Movies On The Horizon

Upcoming Films I Plan On Seeing

March and April are gearing up to be a great couple of months for comic book film and Disney fans. Four films are coming out over the course of those two months that I am very interested in seeing.

Hitting in less than two weeks on March 8, Captain Marvel will be the next entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film’s star, Brie Larson, has definitely courted controversy with her recent remarks, but I’m not going to allow her personal feelings to influence whether or not I see this film. I want to see it because 1) I know almost nothing about this character and 2) It’s coming out just roughly two months before another Marvel flick, Avengers: Endgame hits the big screen and I want to be completely caught up on the films. I actually missed Ant-Man & The Wasp in theaters and hated that I had to wait so long to see it. After seeing it, though, I wasn’t so disappointed. It was a fun movie, but it was considerably less entertaining than the first Ant-Man film.

Dumbo arrives on March 29th with an all star cast featuring heavy hitters such as Michael Keaton, Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, and Eva Green. It also features Joseph Gatt in a smaller role. I’m a big fan of Gatt. He’s been in a ton of films and television shows as a secondary character, but he’s always done a brilliant job on the screen. I also met him a few years ago and he was the coolest guy in the world.

The film that I am perhaps most interested in is DC/Warner Bros.’ Shazam. Starring Zachary Levi as the Big Red Cheese, this film looks to be much lighter than every single DCEU film released before it and that’s a good thing in my opinion. The film releases on April 5th and it appears to have grabbed the attention of a lot of moviegoers and comic readers. Hopefully the film is a good one.

Finally, Avengers: Endgame will close Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While I don’t think that Captain Marvel‘s success or possible lack thereof will affect the box office for Endgame, I do believe that Endgame won’t draw numbers as big as the previous Avengers films due to Marvel burnout. It’s a real thing in my opinion, and I’ve noticed quite a few people suffering from it in recent years. I’ve experienced it myself (just read my review of Thor: Ragnarok if you don’t believe me).

Other films on the horizon that I’m looking forward to are the horror flicks Pet Sematary and The Curse of La Llarona, both of which are coming in April.

I plan on reviewing all of these films as I see them, so be sure to keep an eye on this blog for those posts. As always, thanks for reading. Let me know what you think about these upcoming films in the comments section!

Doom Patrol Episode #2

Donkey Patrol

As offbeat and brilliant as the first episode of Doom Patrol was, the second episode, Donkey Patrol, took things to another level. Not only did it introduce us to Cyborg, it confused the audience even more (and I mean that in a good way).

Mild Spoilers Ahead!!!!

Yes, the donkey from the first episode is still hanging around and it’s driving Robotman crazy. He’s trying to figure out exactly what the creature has to do with the devastation to Cloverton and where exactly the entire town, the Chief, and Crazy Jane have been taken. Always connected to the web, Cyborg learns about the bizarre happenings in Cloverton and leaves Detroit to help his old friend, the Chief.

When he arrives in what used to be Cloverton, he finds Robotman attempting to catch the donkey. Rita has returned to the Doom Patrol’s home, fighting her inner demons and reliving her past, Negative Man is on the run, again, and Chief and Jane are missing……until the donkey coughs up Jane and Cyborg and Robotman get a crash course on many of the identities living inside of her head.

Eventually Negative Man returns home and he, Cyborg, and Rita attempt to figure out what exactly is going on with that donkey. They end up learning a lot about themselves in the process, but are left with just as many questions as they had prior to the encounter with the donkey.

Robotman attempts to make some type of connection with Jane on an almost father/daughter level and I can see this duo becoming strong friends in future episodes.

I want to point out the brilliant performance by Diane Guerrero in this episode. She works her way through a bunch of Jane’s multiple personalities and makes them all unique and yet the same. I see bigger things on her horizon (although she’s done pretty good already) and can’t wait to see her performance in the next episode.

