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Archive for January, 2011

MONDOcomics #91: January 26, 2011

Posted by Comics On January - 28 - 2011

Captain America #614
Ed Brubaker (w); Butch Guice (p); Stefano Gaudiano with Morales, Palmer, Magyar & Guice (i); Bettie Breitweiser with Sotomayor, Ramos & Martin (c). Marvel Comics.

I got the second omnibus of Brubaker’s Captain America run for Christmas and devoured it before Boxing Day was over. I’d read it all before, but never in a straight read though. Beyond the fantastic characters and exciting action, I was shocked how tight the plotting was. When you read it collected, you see that Brubaker doesn’t forget a single thread. He’s tracking the plot and all the players.

In the last couple years, I feel people taken for granted just how amazing this book is. Couple years ago, people couldn’t stop saying nice things about Brubaker’s Cap run, now, I feel occationally there’s a “yep, still good” review and that’s it. But that’s not enough — this is as good as any iconic run on a superhero. Brubaker’s Daredevil might live in Frank Miller’s run for the rest of time, but every writer to handle Captain America after this will live in Brubaker’s shadow. When he leaves they might as well just retire the character (not that they will). Read the rest of this entry »

By Denise Liu

Reid Fleming: World’s Toughest Milkman, vol. 1
David Boswell (w+a). IDW, 2010.

Read if you like: slapstick, Comix, complete obscenity, local authors, anti-heroes

As a retail industry worker, I have, at least once a day, the fanciful wish to act like an utter asshole and get away with it. Disposing of — not dispensing — pleasantries. Saying and doing exactly what’s on your mind, employment be damned. The incredible torment that Reid Fleming doles out makes him my hero. He is a jerk that makes his own trouble and yet always beats the odds. I think that it is precisely the recurring improbabilities of Reid’s world that creates an astonishing and delightfully violent atmosphere, where no one gets (permanently) hurt and we do the same song-and-dance only a little differently each time.

The Jist: A hell-bent, chain-smoking alcoholic milkman with superhuman strength terrorizes everyone on his route. Dumping milk into a customer’s live fish tank, or crashing his truck almost constantly is the least he can do to give his supervisor, Mr. Crabbe, an aneurism. Both bully and hero (depending on the colour of your collar), Reid Fleming is a most peculiar and endearing jack-ass. Volume One is a collection of several individual books and strips originally published since 1978 (Deep Sea Comics, Eclipse, Dark Horse), including full-colour covers from each. Remember when dialogue text was hand-written neatly? Yeah. Read the rest of this entry »

W is for The Wednesday Conspiracy

Posted by Comics On January - 24 - 2011

The Alpha Review

By Andrew Uys

I’ve heard that trade paperbacks — a run of comic issues collected into a graphic novel — are all the rage today. But which ones are worth your time? This column aims to put the spotlight on the spectacular trades — at least according to this writer. And just for fun, we will start with the letter “A,” and each subsequent review will follow with the next letter of the alphabet. While you might object to my taste or my opinion, I hope that this column will help save you time and money when you are next buying a trade paperback, as well as effort in alphabetizing.

W is for The Wednesday Conspiracy
Written and Illustrated by Sergio Bleda. Dark Horse, 2010

Originally published in Europe by Strip Art Features in 2005, this TPB is the first of the three volumes to be published in North America. A gripping, edgy, dark story, with sharp and angular art, I especially enjoyed the depth and complexity that Sergio brought to his characters. It makes their numerous and gruesome deaths have that much more impact. And in this story, no one is “safe” in the traditional manner that causes comic readers to never really worry (or believe) that the protagonists will actually succumb to their peril and perish. Read the rest of this entry »

The Green Hornet Reviewed

Posted by film On January - 24 - 2011

The Green Hornet
Directed by Michel Gondry
Columbia Pictures, 2011

By Sean Kelly

My only real experience involving the Green Hornet, prior to this film, was the character’s crossover appearance on the old 1960s Batman TV series. Indeed it was the Green Hornet TV series, from the same producers as Batman, where most people were introduced to the character. The TV series was also notable for introducing us to Bruce Lee, who co-starred as Kato a few years before becoming a movie star. I only recently found out that the character has its origins as a 1930s radio serial, as opposed to comic books, which did not appear until the 1940s.

