Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is it worth a Redbox: Goosebumps

I'm in my mid-40's( damn that's hard to type) so my familiarity with Goosebumps is a bit strange. When the books were popular, I was way too old to be reading them.  However, I was dating a middle school English teacher for a time in the 90's and the Goosebumps tv show on Fox came on right after Xmen so many mornings I just watched it because I was too lazy to change the channel or nothing else was on. I read maybe 10 books and probably saw 75% of the tv episodes so I had a good idea of what R. L Stine was about.

When I heard they were doing the movie, Goosebumps, I was very meh about it.  One is starred Jack Black and if you have listened to any of our podcasts, you know he is near the top of the list of actors we dont fuck with. Two, I felt that the movie would get Disney-fied- even tho its not a Disney production.  I was thinking a movie like Haunted Mansion.  I was wrong.  So wrong.

Goosebumps: The Movie is very good.  The story and plot are well thought out.  The acting by the two teenage stars is top notch and even Jack Black puts in a decent performance as R. L Stine.  The story follows Zack as he and his mom move from New York City to a small town in Delaware.  Zack's dad died recently and everyone is looking for a fresh start.  The family moves next door to a house with fences all around, yet there is a girl named, Hannah inside the house who takes an interest in Zack and teenage flirting and shenanigans follow.

In looking to rescue Hannah from her crazed dad, Zack breaks into the house and opens up a manuscript written by R. L Stine and once the book is open, the characters of the book come to life. It has a real Jumanji feel to it, but not in a bad way.  The creatures, once released wreck havok all over town and of course attempt to kill our heroes. There is comedy, but some real moments of thrill during all the chase scenes in town.

Hannah's dad is actually R.L Stine and he explains that his books come to life when opened and now, Spanky, the terrifying ventriloquist dummy, is out and he opens all the books and releases all the creatures of the books onto this unsuspecting town.

The movie has thrills and chills for younger viewers and some nice comedy only for the adults. There is a twist at the end naturally, but none of it comes off as hokey or pandering.  The movie is extremely well done.

Is it worth a Redbox?  100% YES! In fact, I will probably add it to my personal DVD collection for my daughter as she now wants to go and read all the books.  Definitely worth your $1.50

The Producer

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is it worth a Redbox: The Perfect Guy

In our continuing series of watching Redbox movies for you and helping you decide "Is it worth a Redbox" we give you this weeks entry: The Perfect Guy.

The movie Stars Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut, and Michael Ealy.  I actually wanted to like this movie.  I am a sucker for Fatal Attraction like movies and I watch more Lifetime movies than most straight men probably should.  The last Fatal Attraction movie with a predominantly Black cast was, Obsessed starring Beyonce and Idris Alba.  Now that movie is Gawd awful.  Bad acting, writing, directing- there is nothing redeeming about that movie.

The Perfect Guy in comparison to Obsessed is great- but that does not make it a great movie.  Sanaa Lathan stars as a career business woman who is engaged to Morris Chestnut, but for some reason, shit dont work out.  They break up and in the phase of "getting out there" she meets Michael Ealy's , character, Carter. They hit it off and the usual dating and mating rituals go according to form.  But suddenly, an incident happens at a gas station where Carter beats the brakes off some dude in a jealous rage and this scares Sanaa and she breaks it off with him.  He does not take no for an answer easily and stalks her and intimidates her until she gets the police involved.  There is the standard Fatal Attraction rip off with a cat instead of a bunny, the killing of a close friend,  but the movie fails to "go there" and actually make this movie intense enough to actually make you believe it.  These Fatal Attraction rip offs have to straddle a line between camp and intense drama and this one leans more towards drama but its not intense.  Not even a little bit. The acting performances aren't bad, but I think in the effort to keep the movie PG, much of the intensity and drama got left on the cutting room floor and the movie becomes tepid.

Of course, she winds up back with Morris Chestnut which sends Carter even more over the edge and not to spoil anything, there is a confrontation between the two.  The movie ends on some Girl Power stuff where Sanaa has to take the law into her own hands to save her own life. Bada Bing, Bada Boom. Movie over!

