Monthly Archives: March 2017

‘Samurai Jack’ Season 5 Episode 1 Review: Jack Is Back And Better Than Ever


It’s been over 10 years since Samurai Jack ruled the TV screens of Cartoon Network and then left without a conclusion. Fans never thought they’d get to see the what happened to the badass sword wielding Samurai lost in the dystopic future created by Genndy Tartakovsky.

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If you think you’re going to get the same Samurai Jack you did about a decade ago, you’re in for quite the surprise. The move to Adult Swim immediately tipped me off that this season will be a change from the usual Jack adventure. The first episode, “XCII,’” sets the tone of the whole season of Samurai Jack and I am so excited for it.

Part of the point of Samurai Jack was always that Jack was something a clean slate. While he goes through a huge character development and has an insane competence, and above all, his silence, made it hard to latch on to him as something deeper or more complex than a cool, occasionally troubled hero. Now, though, 50 years after he was sent to the future, Samurai Jack’s dedication is wearing thin. Even though it happened thousands of years ago, the suffering of Jack’s ancestors has finally caught up to him.

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Jack is a hero by destiny, but that doesn’t stop him from going through all of the sufferings. Still, he is capable of saving individuals singled out by Aku’s forces, here he’s confronted with countless pained souls screaming in agony as the direct result of the demon reign. It’s a powerful critique of the concept of the show. Jack’s resilience is what keeps him moving, but it also kept him single-mindedly focused on his goal, without spending much time contemplating the disastrous consequences of Aku’s initial victory voice on the phone. “Everything is burning,” the specter of Jack’s father tells him.

The most noticeable change in this season is the treatment of Aku. He is nowhere to be seen in episode 1. Instead, we meet a group of seven women warriors, painfully, ritualistically born to hunt down Jack, have seemingly replaced him as the primary antagonists. The scene of their birth, surrounded by nebulas of light and shrouded in screams, is something a bit more horrifying than the show has been in the past.

The fight with Scaramouche, a ridiculous villain who nevertheless manages to be pretty imposing, is by far the closest “XCII” gets to classic Jack. And it’s a delight to watch, especially when the robot starts using a sword that essentially works like a tuning fork, blowing up anything it touches after a few seconds. In the middle of the fight we start to notice that Jack is all tired and having some mental difficulties. I love Samurai Jack’s action sequences, but something tells me this season will spend a bit more time on character development.

Final score – 10 out of 10

PS: Thank you Adultswim for giving Samurai Jack back to the fans

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Movie Review – Logan


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James Mangold’s Logan, the third Wolverine solo film in the X-Men series, seems to take place after the events of Days of Future Past. Yes, so did X-Men: Apocalypse, but this one more specifically takes place after the altered version of DOFP‘s future storyline – the one with the “old” cast – where everything’s fine again, all the characters who died didn’t actually die, the Sentinels never attacked, and so on. Sadly, I’m told that this will be the final movie to ever feature the old X-Men and that it’s Young Xavier and company from here on out. As for this being Hugh Jackman‘s final time as Logan/Wolverine, I believe he deserves the break after 17 years of the same thing.

The movie is loosely based on the 2008 Wolverine storyline Old Man Logan by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Wanted). That comic book storyline took place in a world where supervillains actually defeated superheroes and split the United States up into territories ruled by different villains. Wolverine, now old, retired and lived with his family. When his family died, Wolverine came out of retirement and destroyed everyone who got in his way.

In a Children of Men-esque near future where mutant kind is going extinct, he hides with an infirm Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) on a remote farm, providing medicine for the aging professor so as to prevent seizures that, seeing as they’re happening to the world’s most powerful telepath, are significantly more dangerous than regular seizures. The two are kept safe by Caliban (Stephen Merchant), a mutant-tracker who may or may not be the same Caliban who runs the mutant trafficking business in X-Men: Apocalypse.

The acting in this movie is just spectacular. Patrick Stewart steals the show as Charles Xavier. He has played this role many times before but playing the character as a dementia-ridden old man who has a tragedy that his own brain has hidden from him makes for a fascinating character study. Seriously, this is Stewart’s defining moment as Charles Xavier and might be one of the best acting moments in any comic book movie.

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The standout is, of course, newcomer Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney. I’ve seen some reactionary chat along the lines of “Will Logan be the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture!?!?” (no), but if Keen got a surprise nod in the acting categories, it genuinely wouldn’t seem like such a terrible shout on first viewing (though it’s obviously too early to say).

What holds Logan back from being the “masterpiece” many are prematurely claiming it to be is the fact that the quality dips noticeably as the film goes on. For a start, like all superhero films clocking in at two hours and twenty minutes, it’s twenty minutes too long. The “rest and recuperation” section drags, as does its neighbouring, all-too-standard sacrificial lamb sequence.

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All in all, I’d recommend Logan to any high-octane film fan. X-Men and Marvel fans I’m sure will be all over it regardless, but if an X-Men virgin and regular critic of the genre such as myself can enjoy its hard-hitting set pieces, interesting character development, and freshly dark tone, then that can only be a good sign.

Rating – 4 out of 5

Eddie Brock is Back This May In The Oversized VENOM #150!


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Reunited, and it feels so good! Or, is it bad? Either way you swing it, Eddie Brock is back, and he’s bonding with the symbiote once more ahead of the can’t-miss VENOM #150 – the oversized anniversary spectacular coming this May! Series writer Mike Costa is joined by superstar guest artist Tradd Moore for an oversized main story featuring Eddie’s return to the pages of Venom. Bonded together again, Eddie and the symbiote are web-slinging their way across New York City. But, is their relationship as harmonious as it once was? Or is their bond more sinister than ever?

