thing. There has also been an abundance of guest stars galore, in fact several from Fox's hit show back in the day, The X-Files. The Cigarette Smoking Man and Director Skinner have made memorable appearances so far. Also there is a fetching woman every episode that gets entangled with Chance. Nothing romantic but still entangled. The premiere episode featured Tricia Helfer (Number Six) of Battlestar Galactica fame. The Human Target is actually based on a DC comic book series created back in the early 70's. They even tried to launch this before as a Rick Springfield vehicle back in the 90's, which was just awful. But here, the series works because of the engaging cast and the wonderful mix of humor and action. A must see show that is devoid of heavy CG use and instead relies on good old fashioned stunt work. There have been 6 episodes so far and the series is on break until March 10th but you can catch the first episodes online to get up to speed. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Belated Happy Birthday To Renee O'Connor

Somehow I missed it being Renee O'Connor's birthday on yesterday. Thanks to Disneyprincess for posting a blog about it or it would have been days or weeks before I realized she had a birthday. I love Xena and I thought she made a great character of Gabbi. So here's a belated Happy Birthday to Renee who turned 39 on Monday February 15th. Here is a pic of her and Lucy Lawless having a good time singing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston
 (1969-present) Happy Birthday to the lovely Jennifer Aniston who was always my favorite "friend".  Star of such films as Office Space, Marley & Me, The Object Of My Affection, and of course the hit TV show Friends.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Banks

(1974-present) A lovely and pleasing actress of today's film. Her films include the Spider-Man films, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Role Models, and Sea biscuit. She also had a recurring role on the comedy TV series, Scrubs.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Review: Smallvile - Absolute Justice was absolute crap

The much hyped 2 hour Smallville event this past Friday night entitled Absolute Justice had me all jazzed to watch it. I really haven't watched Smallville ever since they unceremoniously dumped Kara aka Supergirl in Detroit a few years ago (with amnesia to boot) to get rid of the competition between Laura Vandervoort (Kara) and the other actresses Erica Durance (Lois Lane) and Allison Mack (Chloe). Well, that's the way I took it, I may be wrong. Don't get me started on that. Anyway, Smallville is in it's 9th season which is unbelievable in itself and Lex Luthor is long gone. His disappearance is still a mystery, his body was never found. So they bring in new villian Tess Mercer (one of the few bright spots on the show as played by Cassidy Freeman. Anwyay Green Arrow is still hanging around, don't know why and Clark is still not flying, which is ridiculous. I know the original mandate Smallville imposed on itself when it launched on the WB back in 2001 was NO FLIGHTS, NO TIGHTS. Which was fine for 5 or 6 years ago but Clark has exhibited all of Kal-El powers except for flight. The only time he has flowned it was when he was possessed by another Kryptonian or some other entity. I mean when Supergirl showed up, she was flying immediately. But I'm losing focus, I should be talking about Absolute Justice.  It did have a promising story as the villian called Icicle was knocking off former members of the super hero group, Justice Society. Chloe picks up on it and tells Clark he needs to find the other targeted heroes before it's too late. The heroes include Hawkman, Dr. Fate, and Stargirl. Plus Green Arrow and Martian Manhuter are on hand too. And they can't handle one little drip of a villian like Icicle. I kept waiting for Clark to show up and zap him with heat vision and say "Oh, ok what else do you guys need help with?" Come on, really. I just felt this event was padded to fill 2 hours when things could have been wrapped up in a single hour. I do like how they are trying to bring more of the DC universe into the show with Chloe running the Watchtower like Oracle does in the comics. And they introduced Amanda Waller, director of Checkmate, who runs her own little group called the Suicide Squad. She is effectively portrayed by Pam Grier. But the main thing with Smallville is now that the action is set in Metropolis and Clark and Lois have their back and forth banter, Clark still has not donned the famous red and blue suit. He is styling a long black leather coat and a shirt with a big S emblazoned on it. He really has taken hold of the concept that he is the greatest hero ever. It's time for him to step up and be the legend we all love and know. It's going on a decade now and we should be seeing more of the spectacle of Kal-El whizzing above Metropolis, doing his thing.What the hell are they waiting on. It they do that, Smallville could be come really good again. And play up the rivalry between Lois and Tess would be really good too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Review: Aliens - A sci-fi/action masterpiece