Kinda long and kinda boring.  This movie does nothing well or poorly.  Its just another movie.  Is it worth a Redbox? I would say NO, but if you are struggling to rent something and its there, you could rent alot worse movies.

The Producer

In Defense of LT Boomer

One of the reasons I did not mess too much with the Battlestar remake in the early 2000's was because it was a little too different from the original( for me).  I heard from Blerds whose opinions I trust/respect that it was actually very good, but I just never messed with it.  Its on Netflix and I probably  need to go back and watch it.  I did see that "Boomer" was now an Asian Female- Ok. Sure. Fine. Whatever.  But I did not stick with it enough to see if they had a black dude/lady on the show or what role he/she may have played.  All I remember was that Boomer was Asian, Starbuck was a woman, and the Cylons was hot chicks.

But in getting ready for our livetweet of BattleStar Galatica #BSG78 for @brothascomis, I have been watching the OG series on Netflix.  To show my age, I was 7 years old when the series originally premiered.  You have to remember that this was after Star Wars became a worldwide hit in 1977 and tv and movies were trying to capture some of that magic.  When Battlestar premiered, Big Hutch and I were there for it- live.  No VCR/DVR just 2 hours of the world premier movie and it blew us away. The Vipers, the Cylons, and I am not gonna front, I had it in major for Athena.  Adama, Col Tigh- hell and even Boxy and his annoying little self.

I was a kid, tho.  I did not get the Astrological signs and its overt religious themes.  I was about those Vipers and the Cylons was bad guys( and they scared the fuck outta me). The Viper pilots were cool as hell. I was all about the Viper Pilots.  Being a young child at the time, I was more of a Starbuck guy than an Apollo guy.  Starbuck was cooler and had some swagger.  Plus he was sorta with Athena
(before he was trying to get with Cassiopeia) and he was one of the best pilots in the fleet.

However, being Black, of course you had to notice Lt Boomer.  Now he does not get many lines in the first 2 episodes, but he is always there in the cut( like Franklin in Peanuts).  But upon rewatching it as adult, Boomer ain't nobody's punk. I mean nobody.   He is one of the best pilots in the fleet( an equal to both Apollo and Starbuck), he is intelligent, and has a moral code that is definitely missing from Starbuck.  He is essentially Black Apollo and the relationship between he and Col Tigh works hand in hand with Adama and Apollo.  And in pivotal episodes, like Fire in Space and  Gun on Ice Planet Zero, he is the hero of those episodes.  Watching it now, I'm like, "F*ck Starbuck, I'm Team Boomer"!

I have now made it the mission of @brothascomics to meet LT Boomer, AKA Herbert Jefferson, Jr. I am not sure if he goes to cons or does signings, but I am looking to find him, shake his hand, and thank him for a great Sci Fi character of color.

So lets give some props to Lt Boomer!

The Producer

Monday, January 25, 2016

Curtiss Cook Interview

@brothacomics had the chance to interview Curtiss Cook this past weekend.
Curtiss is an old friend of Female Perspective and Big Hutch and was gracious enough to give us an hour to talk about his humble beginnings as an actor, how the 90's was a struggle because of studio's hiring rappers to act, his youtube series, Black Man Acting, #oscarssowhite,  and he drops hints on a secret, Marvel Project that he cannot talk about, but every Blerd will be watching on Netflix
( #sweetchristmas)

Check it out on ITunes or Soundcloud

Please like and/subscribe and follow @brothascomics on Facebook  and Twitter

The Producer

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Extraordinary Xmen #1: Review

Its post Secret War and the remaining X-Men are down and almost out.  The M-Pox and the Terrigen Mist have reduce the mutant population dramatically.  Storm, is the leader of the X-Men and along with Iceman are charged with reforming the X-Men and leading them in this new, mutant hating world.

