Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend Matinee: SAW

I don't get the Saw movies.

I mean, I get it: Jigsaw puts people through horrible events to make them appreciate life with a renewed vigor. It's a pretty clever motivation, the deaths are pretty elaborate, and it really changed the notion of what a horror movie was. I get all that, and kudos to the franchise for pulling it off. What I don't get, is all the hype.

Until yesterday, I thought the Saw movies were all pretty basic with each new installment telling effectively the same story over again and again. Then I read this article on Overthinking It. Clearly, I'm missing something because what I've seen of these movies, they're horrible. And I mean that in every sense of the word.

As a brief aside, I recently worked on Scream Queens 2, the VH1 reality show where 10 hopeful actress vie for a role in the newest Saw movie: SAW 3D. As expected on a show like that, there was a lot of talk about how revolutionary the Saw movies were. "It's the biggest horror franchise ever," "You never know what Jigsaw's planning until the last frame of the movie," etc, etc.

Unsurprisingly, this level of hype infected my brain and I started wondering if my inclinations on the franchise (based on half watching the first installment) were wrong. Maybe it was the best horror movie ever. Maybe I was just too up my own ass to give it a chance. So I did.

And it was more horrible than I remembered.

The fast cutting, the random sound effects, the over acting... it was just bad.

But now, after reading that article I feel that tickle in the back of my brain about Saw. I'm doubting my convictions again, and I shouldn't.

So to help me remember how bad those movies are, here's a big grisly montage of all the deaths that SAW could muster. Obviously, things might get a little bloody, so be prepared...

Ah... Much better.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Bill October 27, 2010

I can't be the only one frantically working on a costume for this weekend, can I?

I didn't think so. I don't know about you though, but I could use a break. Care to join me for some comic reviews? Don't worry, you can still sew while you read, I won't mind.

Why Am I Reading This Again? of the Week:

Secret Warriors #21
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Mirko Colak and Alessandro Vitti

Ugh. This book.

I'll be real honest with you, Secret Warriors is one of those titles that I just kind of fell into collecting. I read that first arc and was underwhelmed, but intrigued enough to see where it was going. And that's where I got into trouble.

The problem from the start with this book has been the lack of characterization, and this issue doesn't help matters any. After the team's mission went tits up last issue (they were bombing a stronghold, I think), this issue follows their daring escape resulting in the death of one of their compatriots. A death that's ultimately underwhelming and flat.

I don't know, maybe this book will read better in one sitting, but right now I'm finding it hard to care about anyone. Seriously, 20+ issues in and I feel like I hardly know who the main characters are and why I should care if they live or not. As it is, they're slightly better than cannon fodder in my eyes. Barely.

I know what you're thinking: "Matt, if you hate it so much, why don't you just stop buying it". And, you know, I would totally agree with you when it comes to any other book. However with only four issues left in the series, my pride won't let me drop it.

I'm with it until the end, hoping somehow, someway, the book'll get better. Lord knows it can't get much worse...

Surprise of the Week:

Avengers #6
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: John Romita Jr.

Now here's something you don't see everyday: A satisfying conclusion to a Bendis story arc. I kid, I kid.


In all honesty, I went into this issue expecting the worst: A strangely quippy Ultron, A non-ending ending, lots of loose ends, etc. And what I got was completely the opposite.

Coming off the arrival of Ultron last issue, this one starts with Tony convincing the would be harbinger of the Robot Apocalypse to throw the fight with Kang. Meanwhile, we're shown the context of some of the flashforwards that appeared in the first few issues. And it was actually pretty cool. I mean, I still feel like this was a story that could have been told in four issues, but they did wrap it up rather nicely.

And wouldn't you know it, I'm actually excited to read the next few issues. Way to turn it around, Bendis!

Okay, enough with the comics. I have to go back to finishing my totally boss, fantastically amazing costume. I'll tell you all about it on Sunday, until then here's a hint of things to come.

How about you, how's your costume coming?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rob Liefeld's Jesus

Are you one of the people bothered by the massive plothole in The Bible? Have you spent years wondering how exactly Jesus came back to life after the crucifixion and where he went after he disappeared from that cave?

Well, hold on to your hats because those answers are coming... via Rob Liefeld.

