Friday, July 29, 2016

DC Universe Batman: The Killing Joke

What can I say about this that I already havent said in my review for the comic? This is one of my all time favorite comic book stories. Not only do we get an origin story for the Joker but we see that dynamic between Batman and Joker where they almost need each other. Batman needs Joker to keep him on his path and to remind him there is a line and Batman can never cross it. Joker needs Batman because with out Batman his life is empty and meaningless. There isn't a punch line without the caped crusader. 

I have been waiting for this movie for what seems like forever. I remember when I first heard this was going to be made and since then I have hung on every post and article about this. The casting was going to be key but only for Batman and Joker. Whoever was in charge of casting made the best decision ever. Batman was none other than Kevin Conroy who voiced Batman in the Animated Series and a few other DCEU animated movies. He is the voice of Batman and what all fans hope for in these movies. When you have such a strong voice actor for Batman who can match his intensity. Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Joker for this movie. Mark Hamill was the voice of the Joker in the Animated series and he is amazing. He is the perfect amount of crazy and scary all wrapped up in one. These two were the only ones who could voice these characters for this movie and I am so happy to see them in a darker more adult movie. 

What do I mean by a more adult movie you ask? It's a cartoon right? The DC Universe animated movies hold fairly close to the comics and usually have a PG-13 rating. This is the very first Cartoon movie, let alone Batman movie with an R rating right from the beginning. This stays really close to the source material but at the same time expands on the original story to give more background around Barbara Gordon and her story. This movie stays so close to the source that there are scenes straight out of the pages of the comics. I loved seeing these scenes because they are some of the best panels in the whole book. The artwork from the comic is iconic and amazing and that translates so perfectly in this movie. Take a look at the trailer to see just how detailed the art really is and how incredible and epic this story is. 

I loved this movie and I loved it so much I had to write a review about it when I didn't plan on it originally. I give this movie a 5 out of 5 and recommend this to all Batman fans. Now I am slightly biased because I read this when it first was published and have probably read it a hundred times since. My wife is new to this story and she only thought the movie was ok. Once I explained a few thins she seemed to like it more but she didn't fall in love with this like I did. I stand by my review but wanted to give a different perspective to this also. It is a dark story and there is so much to think about in this that it will sneak up on you after the fact. Currently this movie is available digitally on iTunes and other platforms but will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 2nd. I'm so glad I got my copy so I can watch it as many times as I have read it. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday Comic-Con edition

It has been almost 3 years since I have done a Waiting on Wednesday post but after this year's San Diego Comic Con there is a lot I'm anxious to see so I figured I would give my favorite highlights that I'm waiting on. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. waiting It is a book meme but I am spinning this to my needs because my blog does both books and movies and I get just as excited about up coming movies and television as I do books.

Sadly I didn't get to attend Comic Con but one day I hope to go. I did just join Twitter this year and I follow a bunch of Nerdist people like @hardwick, @jessicachobot, @osteoferocious and @Sci_Phile. I also follow a bunch of DC Comics people and all the actors from Flash and Arrow as well as Bruce Campbell so my feed was jam packed with all kinds of comic con goodness. So let's get into the fun stuff. Movie wise I'm most excited to see the new Wonder Woman movie coming out in June 2017. This trailer gave me all kinds of goosebumps. Gal Gadot is perfect for the role and it is always awesome to see a woman kick serious ass. This movie looks so good. It is about time Wonder Woman was brought to the big screen. Linda Carter was absolutely amazing in the television show, but the first time I saw this trailer I totally geeked out. I can't wait to see this movie and I hope the rest of it is as amazing as this trailer. I have a young daughter who pretends to be Batman all the time. I'm trying to show her it is great to be a girl and strong heroes like Wonder Woman can help.

Along the same lines I was blown away by the footage they clipped together to make the Comic Con trailer for Justice League. I loved Batman V Superman and I am very interested to see the heroes that have never been on the big screen get their shot this trailer was very well done and gave me hope for a great start to the DCEU movies. I still have my reservations about Ezra Miller being the Flash but at least in this preview he didn't look like a dirty Hipster. I was also a little weary of Jason Momoa as Aquaman because Aquaman is this blond kind of surfer looking guy, but when I saw him in this trailer for the first time I got goosebumps and I'm impressed with his portrayal so far. This comes out November 2017 so just over a year.

Closer to release date is Suicide Squad and I have been looking forward to this for a long time. I can't wait to see this villains on the big screen. The promotion for this movie has been incredible giving just enough to be excited but still hold back enough to make you wonder what this movie is going to be all about. On top of that, the trailers are amazing. The way they synced the picture with the songs chosen is really cool. This is my favorite. 