The book opens with Storm having a conversation with someone and pondering loudly how he did it for so many years.  Iceman comes in with news about Majik and her latest rescue mission in India.

Majik is in India doing a rescue of a mutant in that country.  With all the mutant paranoia and hatred, many mutants have been hunted down and killed.  Storm has allowed Majik to seek, find, and rescue mutants and have them brought back to the school. The crowd in India is fierce and full of hatred and Majik needs to go full mutant to rescue the child.

Once back to the mansion, Storm and Iceman recognize that sending Majik out on these missions is too dangerous for her to do alone.  Storm makes the decision to reform the X-Men to try and save whatever mutants that are left and bring them back to X-Haven.

Now the team needs to recruit the team who are spread out all over the place.  The first recruit is Jean Grey.  Now this is the time displaced Jean Grey from the 60's who was brought back to this time stream along with the Original X-Men team.  Jean is now a college student and wants a normal life.  Jean knows her fate and is doing everything in her power to avoid it. Even after seeing what has happened to mutants after reading Storm's mind, she still declines the invitation to join the X-Men!

The next recruit is Colossus.  He is now back working the farm in his native Russia.  His sister, Majik heads out to recruit Peter who is perfectly fine living a simple life on the farm in Russia.  But he could never say no to his sister and they leave to go look for the next recruit, Nightcrawler.

Nightcrawler is working a solo mission looking to capture the Marauders.  In battle with Aries and the others, he is finally defeated and captured and taken away to be a test subject for their master.

As Jean declines the offer to rejoin the team, she informs Storm and Iceman that she has scanned the Earth for mutants in her freetime and she found a mutant who should not be here.  Storm and Iceman head out with the news and in the openness of Canada they find... Wolverine( Old Man Logan version)

That ends issue one.  As a blerd dad, I have been in and out of comics over the past few years.  I would dip my toes in the water from time to time the last  5 years and the X-books are no different. I would check them out and then leave them alone- mostly because there are so many books and its gotten so hard to keep up.  I am taking the starting point after Secret Wars to try this book.  I thought the first issue was solid.  It did a good job of keeping you informed of what has happened and what is to come. I have been a fan of Humberto Ramos' art over the years, even tho he can often be inconsistent.  I like the make up of the team and Storm as leader should always be a part of any X-Men story.

Check back in next week for issue #2 review.  The book is already on issue #5 so go check them out and drop comments after you read them!

The Producer

Original Secret Wars: Part 1

With the conclusion of the Hickman Secret Wars(2015), @brothascomics is gonna take a a look back at the original Secret Wars.  Developed primarily as a tool for Marvel to sell toys, the series winds up having significant impact on the Marvel Universe. It spawns an awful sequel in Secret War 2, but the influence of the original lives on as evident by the homage to the original by Hickman's Secret Wars

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will review issues 1-12 and host a podcast to discuss the series.  So grab a Jolt Cola and sit back and enjoy the recaps.

Prior to the start of the series, all the heroes are drawn to Central Park because of this large construct that has appeared in the park.  One by one, the heroes enter and are transported into space and wind up all together and confused as to how they wound up in space.

Representing the heroes the Avengers, the Xmen, the Fantastic Four( minus Sue Richards), Spider man, Hulk, and for a reason that will become apparent later, Magneto.  For some reason the heroes feel  the need to introduce themselves and Wasp, who is leader of the Avengers at the time, does so in the most arrogant way possible.  It must be noted that Iron Man is James Rhodes at this time and The Hulk is smart and under the control of Bruce Banner.

At the same time, the villains have been transported as well to a different construct.  Its implied that many of the villains were taken from their homes or prison and transported unlike the heroes who went in voluntarily.  At the same time, the heroes are kinda confused as to why Magneto is with them and not on the other construct.  The Xmen, Xavier in particular, are very protective of Magneto even tho he is not trying to be a hero.

While trying to figure all of this out, the power of the Beyonder is revealed.  He begins to destroy one galaxy to make another( Battleworld).  His power on full display shocks and awes everyone.