Joivan Wade also gets a nod for bringing Cyborg to life. His version of the character has a more upbeat outlook than Ray Fisher’s Justice League film version and is almost a fusion of that character with the animated Teen Titans version.

The rest of the cast did great jobs as well and have shown that the series will not rely on the strength of just one or two actors to carry the others. It’s a true ensemble cast.

If you haven’t seen Doom Patrol yet, I highly recommend checking it out. It, along with Titans and Young Justice: Outsiders, are more than enough reason to at least get a trial subscription to DC Universe.

I’m going to continue giving brief reviews with as few spoilers as possible for the foreseeable future. This show is fun and I recommend it.

As always, thanks for reading. Let me know what you think about Doom Patrol, Titans, Young Justice, or any of the other DC Universe shows or the streaming service itself in the comments section.

This Monday Sucks!

I Woke Up To Some Terrible News

I wasn’t expecting to get hit by a brick while waking up this morning. My alarm went off and like any good social media zombie, I checked Facebook for any crucial updates. What I saw almost killed me:

*****ANNOUNCEMENT – PART ONE*****

Now, we’ve had quite a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes at Amorettes HQ, and you might have noticed we’ve been a little quieter than usual lately. Whilst there is a lot of good news to unveil to you in a couple of hours time, and there are a HELLUVA lot of exciting things coming up, I’m afraid that there has got to be an unhappy announcement first, and one that I’d hoped we’d never have to make.

After 10 fantastic years together, it is with great sadness that we must announce the departures of Heather and Hannah Mckay from the band. We have shared some of the most incredible times together, and what we’ve been able to achieve so far has surpassed all of our expectations.

Here’s a statement from the girls;

“Our time in the Amorettes turned into way more than we ever imagined. The people we met, the places we saw, the opportunities we were given, we will never forget. From carrying our gear to gigs in bin bags in the early days to walking onstage at Shepherd’s Bush empire, to getting an album in the charts, or witnessing the angel of darkness Marilyn Manson tackling a salad bar, to playing in a town centre where not even the grannies stopped to have a listen. Its been a wild old time and we have worn out that many pairs of converse that we kept sports direct in business.
A decade on, we feel the time is right to move onto pastures new so we want to take this opportunity to thank every single one of our amazing fans, everyone that’s supported us throughout the years, everyone that’s worked their arses off behind the scenes, Martin Jarvis and our bad ass ‘Rettes road crew.
Last but not least big respect to Gill for continuing to fly the Ammies flag and haul ass in first class.
We love you all “

Of course, I am obviously gutted to lose the girls as bandmates, as we had the best times, tackling the world together and raising hell. Life on the road with them will be sorely missed! However, we are all still the best of friends, and I wish them all the love and luck in the world for whatever their next chapters have in store for them.

I also want to take this moment to thank Martin Jarvis for everything – he has worked tirelessly for so long, and the three of us really do owe him an enormous amount.
And mostly, every one of you so far who’s supported us, we couldn’t have done it without you! You mean the world to us.

Now, get yourself a brew, and check back at 12 for Part 2..

Gill x

(taken directly from the official Amorettes Facebook page)

I couldn’t believe my eyes. One of my favorite bands just announced that they would be splitting up. Granted, they aren’t the first and will definitely not be the last band that I love to lose or change personnel, but these young ladies were riding a surging wave of success. I don’t know exactly what caused the split and, in all honesty, it’s none of my business, but I do hope that they will at least occasionally perform together for a reunion or two.

Two hours after posting about the split, Gill returned to the fan page and made this post followed by the photo below:

*****ANNOUNCEMENT PART 2*****

ACTION STATIONS!!

To lose Heather and Hannah from the band is of course absolutely devastating – The girls are my sisters, and we’ve been through so much together. Whilst I must admit that there have been times over the past couple of months where I’ve thought about putting The Amorettes to bed, I feel there’s so much more to come, and we’re not going down without a fight! The Amorettes WILL carry on! But how? Well..

