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Archive for December, 2010

MONDOcomics #87: December 30, 2010

Posted by Comics On December - 31 - 2010

Action Comics #896
Paul Cornell & Nick Spencer (w), Pete Woods & R.B. Silva (a), Brad Anderson & Dave McCaig (c), DC Comics.

I don’t want to give off the impression that I don’t like the main story here, or that it’s not worthy of praise. Cornell and Woods are doing great work. Making Lex Luthor the anti-hero of Action Comics is no easy task but they’re nailing it. Still, that’s not what I want to talk about here. What I am going completely utterly nuts for is the Jimmy Olsen backup story by Nick Spencer and R.B. Silva. Every time one of these stories comes out it is consistently fun, charming and laugh-out-loud funny.

Spencer has shown great skill at structuring a story for these ten-page installments, keeping things moving briskly while still allowing for great character moments and a well-defined story. This issue sees Jimmy participating in a bachelor auction for charity and then the date that follows. It’s all predictably hilarious but what makes it for me is the growing cast Spencer has introduced. Jimmy’s new nemesis Sebastien, Jimmy’s ex-girlfriend Chloe (yes, THAT Chloe) and a new character by the name of Maggie all show up and make compelling foils for our hero. But Jimmy is the star here and Spencer never forgets that. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #86: December 22, 2011

Posted by Comics On December - 25 - 2010

Hey, MONDO readers. We’re keeping up with our new format for MONDOcomics because it’s awesome. In case you missed it, every week the writers of MONDOcomics pick a book or two that they want to talk about that week. It might be a rave, it might be a hit piece, it could even be a giant tangent — writers call. This Miles and Owen love Image Comics and Isaac gets into the Christmas spirit. Enjoy.

Chew #16
John Layman (w), Rob Guillory (a), Image Comics.

Every time an issue of Chew comes out I am reminded of why I love this book so much (I’m also reminded of how happy I am that I switched to issues.) In some ways it reminds me of Preacher: it’s rather dark, can be fairly gross at times and is very, very funny. But, like Preacher, amidst all of this is a great story that keeps the focus on its epic plot and its engaging characters.

This issue gave us a great sense of the scope that this comic is covering. In a fantastic first few pages we’re given our first hints of the tragic past that lead to the world we’re exploring. Guillory’s artwork is on full display and it is spectacular. His attention to detail and top-notch character work make for a rich and expressive comic that is a lot of fun to go back to. I keep looking at his panels again and again noticing something new each time.

Layman’s plotting on this book is meticulous. Seriously, this book is juggling so many plot threads at once while still managing to keep each issue as a rewarding experience in its own right. I don’t know how he does it. This issue alone gives us flashbacks, new characters, new plots and developments on old plots. And it’s great. Extremely great. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics Readers’ Advisory #5: Comtesse

Posted by Miles On December - 22 - 2010

By Denise Liu

Comtesse
Aude Picault (w + a), Les Requins Marteaux, 2010.

Read if you like: period costume, wordless graphic novels, erotic fiction, French fiction.

What is it exactly about porn that makes it seem repulsive? Is it necessarily vulgar and is it always misogynistic? Okay, these might appear to be some really stupid questions but bear with me, MONDO readers – I know that at least half of you are just as degenerate as myself (and that it’s safe to presume that most of our staff have stashes high enough to become another nightstand, amirite?)

Such questions can be very polarizing, in the way that for some personalities the answer is a clear-cut “heck yeah!” or a definite “heck no!” For the sake of our discussion, let’s begin by loosely defining porn (print format) as any literature that graphically or textually concentrates on the activity of erotic, sexual acts to affect arousal. Yes, that is a pretty broad description but I’d like to think that 1) there are a lot of works out there that could qualify as softcore, despite not being marketed or intended as such, and 2) if writing Peanuts fanfic makes you happy in freaky ways, then so be it. In writing this review (I’ll get to the book eventually, I swear) a few questions had to be addressed, but at the centre of them all was: why does it feel as though I’ve been dared to write a piece about porn? It’s just another graphic novel, right? Read the rest of this entry »

TRON: Legacy Reviewed

Posted by film On December - 22 - 2010

TRON: Legacy
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Walt Disney Pictures, 2010

By Sean Kelly

It has been exactly one year since Avatar was released and pretty much revolutionized 3D films. However, the entire year since has seen studios go the cheap route and make post-converted cash-ins, instead of taking advantage of James Cameron’s camera technology and making original 3D films. I can confidently say that TRON: Legacy is the best 3D film to come out since Avatar. It also takes full advantage of IMAX (with many scenes shot in the format), so the film is definitely best seen on an IMAX screen.