No joke. Elaborating on versus from the book of Matthew, Old Man Liefeld is doing a webcomic of indeterminate length about what happened after Jesus died on the cross. Namely the legions of zombies that rose and attacked the Romans only to be saved by Lazarus and his mighty zombie-slaying sword.

You know, true Bible stories... 90s style!

I hope he does Sodom and Gomorrah next.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dating Kraven Style

From the mind of Kate Beaton via my finally acquired Strange Tales 2 #1

Sunday, October 24, 2010


What? Can't a man watch Disney movies and not be judged like that?

I've been on a kick with the GirlFriend of revisiting these neo-Golden era Disney Movies. If you remember, we already were severely disappointed by Hercules, that that was past the end of the run anyway. But before those Disney movies got obsessed with the celebrity voices, the trite emotionality, and dated references, there was The Little Mermaid, the one that started it all.

I'm actually pretty stoked to check it out. It's a tribute to this movie, that I haven't seen in a good 15 years, that I can still hum a good chuck of all the songs. Poor Unfortunate Souls, Part Of Your World, Kiss The Girl, and, of course, Under the Sea are all just fucking phenomenal. In a classic Disney way, of course.

I just hope it can stand up to the memory I have of it. And that Ariel is still as hot as I remember....

You know, for a fish person.

Anyway, this week's clip is my favorite song: Poor Unfortunate Souls. Be prepared to have this stuck in your head for a week. You're welcome.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thunderstrike Just Got MORE 90s

I think it's fairly apparent that I'm a fan of 90s Marvel.

From the artificial angst and the constant grimaces, to the leather jackets and dark sunglasses, the 90s was a very... special time. And as the years have gone by, the books have just gotten better. Well, better in an MST3K kinda way maybe.

Anyway, lately I've been intrigued by Thunderstrike. After rereading the first issue, I found myself pretty stoked for the character and the new series. I mean, sure it's cheesy and written by Tom DeFalco, but I'm sure it won't be that bad. Right?

At least I thought so, until I saw this in the Marvel January Solicts:

It's like they're actively trying to get me to not read it. Don't get me wrong, I think mohawks and lighting are as awesome as the next guy, but this is just... not right. He looks like a he's in some kind of deranged Kid N'Play/Poison cover band.


Well, I'm sure it'll be a fun read in 2020.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Bill October 20, 2010

Only two books this week, one from each big Marvel event happening right now. Let's just skip the preamble and get to it!

From The Event I'm NOT Reading:

Power-Man #3
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Mahmud Asrar

I'll tell you, I don't know what to think about this one. The first two issues, which I picked up a bit belatedly, were great; it was the perfect update of the Power Man idea for this Internet Era. This issue... well, not so much.

It was probably just a mood I was in when I was reading it, but this seemed to be lacking some of the fun of the previous issues. Was it the lack of Luke Cage? An overabundance of Cottonmouth? The lack of gratuitous punching? I dunno. All I know is whatever it was, I missed it.

That's not to say it was all bad. For a book that marked up pretty heavily with the 'Shadowland' branding, I don't feel like I'm missing anything by not reading the main book. Also, I'm really digging the inevitable team up of this new Power Man and Iron Fist, it won't be the same without Luke though.

Here's hoping this is just a bump in the road, and not a sign of things to come...

From The Event I AM Reading

Chaos War # 2
Writers: Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (That guy again!)
Artist: Koi Pham

I kind of mentioned this two weeks ago, but: This book rocks!

It's no big secret that Pak and Van Lente have been pulling out all the stops with Hercules for the past few years now. They have, single handedly (or double handedly), turned Hercules from a take-it-or-leave it character to a totes awesome, can't-miss, I-will-fight-you-if-you-don't-agree-this-is-the-coolest-Herc-interpretation-ever, character that I'll forever love.

Anyway, this issue is smack dab in the middle of the big mega story that's been buliding in Herc since... what Secret Invasion? Herc shows off his fancy new powers, Venus busts some classic jams, and my favorite world devourer shows up pretending it's the Secret Wars all over again; yeah, it was pretty rad.

I'm pretty stoked by the start of this event, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out. (I bet it ends with Galactus and Herc drinking. Or rather, I wish it would...)

That's all I got. If you wanna ask me about the other books I got, well too bad, I only got two. But maybe I'd get more if someone gave me some suggestions...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tucson Bears

Tucson is a funny town.