I have some rather AWESOME ladies coming to joining me on Team Amorette. They have some large shoes to fill but are definitely up for the job! I can’t reveal ALL to you quite yet, however please stay very tuned!

CHIN UP! And If life gives you lemons, you can either bugger off or make a Gin and Tonic!

Once again, I am so grateful for all of your support and kind words, it really does mean the world to me.

Gill xxx

At least we know that the band will continue in some form with Gill. The rumor mill has already started to churn out possible members but one thing is for sure: Whoever steps in for Heather and Hannah have got some big shoes to fill. I wish nothing but the best of luck to all three of the original band members and expect nothing but the best from the new crew. I’ll still be listening, Amorettes, but I’m going to miss Hannah and Heather.

If you are a fan of the band, let me know in the comments. I’m really going to miss this trio working together. In my opinion they were one of the best recent young bands to take the stage. I truly hope that all three of these young ladies continue with their success.


They Shall Not Grow Old

A Look Into The Life Of A Soldier

I recently witnessed the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old with a friend at my local movie theater. In all honesty, this isn’t necessarily the type of film that I like to watch on the big screen. I prefer to watch documentaries on PBS, National Geographic, or TLC where they belong. Knowing that Peter Jackson had a hand in this particular documentary, however, had me intrigued.

Using actual footage shot during the Great War and interviews recorded by the BBC and the Imperial War Museum, Peter Jackson and his production team painstakingly spliced a story together that gives the viewer an uncensored and blunt look at life in the trenches. It is humorous, horrible, and humbling to watch this documentary play out in front of me.

The documentary starts off in black and white with footage playing of normal life in England just days prior to the war. It then moves into footage of young men (some lying about their age) joining up for the cause and then going through basic training.

It is at this point that the black and white footage comes to life in color as the war starts. The rest of the documentary goes on to show the day-to-day lives of soldiers as they march to the front line and face off against an enemy that many of them didn’t understand why they were fighting in the first place. They also battle frostbite, snipers, artillery fire, mud, blood, and muck.

We also get to see life away from the front. We witness soldiers goofing off, playing soccer, boxing, prepping equipment and weaponry for the soldiers currently in the field of action, etc. They tell us about experiences in brothels and bars and how many times those places (humorously) were just as dangerous as the warzone.

We then return to the front and experience the final push through No Man’s Land and into the German trenches. We see soldiers from both sides interact with one another and listen as the interviews talk about how all of the men got along with one another for the most part. We then get a brief glimpse at their return home and learn about the ill treatment that they received for fighting in the war.

Peter Jackson and his crew outdid themselves. This documentary is simply brilliant. If you do get a chance to see this film, I highly recommend staying for the Making Of documentary that takes place after the credits. It goes into great detail about how each voice, each sound, and each visual was worked on in order to give the viewer the truest visual and audible presentation of life in the trenches. This documentary has moments of great happiness, great sadness, and outright horror.

It’s brilliant. Go see it.

Thanks for reading this review. I’ll be heading to Louisiana Comic Con in just a few weeks and I’ll also be attending CyPhaCon in April. I hope to see you all there!

Doom Patrol Episode #1

Streaming On DC Universe

Can an unlikely team of misfits save the DC Universe? Possibly. Depending on who you talk to (including tons of rumor mill websites that get most information incorrect), the young streaming service is either struggling to find an audience or winning over new viewers every day. I’m one of those new viewers that hopped onboard back in November of last year. At the time, Titans and DC Daily were the only original programs. The rest of the service was filled with a rotating menu of DC related films, television shows, animated films and series, and a nice selection of comics to read as well as news and interactive forums. In either case, I believe that Doom Patrol might seal the deal with more subscribers.