Once Battleworld is formed, finally the Beyonder speaks.  He speaks of this great battle and that if you slay your villains, you will get whatever you choose.

Galactus is the first to act.  Wanting to end his constant huger for planets, he charges out towards the source of the Beyonder's power.  Dr. Doom, who is curious as well as power hungry, follows shortly after as they fly towards the Beyonder.

Of course the Beyonder has God like powers and swats the both of them back to Battleworld like its nothing.  For Doom, this is his wake up call.  The power of the Beyonder is so great that even he does not think anyone should challenge him directly.  

Meanwhile, the heroes are looking to find a leader for this upcoming battle.   But first they need to decide what to do with Magneto.  No one besides the Xmen want him there and its become a tense situations between the heroes.  Eventually, Magneto feels attacked and decides to fight back and deuces the heroes to do his own thing.

After Magneto leaves, the heroes decide they must have a leader for this upcoming battle.  Many names are tossed around, but eventually they settle on Captain America to lead the team.

As Doom heads back to the villain base after his Beyonder smack down, he is formulating what to do next.  Doom recognizes the power and how very little he could do to challenge the Beyonder on his own. He plans to seek out Reed Richards to formulate some plan to stop the Beyonder.  of course his villain co horts want to challenge the heroes so they can win the prize the Beyonder is offering.  This is insulting to Doom and he attacks the villains and plans to fly to see Reed.  Kang, thinks that is a bitch ass move and shoots down Dooms ship when it leaves the base.

As the heroes move to check out the explosion that took down Doom's ship, the villains move in to attack and we end issue one on a cliffhanger before the first battle between hero and villains.

That ends issue #1.  As much as I love this series, its kind of a mess in parts and it definitely shows its age when you re-read it.  Villains and heroes a like are constantly invoking their own name and the idea of thought boxes all over the place is 20 80's and 90's comics.  I think a major point people miss when looking pack is how sorry the villains are, tho.  I mean the Wrecking Crew? Lizard?  Kang and Dr. Doom are solid and powerful enough to take on the heroes by themselves.  And of course Galactus can hold his own against anyone.  Meanwhile the heroes are stacked with all their most powerful heroes AND the Hulk.  Not a fair fight at all.

But solid effort. Looking forward to issue #2.
The Producer

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This was not a mistake

Just some background information.  Even tho I grew up black in a small Midwestern town, when I started adulting with a real job, real money, and real bills, it was in South Florida- Ft Lauderdale to be exact.  Now South Florida is nothing like Ohio. NOTHING! Its hot, pretty much all the time, there is so much to do from the beach, to night life... But the biggest difference is the almost overwhelming different cultures that exist there.  There are all the transplants from the United States and then you have all the island cultures from Jamaica, Trinidad, Dominican Republic and from South America with Brazilians, Colombians, Venezuelans.  We are all living on the same spot and its wonderful.  And being a dude, all these women from these countries were beautiful.

But being from Ohio comes with drawbacks in that I did not know about any culture that was not based on black and white people. That is what I grew up with and what I was comfortable with.  But down there, I had to learn about different cultures and even if many groups of people all speak the same language( Spanish) that does not mean that they are all alike.  And inter cultural prejudices exist especially in Spanish speaking countries. So I learned.  Being in education at the time as my job, it was easy to learn from the students and get a sense of their culture and not just judge them based on their language.

With that being said, later in life, I married a women from Puerto Rico.  Over courting her, I became more and more immersed in Puerto Rican culture and began to see the similarities and differences between Puerto Rican's and other Spanish speaking cultures.  Now South Florida, Miami in particular, has a huge Cuban population.  Now even though these people share the same language, foods, and culture, they are not the same.  Hell their flags are even similar!  But that is pretty much where it ends in terms of similarities.  There is intense inter-cultural rivalry between the two groups of people and much of it isn't nice.

