JC and Rita return with a fascinating episode 69 of Transmissions From Atlantis. This week’s main topic is Making Comics – how writers and comic creators put together their projects, deal with artists, face challenges and get promotion. We bring guests Martin Dunn (Joshua Black), Mike Gordon (Tiki Zombie), and Bram Stoker Award nominee Charles Day (Evil Jester Presents) to discuss the subject with JC De La Torre (Star Mage).
In Cosplay, Rita and Allison tell you the lengths people go for the cosplay. This week’s audio theater comes from Atlanta Theater Radio Company bringing us the interesting Time for Station Identification. In Doctor Who, we talk Mark Gatiss’ comments about Peter Capaldi’s first episode being “disturbing” and also review the eighth doctor audio story, Minuet in Hell.
All this and more on the latest Transmissions From Atlantis!
Star Mage #1′s release date and order information has been released!
On April 23rd Star Mage will impact the comics landscape with it’s first issue written by JC De La Torre and beautifully illustrated by Game of Thrones artist Ray Dillon.
The book will be published by IDW Publishing. Pre-Orders can be made through Diamond using the code FEB140444
The post Star Mage #1 Release Date and Order Information – IDW Publishing! appeared first on Star Mage Comic.
Ron Fortier returns with another Pulp Fiction Review. This time out Ron takes a look at Supreme Justice by Max Allan Collins from Thomas & Mercer. This is a pre-release review so there is no cover available at this time.
By Max Allan Collins
Thomas & Mercer
Available June 2014
After taking a bullet for the President he personally despised, Secret Service Agent Joseph Reeder collected his partial pension and called it quits. Now he operates his own security business in the nation’s capital and is fairly content with his life. All that changes when a Supreme Court Justice is shot dead during the audacious daylight robbery of a swank D.C. restaurant. Reeder is recruited by Gabe Sloan, an old F.B.I. friend, to help with the investigation. Nicknamed “Peep” by his former associates, Reeder is a student of kinesics; the art of reading body language and his observation skills are legendary.
Asked to examine video footage of the robbery and shooting, Reeder is able to see through the subterfuge of the incident and discovers that the Justice’s murder was in fact a deliberate assassination. Sloan has him report his findings to his superiors at the Bureau and an inter-agency task force is put together to find the killers. Twenty four hours later a second Justice is gunned down outside his home and what had begun as an isolated act of violence is quickly turned into a full-blown threat against the highest court in the land.
In Joe Reeder, Max Collins has invented up a compelling, quirky and totally believable hero caught up in a twisted mystery with enough twists and turns as to leave a crossword junky dizzy. Teamed with Patti Rogers, a smart and tenacious F.B.I. agent, Reeder is a modern day Sherlock Holmes matching wits with an unknown advisory whose ultimate goal is nothing less than altering the landscape of American jurisprudence for generations to come.
Collins’ ability to capture the social and political schism of our times delivers a truly frightening and plausible scenario. “Supreme Justice” is a taut thriller you will not be able to put down once you’ve picked it up. This is a master at work.
The story goes that Warner Brothers executives, delighted with the open weekend box office numbers of “300” immediately wanted a sequel. Apparently they hadn’t taken the time to watch their own movie. It’s taken them eight years to figure out how to do a sequel to that movie and to give the filmmakers credit, they haven’t simply reshuffled elements around from the first movie. There’s an honest effort here to give us new characters in a new situation but 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE still didn’t give me that same feeling I had when I first saw “300”. I fell so much in love with that movie I wanted to marry it and take it home to meet my mother.
But that rush of adrenaline I got when I saw “300” came mainly from the visuals which were unlike anything I had seen before in movies. That’s because back in 2007 when”300” was released, the digital backlot technology/method of filming movies was still fresh and eye-popping. The only other movies I had seen using that technology were “Sin City” and “Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow”. Since then we’ve had “Speed Racer” “The Spirit” “Avatar” “Immortals” and half a dozen other movies utilizing digital backlot techniques. So my eyes have become accustomed to the look over the years. That’s not to say there aren’t some incredible visuals in 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. There are. It’s the story that doesn’t match the visuals.
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE did intrigue me at the start in that this isn’t your ordinary sequel or prequel. It tells a story that tells of events taking place before, during and after “300” It starts off with Gorgo, Queen of Sparta (Lena Headey) narrating to an army of Spartan warriors the story of how the war between Persia and Greece began, throwing in the origin of the Persian god king Xerxes I (Rodrigo Santoro) as a bonus. We’re also introduced to Artemisia (Eva Green) who is quite literally the woman that made Xerxes the god king he is now. She’s also the commander of his 1000 ship fleet and the best thing about the movie. More on that later.
Themistocles of Athens (Sullivan Stapleton) is attempting to unite Greece’s squabbling city states in order to present a unified nation to fight Persia but has no luck. The politics of all this is murky at best and really just gets in the way of what the movie wants to do: get to the numerous blood-saturated CGI sea battles that are the real heart of the movie. And when I say blood-saturated, I mean it. When somebody gets slashed with a sword, that worthy just doesn’t bleed. A geyser of blood throws a sheet of blood all over the screen. There’s a nice scene where Themistocles goes to ask Queen Gorgo for Sparta’s help which from the dialog I guess takes place right after Leonidas (Gerard Butler in footage from “300 is seen here and there during the movie) has gone with his 300 to hold the Persians at The Hot Gates. Rebuffed by Queen Gorgo (which is a pretty mild way of putting it.) Themistocles determines to take his 200 ships and handful of desperate warriors and go meet the Persians at sea.
