Thee Comic Column #5: Transformers Regeneration One

What m. bay almost did to old school transformers fans – image from http://80scartoons.tumblr.com/

International Film #1: The Thieves (South Korea)

The first addition of a column I’ll continue on through my travels and when I settle for awhile (eventually). I cannot say that I am either a film buff nor a critic, but I can counter by saying that I have viewed hundreds of films from various eras and countries and know what I like and not so much. Thus my reviews may be a bit biased, but a critique should be subjective, no? Let’s just leave it at that. My first installment finds me in the Kowloon area in Hong Kong in the Broadway Cinematheque Theater 2. -JGrez

Thee Comic Column #4 Punk Rock Jesus

When I first read about Punk Rock Jesus in Comic Shop Insider I was intrigued. I’m not one to fall in for the tropes of ‘punk’ – I’m pretty much of the opinion that nothing has really been ‘punk’ since about 1979. HOWEVER – I’ve always thought the real-world, over-used visual stylings of safety pins, liberty spikes and tattoes can still be used to great effect in fictional realms. There’s something about having grown up in the late 70’s, early 80’s, when movies and comics were using the left over punk imagery to shape very nihilistic and often destitute characters and tableaus for their visions of the  future. Think about Chris Claremont’s early-eighties Uncanny X-men and his Morlocks, or cinema wise think Mad Max*, as well as pretty much every cop movie or show at the time, where the hoods often had mohawks, chains, spiked wristbands and of course, switchblades.

Hydra Head Records Calls it quits

courtesy of bluecollardistro.com

Pop Culture Anomalies: The Twin Peaks Board Game

TP board gameDuring the initial success of the television show Twin Peaks, circa the spring/fall of 1990, some pretty interesting fringe marketing popped up. I was fortunate enough to see the pilot episode the night it aired on ABC and – as unlikely as it would seem for a freshman in high school at the time – become completely infatuated with it. At the time I’d fallen into a bit of a bonding experience with my father while watching another weekly drama, CBS’s Wiseguy, which featured Ken Wahl in the lead but more interestingly a young Jonathan Banks and an even younger Kevin Spacey. The show might or might not hold up in retrospect – it’s impossible to find in tact on DVD because of some music rights that hover around the Moody Blues – but by nature of the cast alone you can see it was influential. And at the time I guess it was what my household needed. My father is an amazing man and we’re close, however close in my house probably doesn’t mean exactly what it means in other people’s homes. We’ve always had very separate lives and interests – he’s into cars and all things mechanical while for myself it’s music, literature, movies and comics. Still, we seemed to connect with serialized fiction. Maybe because early on my Dad fostered my love of the visual medium by taking me to the movies as a kid – we shared amazing theatrical experiences with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters*. All this changed though, when I entered Junior High.

Thee Comic Column #3: Brian K. Vaughn’s latest Saga

I’ll tell you right off the bat that I’ve not read Y: The Last Man. I know, I know… I’m going to get to it. Around the time the first trade came out I bought it and dug it – I can’t say I was moved to run out and shake my ever-faithful comic book dealer Mike until he handed over the next monthly issue like I was when he forced me to read the first four trades of The Walking Dead – but I liked it nonetheless. However, at the time I was preparing to move 3000 miles away from home and a lot of sacrifices were made. Y was one of them. In fact, until very recently I’d not really read ANY Brian K. Vaughan other than what he did in the early oughts with Runaways. About six months ago however I remedied that by reading the entire run of Ex Machina trades in very short order and ABSOLUTELY LOVED THEM. West Wing meets modern super hero comics, and if that sounds like it most likely wouldn’t work you’re probably right – unless of course BKV is the guy writing it!!!

The Definition of Spoiler: Breaking Bad Season 5 mid-Season Finale

Shawn: Really? Ok, the fact that we have to wait a year for the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad isn’t a surprise – back before season four when AMC – brainiacs – almost dropped the show and finally settled with the creators on ordering a final sixteen episode season I knew – everyone KNEW – that AMC would pull a “Sopranos” and split it in two. But after witnessing the moment I have been waiting for since Walt walked into Tuco Salamanaca’s and had his distinctive, then not-yet named Heisenberg visage recorded on a security system I’ve known – again, we’ve all KNOWN – it was going to come down to Walt vs. Hank. And so now, here it is: Walt has a change of heart, or maybe better said comes back down to earth from Tony Montanaville* but now it’s too late. All along during Walter’s transformation we’ve seen that he has a serious problem with hubris and it makes a wonderful kind of sense that after everything, all the crazy close calls and chaotic madness, it would be such a simple, stupid mistake stemming from that hubris that would topple him in the end.

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