Therefore when I saw the issue of Spiderman and his visit to Cuba and the artist drew a Puerto Rican flag, I knew immediately that this was not a mistake. First, the writer of the book, Jose Molina is Puerto Rican.  If he set a story in Cuba and sent that plotline over to the artist, he would be clear with him that the story is set in Cuba and to include the Cuban flag.  The artist on the book, Simone Bianchi, is from Italy.  Possibly he is not familiar with the /similarities/differences between the two cultures but the writer is so even if he did a Google search, there would be Cuban flags for him to look at to base his art.  There is no way that book went to press without the writer seeing it and he did nothing to stop it.  That leads to one of 2 conclusions.  1.  Molina saw it and it was a jab to the Cuban culture and people; 2.  Marvel allowed it, knowing that it would make press for the book and increase sales because of the "error".  Those are the only 2 choices.  This was not a mistake.  A Puerto Rican knows their flag intimately and knows the difference between their flag and the Cuban flag.
To me it seems that Mr. Molina was able to slip that past the editors knowing they would not know the difference and as a 1 up for Puerto Rico against Cuban culture.

In a sign of the times, Molina issued a Twitter apology saying he has no idea how it happened. Um, Ok.  Don't believe the hype! This was not a mistake!

I HAVE TO APOLOGIZE for a mistake that appeared in issue 1.2 of , which I wrote and which (cont)

The only other logical answer would be the editors on the book did no fact checking at all and not being aware of the cultural differences just said, "Ok" and the book went to press wrong.  I guess, but I'm not buying that at all. Unless, of course they are from Ohio like me!

The Producer

Legion Quest Part 4: Death of Xavier

The conclusion of Legion Quest which leads to the Age of Apocalypse.  This last issue( SPOILER ALERT) is going to end with the death of Charles Xavier.  Now even tho the internet was a thing when this issue came out, Marvel had already spoiled that Xavier was going to die.  The how he would die was the biggest mystery. Marvel and comic book stores even held memorial services for Xavier so this was a big deal in the world of comics.

Picking up from the last issue, Legion has made his move on Magneto with the intention of killing him so that his fathers dream of peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants could live without the constant battles that Xavier and Magneto would endure over the years.  Legion has attacked Magneto and Magneto has used his mutant powers to fight back and a huge battle is going on in the skies of Israel.  The issue opens with our heroes looking to the sky in an attempt to soak in all that is happening.

Storm, Bishop, Iceman, and Psylocke are witnessing this fight between Legion and Magneto and are paused to what to do next.  In the previous issues, Cable came back and told them events happening in the past are destroying the future as a crystal wave from the M'Kraan Crystal is wiping out much of the present as they know it.  And if they do not stop the events from now, their future is doomed.

As the battle rages on in the sky, Charles Xavier is slowly regrouping after Legion's initial attack.  Charles's knows he is witnessing the birth of Home- Superior and its as frightening as it is exciting for Charles.  The Xmen continue to fight on with the hopes of stopping Legion from completing his mission to kill Magneto.  Charles meets his future Xmen and is awe of their power, as well as the lenghts they have gone to protect his dream.

Back in the present, Lilandra, in hologram form is informing Charles that the crystal wave is making its way across the galaxy and doesn't appear to be stopping.  Charles believes that must mean his Xmen failed and he and Lilandra share a touching moment on how its been difficult for them to ever actually be together.  The other couples Gambit and Rogue and Jean Grey and Cyclops are all pondering what is going to happen next.  Meanwhile, in the past, watching all this unfold is Apocalypse.  He is enjoying the birth of mutants and hints that this plan to take over the world has been in place for many years with his henchman, Mr. Sinister.  He is ready to see who is the fittest to survive.

The battle between Legion and Magneto rages on and the Xmen charge in to fight Legion.  Iceman, whose powers have increased recently, moves in on Legion and freezes all the molecules in his body and turns him into a Popsicle.

The initial thought is they stopped him but its short lived as Legion explodes out in psionic energy knocking everyone unconscious.   He returns his focus to Magneto with the intent to kill.  Magneto is weak from the battle and is powerless to stop what is going to happen.  But Charles is awake, but too weak to use his powers to stop Legion.  In a last and desperate attempt to save his best friend, Charles pushes Magneto out of the way and is slammed by a psionicfist by his own son, killing him.

