Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #91



Rumor Control

Late early September is always a sort of doldrums for TV and movies with the 2016/2017 TV season essentially over and the next not quite having started yet. And the summer movie season has also ended which means there’s a lull in new interesting movies out before the fall season starts with more interesting fare.

On TV I’ve been watching series like People of Earth, The Guest Book, Halt and Catch Fire and The Defenders. But I’ve also been checking out things like episodes of the original Star Trek on Netflix as well.

So far this year movie-wise I’ve seen:

Passengers: I liked it but I don’t think I would have cared as much for it if I would have paid full price to see it. See Passengers if you ever wondered what I Am Legend would have been like in space.

Logan: So far I think Logan is the best movie of the year and is one of the best comic book movies of all-time. Just see Logan if you haven’t.

Life: I was disappointed in this one. This sci-fi movie about astronauts in space doing battle with an alien lifeform didn’t connect with me for whatever reason. See Life if you always wanted to see an unofficial sequel to The Thing set on board a space station.

Kong: Skull Island: Not a great movie by any standards, but not a terrible way to spend a few hours either. See Kong: Skull Island if you love movies about giant monsters stepping on/eating people.

Ghost in the Shell: See above. See this movie if you understood what was going on in the Ghost in the Shell anime.

Alien: Covenant: This sequel to Prometheus/ prequel to Alien is a good movie if it takes a bit of time to get going and has a few too many plot-holes. Still, I dug this one. See Alien: Covenant if you love the Alien movie franchise even if you have conflicted feelings about Alien Resurrection.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2: For whatever reason I wasn’t a fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy but liked the sequel a lot. It’s a fun, poppy movie that moves at a nice pace and features characters the audience likes to be with. See Guardians of the Galaxy 2 if you like watching superheros hanging out and having fun.

TV

Mindhunter series promo

Comics

Batman: Year One — The Deluxe Edition

The Batman: Year One storyline of a Bruce Wayne on the cusp of becoming Batman might be my favorite Batman story of all-time. Written by Frank Miller, Year One has a strange positivity whereas his much more acclaimed The Dark Knight Returns is almost its opposite.

From DC:

One of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever—written by Frank Miller (BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS) with art by David Mazzucchelli (Daredevil)—returns in a new deluxe edition hardcover. In addition to telling the entire dramatic story of Batman’s first year fighting crime from BATMAN #404–407, this collection includes introductions by Miller and editor Dennis O’Neil, reproductions of original layouts, promotional art, unseen Mazzucchelli Batman art, Richmond Lewis’s color samples, script pages and more!

Books

Bernie Wrightson: Art and Designs for the Gang of Seven Animation Studio

Artist Bernie Wrightson was one of the best all-around comic book artists/illustrators/painters/storytellers ever. One body of Wrightson’s work that so far much of hasn’t seen the light of day is his conceptual work for film and TV. Of which Bernie Wrightson: Art and Designs for the Gang of Seven Animation Studio is set to rectify publishing conceptual work from his time working at this studio.

From Hermes Press:

Wrightson’s extensive design work for the Gang of Seven Animation Studio, while known, has never been documented until now with the creation of this new in-depth monograph that utilizes the archives of the studio. Marvel at concept drawings, model sheets, and hundreds of designs for projects including Biker Mice From Mars, The Juice, and Freak Show. All of the artwork in this book has been scanned directly from the original artwork so fans can savior Wrightson’s genius up close and personal.

The Reading & Watch List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1907: Fay Wray of King Kong and The Most Dangerous Game is born
  • 1966: Star Trek (The Original Series) premiers
  • 1966: The Time Tunnel debuts
  • 1973: The TV series Star Trek (The Animated Series) premiers
  • 1975: The animated series Return to the Planet of the Apes debuts
  • 1980: Battle Beyond the Stars premiers
  • 2008: The TV series Fringe premiers



Let me tell you a tale of the Guardians of the Galaxy



Gather round and let me tell a tale that will shock, horrify and electrify you.

I have a little secret to admit — according to some very high profile sources, one of which is me, I’m the one person in the world that didn’t care for the 2014 movie Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I didn’t like GG. Think of how odd that is coming from a superhero and sci-fi junkie who’s spent many a Saturday night scanning Netflix, then Amazon Prime and then Netflix again looking for anything superhero or sci-fi to watch — to say that he doesn’t like a superhero sci-fi movie that the masses loved, that made nearly $800 million at the box office is practically sacrilegious. But it’s true, I’m no a fan of Starlord, Drax, Groot, Gamora or any of that interstellar bunch.