It's not just the high concentration of hippies and hipsters, not the abundance of stupid college kids (No judgment here, I totally was one), or the giant tiki head on the corner of 4th ave and 8th street. I mean, those things make the town kinda fun, but that's not the weird thing.

No. Somehow in this town of super cool thrift store connoisseurs, there are still all kinds of low priced gems in all the stores. Looking for a sweet powdered blue suit for under twenty bucks? Done. A belt buckle of pig? Only if you got ten bucks. How about a bear shitting into his sisters pot of honey?

Think about that last one for a second, and then look at what I found for a dollar.

Can you tell what's happening in that scene? Is that brother bear about to pull the worst prank ever? Or is that sister bear really anxious to have her turn? Most pressing: Who in the world would create such a monstrosity?

I didn't know whether to be appalled or overcome with laughter. Instead, I just stared at the thing for a solid ten minutes.

And then I convinced the GirlFriend to buy it for me. She's the best.

This Honey Pot Shitting Bear Statue is like Tucson in a nutshell: The weirdest fucking thing ever, but so awesome that you can't resist showing off to everyone you know.

That was my weekend. How was yours?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Bill October 13, 2010

Coming off of the amazing selection of books last time, I almost felt bad for this week. Lucky for us though, this week battled hard and while it wasn't as bombastic as last week, everything was still pretty good. I'm digging this trend, let's hope it continues.

Anyway, let's dive into some specifics shall we? If you're ready, I'm ready. It's into the review void we go!

Best of the Week:

I am an Avenger # 2
Writers: Greg Rucka, Sean McKeever, Paul Tobin, Jacob Chabot
Artists: Michael Lark, Mike Mayhew, David Lopez, Jacob Chabot

What can I say? I'm a sucker for these kinds of stories. It's weird too, considering we're in an age where guys like Bendis will create whole story arcs out of some of these small conversations. Somehow though these get to the point faster and retain the emotion better.

The highlight for me was the two page Jarvis story in which we get to see all that he does for the Avengers and how much they appreciate him for it. It's a story that I wouldn't ordinarily clamber for, but I'm very glad that it exists. Plus it was great to see how the New Avengers team relaxes.

The other high point was the New Warriors reunion in which Firestar and Justice have an awkward post-break-up non-conversation. McKeever gets to do the thing that makes him great, and makes these characters real people that you could actually run into at a bar while you were getting a drink.

Fantastic stuff from all corners of this book, and while it may not be quite worth the four dollar cover price, I still don't regret picking it up.

I hope Marvel keeps these kinds of books up. You hear me, Marvel? More anthologies, STAT!

Surprise of the Week:

Superior # 1
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Leinil Yu

I don't know what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but I know it wasn't what I got.

Not that that's a bad thing. After KickAss and Nemesis being just drenched in blood, violence, and language, I was worried that Superior would end up the same way. Happily, that wasn't the case. Millar shows restraint with this one, instead focusing on the bad life hand that the lead character was dealt.

Of course I say that and by next issue it'll be all head explosions and titties, just because.

But while I surprised by the restraint, I can't say that I was really blown away by the book. I like the set up, I like the main character, but I wish more had happened to propel the story forward than what we got in this first issue.

I dunno. This is one of those books I'm going to keep my eye on and see what the reviews are for the second issue. As it stands, I'm thinking it'll be a trade buy, if anything.

There, that wasn't so bad, was it?

That's all I got for this week. If you want me to convince you how you should go out and buy Thor: The Mighty Avenger (and you should) or help me commiserate the fact that I couldn't find a copy of Strange Tales 2 #1, drop me a comment, a tweet, or just an old fashioned email. Whatever works for you! See you next time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Marvel's Biggest Swerve Ever

Do you remember when this happened:

Yeah, it was totally awesome.

That was the moment I knew I'd be a life long comic fan. If they could do amazingly unexpected things like that to their characters two summers running (remember X-cutioner's Song was the year before where Xavier was assassinated), who knew what the futures would bring.

That said, I don't think anyone anticipated Wolverine going without his adamantium for six years during the height of the X-Men's popularity. I mean really, who in their right mind would not only de-metalfy Marvel's premiere badass for more than, say, a couple of years. You know, for effect.