Let's talk television. I can't wait for October. This is the biggest month for returning television with the shows my wife and I watch. First and foremost we both are excited for the return of Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and DC Legends of Tomorrow. Barry goes back in time to save his mom in the end of last season leaving repercussions to come when you mess with the timeline. This should spread through the whole DC Universe and affect Arrow and DC Legends. I hope that now that Supergirl is on the CW they will integrate it more with it's existing shows, but the episode that crossed over with the Flash showed us that Supergirl takes place on an alternate Earth so Flashpoint may not touch this show. Who knows, I am anxious to see what happens though.

Another show I am looking forward to has been driving me crazy for so many months. The Walking Dead left us with a huge cliffhanger and like most fans I can't wait to see what happens next. Last season ended with one of the biggest characters from the comic books, Negan, threatening to kill one of our favorites in an ennie meanie fashion but then we hear the carnage and have no idea who died. I heard they filmed 11 different endings so even the actors don't know who gets it in the end. There are so many theories out there it is hard to keep track of. I just want to know what happens. I have to hand it to AMC for making a trailer that focuses on the characters we know were not in the line up and still make Season 7 look amazing.

Not only are all of these shows, my favorites, returning in October but so is my final entry on the list of can't wait returns. Bruce Campbell is back to fight the army of the dead in Ash vs Evil Dead this October. I love love love this show and can't wait for season 2. I want to buy it already so I can watch it over and over like I have season 1. The trailer for this upcoming season looks so amazing, but was for some reason deemed to gory for Comic-Con. So here is the trailer if you want to check it out but I warned you. There will be blood. 

Well this is what Comic-Con teased this year and I am so excited for what is yet to come for TV and Movies. You better believe there will be reviews of all of these on my blog as they come out. I'm not sure if the TV shows will get full season reviews like I did with Ash vs Evil Dead or if I am just going to review the premier episode. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. These movies my wife and I are anxious to see though so I will review them as soon as we see them. I love the rare date night with my wife. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ghostbusters 2016


I loved the original movies. These are on my top time all favorites next to Back to the Future, and Dark Knight. I can remember seeing Ghostbusters 2 at the theater with my Mom and some friends. Now, I'm not a fan of change. I have near had anxiety attacks when they change the actor who plays Batman or any character I have enjoyed. When I saw they were making a new Ghostbusters movie there was some reservation like a lot of fans had. I can honestly say it had nothing to do with the fact the Ghostbusters were women but because it wouldn't be Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis , or Ernie Hudson. These were the guys that created these characters and had action figures and a cartoon series based off of them. Even throwing a group of guys in to play the roles would have given me reservations. 

So I kept reading different things and seeing the little images released and my excitement grew. When I saw the first trailer the special effects alone were awesome. Well I had nothing against these lovely ladies and couldn't wait to see this movie; but I had to. My wife and I got out to the movies this past Friday and it was awesome!!! We saw it in 3D and in the first 10-15 min of the movie when the Ghost throws up on Kristen Wigg my wife jumped a foot out of her chair. That being said the 3d wasn't as good as I had hoped so if you are going to go see this movie still, skip the 3D. The movie is great and your not missing much. 

Now I wondered if this was going to take place in the same universe as the original Ghostbusters. I thought the guys retired and these women wanted to follow in their footsteps and keep the city safe now that the Ghostbusters had hung up their proton packs up. I was wrong and I liked this way better. This is a whole new start for the Ghostbusters and an origin story, but here is what I loved about this. I get to keep my childhood heroes the way they are and I got to watch anxiously for my favorite actors to pop in this movie in cameos that were hilarious. They did give a nod to Harold Ramis with a Bust of Egon in the hallway of the University so look for it. This movie is about an angry man bullied all his life with genius talent. He creates these machines that boost paranormal energy and it draws the ghosts to our plain. Begin the Ghostbusters and some cool new busting gadgets. 