Early last year, it was reported that a spin-off series of Titans featuring the characters introduced in the episode Doom Patrol would get their own series. By July, it became official. April Bowlby (Elasti-Girl), Matt Bomer (voice of Negative Man), and Brendan Fraser (voice of Robotman) would be joined by newcomers Diane Guerrero (Crazy Jane) and Joivan Wade (Cyborg). Timothy Dalton would have a recurring role as the Chief, who was originally played by Bruno Bichir in the Titans episode. The bodies of Negative Man and Robotman would be portrayed by Dwain Murphy and Jake Michaels, respectively.

The first episode was released on February 15, 2019 with more episodes to follow every Friday just like DC Universe did with the release of Titans. This first episode is narrated by another character that is introduced to the series, Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk). Without giving too much away, it appears that Mr. Nobody will be the primary antagonist for this series’ first season.

The episode is essentially one big origin story for most of the characters. We get a glimpse at the creation of Robotman, Negative Man, and Elasti-Girl as well as a description of Crazy Jane’s powers. Noticeably absent from the episode is Cyborg, who will apparently play a larger role in later episodes. I hope that he eventually crosses over to Titans, as these shows take place within the same universe.

The show has an offbeat quirk to it that was first introduced in Titans. These misfits shouldn’t work as a team but somehow they do. You don’t need to watch the Titans episode where most of these characters are introduced to enjoy them in their own show, but it’s a nice introduction to just how oddball this crew really is.

The episode moved along quickly and held my interest. While the characters are definitely oddballs, the humor that connects the links of the story often gives way to deeper drama. If you’ve seen Titans, this series is definitely lighter (at least based on the first episode), but it’s a lot more adult as well. The language is much stronger and there’s more “exposure” during intimate scenes as well. I’m only mentioning this in case anybody is thinking about letting their children watch this series. The violence level is yet to be determined, but even if it’s only as violent as Titans, you might want to wait until showing this series to your kids.

I really enjoyed the pilot episode. It’s ending was wide open and will no doubt lead into the second episode. There’s plenty of humor in the show but there’s also plenty of danger and drama as well. The Chief loves his family, but he expects them to play by his rules. When they don’t, things can get out of hand. I believe that this dysfunctional family atmosphere might be just intriguing enough to attract new subscribers.

If you aren’t a subscriber to DC Universe, you need to check it out. Along with Titans, Doom Patrol, and DC Daily, the streaming service plans to add even more original programming including shows featuring Swamp Thing, Stargirl, and Harley Quinn (an animated series). They also have weekly contests and are continually asking their subscribers for input. As a result of this input, the service recently added thousands of comics to the DC Universe and made a few technical changes as well. It’s nice to know that they are listening to their subscribers and their fans.

One other bit of news! CyPhaCon approved my media pass, so I’ll be in attendance this year and will be writing a full review of the event once it is complete. Keep an eye out for announcements about that event and other conventions as well.

As always, thanks for reading. I’ll be posting again very soon!


Announcements!!!

Lake Charles, LA

In January, the Lake Charles Film Festival announced that its first guest of honor would be none other than Michael Gray, Billy Batson from the 1974-1976 CBS television series Shazam! The series celebrates its 45th anniversary this year and the character of Captain Marvel, now referred to as Shazam, will be getting his own feature film on April 5th starring Zachary Levi. This announcement alone should make festival attendees excited.

The festival wasn’t done surprising us, however, as today it was announced that John Davey, Captain Marvel from the TV series, will also be attending the film festival! Davey portrayed the character starting in the second season and remained with the series until it ended in 1976. This film festival is turning out to be a big celebration of Shazam! Both gentlemen will be on hand to talk about their careers, how to navigate through the film industry, and to sign autographs and take photos with fans. Last year’s festival was a fun event, and I can’t wait to attend this year!

As I mentioned above, DC and Warner Bros. will be releasing Shazam! on the big screen in April. I plan on checking the film out and reviewing it as soon as possible, so be on the lookout for that later this year.