The film version went through many stages of development, with one of the most notable being when Kevin Smith was hired in 2004 to write and direct the film. His script was adapted into a comic after he dropped out. The film was later taken up by Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg. Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) was originally set to direct and co-star as Kato, but he eventually dropped out and the reigns were given to Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Read the rest of this entry »

Caesar’s Film Disappointments of 2010

Posted by film On January - 21 - 2011

Legion stinks like a flaming bag of something left on a doorstep.

By Caesar Martini

1. Legion
Technically not a disappointment because I saw the previews and thought, “Wow, looks like crap,” and it was indeed crap. In fact, it exceeded my estimations of crap. The whole movie was just one bad decision after another, punctuated by bad dialogue, ridiculous plot directions, and questionable acting. Horrible.

2. The Last Airbender
This was particularly disappointing because 1) I liked M Knight Shyamalan once and would like to again, and 2) the TV series, Avatar: The Last Airbender is such a good cartoon and rich source of material that it’s a tragedy to see it mishandled so badly. If The Last Airbender was a child, Shyamalan dropped it on its head, accidentally stepped on it with hobnailed boots and kicked it into a pile of razor blades and then picked it up hastily and proudly showed it off to the world. “Isn’t she beautiful?” No, M Knight. No she is not. She is horrid and needs medical attention. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDOcomics #90: January 19, 2010

Posted by Comics On January - 21 - 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man #652
Dan Slott, Fred Van Lente (w), Stefano Caselli, Reilly Brown, Victor Olazaba (a), Edgar Delgado, Andres Mossa (c). Marvel Comics.

I caught up on a backlog of comics this week, and even just among this week’s particular haul there are a bunch of books I could talk about now. There’s Sinestro’s awesomeness over in Green Lantern Corps, the singularly beautiful painted panels in Legion of Super-Heroes, or hey — an issue of Brightest Day I actually liked! But I’m just drawn to this Spidey issue.

It could have something to do with the art. While I’ve been singing the praises of the improvements from Humberto Ramos in the last story arc over his work in the past, there simply is no contest between Ramos and Caselli. The second page in particular (not counting the recap page) has so much expression to it, the story tells itself without words. Though they help. And Caselli accomplishes a rare feet- making each character unique. It’s not just palette swaps and hair style changes. Read the rest of this entry »

Isaac’s Film Disappointments of 2010

Posted by film On January - 20 - 2011

By Isaac Mills

BDSM: Ur doing it wrong.

1. Poor Adaptations That Change Things That Didn’t Need to be Changed in the First Place

The Last Airbender changed how you pronounced characters names- this is a movie based on a TV show - everyone knows how the names are pronounced. If you think the names should be said differently (Shyamalan) and 100% of your audience think they should be pronounced the same, maybe you should not mess around with the names?

But it doesn’t end there: Jonah Hex. An awesome bounty hunter cowboy. Is this hard? Take from the source material – there are a couple decades of good stories to pull from. I don’t think Megan Fox made any comic appearances either.

Then there’s Yogi Bear. Yogi is about my favourite Hanna Barbara character, so I scanned the trailer to try and figure out what was so off about it, and I realized that the static animation of the old cartoons was very essential to how it communicated its humour. I realize this is a more of a personal issue, so feel free to disagree, but the point in general still stands. Adapt things better! Read the rest of this entry »

By Sean Kelly

Every year there seem to be two films that stand out in the Oscar race. For instance, last year it was a well-documented battle between The Hurt Locker and Avatar.

This year’s battle is shaping up to feature The King’s Speech facing off against The Social Network. If this battle wasn’t apparent before, it certainly is now that The Social Network won four of its six Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture – Drama. I figured that it would be fun it create a boxing-style “tale of the tape” comparison between the two films. Read the rest of this entry »

Sean’s Film Disappointments of 2010

Posted by film On January - 19 - 2011

By Sean Kelly

Every year at MONDOfilm, we revisit our most disappointing experiences and biggest gripes of the year in the film world. They can be actual films, actors and filmmakers or trends and occurences that got our backs up. Sean Kelly kicks things off. Enjoy.