The death of Xavier has instant ramifications Xavier is David, Legion is never born and the Xmen do not exist.  However, Bishop, because of his time placed history is left in the past with only vague memories of what has happened.  As Charles lays dead in his friends arms, the future becomes crystallized as the M'kraan wave moves over everything and nothing will ever be the same again.

Legion Quest ends and leads right into the Age of Apocalypse.  This alternate universe where Xavier dies and Magneto is the leader of the Xmen and the keeper of Charles' dream.  Many mutants who were heroes are now villains and vice -versa.  The entire series was fun and well done and we will review Age of Apocalypse: Alpha in our next installment.

The Producer

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ground Control to Major Tom

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Let me say, that like most, I was totally taken by surprise at the passing of David Bowie.  I am a huge Bowie fan, so when I woke up on Monday morning and heard the news that David Bowie had died, I just couldn't believe it.  I was in total shock.  I had just heard that he released a new album on the preceding Friday, which was his 69th birthday.  I heard Jimmy Fallon mention his new album (Blackstar) and accompanying video, in which Jimmy said that Bowie had stolen his signature move for doing his Thank You letters skit on The Tonight Show (jokingly of course).  So, needless to say, I expected Bowie to show up on The Tonight Show to promote his new album.  His death really through me for a loop.

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My introduction to David Bowie, was at a young impressionable age, when I used to stay up late on Friday nights to watch a show called Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.  This show introduced me to many amazing artist, like David Bowie, The Police, Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, just to name a few.  The show would feature these artist in concert, as well as showing their videos and interviews.  This was well before MTV and VH1 had even been a thought.  The music, fashion and overall culture fascinated me and I quickly became hooked.  I loved watching the show because it allowed me to experience something outside the context of my environment.

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I remember seeing David Bowie videos and I was mesmerized.  Here was this flamboyant, stylish, handsome androgynous man, with two different colored eyes, doing what most would call performance art, to some really great music.  I remember in one of his videos, I can't remember for which song, but he kissed an African American man on the mouth, which was unheard of back then.  His style was so ahead of its time, that for many he really did seem like he was from another planet.  That being said, his influence on art, music, movies, culture and fashion is still being witnessed.  For instance, the likes of Madonna and Lady Gaga got a lot of their tricks of the trade from the influence of David Bowie.  His many incarnations, which consisted of Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke , etc. allowed him to constantly reinvent himself. Not many artist can become a chameleon so flawlessly with such style and panache and be extremely successful at it.  He kept people guessing at who or what he would become next.  That was part of his appeal.  He gave a voice to those who felt that they didn't belong or fit in.  He made them feel like it was OK to be truly unique and to embrace being different.

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His marriage to Iman was also a source of admiration.  They were married for 24 years, which is almost unheard of in the entertainment industry, especially by two legendary icons.  They seemed to really just get each other.  I remember seeing an interview with Iman, where she stated that they were soul-mates, they definitely gave off that type of vibe.  I believe that Iman was trying to tell us what was happening without actually saying it through her post on Instagram that she made a day before he died.  She made two revealing post,  "Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory", and "The struggle is real, but so is God".  I believe that only his family knew that he was dying from liver cancer.  That in his last video, he was cryptically trying to tell us what was going on, in true Bowie style.  

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Like many have suggested, perhaps he was from another planet and has now returned from which he came.  The mark that he made will never be experienced again, he was truly one of a kind, an innovator, a legendary creative genius.  The world is a bit dimmer without the vibrant color that he brought to it.   His hauntingly stylized voice was in a class all its own, as was he. A true original!!!

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As one journalist put it so poignantly, that everyone was so happy to have Bowie back (with the release of his new album) that we didn't realize that he was actually saying goodbye.

RIP  David Jones (aka David Bowie)

The Female Perspective

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