The original 1982 TRON (which I have yet to see) is nearly as old as I am. At the time, the film had state of the art CGI effects, though by today’s standards it looks quite dated. How appropriate then that nearly 30 years later, a sequel has been made that can now more credibly show a world inside a computer. Read the rest of this entry »

How the Golden Globes Lost All Credibility In My Eyes

Posted by film On December - 20 - 2010

Morgan Freeman in Red having a word with a HFPA Representative.

By Sean Kelly

December 14th saw the announcement of the nominations for the Golden Globe awards. Traditionally, the awards have been good at predicting the films that would later go on to win at the Oscars. However, looking at the list this year, I couldn’t help but scratch my head at some of the nominations. There’s nothing wrong with the nominations for “Best Picture – Drama” and I am sure that all five of those nominees will be among the ten nominated for the Oscars.

However, the nominations that had me scratching my head belongs to the always cryptic category of “Best Picture – Comedy/Musical.” This has always been a funny category for me, since it seems that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has often nominated films that barely fit either of those two categories. That is definitely the case for this year.

It’s not all misses – the nominee that seems the best fit in the category is The Kids Are Alright and it’s safe to call this indie comedy the likely winner. Also, I have no real argument against the nomination of the action/comedy Red even if in the long run the film is more action than comedy. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #85: December 15, 2010

Posted by Miles On December - 17 - 2010

Hey, MONDO readers. We’re keeping up with our new format for MONDOcomics because it’s awesome. In case you missed it, every week the writers of MONDOcomics pick a book or two that they want to talk about that week. It might be a rave, it might be a hit piece, it could even be a giant tangent — writers call. This week we plug Fear Agent a lot even though no issues of that book were released. Enjoy.

Amazing Spider-Man #650
Dan Slott (w), Humberto Ramos, Neil Edwards (p) Cuevos, Damon, Olazaba, Scott Hanna (i), Edgar Delgado, Morry Hollowell (c). Marvel Comics.

At the conclusion of the last issue Spidey was at the mercy of the Hobgoblin’s sonic attack! A pretty decent cliff-hanger, with a fun resolution for this issue’s start. It’s not often that you can call an escape from certain death “fun.” It can be cool and exciting (and of course that element is present here as well). In this case, the unfortunately named Bella Fishbach blasts out some Lady Gaga that cancels out the sonic attack — if you like Gaga, then it’s an awesome shout out, if you don’t then you get the Spider-Man line “Can I have the nausea-inducing laughter back?” There’s something for everyone!

While it’s pertinent — the “background sound effects”, the laughter attack and the Lady Gaga are really crammed into the panels — I can see someone skimming through and missing those details entirely. I would have preferred an all pervasive background of “HA HA”’s (which, to be fair, they do for one panel, so maybe that’s good enough) to then get cut through by a loud jagged edged sound balloon to house and draw attention to the saving Gaga. It could be this was an aesthetic choice rather than a forgotten detail thrown in after the fact… but still, Ramos needs to include space for his art to be taken over a bit. This is, after all, a fused media of art and words. Read the rest of this entry »

The King’s Speech Reviewed

Posted by film On December - 14 - 2010

The King’s Speech
Directed by Tom Hooper
The Weinstein Company, 2010

By Sean Kelly

The King’s Speech was this year’s winner of the People’s Choice Award at TIFF and seems a very likely frontrunner for Best Picture in the Oscar race. The film tells the story of King George VI (Colin Firth), who is plagued with a stuttering problem, which is certainly less than ideal for someone expected to make regular speeches. His wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) locates an unorthodox Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to cure his affliction.

Historically, the film takes place primarily in the years prior to King George, then known as Prince Albert, taking the throne. It was expected that Albert’s older brother Edward (Guy Pearce) would take the crown after the death of King George V (Michael Gambon). However, when circumstances force Edward to relinquish the crown to Albert, his sessions with Logue become all the more important. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #84: December 8, 2010

Posted by Comics On December - 10 - 2010

Booster Gold #39
Giffen, DeMatteis (w), Batista, Perrotta (a), Hi-Fi (c). DC Comics.

I didn’t expect Booster Gold to be my favourite book this week. It’s supposed to be solid; it’s not supposed to tug at my heart strings like my heart is some kind of marionette here to amuse you.