Lucy looks down upon us.

1. Too Much 3D (for real)

When I wrote my article in February contemplating how studios were jumping on the 3D bandwagon, following the success of Avatar, I had no idea how truly out of hand 3D would get during 2010. It started to seem that every single major release was coming out in 3D (often with the hilarious side note “also available in 2D”). The downside to this was that the studios were cutting corners and converting the majority of these films in post-production, which resulted in greatly diminished 3D effects (and wasted premium movie prices). This resulted in an understandable backlash, highlighted by an anti-3D article written by Roger Ebert. The 3D revolution also gave electronics companies a reason to speed up technological obsolescence by telling people to buy their new fancy 3D-compatable HDTVs and Blu-Ray players so soon after consumers (myself included) started to fully embrace the technology.

On the upside, TRON: Legacy restored my faith in 3D films and the next year promises to see more major films that were actually SHOT in 3D, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: The Dark of the Moon. Read the rest of this entry »

Shane McNeil’s Top 5 Films of 2010

Posted by film On January - 18 - 2011

By Shane McNeil

5. Get Low (dir. Aaron Schneider)
There’s not a lot of love for a film that sat on the shelf for almost a year and then got buried in late summer when everyone was preoccupied with its backwoods cousin Winter’s Bone. However, what resonated more with me on this one – though I did love Winter’s Bone – was not only the optimism that a bad man can earn redemption, but also the absolute stunner of a performance Bobby Duvall turned in. It’s easy to forget a man who’s been relegated to the curmudgeonly supporting ranks since 1997, but he struck back nicely with his turn as Felix Bush. In a just world he’d earn an Oscar nom for it.

4. Inception (dir. Christopher Nolan)
This wins all kind of respect in my book for being both insanely smart and insanely successful. Perhaps Nolan rode a bit of Caped Crusader cred in breaking the bank here, but I won’t hold that against him. What impressed me most was his ability to take the mind-bending, convoluted narrative track he began laying with Memento (or perhaps even Following) and filter it through not only with high production values and action sequences, but with characters and emotions that the audience could actually empathize with. Read the rest of this entry »

Caesar Martini’s Top 5 Films of 2010

Posted by film On January - 17 - 2011

By Caesar Martini

5. Jackass 3D (dir. Jeff Tremaine)
Yes, I realize that the Jackass movies are not exactly the epitome of noble cinematic achievement, blah blah blah, but hey, shut up for a second. There’s only one other movie I saw this year that I kept talking about after seeing it, and that’s because Jackass 3D is hugely entertaining from start to finish. It may be a horrified fascination-of-a-car-wreck type of entertainment, but still, that’s more than 95% of movies I see can offer, so it’s on my list.

4. The Town (dir. Ben Affleck)
Wow, Ben Affleck is two for two in the ‘win’ column for directing. The Town is a top shelf heist movie, on par with films like Heat. Great characterization, great dialogue, acting, writing, it comes together beautifully. I don’t even care that Affleck might not be physically able of making a movie that doesn’t take place in Boston. Read the rest of this entry »

Isaac Mills’ Top 5 Films of 2010

Posted by film On January - 15 - 2011

By Isaac Mills

I made a top ten list easily enough, but getting it down to five? And then ranking them? Rough stuff.

5. The Karate Kid (dir. Harald Zwart)
Though there are many that’ll argue with me, this was a remake that improved on the original. The casting of a younger kid made so much sense to me – it didn’t feel so weird when he got upset, he’s a little kid that got moved to China! Compare that to Daniel in the original: a 15 year old throwing a fit because he moved across the country. Pfft, I did that!
The litmus test for any Karate Kid movie is whether or not after it’s over you want to jump out of your seat and do a flipping side kick. Man, I was jumping all over the place, and I’m supposed to be an adult!

4. Daybreakers (dir. Michael and Peter Spierig)
When I saw the trailer for this movie, I thought this was going to rock, but it seemed to have flown under most people’s radar. And it did indeed rock! The world building and overall atmosphere really impressed me, as did the message of consumerism run amok. It had Willem Dafoe running around with a crossbow scaring vampires. Clearly it had everything. Read the rest of this entry »



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