And that’s about all the set-up you need in order to watch the movie. Everything after that is bloody carnage. Halfway through the movie it seems to have forgotten that Queen Gorgo is supposed to be telling the story as we’re seeing events and hearing dialog that she couldn’t possibly know about. And you should be warned that the violence in 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE is not the stylized, balletic action of “300” In this one it’s much more brutal and savage and I can’t remember the last movie where I’ve seen so many heads and limbs chopped off. In one scene Artemisia is carrying bunches of severed heads by the hair as if they were Pathmark shopping bags.
And this brings me to the best thing about the movie: Eva Green. Whenever she’s not on screen you’ll be eagerly waiting for her to come back because Artemisia is the best character in the movie. She’s far more intelligent, formidable, skilled and ambitious than anybody else and I’m willing to bet that like me, by the time you get to the halfway point you’ll be wondering why the whole movie wasn’t about her. She’s the kind of bad guy you secretly root for; the one that you hope ends up winning in the end. In fact, if 300: RISE ON AN EMPIRE had Artemisia and Queen Gorgo going at it, it would have been an immensely more interesting clash of characters as Sullivan Stapleton’s Themistocles is such a block of wood it’s excruciating. He spends most of the movie making speeches about honor and loyalty and loving your family and land that sound uncomfortably similar to the ones Leonidas made but Stapleton doesn’t even come close to the white hot energy Gerard Butler had. In fact, the only scene where Stapleton’s character comes alive is in a sex scene with Artemisia that turns into an attempted rape but we’re not really sure who’s raping who here.
So should you see 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE? If you saw and liked “300” this is pretty much more of the same, only at sea and far bloodier and violent. I’d say try and catch a matinee if you can so this way you won’t feel robbed. It’s got spectacular visuals and that equally spectacular Eva Green performance going for it in its favor so enjoy.
Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures
Directed by Noam Murro
Produced by Zack Snyder, Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, Deborah Snyder and Bernie Goldmann
Screenplay by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad
Based on “Xerxes” an unpublished graphic novel by Frank Miller
The R-rated comedy has been making a comeback in recent years and some of them have been quite notable such as “Tropic Thunder” “The Hangover” “Next Day Air” “The Wedding Crashers” “Superbad” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” “Pineapple Express” and “Horrible Bosses” All of which I’ve seen and all of which I recommend to you before you waste your time on 30 MINUTES OR LESS.
Not that it’s really all that bad a movie. The plot actually is one that provides plenty of material for either comedy or suspense. Two adult delinquents, Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson) need $100,000 dollars to hire a hit man to kill Dwayne’s dad (Fred Ward) who hit the lottery for $10 million bucks. Dwayne’s dream is to open up a tanning salon/whorehouse and he’s terrified that his dad is going to burn through the whole $10 mil before he drops dead and thereby depriving Dwayne of the chance to waste the money.
The two get an idea; get hold of some innocent guy and strap a bomb to his chest and send him to rob a bank. If he doesn’t do it or gets caught, they’ll blow him up. The innocent they pick is Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) a pizza delivery guy who just cannot get the hang of the “30 Minutes or Less or It’s Free” policy. Dwayne and Travis call him up to deliver a pizza to them. When Nick arrives he’s jumped and knocked out by the gorilla mask wearing duo. When Nick wakes up he’s wearing a vest rigged with explosives buckled to his torso. He can’t take it off without it blowing up. He’s given ten hours to rob a bank or ka-boom.
Right then and there, they lost me. In ten hours even a moron could figure out a way how to get out of that situation. And considering that the movie is titled 30 MINUTES OR LESS I figured that in a bit of sadistic cruelty, Dwayne and Travis would give Nick just 30 minutes or less to rob the bank. That would have made for a tighter, more intensive plot. But with ten hours to kill, it gives the screenwriters time to bring in unnecessary characters and scenes that have nothing to do with the story and seem inserted into the movie just to get that R rating.
Jesse Eisenberg is actually quite funny at times and the biggest laugh he got out of me is when his girlfriend asks him a question about Facebook. He has good chemistry with Aziz Ansari who plays his best friend Chet who helps him rob the bank. They have some scenes together that are pretty funny and I wouldn’t mind seeing them together in another, better comedy. There was a couple of moments where they almost had a Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder kinda vibe going back and forth and I think they do have the potential to be a good movie comedy team. But not if they keep doing movies like this one.
It’s Danny McBride who sinks this movie for me. It seemed to me as if he couldn’t make up his mind if he’s in a comedy or a straight-up crime thriller. Especially in the last 20 minutes or so of the movie where the violence escalates wildly out of control in proportion to what we’ve been watching for the previous 60. But it’s always good to see Fred Ward again and in the brief scenes he has, especially his showdown with the hit man hired to kill him (Michael Pena) he shows why he’s been around in the business for so long and why he’s so much fun to watch on screen.
So should you see 30 MINUTES OR LESS? Well, if you do decide to check it out, it’s only 83 minutes long so it’s not like you’re gonna blow a whole afternoon or evening on it. I’m not saying it isn’t funny. It’s just not funny enough for me. It may be for you.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Produced by Stuart Cornfeld and Ben Stiller
Screenplay by Michael Diliberti
Based on a story by Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan
Suburban Legends ska their way into our hearts with stories of triumph, woe, and putting out fires in their underwear! Also a quick Pensacon 2014 recap! Also the full song “Kiss the Girl” off their Album ‘Dreams Aren’t Real, But These Songs Are’!
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