I could go on and on about this movie because I loved it. I already wish I could watch it again and I have my Pre-Order in on iTunes already. Very well done and the cast was great., Everyone was wonderful in their roles and I hope there is more coming from these ladies. I did hear there is another Ghostbusters with a male cast so there is that to look forward to. Any movie to keep this franchise going is fine with me. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Go see this movie or pre-order it now so you have it when it comes out. If you still need convincing I have included a trailer for you here.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Gunslinger by Stephen King


I first started reading this series almost 6 years ago. I was new to Stephen King and the world of science fiction. I had no idea what to expect but I was sucked into the world that moved on and the wheel of Ka. When I started this I was new to Goodreads and writing reviews. Here is my review from when I fist read this book.
So for years I have heard about this series and wondered if it was really as good as everyone has said. After a brief pause from reading, I finally got the reading bug again and decided I had to give it a try. At first I started reading this knowing full well it was all lead in and it might be slow, but in one sitting I had already finished 100 pages. Still I was unsure if I liked it but as days went by I found that I couldn't stop thinking about this book. I had to know what was going to happen next and I had so many questions that it drew me in every time I picked it up. Stephen King did such a great job with this first book, that even though it is setting the stage for what is yet to come, and it posses more questions than it answers. I was so entertained with each new section that I can't wait to get the second to continue with Roland on his quest for the Dark Tower. 
I have come a long way in my writing of reviews but this still holds some weight. Ever since I finished the 7th book I have been waiting to read this again. Now that the movie is really going to happen and is in production I figured what better time to get started on my journey to the tower once again and maybe I'll finish in time for the movie.

This is, I think the shortest of the books in the series. Not a whole lot happens in this book because it is setting up the main character. Roland Dechain is the last Gunslinger left in the world and he is chasing after the Man in Black. On this journey we learn a lot about Roland and how he came to be the Gunslinger. There are little bits of his past brought up through memories through the story. On his chase after the Man in Black Roland passes through a town named Tull. Here we not only get little bits of Roland's history, but we get to see bits of the power of the Man in Black. The Man in black does a few things to this poor town. First he brings back a man from the dead and gives him the secrets of death to torment the bar-made who Roland gets close to. He also manipulates everyone else in the town to turn on Roland when he gets there.

This book has an interesting cast of characters but even after two readings I don't feel any of them was important outside of Roland and the Man in Black and Jake. After Tull Roland comes across a man and his odd bird which was kind of interesting but I didn't really see what the purpose of that bit was so if you know please leave me a comment and finally educate me. From this point and after yet more flashbacks we finally get to meet Jake. This is a young boy who will be key in the prophecy surrounding the Ka-Tet that will be formed in the next book.This book is clearly a character study on Roland. Yes, the Man in Black and Jake are important characters but this whole book is Roland's show. This is the man who chases after the Man in Black to avenge his town and his mother. Driven by vengeance we get the story about Roland and how he became a Gunslinger 2 years before any other because he was so driven.

This is a great book but hang in there. There isn't a lot of action but it does an excellent job of setting the stage for what comes next. As I mentioned earlier, this book really made me think and long after I finished it I couldn't stop thinking about it. This began my fandom and I am totally geeking out about the movie. Some of the casting at first made me a little upset due to it being completely opposite of the book, but I've heard some rumors that the movie will be more of a continuation and the original 7 books. I don't want to give to much away because the full theory would give spoilers. I have become such a huge fan that even though I bought these all in paperback, I made it my mission to find all of the hard cover illustrated editions. The art work is incredible as I have shown here. I have searched high and low and I have found  this book, 5, 6, and 7. All of these are near mint condition and first editions. Needless to say they are part of the pride of my collection.

If you are still with me and haven't guessed by now I loved this book. The whole series is amazing. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars when I first read it, and I still feel the same way.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Deliveryman by Jeffery Deaver


So I Knew this book came before Deaver's newest book The Steel Kiss, but I wanted to see if this had any big effect if I didn't read it. Deaver is my favorite author so of course I'm going to read everything he writes. However, with other authors I don't follow so closely it is easy to miss the little in-between stories. Sometimes you miss something if you don't read them but I can happily say this one not only stands on its own but doesn't really effect The Steel Kiss. So if you haven't read this and would rather read the new novel you will be fine. One thing I will admit is that Stell Kiss starts off talking about the Baxter Case. I was really hoping this book would be all about that case but this seems to take place after that case as well. 

This is a novella so it is just longer than a short story. In this story Lincoln and Amelia are faced with one of the toughest crime scenes they have dealt with. A man was killed in a trash filled alley so there is a lot of evidence to get through to figure out what matters. Here is the catch, this victim isn't just a regular guy. This guy was the deliveryman for a large organized crime syndicate. Now Rhyme has to figure out who killed the victim, what he was transporting and how to get to it before them mob does.