In more DC news, DC Universe will be releasing the first episode of Doom Patrol on the streaming service on this Friday, February 15th. Fans that aren’t familiar with the oddball team of heroes can either check them out at local comic book stores or catch a glimpse of them in DC Universe’s Titans series episode #4, “Doom Patrol.” The series will star Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan as Robotman, April Bowlby as Elasti-Woman, Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane, Matt Bomer and Matthew Zuk as Negative Man, Joivan Wade as Cyborg, Timothy Dalton as the Chief, and Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody. Hopefully the series will keep the lighter tone of the characters set in Titans.

Don’t forget that I’ll be attending Louisiana Comic Con in March. I’m hosting a panel that I still don’t want to announce at the moment, but I hope that it ignites a certain group of collectors to become more vocal about their collections. I’m still waiting on other conventions to reply to me about either media passes or panels. As soon as I hear from them, I’ll announce when and where I’ll be at the conventions.

Well, that’s all for now. I can’t wait to see some of you at Louisiana Comic Con next month. If you’d like me to attend any conventions in your area, tell the convention about me! I’d love to meet my readers and hang out with all of you!

As always, thanks for reading. I’ll be posting about the Doom Patrol episode over the weekend and plan on making at least one more post this week.



Black Series Archive 2019

Star Wars’ Version Of The Disney Vault?

I was strolling through a local Walmart the other day and decided to walk down the toy aisle. I was hoping to find some new blind bags to collect but I found some old Star Wars toys instead. Specifically, I found four “new” Hasbro Black Series Star Wars figures. Unlike your standard boxed 6″ Star Wars Black Series figures, these figures came on a card like more traditional action figures. They weren’t entirely new, though, as all four figures were re-releases of four highly sought after Black Series figures.

The first figure that I saw was original Black Series Figure #1, Luke Skywalker, dressed in his X-wing pilot uniform. I was a bit confused. I hadn’t heard of the Black Series Archive line and was wondering if this figure was somehow different from the original figure in some way. I own the original figure, so I didn’t really have any interest in this one, but it is slightly different from the original. How? According to starwars.com, the paint application is more advanced than it was when this figure initially came out five years ago. They are using the same molds, but are applying new photo realistic technology that “adds depth and nuance to facial features, bringing new life to older figures.” (Steve Evans, https://www.starwars.com/news/first-look-hasbro-black-series-archive-wave-2)

The initial release includes the Luke Skywalker figure along with three bounty hunters: IG-88, Bossk, and the highly sought after Boba Fett. By putting these figures back into the market, they are allowing collectors to grab a re-issue of the original figures for around the same price as they were sold for when they were first released. Online resellers are notorious for purchasing figures and then reselling them at insanely bloated prices. Some of them go for four and fives times their original MSRP. Repackaging and selling the figures again takes the greedy resellers out of the equation.

Since the release of these four figures, I’ve noticed prices drop dramatically on their original versions, some going for less than their MSRP. Figures that haven’t been released or announced yet still draw upwards of $75 or more. There are a few figures from the original line that I missed that I really would like to have in my collection, but being a box opener (I just made a few collectors cringe), I have neither the desire nor the funds to plunk down more than twenty or so bucks on a figure. The re-releases give me the chance to grab some of those that I missed.

The primary figure that I’m after is the Boba Fett figure. When he was originally released, I saw only one in the wild. He was at a local Books-A-Million and marked up about six bucks over MSRP. I decided that I would hold off on buying the figure and regretted doing so just a few days later. The figure’s price skyrocketed to over one hundred bucks online, and that’s just for the basic figure, not the San Diego Comic Con exclusive that was released in 2013. I did manage to nab the Walgreens Exclusive Prototype Boba Fett (the all white suit never used in the film), but I wanted the real deal. He is now available thanks to Hasbro.

