FanExpo Toronto 2018 – DC World’s Finest Panel

Celebrating its 24th year, FAN EXPO Canada has grown from a small comic book convention attracting 1,500 fans into a multi-faceted, 4-day citywide event that attracts over 129,000 people from around the world.

Some of the most brilliant and creative minds behind DC’s multiverse are gathered to give you an exclusive look into the thrilling world of DC comics! Drop in on this panel and check out what they’ve got in store next for The World’s Greatest Super Heroes!

Dan DiDio
Peter Tomasi
Marguerite Bennett
Steve Orlando
Frank Tieri
James Tynion IV
Joshua Williamson

FanExpo: https://www.fanexpocanada.com/en/abou…

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The Counselor (2013) – Movie Review

A woman having sex with a car. A guy shaking a decapitated head out of a motorcycle helmet. A man getting killed by an automatic strangling device. All this and more in ‘The Counselor’, an over-the-top movie about a lawyer getting involved in a shady drugs deal that inevitably goes terribly wrong.

Apart from these extreme scenes, the cast is the main attraction of the movie. Top notch Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem and Cameron Diaz are playing weird characters. They are all living in a world full of beautiful people, driving expensive cars and living in design interiors.

Add to this some dialogues full of absurd wisecracks like ‘The truth has no temperature’, and you get a film that could be great. With these ingredients, ‘The Counselor’ could have been an ultra cool film, something like a crossing between Tarantino and the Coen Brothers.

But somehow, it all doesn’t add up. For one thing, the plot is never completely clear. I tried to connect the dots, but I didn’t succeed. This is not in all cases a problem. In a film like ‘Syriana’ the plot was also hazy, but this didn’t bother me. As long as you go along with the general mood of a film, it’s not a problem when some elements are not spelled out. But in this case, too much is left unexplained.

And then there is the dialogue. There is a lot of it. Some of it is witty and sharp. Unfortunately, there are also lengthy monologues full of heavy philosophical thoughts, which are completely unbelievable and not helping the film in any way. Writer Cormac McCarthy failed in this respect. This film has some fine moments, but it is unbalanced and doesn’t reach its full potential.

 

6 out of 10 stars

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Comic Book Review – Final Crisis: New Edition (collecting issues 1 to 7) – 2008

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Ok. The usual disclaimer here: this review may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t read the series then it may be best to skip the main body of this review until you have.

Created by Grant Morrison, J G Jones, Carlos Pacheco plus others, it is……..just about okay. To be honest, it’s not that great. It has some good ideas, the concepts and narrative are quite brilliant, but the execution/delivery is poor and scattered, which makes it an odd read at times.

Let me explain.

Grant Morrison’s writing style is challenging to completely grasp at times. He’s sometimes so abstract, you’re not sure exactly what you’re reading. He tends to use quite a bit of foreshadowing, and when coupled with non-linear story telling it means that the series or story arc is best consumed in one sitting versus monthly or periodic installments. So, if you do decide to read this series, it’s best to do it in one sitting.

I read this series back in 2008 when it first came out and felt, like everyone, that Grant could do no wrong. I mean, he’s one of the top comic book writers of all time and he has written some great iconic stories, however this is not one of them. I really wanted to like it at the time of first reading, and it wasn’t until I read the series again recently that I was able to weight the story on its own merits.

I liked the exploration of the New Gods as an idea; their fall from Heaven to Earth after a war between Good and Evil, only to be planted in normal humans as an idea that grows and evolves, transforming the person into the respective New God. I loved the concept of delivering the anti-life equation through electronic media to infect and ultimately subjugate the Earth’s population with an idea. It’s so close to what is going on today with social media and the whole SJW culture that is infecting everything (to the point of it being detrimental). That Grant could see this as a possibility back in 2008 is brilliant on his part.

I also liked the deconstruction of the heroes, the way that he dispatched the super heroes so that the New Gods could infect and subjugate the populace.

Beyond that, it’s just weird. Libra acts as the Prophet for the coming of the New Gods by evangelizing and organising the super villains into one group to provide support for their arrival, and then he disappears in the second half of the story.

Superman and Batman are dispatched early on and then you don’t see them again until the final issue. Superman’s absence is odd and not fully explained, just briefly referenced when he reappears at the end of the series. And that’s really my problem with the story, there isn’t a central character or set of characters which carry the narrative and can be used to revolve the story around. It would have been better to tell the story from the villain’s perspective by making them the central characters.

I also wasn’t keen on the story pacing. Long arcs dedicated to Mary Marvel, without showing how she was corrupted, fighting the uninfected heroes, Supergirl in particular, I thought was unnecessary and didn’t really move the story along at all. I mean seeing these two square off against each other is fun, but maybe that should have been used for a supporting one-off story in it’s own separate book.

All that said, it is worth a read. It does have some really neat concepts, but it ultimately falls flat and fails to connect.

3 out of 5 stars.

 

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Comic Book Review – Thor: God of Thunder Volume 2: The Godbomb (collecting issues 6 to 11) – 2013

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This review contains spoilers, so if you are planning on reading the book please be mindful of that. On that note, I highly recommending reading it and circling back to the review. It’s a beautifully written and drawn book, and well worth adding to anyone’s collection.