Terrific sequel that is the perfect follow-up to Ridley Scott's 1979 original Alien. This time James Cameron (The Terminator) takes over and creates one of the best films ever made. Set 57 years after the events of the first film, sole survivor Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver's best performance ever) is picked up floating adrift in space in suspended animation. She is taken back to Earth and has to explain what happened to her crew-mates and the very expensive ship that she blew up. Of course no one believes her story of an alien that killed her mates and almost got her too. And the planet where they picked up the creature is now populated by engineers and their families. But suddenly when all communication is lost, a team of US Colonial Marines are dispatched to investigate. Ripley reluctantly goes along as an advisor. The setup is perfect and soon the marines are under full assault by a planet full of aliens. There is only one survivor there on the planet, a little girl named Newt, who quickly bonds with Ripley. The action scenes are impressive, some of the best you will ever see. With a strong cast alongside Weaver that includes Michael Biehn as Corporal Hicks, Bill Paxton as the hilarious Hudson, Lance Henriksen as the android Bishop, Paul Reiser as slimy company man Drake, and of course Jenette Goldstein as Vasquez. Director James Cameron manages to top the original Alien with this well crafted story driven sci-fi action/horror film. One of my favorite films of all time.

Ripley: Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?
Ripley: These people are here to protect you. They're soldiers.
Newt: It won't make any difference

Great scene: They Live (1988)

 Probably one of the best fight scenes ever did on film. Classic back and forth fight between Roddy Piper and Keith David, and in which both guys hold their own with one another. Great stuff.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Review: Inglorious Basterds - not too glorious

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You've got to give Quentin Tarantino props for fulfilling every human being's utmost fantasy of killing Hitler. He delivers on certain things, but in his first film since the enjoyable Grindhouse film, Death Proof, Basterds is a little off. The good thing about Basterds is the casting choices. Brad Pitt is a hoot as Lt. Aldo Raines, leader of the group of Jewish-American soldiers, who are dropped into Germany occupied France to wreak some havoc on the Nazis. Pitt nails a wicked deep Southern drawl and gives juice to the film every time he is onscreen. Trouble is that Pitt is only onscreen for about 30 minutes of the film's 2 and half hour running time. Still he makes the most out of his limited screen time. Also quite good is Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa, who just oozes Naziness as the commander who loves his job a little too much. He treats it like a regular 9 to 5 job with benefits. And loves to hunt down Jewish escapees and thwart Allied missions with sinister regularity. I see Waltz winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar very easily. Newcomer Melanie Laurent is terrific as Shosanna, the young Jewish woman who escapes Nazi capture when her family is slaughtered. Her path will converge with Pitt's motley group at the film's climax. Diane Kruger is on hand as German movie star Bridget Von Hammersmark and gives her best film performance ever. She is very effective in her scenes where she must convince the Nazis of her loyalty to them. So the acting is not the problem here, it's the way Tarantino filmed this so close to being a very good film. Now I love good dialogue in a film, but here Quentin kinda rambles and rambles. Two people will have a conversation that goes on and on and on. And most of it is subtitled. Now usually I don't have a problem with subtitles, but since Quentin wasn't going for realistic accuracy...once you see the climax involving Hitler, you'll know what I'm talking about, it shouldn't have been a problem to switch to English. Hell, even Colonel Landa says at one point in the film that he would prefer to speak in English. Also, the music score Quentin chose to use here is just wrong. It doesn't fit at would be better suited in a spaghetti western. There is a nifty little scene in a German bar that turns into a bloodbath that is well executed and reminds you that Tarantino still can work it like no one else. And the climax just feels so wrong with so many unexpected deaths happening. Now I will watch Basterds again and maybe I will like it more, but right now, I'm just not feeling it. Talk of this being his best film ever is nonsense. There are spots in here that you will truly enjoy and then there are other scenes that will have you scratching your head. The guy playing Hitler was so over the top and cartoonish, you half expected his head to explode. And what the hell was horror director Eli Roth (Hostel) doing here. He plays the heavy hitting recruit dubbed The Jew Bear. And he does strike an intimidating presence taking out Nazis with a baseball bat, but every time he speaks, he sounds like your teen-age kid brother. Remember how Topher Grace sounded as Venom in Spider-Man 3? Well Roth is that bad. Don't quit your day job Eli. Anyway all Tarantino fans need to see this film at least once, but don't expect the very best. It's marginally entertaining in spurts. That's about all though.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Quote Of The Day

"A day without doing something stupid isn't worth getting out of bed for". Emma Frost (X-Men)