Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lee Falk’s The Phantom - 80th Anniversary Special

One of my all-time favorite characters.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Batman v Superman - A Popcorn for One review (with SPOILERS)

There will be some SPOILERS thrown in here so if you haven't seen the film be warned.  I'll not give everything away, but the trailers already showed us quite a bit.

First off, I was not one of those folks that hated MAN OF STEEL nor did I have a problem with Henry Cavill as Clark/Superman. It was a different take and a bit darker than some folks might want their Kal-El, but I was fine with it. Like some folks I wasn't crazy about the ending of the film and the death of General Zod, but I could except it.  If anything, it showed that DC and Zack Snyder were creating a different film universe. You could look at the Nolan Batman films and get a hint where things might go.  Hell, things certainly aren't rosy in any of the Marvel films, either.

I also was willing to give Ben Affleck as Batman a chance, since I didn't think the things wrong with DAREDEVIL were his fault entirely.  Since then he has proven himself as both actor and director. Yeah, I did have some issues with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, but looking back it was more the costume which seemed a Xena knock-off and not the outfit we are accustomed to in classic WW.  She did seem a bit small in the first shots we saw of her, but she looked much better in the trailers and the WW teasers.

Beginning the film with Bruce, his 'origin' and witnessing of the Superman/Zod battle, I thought was smart.  The first time you see him in costume with the police finding the sex trade victims was really creepy.  You can see why criminals would fear him.  That's the Batman you want to see.  I think Affleck whether in cowl & cape or in a business suit was fantastic.  This is an older and much more cynical Batman, he is certainly more brutal and apparently lethal. I can't wait to see the solo Batman film.

Gal Gadot won me over as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.  She is, of course, beautiful, but she also beings an air of mystery that we haven't seen in the character before.  You believe this woman has been around a very, long time and has witnessed incredible things.  Her one comment in the heat of battle about having fought 'alien creatures' before really does have me looking forward to her solo adventure as well.

Okay, I admit to being one of those that threw a lot of hatred at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor as he appeared in the teasers and trailers.  This certainly wasn't the Luthor we were expecting, even though I have never thought the big screen versions of Lex really captured the menace of the character at all.  Early on in the film however, it is revealed that this is not the Lex Luthor we thought, but his son.  The neurotic son of a domineering and brutal father certainly would have some issues, especially someone as intelligent as Eisenberg portrays him.  While physically he doesn't inspire fear, it becomes apparent that this is a much scarier Luthor than we have ever seen before.  Also, frightening is that he believes he is doing the 'right' thing no matter how brutal his methods may be.  He believes he will be the savior of mankind.

One of me small problems with the films were the portrayal of Lois Lane as the helpless woman in peril over and over again. I realize that plays into the importance of Lois in Clark's life, but the first time showed us that. The other times could have been written differently, especially the final time where there really wasn't a need to put Lois in danger as she was showing how brave she could be up to that point.

The second problem was the end, which seemed to be there simply to allow the use of Doomsday to be justified (no pun).  Yeah, the final shot we see indicates this isn't the last we'll see of one of the three leads, but there really wasn't a need for it.  And yes, I admit to actually feeling for the character at the end, but it was a bit of manipulation since comics fans know what is going to happen.

By the way, I think Jeremy Irons is fine as Alfred, a role that can be thankless, but here works perfectly.  It was cool seeing the three other Justice League members, even briefly. Loved the scene with The Flash and the short glimpse we see of the character who will become Cyborg is chilling to say the least.  Can't wait to see more of Aquaman as well.  I happen to like the look.

In the end, I'll give the film a solid 'B', and throw in a '+" for any scene with Affleck, This has me looking forward to the Wonder Woman movie as well as the up-coming DC films.  This surprises me, but also has me excited.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Have you read Squirrel Girl?


THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, VOL. 1 - I've heard nothing but good things of this book and the character, so when we received a copy of the TPB here at the Library I decided to take a chance. What a delight!

Ryan North and Erica Henderson do a wonderful job with Doreen Green, a young lady with the 'proportional strength and abilities of a squirrel'. Yep, you heard that right.  Heck, she even has her own theme song, which she made up and sings herself.  It does remind one of the old Spider-Man theme song, but that might just be a coincidence.  Heck, she is able to confront Kraven the Hunter, who seems to be fixated on another hero, until SG sets him straight.  And how many young super-heroes can claim to have fought Galactus on the Moon and actually convinced him to leave Earth alone for a while? Oh, did I mention that Squirrel Girl can also communicate with squirrels and that they are much more than we suspect? Tippy-Toe is her current squirrel sidekick, easily recognizable due to her pink bow.

If you take your heroes seriously, then this is not the book for you.  However if you have a sense of humor and want to see an all ages, female friendly book you can recommend to even non-superhero fans, this might be a good place to start.