More figures are coming this spring. Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and a Biker Scout are scheduled to be released in April of this year. Apparently only seven Archive figures will be released this year, so it looks like Luke, Anakin, IG-88, Yoda, Boba Fett, Bossk, and the Biker Scout are the only figures we’ll be getting for 2019. That’s cool, but I do hope that at least one or two more figures are released prior to Christmas of this year.

I have collected most of the figures from the Black Series that I wanted, but a few have managed to slip through my fingers. In order of release, these are the figures that I missed and hope to get one day:

  • R2-D2
  • Stormtrooper
  • Boba Fett
  • Clone Trooper
  • Clone Commander Cody
  • Ahsoka Tano
  • Shock Trooper
  • Scarif Stormtrooper
  • Snowtrooper
  • Captain Rex
  • Han Solo (Solo: A Star Wars Story)

Sooner or later I’ll have to post a photo of my entire collection. I open almost all of my figures. The only exceptions that I’ve made are my Obi-Wan Black Series figure and my Walgreens Exclusive Boba Fett. Everyone else has been out of the box for awhile.

Do you collect Black Series figures? Are there any figures that you missed that you hope to see return to store shelves? Let me know in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading.

Read All About It!

All The News That’s Fit To Print

This post will be a mixed bag of good news and bad news. Let’s start things off with the best news right away and then work our way through the rest.

I’ve been approved for a panel at Louisiana Comic Con in March! I won’t be revealing any details at the moment, but it is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 16th. I don’t want to post the specific time yet since the final schedule hasn’t been released, but be sure to look for me at the convention if you plan on attending. As far as I know, no one in the region has ever hosted a panel about the topic I am addressing. Maybe more people will become interested in the topic or willing to talk about it once I present my panel.

Now for some bad news. Once again I will not be able to attend one of my favorite conventions, CoastCon, this year in Biloxi, MS. Not only is it a great convention, its location, The Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center, is one of my favorite places to attend conventions. Although I won’t be there, they have a ton of guests lined up including Jason Carter (pictured above), authors such as Kimberly Richardson, K.D. Wood, and Meleesa Swann, and artists such as Matthew Atchley. Below are just some of the guests that will be attending. If you are going, please let me know what you are most excited for in the comments section.

Some more sad news is that beloved actress and Universal Monsters legend, Julie Adams, passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Although best known as Gill-Man’s love interest in The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Adams appeared in fifty films and multiple television shows. She has appeared in productions that featured Andy Griffith, Elvis Presley, Angela Lansbury, Jimmy Stewart, Raymond Burr, and Richard Conte, among others. I recently rewatched The Creature From The Black Lagoon and, as always, was captivated by her performance. Hopefully Universal will acknowledge her death in the near future. She will be sorely missed. She was one of the last surviving cast members of the classic Universal Monsters films. Condolences to her family during this time.

In other news, my son and I will be attending KISS’ End of the Road Tour in September. Tickets were secured over the weekend and neither one of us can wait for the show! This will be my son’s first concert and, sadly, one of KISS’ last shows. The band has been a big part of my life, especially in the last twenty or so years. I completely understand why they are calling it quits, but a part of me hopes that they will continue on with their solo projects. This will be the third time that I’ve seen the band and I can’t wait to share the experience of a KISS concert with my son.

I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of other conventions about presenting panels. As soon as I hear from any of them, I’ll let all of you know when and where I’ll be presenting. Also, I hope to interview a few folks in the near future. If I haven’t interviewed you before or if you know someone who might want an interview, please contact me and I’ll get everything set up. I’m interested in interviewing cosplayers, artists, authors, actors, or anyone involved with the convention scene.

I’ll also be attending Calcasieu Serialfest Chapter 6 this summer at the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur, LA. This free, family friendly event is a great place to learn about the pioneers of science fiction, western, and superhero films. I’ll probably break out my Professor Zukov cosplay this year, so come check out this wonderful event!

As always, thank you for reading my post. I really do appreciate each and every comment, like, or share. I’ll be posting again later this week!