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Showing posts from September, 2014

Godzilla (2014) re-watch

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Thanks to a superbly executed marketing campaign, Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla was one of my most anticipated blockbusters this year. The film’s initial trailer showcased the standout set piece of the film: the soldiers skydiving into what looked like a desolated city with that unmistakable droning score from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was simply breathtaking. This is possibly where it all started going wrong: the trailer set a tone which was sadly at odds with the final product. However, I was a fan of this film upon first watch and feel like I’ve been defending it ever since. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s got its fair share of issues, but with Godzilla hitting stores and VOD services this week, it was a good chance to revisit the film to see how those issues played out on a second viewing.
Ryan summed up Godzilla quite eloquently in his review upon its theatrical release, and I don’t cavil with much of what he said. Just recently, I caught Gareth Edwards’s Monsters (2010), which…

Indie Comic Round Up

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Whenever I go to conventions I always try my best to support local artists and pick up some independent comics. Admittedly, this is a task that gets harder and harder every year, with more talented artists and writers selling their wares what I can afford to pick up is, sadly, just a drop in the ocean. That said, what I do pick up I try my best to review and promote, so for your reading pleasure please find below some brief reviews of the some of the indie comics I've checked out this year.
A Brigand's tale Written and drawn by Daniel Tribe

If you're looking for a fun and action packed all ages romp, A Brigand's Tale might just be the book for you (or that younger comic reader in your life). Featuring a cast of lovable weapon-wielding anthropomorphic animals, A Brigand's Tale brings all the fun of long-form series like Spider-Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and packages it in a self-enclosed 24 page story.
What the comic lacks in colour, Tribe's art makes up…

The Severing Crime Edge Review

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Anime is an amazing medium due in no small part to the extremely varied subject matter which gets tackled from series to series. Many paint-by-numbers titles are perfectly enjoyable while those which throw caution to the wind with story lines which are a little more left of center have a tendency to surprise, thrill and leave an indelible mark on anime fandom. The Severing Crime Edge (断裁分離のクライムエッジ), based upon the manga series of the same name Tatsuhiko Hikagi, certainly delivers a novel story, but flounders a little in its execution.
Obsessive hair-lopper, Kiri Haimura, inexplicably finds himself drawn to Iwai Mushanokoji, a young lady whose hair has never been cut... until now. With his mysterious pair of cursed scissors, he embarks on a mission to protect Iwai who is identified as the "Hair Queen" from a constant barrage of attackers who all possess crazy-arse, serial-killer soul-filled implements of their own.
Yeah. That's kinda the story in a nutshell made of huma…

Land of the Bears - Review

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Guillaume Vincent's directorial debut Land of the Bears is an impressive documentary set in the pristine wilderness of the Kamchatka, Russia. An almost magical land; unaltered by mankind and ruled by 20,000 brown bears. The region endures winters which last up to eight months, which the bears hibernate through. But once summer rolls around, man these bears spring to life and descend upon a nearby network of rivers to gorge on thousands of salmon which swarm to the region to lay their eggs and ultimately perish. Perhaps a touch circle-of-life esque, but easily forgiven since the visuals are so jaw dropping gorgeous.
The film follows the escapades of five brown bears of various ages as they emerge from their slumber and seek out their salmon buffet. We meet a three year male who's experiencing his first summer without his mother, a 600kg twelve year old male and a mother with her two adorable cubs. Through a series of montages we observe the different approaches to making the m…

The Equalizer - Review

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The first two acts of Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer are imbued with a certain patience and solid direction, which is ultimately undone by its uninspired third act. In a similar vein to Liam Neeson’s Non-Stop earlier this year, the film gradually comes apart at the seams once the basic premise is expanded upon. Having said that, there is plenty to enjoy in this film, it was simply weighed down heavily by what I didn’t like. With dwindling returns at the box-office, it would seem that the market agrees.
The Equalizer is a reimagining of an 80s television show by the same name. Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall, a mild-mannered hardware store employee who maintains an highly-regimented Spartan lifestyle. Robert’s hobbies include helping others, reading, insomnia and roaming the streets of Boston as a vigilante out for justice. Bob is drawn into the deadly world of international Russian gangsters (yes, really) when he befriends underage prostitute Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), whose dis…

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - Review

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Nine years ago, Robert Rodriguez's Sin City hit theatres, heralding a new era for comic book films due to its unique visual design and darker, true-to-comic content. But my how things have changed since then. Just think, now we’ve got a vast library of Marvel films, an immensely successful Batman trilogy and a handful of highly entertaining adaptations (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Kick-Ass, RED etc) under our belts. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is not only an excruciating experience to endure but harbours some deeply disturbing traits. 
The story is separated into three sub-plots which kind of overlap and weave through one another. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about any of the stories: they are simple variations on one revenge trope or another. Eva Green plays the titular ‘dame to kill for’ Ava, who entraps Dwight (Josh Brolin) in a plot to kill her husband, which leads to Dwight engaging the services of heavy hitter Marv (Mickey Rourke) when things start looking a li…

Monster: The Perfect Edition (manga) Volume 1 Review

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Having previously glowingly reviewed Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, Pluto, and the anime adaptation of Monster, it should come as no surprise that the manga series that preceded those previously mentioned series is another absolute masterpiece. Honestly, I had to head to the superlative store just in case I ran out during this review. In short, don't bother reading this review unless you're in the mood for some unbridled gushing, just go buy this title instead.
On of the worlds greatest surgeons, Dr Kenzo Tenma, is faced with tough decisions every day, decisions that can literally mean the difference between life and death. The pinnacle of  morality, Dr Tenma finds himself seemingly responsible for countless deaths after unknowingly creating a monster the likes of which he has never experienced.
Suspense is the name of the game and Naoki Urasawa is a star player. This MVP manages to make the titular "monster" seem to be something greater than simply a bad guy…

Destiny (Xbox 360) Review

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I'll be honest, I'm not huge on getting video games as soon as their boxes grace the New Release shelf. Rare is the instance in which $90 nets me a disc that gives the playtime, graphics, gameplay and story that could justify costing the same as around half the Attack on Titan manga volumes that exist right now.
The most recent example of New Releases letting me down was Watch_Dogs. Hype, price and a distinct lack of creativity and innovation condemned it as nothing more than a pleasant distraction; maybe worth $20 or $30, but anything more and it'd better at least come with a hip-flask full of my favourite whiskey.
So rather than hang onto an uninspired sandbox I probably wouldn't play again until Christmas holidays (if then), I traded Watch_Dogs in for that new Destiny thing those Bungie guys released. Lemme tell ya, irrespective of the trade-in off-setting the price a little, Destiny would still be infinitely more worthy of gameplay even without the hip-flask.
Plot i…

POP Interview with Curt Pires

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Last weekend I had a chance to interview Curt Pires about his new mini series POP, which has just started from Dark horse Comics. We talked about the creation of series, the team involved and little about what's to come next. Enjoy.

Billy Tournas: Hi Curt, thanks for taking the time out for this interview. In POP you take a quite dark look at the world of manufactured popularity, and the idea of pop culture being made for people. What drew you to this idea and made you write POP?
Curt Pires: I've always been intrigued with and find myself analyzing the systems that govern our reality the frameworks that envelop our existence, and it was always there staring me in the fucking face, when I turned on the TV. Men and women crying and begging for their 15 seconds to Paula Abdul and that other guy. I flick the channel, Britney Spears, selling some other product, stepping into the bathroom, piss on her feet she’s not wearing shoes. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s everywhe…

Gundam Unicorn Volume 7 Review

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