I really like the use of space in this book — there’s a gag near the beginning with the little orphan Rani, a girl from the future, having accidentally trapped herself in a sort of metal cocoon, thanks to some super suits magnetic powers. When that cocoon image is on the page, it’s a huge panel almost two thirds of the page, drawn in a skewed angle. It’s a very dramatic/action packed visual for something that amounts to a bit of domestic humour. That plus the “harmless” explosion two pages later — these are visual perks for the benefit of the spicing up the comic. It’s a sort of pacing “answer” to the question of jazzing up a scene of domesticity. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Art of Time’s Shakespeare: If Music Be

Posted by art On December - 10 - 2010

Cara Ricketts and Marc Bendavid in scene from Romeo & Juliet. Photo by John Lauener.

Art of Time Ensemble’s Shakespeare: If Music Be
Featuring Peggy Baker, Andrew Burashko, Ted Dykstra, Kevin Fox, Erika Raum, Marc Bendavid, Tim Campbell, Lucy Peacock, Cara Ricketts and others
December 9-11 @ Enwave Theatre

By Daina Valiulis

Actor Tim Campbell ushers us into the world of Shakespeare, describing the playwright as a man of many identities. He was everyone and no one, both revealing and concealing himself within his works. As fellow actors Lucy Peacock, Marc Bendavid and Cara Ricketts join, they recite quotations from famous literary figures (and Mel Gibson?) regarding the depth and breadth of Shakespeare’s works and of his commitment to exposing human truth—it’s comparable to reading book jacket quotations before cracking the cover. Rather than talk, show us! Read the rest of this entry »

Black Swan Reviewed

Posted by film On December - 9 - 2010

Black Swan
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Fox Searchlight, 2010

By Sean Kelly

I wouldn’t usually be interested in seeing a film about ballet, but with Darren Aronofsky directing (best known for Requiem for a Dream), I knew that this wasn’t going to be your average ballet film, something which was confirmed when I saw the trailer for the film. This film initially piqued my interest when it played at the Toronto Film Festival a few months ago and now, with its general release, I finally got a chance to see the film.

The film centres on Nina (Natalie Portman), a dancer for a ballet company in New York. She is given the duo lead role in a production of Swan Lake. While her director (Vincent Cassel) is confident in Nina’s ability to play the innocent role of the White Swan, he is not so sure if she could handle the dark and seductive Black Swan. This leads to Nina having a rivalry with fellow dancer Lily (Mila Kunis), in which the events seem to be mirroring the ballet itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: 300 Tapes

Posted by art On December - 7 - 2010

Joe Cobden in 300 Tapes. Photo by Bobby Theodore.

300 Tapes
By Public Recordings
Co-produced by Public Recordings with Alberta Theatre Projects and The Theatre Centre
December 1-12 @ The Theatre Centre

By Kerry Freek

Warm lights softly graze three tape racks. Each dangles in a corner of the stage, an equilateral triangle with audience members perched on its three sides. Three men in their late 20s / early 30s (Brendan Gall, Joe Cobden and Frank Cox-O’Connell), wear headsets and recorders. They tend to each tape rack with care, like they’re handling memories themselves rather than the analogue medium that contains them.

While the concept runs the risk of being sappy (or snooze-worthy), 300 Tapes turns out to be a surprisingly lovely physical interpretation of memory. Read the rest of this entry »

Faster Reviewed

Posted by film On December - 4 - 2010

Faster
Directed by George Tillman Jr.
Alliance Pictures, 2010

By Caesar Martini

You know, if you’re a huge, intimidating dude, I think there is a finite amount of time you can spend in an environment intentionally set up to be the diametric opposite of your appearance and personality (such as a family movie) before that juxtaposition ceases to be funny or interesting (re: anything in the 80’s starring Hulk Hogan). In my humble opinion, that finite amount of time is about thirty seconds, which is why it’s annoying that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has done no less than three full length family films. He wore a tutu in one, for god’s sake.

Thank Odin that The Rock has chosen Faster as his most recent project; a film where his only job is looking angry and being terrifyingly well muscled while he shoots people in the face. And he does this job very well. The first thing I thought when I saw the opening of the movie as The Rock paced menacingly in his prison cell was, “Holy shit he is HUGE.” I was legitimately afraid of him because he was so very big and so very angry. Read the rest of this entry »

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MONDO is a non-profit, weekly, Toronto-based, online magazine that focuses on arts, culture, and humour. We’re interested in art of all kinds (music, theatre, visual art, film, comics, and video games) and the pop culture that we inhabit.The copyright on all MONDO magazine content belongs to the author. If you would like to pay them for more content, please do. To contact MONDO please email us at editor@mondomagazine.net

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