Top 5 Reasons Why I Probably Won’t Go See X-Men Origins: Wolverine

So butch

The crappy title doesn't help much either.

The unofficial Summer Movie season starts this weekend with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the fourth film in the X-Men movie franchise. As a big fan of comics growing up and a big fan of comic book movies, you’d think I’d be all over this one, especially since X-Men was always my favourite comic (I even bought the first two films on blu-ray today). But the truth is, from the time this film was announced, I was never more than lukewarm to the idea. Of course, it’d didn’t help that the last film in the series was a soul-crushing, steaming pile of monkey dung. But, this one is Ratner-less (directed by Gavin Hood), and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was the best part of The Last Stand, plus it has Tim Riggins! But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get excited for this movie, as each new preview made it look worse. Yet, I resigned myself to the idea that I was going to see this anyway, even though I had no expectation for a good film.

But no longer! I decided that I didn’t have to subject myself to things I’m not going to like, and here’s the reasons why…
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March Recommendations

Welcome to a new feature for this blog where I give quick recommendations from assorted pop culture categories of things I’m currently into. These things may or may not be current, but are things that I’m currently enjoying (or have recently enjoyed) that I think you (the reader) might enjoy as well. Provided that you enjoy things that are awesome.

In the past, I’d write reviews of things that I wanted to recommend, but I don’t have as much time to write those reviews as I used to, so instead of deciding how good something is, or weighing pros and cons, and all those things a responsible reviewer does, I’m just gonna come right out and say “I like these things. They are worthwhile”, which is basically what anyone is looking for when reading a review anyway. And because blogging can (and should) be a two-way street, please feel free to leave a comment with any recommendations you’d think I’d be into.
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Top 20 Comic Book Movies of All-Time

I admit, this story makes no sense.

I grew up a comic book fan, falling in and out of the habit as I got older. The times in my life where I stopped reading comics didn’t have too much to do with the comics themselves (although they probably did at times parallel a downturn in quality in the X-Men, the primary series I collected), but more to do with a lack of funds or my other entertainment options taking up my time. But then they started making movies about comics — more specifically, they started making GOOD movies about comics, and I decided to start reading comics again (albeit in much smaller doses).

So I write this list both as a fan of movies and a fan of comics. Thus, I’m also a big fan of movies based on comic books, when I’m not busy being a big critic of movies based on comics that fail to live up to the source material. This is a list I’ve been meaning to write for a few years now, and in that time, the list of candidates has only grown. Because the world of comic book adaptations has grown to encompass a nice variety of of genres and types, I felt a bigger list of 20 would lead to a more diverse and interesting collection than would a traditional list of 10. I’ll admit, I haven’t seen every comic book movie released, but I have seen every one that’s been released that I plan on seeing (meaning that if I haven’t seen a movie by now, I probably never will, because I’ve heard it sucks).

But first, I’ll clarify what I mean by “comic book movies”. For the purpose of this list, a comic book movie is any feature length film whose story and/or characters originally appeared in a comic book (and a comic book includes comics, comic strips, graphic novels, or manga). So films with comic book themes that didn’t originate in the world of comics, such as The Incredibles, Unbreakable, or Hancock, don’t qualify. Nor do sci-fish properties that originated elsewhere but have since become comic books, such as Transformers (not that it would ever make a list of mine).

The other thing I should clarify is what I mean by “top”. In this, I’m mostly judging the films by the quality of the films themselves, and less so by how strong they are as adaptations, although that will obviously come into play. The reason this isn’t simply a list on the best adaptations is twofold: one, I haven’t read all the source material for every comic book movie, and two, some movies don’t necessarily adapt one source as much as they borrow from several (that said, if I have read the source material, it would obviously affect my opinion of the film). Other than that, “top” is an amalgamation between “best” and “favourite”. And now, on to the list…
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TV Talk: Heroes Season Three Premiere

By the time you read this, half of these characters will have died. Then not died.

TV Talk: Heroes Season Three Premiere

Starring: Kristen Bell, Jack Coleman, Greg Grunberg, Ali Larter, James Kyson Lee, Masi Oka, Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Dania Ramirez, Cristine Rose, Milo Ventimiglia

Series Creator: Tim Kring
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POST #42: Comics

Along with being obsessed with watching TV and movies, and listening to music, I’m also a comic book reader. I have been off and on since I was kid, amassing a pretty big collection along the way. I don’t collect like I used to, and I’m not anywhere near as passionate as I once was, but I still follow a handful of titles.

