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DVD Review: Tropic Thunder (Blu-ray)
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Tropic Thunder Blu-ray DVD
Tropic Thunder
Blu-ray
Directed by Ben Stiller
Starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black, Nick Nolte, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: November 18, 2008

Have you ever watched a movie that your conscious mind continually told you that you shouldn’t be enjoying? That the premise was thin, the majority of the acting was way overblown, and that teetered it on the edge of “Scary Movie 15″ lameness, yet somehow you found yourself laughing and having a good time? That is exactly the movie that Tropic Thunder is to me.

In order to discuss my thoughts on this film, I’m going to have to delve into some character details that may be considered spoiler territory, so be warned.

Still with me? Cool. Here we go.

Tropic Thunder is one of those “high concept” films that tells the story of the making of a film within the film itself. The idea is nothing new, and neither is Ben Stiller‘s desire to skewer the profession he loves. It’s well worn territory. And while I’d love to say that Stiller, who wrote, directed, and stars in this film, walked this well worn territory in a fresh and interesting way — I can’t. The truth is, this film offers us very little that we haven’t seen before.

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DVD Review: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Blu-ray)
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HBHellboy II: The Golden Army
Blu-ray Edition
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Luke Goss
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: November 11, 2008

When looking at visionary director Guillermo del Toro’s film versions of Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy, it important to remember one key point — this ISN’T the same Hellboy universe that Mignola created being put onto film. It differs in tone, story, and execution, and that’s not a disservice to the world that Mignola has created; in fact, it’s at his insistence. You see, one stipulation to Mignola allowing the Hellboy character to be used in different mediums is that each medium stand on its own as a different version of Hellboy. That means that the comic differs from the animated movies, and the animated movies differ from the live-action films. Certain key points remain the same: Hellboy is a demon summoned to Earth to bring about its destruction, he denounces his “destiny” and works for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, and he is friends and partners at the B.P.R.D. with the fire starter Liz Sherman and the amphibious Abe Sapien.

But from that point on, the three different sets of tales shift. And so it is only with the ability to divorce oneself from the masterful comics that Mignola has crafted that one is truly able to enjoy the other versions of Hellboy being presented.

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‘Call of Duty: World at War’ Images
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Call of Duty: World at War logoAfter Call of Duty 4 raised the bar for all first-person shooter (FPS) titles — and brought them out of the mire of WWII — I couldn’t help but be wary of the franchise heading back into the trenches for Call of Duty 5: World at War. But after watching the trailers and seeing the amazing imagery coming out of this game (who doesn’t want to fire up those wicked flame throwers?!), it’s hard not to get excited for this title! Add to that a co-op mode for the campaign (the campaign being the weak-link of CoD 4, which looks vastly better for CoD 5), and the already stellar class-based multi-player, and all of the ingredients are there.

With the pieces in place as they are, you’ll be hard pressed to find a FPS fan who isn’t chomping at the bit for this one!

Call of Duty: World at War is currently set to be released on November 11 for all current gaming platforms, as well as for the Playstation 2 and Nintendo DS systems.

Check out a ton of new images from the game here after the jump.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: The Misadventures of Clark and Jefferson #3
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The Misadventures Of Clark And Jefferson #3The Misadventures Of Clark And Jefferson #3 of 4
Writer: Jay Carvajal
Artist: Marc Borstel
Ape Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.50; On-sale: Feb 2007

The Misadventures of Clark and Jefferson #3 finds our heroes where we left them off — facing down wave after wave of alien invaders. Due to the overwhelming odds, the group’s numbers are dwindling, and it’s apparent to everyone that if the aliens decide to attack again, they won’t be able to hold them off. A plan is formulated and drastic measures must be taken. That’s as far as I’ll go with the story, because I don’t want to spoil it.

This issue, as seems to be the series’ trademark, once again blends the actions and the comedy as easily as it blends the western and sci-fi genres. And believe me, that’s no easy feat on either account. Series writer Jay Carvajal instills the humor in a very natural way. It rarely feels forced. His characters all have a distinct voice, and if the humor fits into that voice, he uses it. If not, then the character is played straight. When dancing between genres like he does, it’s easy to forget your characters voices and they end up saying things that don’t fit them. That doesn’t happen here, and it’s a testament to Carvajal’s writing abilities.

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Webcomic Review: ‘Freak Angels’ Episode 0001
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Freak Angels Episode 0001Freak Angels
Episode 0001
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Paul Duffield
Available: Right Now, Bitches!
Price: Free, MutherF*er! Click This!

Ah, webcomics… the red-headed stepchild of the funny book world. Practically anyone can throw one together and set it loose on the wild waves of the interwebs. And maybe it’s that simple fact that has kept the webcomic from finding the love and admiration it so desperately craves. Or maybe it’s the fact that 90% of what’s out there is utter crap. Either way, webcomics are not typically looked upon with fond eyes from the readers of its 4-color printed cousins.

But things may be starting to change. The pendulum might be on a forward swing and webcomics may be finding its web-legs after all. Why? Because people like Warren Ellis are jumping into the game and giving it a level of legitimacy it has not yet seen.

Yes, Warren Ellis, who is currently taking over the writing reigns of Astonishing X-Men for Marvel.

Today marked the launch of Freak Angel, an episodic webcomic that looks and feels more like a printed comic than most other webcomics. Once you also take into account the beautiful artwork by Paul Duffield, it’s no wonder this webcomic is going to stand out. His manga-influenced art, textured background, and washed-out looking colors create an instant mood and atmosphere that is simply stunning.

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