The heart of the story is about how revenge corrupts, plain and simple. Here we see Gorr’s origin story………..

I’m sitting in the library trying to think of how/what to write on this comic book which I enjoyed tremendously. The atmosphere generated by the artist, the movement of the characters and their expressiveness as they emote supports the story perfectly.

That’s how it was flowing until my personal space was invaded by this dude who sat right next to me on the communal bench. Ok, it’s a communal bench, I get it, but I’ll know not to sit here next time. And, I appreciate it’s a Saturday which is the busiest day of the week, but seriously chief, you’re sitting so close it looks like we’re a couple. This is, of course, the best time for you to start reading over my shoulder – not literally given you are sitting so close, you’re almost looking at the laptop screen head-on. This guy has no concept of personal space.

Ok, so It’s a cautionary tale about becoming the thing we hate the most. Gorr starts off hating the Gods who abandoned him, who wouldn’t help as he suffered and then were directly responsible for the loss of his loved ones. He takes a chance opportunity at acquiring power to seek justice at first, but as time progresses he becomes bitter, twisted and cruel as revenge totally consumes him. His final act, a bomb to destroy all Gods throughout all time, sees Gorr become the God of all Gods who destroys lives around him as he focuses solely on his ultimate goal. Collateral damage; they’re not important.

Ok, chief, let’s take this a step further. You’ve just pulled out the Most Feminine Hand Cream of All Time and are applying it while looking at me out of the corner of your eye. I see your game, dude. Now I know why you sat next to me. Unfortunately for me, my sinuses have become sensitive to perfume/cologne over the years, to the point that I can no longer wear the stuff myself. The hand cream this guy is using is perfumed and is assaulting my senses. Fuck, could you be any more annoying? No wait, please don’t answer that.

I’ve always been a big fan of character driven stories which show their journey, decisions they make and the consequences thereof. Jason takes a unique and inventive approach by showing us three versions of Thor; a young, brash and inexperienced God, a “middle-aged” superhero and Avenger, and then finally King Thor, someone who is feeling the weight of hard decisions he has had to make as a King of Asgard, and then has them team up in the same story. One thing of note is the foreshadowing that Jason does with King Thor. In later stories, Thor loses his arm and we see this with King Thor and his use of the Destroyer’s arm in place of the one he lost in his younger years.

Ok, he answered that question. Now this dude is giving me furtive glances, sending me the signal that he wants to talk to me, i.e. hit on me. Fuck, chief, I couldn’t be any less interested, not to mention that you’re barking up the wrong tree. I don’t swing that way. So, okay, lesson learned. I’ll need to sit elsewhere in the library – I’m not going to stop coming here because it’s a good space for writing. Next time I’ll just vacate the area and find another spot. The library has five floors. Plenty of options are available.

I appreciate that this is a comic book and a stylised, embellished version of the Norse myth, however I would have preferred to see Thor’s sons instead of the three daughters that appeared in the story. I guess I’m just a purest in that regard, but that’s really my only complaint about the story. In any case, I enjoyed the first eleven issues of the series so much, I bought the entire run. This is, of course, what good stories do: you can’t wait to see what happens next.

4 stars out of 5.

 

 

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Blue Jasmine – Movie Review

Let me preface this review by saying I’m not a huge fan of Woody Allen’s movies, and after seeing this movie I’m even less of one. I’ll admit that I infrequently visit the world of film, preferring to be entertained by movies, so likely don’t have a refined enough palette to fully appreciate this piece of art. For example, my uncle was a connoisseur of fine cheeses, the more pungent and aged the better. Being young and curious I asked to try a small piece of cheese, not realizing that my underdeveloped taste buds were more attuned to sugary delights than refined cheeses. That taste of old, sweaty gym socks remains with me to this day. So, forgive me if I highlight aspects of this film which are signature Allen hallmarks as unpalatable. The protagonist is completely unlikeable and therefore I didn’t connect nor care what happened to her. This, to me, made the story completely pointless. At times, I found the movie almost unwatchable because the main character’s behavior was so distasteful. Self-Inflicted Wounds would have been a better title than Blue Jasmine. The supporting characters weren’t much better. All deeply flawed, with these flaws being on full display as the main descriptor of each character. Real people aren’t like this. It wasn’t even a close enough facsimile of a real person for me to suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the story being told. I also found it curious that all of the male and female characters were essentially created from the same mold. The female characters being these one person wrecking crews affecting the lives of all the people around them, and the male characters being victims, weak, powerless and spineless in the face of these whirling dervishes. All this despite the socio-economic status of the individual. Perhaps Allen did this on purpose. Perhaps this is a reflection of the world in which Allen lives. In any case, watching a film which is inspired by a classic and is infused with Allen’s peculiar view of the world is just not that entertaining to me. That being said, Cate Blanchett’s performance is outstanding and for that alone the film is worth viewing. I’d be surprised if Cate was not included in the list of nominees for an Oscar next year.

 

5 out of 10

 

 

David So – Finding Yourself

Vlog 75: Find Yoself! You lost as fuck:

 

 

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