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Showing posts from April, 2017

Review - Ghost in the Shell (2017)

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Ghost in the Shell (2017), PG-13, 107 minutes - Over an Easter weekend which found the rest of the world flocking to theaters for The Fate of the Furious, I was finally able to find the time to take in the live action adaptation of the manga/anime classic Ghost in the Shell.  I made sure to re-watch the 1995 anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii earlier in the weekend as I had not seen it in a number of years and I wanted the source material fresh in my mind going into this film (or at least some of the source material - I have not read the original manga by Masamune Shirow which inspired the anime).

Ghost in the Shell takes place in a future where technology has advanced to the point that cybernetic enhancements to the human body are common place and it has even become possible for a human consciousness or 'ghost' to survive beyond the death of its human body by being implanted in an artificially produced body or 'shell'.  Major Mira Killian (Scarlett Johansson) is an a…

Rental Review - Ghost in the Shell (1995)

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Ghost in the Shell (1995), NR, 83 minutes - I was first exposed to Ghost in the Shell by a couple of college friends.  At the time (sometime around 2000-2001), this feature length anime was already highly regarded and, at least among those in my social circle, was almost always at the top of the list when it came to recommended anime.  Because they spoke of it with such reverence, I had incorrectly assumed that it was older than it actually was.  Now, seventeen seventeen years later (about twenty two since it was first released), and a good ten years since I last watched it, I figured I better give it another viewing before going to see the new live action adaptation that was released a few weeks back.

I do remember that it originally took me two or three viewings before I really followed just what was going on.  This may be because the friends that introduced me to anime were purists and insisted that everything be watched with subtitles (side note: I tend to agree with this thought …

Collected Comic Review - Velvet Deluxe Hardcover

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Velvet Deluxe Hardcover (2017) - Collecting Velvet (2013) #1-15

Ed Brubaker has long been my favorite writer in comics.  There was a time when I picked up virtually any issue he wrote as it was released.  Budgeting and space constraints (stupid real world problems) caused me to dramatically decrease my loose issue collecting a few years ago.  As a result, I now wait for the very nice hardcover collections released through Image.  Waiting for these collections really tries my patience and causes me to read these stories much later than I would prefer (sure I could read digitally, but I enjoy holding a book).  The good news is that they are always worth the wait, and Velvet was no different.


Velvet finds Brubaker teaming with former Captain America collaborator Steve Epting, and colorist Elizbeth Breitweiser on a spy thriller that spins out of a simple premise: what if Miss Moneypenny had a secret past as a 007-level secret agent before becoming 'just' a secretary?  Please pardo…

Review - Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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Beauty and the Beast (2017), PG, 129 minutes - Until now, I had completely avoided Disney's live action remakes of their classic animated films.  However, with the release of the live action Beauty and the Beast, I felt that needed to change.  I have always enjoyed Disney animated films (in all honestly who doesn't?), and Beauty and the Beast was originally released right in the sweet spot of what I personally believe to be the best string of animated releases from Disney (along with The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King).  The cast that was put together to bring this animated classic to life certainly didn't hurt either (Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, and Stanley Tucci).

Everyone's pretty familiar with the story of Beauty and the Beast, so I won't waste anyone's time rehashing that here.  What I can say though, is that I was pretty surprised (and pleased for that matter) that th…

Review - Kong: Skull Island

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Kong: Skull Island (2017), PG-13, 120 minutes - I actually saw this film a few weeks ago when it was first released, but due to a number of life situations, haven't had the chance to get my review together.

Admittedly, I had been a little leery when Kong: Skull Island was first announced.  I knew that it was completely independent of the last big screen outing for everyone's favorite giant ape (2005's King Kong), but I was very underwhelmed by that film so I suppose my thoughts on a franchise reboot of sorts were negatively skewed.  I came around a bit after learning who was involved in the project: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly.  All of whose work I generally tend to enjoy.  Trailers and images began to be released and it became more and more obvious that this wasn't going to be a rehash of the King Kong films of yesteryear.

Kong: Skull Island is an origin story of sorts for the giant ape.  In the wake of the Vietnam…

Collected Comic Review - Iron Fist: The Living Weapon Complete Collection

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Iron Fist: The Living Weapon Complete Collection (2017) - Collecting Iron Fist: The Living Weapon (2014) #1-12

In the weeks following the release of the latest Marvel/Netflix collaboration - Iron Fist - we have also seen the release of two new Iron Fist-centric trade paperback editions.  The first was Iron Fist: The Book of Changes, collecting material from the late '80's and early '90's.  Then this past week saw the release of Iron Fist: The Living Weapon Complete Collection, which collects the entire twelve issue series by Kaare Kyle Andrews that was originally released from 2014-2015.  The Living Weapon is a series that I had begun reading digitally when it first came out, but for one reason or another lost track of.  For months I have been meaning to go back and read it in its entirety since it had ended and just haven't had the chance.  The series had previously been collected in two, six issue long trades, which I had avoided since I prefer the hardcover forma…