But that’s not all! In addition to a brutal main feature from Costa & Moore, VENOM #150 features the return of iconic past Venom creators! First up, secrets will be revealed! How did Flash Thompson come to lose the symbiote before it found its way to former Army Ranger Lee Price? The Venom: Space Knight creative team of Robbie Thompson and Gerardo Sandoval have the answers! Then, it’s back to the mean streets of San Francisco as fan-favorite creators David Michelinie and Ron Lim present a tale set between the pages of their iconic Venom: Lethal Protector series!

It’s all happening this May as a parade of Venom creators past and present bring you the must-read VENOM #150 – on sale digitally and wherever comics are sold!

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VENOM #150
Written by MIKE COSTA, ROBBIE THOMPSON & DAVID MICHELINIE
Art by TRADD MOORE, GERARDO SANDOVAL & RON LIM
Cover by GERARDO SANDOVAL
On Sale May 2017!

Blu-Ray Review – Doctor Strange (2016)


Directed by Scott Derrickson
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton.

Doctor Strange arrives on Blu-ray in a release that also includes the movie on DVD and a code for a digital copy. While the movie is a mixed bag, the Blu-ray offers some cool additional features.

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I was first introduced to Doctor Strange when I was in my teenage years. A copy of Avengers introduced me to Doctor Strange. My fascination with magic and sorcery prompted me to read more of his adventures. Sadly, I was not able to follow more of his titles because there was no material available.

Doctor Steven Strange is a gifted and conceited neurosurgeon with the world at his fingertips. Shortly after his introduction in the film, his physical talent is taken from him. After traditional and experimental medicine fails him, he takes a step into the final option and enters a metaphysical and magical realm.

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As part of his journey to regain his hands, he has to relearn everything he knows about nature, the world and science. It’s amazing to see the changes that he goes through and one must really appreciate Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting chops.

Doctor Strange is an amazing movie, one of the most visually appealing Marvel films ever made. The magic in the film looks and feels grounded in the natural universe, which sounds strange, even though it works very well. The filmmakers take full advantage of digital art to create a seamless and completely believable world through magic.

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Doctor Strange Blu-Ray Extra Features

  • A Strange Transformation – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.
  • Strange Company – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambitious, imaginative films ever.
  • The Fabric of Reality – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.
  • Across Time and Space – Explore the countless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.
  • The Score-cerer Supreme – Join Composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.
  • Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look – Get an early peek at Marvel’s spectacular upcoming films, including Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Team Thor: Part 2 – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.

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Marvel films pace at a very powerful level. None of the scene look force fed or dragging a scene way too much. Not only is it my favourite superhero origin story so far, it’s also the most visually stunning film I’ve seen in recent years, many I’m sure will agree. Kudos to Derrickson who has conjured up this ambitious project. Doctor Stand is like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey on LSD, a visual trip that’ll melt your eyeballs from your skull and leave your jaw firmly planted to floor, it’s also worth noting another huge achievement, so many stories get lost in the visuals, this does not. The colors, and urgency that the VFX department have masterfully conjured up with Doctor Strange not only serve the story being told.

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I am waiting for the sequel and see what great experiments the team can come up with to establish Doctor Strange as a full fledged Sorcerer Supreme.

Rating 4 out of 5

 

 

6 actors who can take over Ben Affleck as Batman


A recent rumour suggested that Ben Affleck is not interested in reprising role as The Caped Crusader. While it is just a rumour at this point, it might be true and the search for the next Batman actor might be on a large.

For me, it makes more sense to bring Nightwing on the centre stage and let Ben Affleck play the role of his mentor. For Warner Bros, it is important to bring in the next Batman because it is the only character that makes money. If we are going to see the next Batman, here are my choices on who should put on the cape next.

Karl Urban

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Karl Urban, as an actor, has been rumoured to be Batman since Christopher Nolan’s trilogy ended. Karl Urban looks like the persona of Bruce Wayne, it will be a test to see him wearing the cape.

Bradley Cooper

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Bradley Cooper has the person to draw for the ladies and his irresistible charm, charisma, and playboy-like antics would lend well to the Bruce Wayne persona. He’s also shown his action chops in films like The A-Team and American Sniper. A little bit of vocal work and makeover will present him as the perfect Batman in the next film.

Matt Bomer

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As a young talented breakout actor, Matt Bomer has a lot of potential. He has been a solid choice for Daredevil in the past and his looks have made him a perfect choice for Bruce Wayne. Bomer is familiar with DC universe as he played Superman in the 2013 animation film, Superman: Unbound.

Clive Owen

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Clive Owen has EVERYTHING needed to make a believable Bruce Wayne, which is the first thing you need to think about when mentally casting a new Batman. As an added advantage he already has the Batman chin and a brooding persona, much required to play Batman on screen.

Idris Elba

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Elba being casted as Batman, will be the most controversial decision ever. The first Black Batman will make an impact like no one else. With a strong, intimidating screen presence and a towering figure, Elba would make for a solid superhero. He plays the no-nonsense, large-and-in-charge role very well, and he could bring a necessary hard edge to the Caped Crusader.

Josh Brolin

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I know Josh Brolin is Thanos in Marvel Universe but once he was extremely close to play Batman. Brolin is a talented actor and is the perfect onscreen persona for Batman. He can easily nail the role of Bruce Wayne without any difficulty. He’s blossomed with a sort of off-kilter quirkiness that would definitely suit the not-quite-of-our-world ideal image of Batman too.

Personally, I would be really excited to see any of these actors play Batman. If you have any other actor in mind, sign off in the comments section.