After several years of dormancy, I drawn back into comics on my honeymoon, when I spotted a Wizard Magazine with the announcement that Joss Whedon was set to write for X-Men comics. I’m a huge Whedon fan (I think Buffy the Vampire Slayer might be the best TV show of all-time), and had been a huge X-Men fan for a large part of my life (I think one of my runs goes about 200 issues straight). So I bought the magazine, which led me to go back into comics stores to be the Astonishing X-Men series that Whedon was writing.

Later, through downloading, I came across Y: The Last Man, after reading an interview with its writer and creator Brian K Vaughan on the Onion AV Club. I quickly fell in love with the series, devouring the 25 or so issues that I had downloaded, and then getting all the trades so I could have them for my own.

That led me to another Vaughan series, Ex Machina, which is brilliant in its own right. Figuring that Vaughan could do no wrong, I went ahead and bought the first hard cover collection of Runaways, and learned that I was right (it turns out that I wasn’t quiet right… his earlier work for Marvel with their characters weren’t as great as his own creations. I didn’t quite care for his Mystique series, and only read one trade of his work on Ultimate X-Men). Both books remain on my pull list, even after Vaughan left Runaways and was replaced by… Joss Whedon!

So I proved that I’ll buy anything written by these two (including Vaughan’s excellent Pride of Baghdad graphic novel and fun Escapist mini-series), but I didn’t stop there. After reading tonnes of praise and buying a preview issue for 25 cents, I finally checked out Fables by Bill Willingham, and found myself loving it almost as much as Y: The Last Man. I’ve decided to just collect that one in trades though, since the monthly issues are often unsatisfying one by one.

Once it was announced that Whedon was releasing a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics series that would function as a season eight (with Vaughan following up with the next arc of stories), it was quickly added to my reserve file, bringing the total of monthly series I currently collect to six. And they’re all fantastic.

So comic book readers, is there anything else out there that I should check out based on these tastes? Who’s the next Vaughan or Willingham that I’m not reading?

TV Talk: Heroes

No love for Ando?

TV Talk: Heroes

Starring: Santiago Cabrera, Tawny Cypress, Noah Gray-Cabey, Greg Grunberg, Ali Larter, Masi Oka, Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Leonard Roberts, Milo Ventimiglia

Series Creator: Tim Kring
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Comic Book Review: Spider-Man and the Black Cat – The Evil That Men Do (2002-05)

You see a badge wedged anywhere in this cleavage?!

Spider-Man and the Black Cat – “The Evil That Men Do” (2002-06)

Collects Spider-Man and the Black Cat – “The Evil That Men Do” issues 1-6. Writer: Kevin Smith, Penciller: Terry Dodson, Inker: Rachel Dodson, Colourists: Lee Loughridge and Rachel Dodson, Letterist: Richard Starkings and Comicraft. Published by Marvel Comics from 2002-2005.
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Comic Book Review: Runaways – Volume One (2003-2004)

Hello? Guys...? Come on, I didn't tie my bed sheets together for nothing, did I?

Runaways – Volume One (2003-2004)

Collects Runaways Volume One issues 1-18. Writer: Brian K Vaughan, Pencillers: Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa, Inkers: Craig Yeung and David Newbold, Colourists: Christina Strain and Brian Reber, Letterists: Randy Gentile, Chris Eliopoulos and Paul Tutrone, Cover Art: Jo Chen and Joshua Middleton. Published by Marvel Comics in 2003-2004.
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Comic Book Review: The Uncanny X-Men – “The Dark Phoenix Saga” (1979-80)

Hear me X-Men! No longer am I the woman you knew! I am fire! And LIFE INCARNATE! Now and forever -- I AM PHOENIX!

The Uncanny X-Men – “The Dark Phoenix Saga” (1979-80)

Collects The Uncanny X-Men issues 129-137. Writers: Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Penciller: John Byrne, Inker: Terry Austin, Colourists: Bob Sharen and Glynis Wein, Letterist: Tom Orzechowski. Published by Marvel Comics in 1979-80.
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