And that's the mind frame that set up everyone for the biggest swerve in Marvel history: Wolverine #100

First off, I gotta say something about this cover. I know it's been said before, but man that cover sucks. The GirlFriend took one look at it and thought that giant silver blob was supposed to be a mirror. "Oh, I get it," she said earnestly, "It's like I am Wolverine."

She's adorable.

Anyway, this issue picks up mid issue where our favorite Canadian (Take that Michael Myers!) has been kidnapped by the evil son of Cable, Genesis. His grand plan is to return Wolverine to his former shiny goodness and turn him into the first horseman of the Apocalypse (specifically Death, because big heroes always get turned into the cool horsemen).**

Wouldn't you know it, things start to go awry. After watching the bonding process, Cannonball (who had been hiding in the air vents) springs to action to... tell everyone he tried? Poor kid starts getting whupped on, and with his dying breath levels a world class guilt trip on the guy he was "trying" to "save".

Guilt, being the most powerful force in the Marvel Universe, fuels Wolverine to finally regain consciousness and return to his adamantium-laced berserker self in no time. Right?


Here we are in the big anniversary issue where Wolverine gets bonded to, but ultimately rejects his replacement metal. WTF, my wayward friends.

Oh, but the swerve didn't stop there. Maybe you thought Wolverine was going to be the same, just a little meaner, maybe have a little superficial touch up.

Wrong again.

Thankfully, this... iteration... of Wolverine only lasted a year or so before it quietly drifted off into nothingness and was never ever mentioned again.

But what about the adamantium? How'd he eventually get that back? Would you believe off panel?

That's right, for Marvel's final swerve they finally opted to give Wolvie back his metal as an afterthought buried beneath another huge crossover.

You know, the one where he was a Horsemen of the Apocalypse (he was Death, by the way).

Wolverine's adamantium, a giant six year epic resolved off panel. Way to go, Marvel.

**Hey, so, sorry about the wonky pictures. For whatever reason blogger doesn't seem to like the pictures as they are saved and has instead decided to bring them in at their scanned orientations. It's fun. So I'm going to leave them for now and come back later to fix it. Hopefully then blogger will decide to stop being an asshole.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekend Matinee: 2020 TEXAS GLADIATORS

You never forget your first. First bad movie, that is.

2020 Texas Gladiators was the movie that made me a conisuier of terribly bad movies. The formula I use is simple: The more awesome looking the cover, the worse the movie will be with an added bonus if it's painted. I mean, just check out this cover and try not to be intrigued:


Anyway, the movie itself is one of those run-of-the-mill, early-80s, direct-to-video Italian-imported, Post-Apocalyptic flicks with tons of shirtless dudes and loose women. Other than that, I honestly can't tell you what happens. I've seen this gem multiple times, but could never really pay that much attention to figure out what was really going on. Instead I opted to make fun of the holey shields and bask in the glow of the crazy violence while soaking my innards with alcohol.

So instead of a true clip this week, I found this fantastic two minute summary of the movie. It's pretty accurate in violence and story coherence.

Bottoms up!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Bill October 6, 2010

It's weeks like this that get me excited.

You know the kind: where you have a stack of great books and don't know where to start; That fantastic feeling after you've read three great books in a row; The knowledge that the three bucks you just threw down on each book was money well spent. Yeah, this week was like that.

But enough of the preamble, let's get to it!

Best of Miniseries of the Week:

Taskmaster #2
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Jefte Palo

I desperately want this book to be an ongoing.

Coming off the henchmen filled violence bonanza of the first issue, this one ups the ante with the introduction of what is quite possibly the new character find of 2010: The Don of the Dead.

Who knew that you could make the Taskmaster that much cooler if you put him in a sombrero and gave him a rock band?

Let's back up a step. In this issue of the Taskmaster's quest to figure out his own history, he heads to Mexico to see what he can find. It's there that he finds the first batch of soldiers he trained including they're leader, the aforementioned Don of the Dead.

With laugh out loud quips, spot on charactization, and Dios de las Muertes skeletons on motorcycles, this book is everything that you could possibly want in a quality read. I'm crazy looking forward to the next issue.

And even more looking forward to the next appearance from Don of the Dead. Please don't make me beg Fred, you wouldn't like me if I beg.