Deaver uses some interesting techniques in this short story. It felt that he left some intentional clues that are easy to figure out just so you are distracted and looking in the wrong direction. At times I would have the whole story figured out and Deaver would find a way to surprise me anyway. I loved this short story and I'm so glad I read it. Easily 5 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Green Lantern Vol 7: The LIfe Equation by Robert Vennditti


Ok, so reading this before Vol 7 is highly recommended. As you may or may not know I read Vol 7 first due to the fact I got approved for the ARC from Net Galley and DC Comics. So of course I read Renegade first. I needed to give it a review ti be fair to the publisher and didn't have time to wait. Reading this didn't change my views on Vol 7 now that I know what is going on so that review still holds true. 

Let me start off with the one huge gripe I have with the Green Lantern Books. There are so many Green lantern books that it is impossible to read them all and get the whole story. DC, if you are going to do this please add some sort of note, *Previous scene in New Gods#...* This story has the New Gods attacking the Green Lantern Corps and crushing them, all to get at Kyle Rayner. The Highfather wants the Life Equation in Kyle. Kyle is the White Lantern which controls all of the emotional spectrums. This isn't a spoiler so no need to worry but at one point the Corps is detained with Sinestro in prison cells from the New Gods. All of a sudden, two pages later several of the Green Lanterns and Sinestro are free trying to free the others. How on Earth did this happen? I have no idea what book had this in it so I can't go out and find this book to see what I missed. I just have to start reading Green Lantern, Red Lantern act books until I find what I need. This really irritates me and I hope this is something fixed with Rebirth. 

So I've already given the first half of this book's plot. Yes, you read this correctly, the main story only takes up about half of the book. The second half is the fall out of everything that has led up to this moment. The Corps has had crazy guardians bent on the extermination of their own corps, the loss of the emotional spectrum leaving them powerless, and other issues. Now the new Guardians, who are really the original ones who were kicked out by the ones who went crazy, long story; are trying to figure out a way to fix the image of the Green Lantern Corps. Who else is made to take the hit but Hal Jordan. After reading this book I fully understand what is going on in the next volume. 

I liked this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I have lost interest in this series a little with each volume since Geoff Johns stopped writing the series. Nothing against Vennditti, but his stories just haven't held my attention like I would have liked. I eventually hope to get caught up to the events right before Rebirth but I'm not in any hurry.  

Friday, July 1, 2016

Skin Game by Jim Butcher


Have you ever wanted to read a book so much that you purposely avoid starting it? I finally caught up to the end of the series currently and I just didn't want it to end. Now I have to wait for the next book and I just don't know what to do with myself. I not only dragged my feet starting this book but I also took my sweet time reading this so I didn't get to the end. Jim Butcher has created these characters that when I pick up a book I feel like I am visiting with old friends. I get so wrapped up in these fictional characters that I cheer for them when things go their way and cry with them when they don't. It is ridiculous and crazy to get so wrapped up in people who are not real and only exist in the mind of a great writer.

This book is no different that any other Dresden book. When it seems like things can't get any worse for Dresden it does. Harry is ordered by Mab for his next job and it happens to be working for one of Harry's most hated nemesis, Nicodemus. If that isn't enough he also has this thing in his head trying to get out and he has three days before it kills him. Now to add insult to future injury, the job he has to do for Nicodemus is robbing the king of the underworld himself. Hades. Harry will have to work with a team to steel the Holy Grail.

As I had mentioned earlier I love these characters. This book brings some of the best qualities of each character and then enhances them to make these people even better. So many great scenes are in this book. There are moments in this that had me crying, cheering, and clenching my fists in anticipation. So many times I stopped what I was doing completely to listen to what was going on with rapt attention. My wife and I listen to these books and we love them. James Marsters reads these books. For nerds like myself I would say he is best known for his role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His voice is perfect for Harry Dresden. I've tried to read these on my own but even in my head now I hear his voice. This has been one of the best reading journeys I have been on in awhile and I am so sad to finally be all caught up. Now like every other fan of these books I have to wait anxiously for the next book. I'm already considering pre-ordering the audio book so I don't have to wait to start the next one.

I lived this book and believe me I could go into a ton of different things that I loved but I really don't want to spoil a single moment of this. In my last review for Cold Days, I said that book was my favorite in the series so far. Well here it is just over a week later and I am proudly shouting that this is my favorite book of the series. Everything about this book was so good. I already want to re-read this to see if I missed anything. Easily this is a 5 out of 5 star read. Here is the catch though, this wouldn't have been a 5 star read had I not read the whole series. The story is great and stands on its own fairly well, but if you have never read any of the books you will be missing some of the best parts. Growing with these characters is what I look forward to in each new story.