Reviews

Movie Issues: Lucy

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Movie Issues: Lucy

Lucy is the new film by director Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element) staring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. Lucy is a woman living in Taipei, Taiwan, who is forced to be a drug mule for the mob. A drug implanted in her body inadvertently leaks into her system, which allows her to use more than the 10% of her brain’s capacity, thus changing her into a superhuman. As she transforms into something unknown and new, she decides to turn the tables on her captors to become a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

lucy-trailer

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Review: Iron Man Vol. 2 – The Secret Origin of Tony Stark

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Review: Iron Man Vol. 2 – The Secret Origin of Tony Stark

San Diego Comic Con starts in two days, and the entire cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron will be there. To get us in the mood, lets review an Iron Man graphic novel, shall we?

At the start of Iron Man Volume 2, Tony Stark is literally flying high: saving an alien world from space pirates and being fawned over by beautiful alien women. By the end of the first issue, he’s rejected, arrested, and presumed guilty of deicide. By the end of the book he’s an accessory to genocide, in league with the person who put the genocide into motion, and most of what he knows about his origin may be a lie. It’s been a bad few days for Stark, and it looks like things are just getting started.

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Movie Issues: The Purge: Anarchy

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Movie Issues: The Purge: Anarchy

The year is 2023, crime is at an all time low thanks to The Purge, the one night a year where all crime is legal, including murder. Are you ready to once again let out the beast and purge yourself? The Purge: Anarchy is the sequel to 2013′s The Purge. Where the first movie centers on one family during the night of the Purge, Anarchy gives us a chance to see how the rest of the city deals with the unholy night that no one can escape, no matter how hard they try.

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Review: The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel, volume 1

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Review: The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel, volume 1

Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell’s The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume One arrives in bookstores on July 29th, but I just finished reading my copy a few minutes ago. I’m a book reviewer, we have our ways. (It involves a lot of shameless begging for review copies. I regret nothing!)

It’s worth the wait. The original 2008 young adult novel has already won the Newberry Medal, the Carnegie Medal, a Hugo, and a Locus award, but that’s almost not surprising anymore; it’s a Neil Gaiman book. He’s put stories in Christmas cards that defy the imagination, the man can write.

Now the book has been re-imagined with art under P. Craig Russell’s direction, and next year we’re going to see lots of articles telling us how it’s won all these other awards, just you wait.

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Review: Artful

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Review: Artful

If you’ve had anything to do with science fiction over the last thirty years, chances are you’ve seen or read something by Peter David. The man has written for movie and TV, dozens of original novels, thousands of comic book issues, and generally has something new coming out about once a month. My introduction to all things Peter David was though his Star Trek: The Next Generation books; Strike Zone was one of the first books that ever made me laugh out loud, and it only got better with Q-in-Law. David captured the characters better than any other writer, and the dialogue was always filled with snappy, quotable snarkiness.

In Artful, Peter David steps away from the science fiction/comic book world, and comes up with a different take on Charles Dickens’s classic, Oliver Twist. Not quite in the same vein as rewrites like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, this book follows the adventures of the secondary character Jack Dawkins, better known as the Artful Dodger, last seen being hauled off to prison for theft. After escaping from jail before he could be shipped to the penal colony in Australia, Dodger sets up a comfortable (to him) life in the slums of London, charming and thieving his way though the world until he stumbles across a plot to kidnap the princess Alexandrina – future Queen of England – thereby subjugating the British Monarchy. By vampires. 

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Review: Dawn of Planet of the Apes

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Review: Dawn of Planet of the Apes

The original Planet of the Apes flicks was my early journey into the world of science fiction. It also was my first look into a dystopian society. It instantly caught my imagination, so it’s no surprise that when Rise of Planet of the Apes came out, I was more then a little excited. With this much-deserved sequel, we are given the second of the rebooted Planet of the Apes movies, titled Dawn of Planet of the Apes. Promising to continue the events from Rise, it seemed that Dawn could do no wrong. How does Dawn compare to Rise? Is this the Apes sequel you’ve been waiting for?

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Review: Mr. Mercedes

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Review: Mr. Mercedes

Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.

That quote should give you an idea of how dark this book gets. The book jacket tells how it starts: a random act of violence by a killer who is never caught. The massacre happens in the first chapter, and in true Stephen King fashion he foreshadows what’s going to happen, introduces you to the victims, makes them very sympathetic and likable, and then kills them.

The first murder then becomes the background noise for the rest of the book. Don’t expect a play-by-play of the event, with flashbacks from the survivors and all the blood and gore described in loving details. Mr. Mercedes is all about the chase, with the two main characters using the original murder in their own way to inject some kind of meaning in their lives.

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Movie Issues: Snowpiercer

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Movie Issues: Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer is a 2013 South Korean-American science fiction film based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette. Making his first English-language debut film is South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho. The movie stars Chris Evens, South Korean actors Kang-ho Song and Go Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris. This is one of the most interesting and compelling films of 2014 so far. It’s powerful and exuberant. Hands down one of the most thought provoking films you’ll see this year.

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Review: Grand Budapest Hotel Blu-Ray

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Review: Grand Budapest Hotel Blu-Ray

There are a few directors that I will go see any movie they make; granted not a lot, but Wes Anderson has been one of those directors for quite some time. While both his recent movies, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonlight Kingdom, weren’t exactly my favorite films, they still had enough Anderson to keep me entertained. Well that, and almost every movie has a little bit of Bill Murray in them.

That being said, when The Grand Budapest Hotel was announced, I was more then a little excited. I watched all the trailers and patiently waited for our local indie movie house to have the film. The one thing I didn’t count on was finding someone to go with me. Long story short, I had to wait for the Blu-Ray release. Is The Grand Budapest Hotel a four-star hotel? Or is this more of a Best Western? Yeah I know, hotel humor, it was hard to resist.

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Review: Year’s Best SF – 18

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Review: Year’s Best SF – 18

Around this time of year all the book publishers start talking about what you should be reading over the next couple of months. “Great Beach Books”, “Perfect Summer Reading”. No one gets very specific about the criteria though. Should the books be light and easy to read? Linked to big news stories or the latest fads? Or maybe just the newest books that everyone else is reading? For me, summer reads should be easy to finish in bite-sized pieces, something you can pick up and read for about twenty pages at a time. A short-story collection then makes for the perfect summer reading. (Of course I think short-story collections are perfect for the other three seasons too, but let’s pretend we’re just talking about summer here.)

David G. Hartwell has published dozens of anthologies since the late 1970′s; his Worlds Best SF series has now been going on for eighteen years. In the current installment, he’s chucked the mass market paperback format and gone straight to the trade paperback for the collection of the best short science-fiction in 2012. It was a very good year for sci-fi, and Hartwell keeps up with his usual trend of putting together a collection that’s impossible to categorize, and which has pretty much something for everyone.

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