Best Ongoing of the Week:

Avengers Academy # 5
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Jorge Molina

Now this is how you pull off a team book.

I have a history of reading a bunch of these "young heroes learn the ropes" books, and this is by far the best of the bunch. Some can't figure out how to develop the new characters (Secret Warriors); others have great interactions, but move slower than they should (Young Allies); And some just never really blossom (Avengers Initiative). Avengers Academy should become the manual for how to do it right.

In this issue, we get an insight into the most fame hungry member of the team Striker as he reveals how the team finally got it's chance in the spotlight. Throughout the story we see just how multifaceted this would-be villain is. At times a sleazy douchebag and others a confident, compassionate hero, Striker really broke out in this issue and showed how great a character he really is.

Seriously, this is a fantastic book. And while I say this a lot, you should totally and absolutely check it out; you won't be disappointed.

Assuming, of course, that you appreciate great characters, fun situations, and an engaging story.

That's all I got. I could gush about Chaos War, or Hawkeye and Mockingbird, or even Young Allies (It's still a great book, even if it's a bit slow!), but I won't bore you. Suffice to say, my pull list is all kinds of amazing. Feel free to ask me anything about it, or the books above, in the comments. I'm sure I can gush some more for you if you really, REALLY want.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nomad's Dirty Little Secret

Don't ask me why, but I recently came into possession of the complete series of Nomad. No, not this one, I'm talking about the one that makes you facepalm.

Yeah, that's more like it. Jack Monroe, the crazy Commie Smasher turned Captain America knockoff, turned Punisher wannabe... with a baby.

He travelled the land of the free in search of something. Was it the American Dream? Himself? A reliable babysitter? A better tailor? Whatever it was, I'm sure he never expected to find what he found in Albuquerque:

But really, when do you really expect to accidentally walk into a transvestite bar? I mean, I almost always do, but I live in LA and these folks are strange.

Anyway, this misadventure was chronicled by Fabian Nicieza and Rick Mayes in Nomad #11 and is one of my favorites of the entire run.

The issue begins like most of the run, with Jack wandering into a new town and, spoilers, stumbling onto the local transvestite community. You'd think the transvestite's would be as weirded out by a strange man with an infant in a bar, as Jack was of them, but that wasn't the case on either side. No, instead both sides get along smashingly, with Jack enjoying the scenery as the "ladies" fawned over the baby.

As it turns out, members of this exclusive transvestite club have been turning up dead and, as expected, have been killing the vibe of the town. Not one to sit on his haunches, Jack jumps at the chance to discover who the killer is. Which of course makes him kick a tranny in the face, like you do.

After following all the leads, Jack does what any insane traveling superhero would do in the situation: Dolls himself up and unleashes his inner woman.

And let me tell you, he doesn't make a very good looking woman. (I know you were surprised!)

And wouldn't you know it, he's just ugly enough that someone wants to shoot him. A quick bit of action later, the killer's revealed and gets her comeuppance. But that's not really important.

What is important is Jack discovered a bit of himself that crazy day in Alburquerque:

For me, from this issue forward, Jack Monroe always wore silk panties and because of that he's my favorite 90s badass.

You know, until I find out that Johnny Blaze wore a thong. Or Frank Castle wears brassieres...

Sunday, October 3, 2010


David Carradine, Shaft, and a giant dragon eating people around New York City should be a recipe for an amazing movie. Shockingly, it's not.

I'll tell you, I love my genre movies, but this one nearly put me to sleep. Instead of focusing on the awesomeness of this ancient evil reborn in an urban environment the movie instead focuses on some two-bit thug and his dealings with the mob. Talk about false advertising.

I could go into it, but honestly I don't remember most of it. Normally with movies like these I can watch them with half a brain and know what was happening, but not with this one. I struggled with consciousness watching this one and ultimately lost, leaving me very confused when there were extended scenes dealing with this said two-bit thug instead of ones dealing with David Carradine shooting at a dragon with a machine gun.

Long story short, this clip perfectly encapsulates my feelings on Q: Boring with random dragon attacks. Also boring. Enjoy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Sandman Tries Really Hard to be Romantic...

But he really needs to work on his delivery

This amorous anti-hero brought to you via Moon Knight #9 by Juan Jose Ryp and Gregg Hurwitz