That’s not to say that I’m a fan of each and every superhero movie. No way! I didn’t care for either of the Thor movies and thought a lot of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a drag. But I don’t dislike either of those two movies. I’m not a fan of them but will still watch them if I happen to be flipping around the dial and catch an airing. Yet, I’m not that way for GG, and it’s not like I haven’t tried.

For starters, I didn’t see GG in the movie theater, though that’s not that uncommon these days since I watch most movies at home via digital download. A few of my friends did see it there and said it was wonderful and a some called it their favorite superhero movie ever. And online reviews of the movie were generally glowing too.

Plus, I was always a huge fan of the GG comics and the whole superheroes in space subgenera that emerged in the 1990s, of which this film was adapting and updating, too. So, once GG was available I immediately rented it and sat down to watch what I was assuming was going to be a great experience.

Except it wasn’t. Right from the start, right from Peter Quill as a kid being abducted by aliens to adult Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) trying to steal something, getting caught, trying to talk his way out of trouble before finally having to fight his way out of it — I knew the movie was in trouble for me. And here’s the thing, I’m not sure why.

I don’t mind it when characters have smart-mouths, I loved Deadpool. And I don’t mind it when movies are over the top in terms of action, I love things like Mad Max: Fury Road. But for whatever reason these elements in GG just didn’t click for me.

And it’s not like I haven’t tried to like the movie. When I told those same friends I didn’t like the movie as they were getting Groot Christmas presents and rewatching their Blu-ray of GG for the many-ith time, they couldn’t believe what I was saying. It was like GG was made for me, it was a combination of the generas I like and even had story elements from comics I liked and collected. So surly there must’ve been something wrong with me since I didn’t like it. Either I didn’t like GG because everyone else did, which I don’t think so since I’m generally not like that — I either like something or I don’t and aren’t ashamed to say so, or maybe my initial viewing of the film was sub-optimal. That what I needed to do was to go back and watch it again. So I did. Since it was released I’ve watched GG two more times and every time the viewing’s over I come away with the same review, “Meh.” To me, GG isn’t bad but it’s not good either.

And now comes the forgone sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that’s currently in theaters. If it’s anything like the first GG it’ll be a film that most people I know will love and cherish. But for me it’ll be a movie where I’m on the outside looking in trying to figure out what all the fuss is about.




2017 Summer movie preview



Out first this summer is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 May 2. I wasn’t a fan of the first movie but am in the minority since the launch of these trash-talking, comedic space-faring heroes lead by Star Lord (Chris Pratt) quickly became a surprise mega-hit at the box office a few winters ago. This time, “Chris Pratt of the 1980s” Kurt Russell joins the cast as “Ego,” who in the comics anyway is quite literally a “living planet.” And what’s not to love about that?

May 19 sees the release of Alien: Covenant, the third Ridley Scott Alien film, and a direct sequel to Prometheus (2012). Prometheus got a bad rap by the critics but made more than $400 million at the box office hence Alien Covenant. What’s interesting here is that from the looks of things Scott has taken Alien: Covenant back to something a little more in the vein of Alien with the crew of a ship fighting the insect-like baddies and away from the more esoteric Prometheus, which I happened to like a great deal. Luckily, I also happen to like Alien a great deal too and couldn’t be more excited for this movie if I tried.

DC Entertainment tries to get their movie act together with the release of Wonder Woman on June 2, the fourth release of the modern DC movie universe. Originally appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and stealing the show, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) launches the Amazonian to the big-screen in her own movie set during WWI. My only concern for Wonder Woman is that she fought the monster Doomsday in Batman vs Superman and almost single-handedly took him down in an ultimate bad !#$ way. So whatever she faces in Wonder Woman has got to be as big or that movie might be disappointing.

The creators of The Mummy on June 9 are attempting to create their own franchise and so-called “shared universe” of movies with the Universal Monsters. Starring Tom Cruise not as the mummy but someone trying to stop her from destroying the world, early looks at The Mummy seem to indicate something like Mission Impossible crossed with Suicide Squad. The Mummy is the first movie of this interconnected film universe that will also include the likes of The Invisible Man, Wolf Man, Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon in future films if this one’s a hit.

Spider-Man movies have had a really weird path to the big-screen the last few years. There were two Andrew Garfield The Amazing Spider-Man flicks a few years ago that failed to score billions at the office so that version was shelved. More recently Columbia Pictures, who owns the film rights to the character, had a new Spider-Man, this time played by Tom Holland, crossover in the Marvel movie Captain America: Civil War last year while still retaining the rights to make their own Spider-Man stand-alone films. Now comes that first film Spider-Man: Homecoming out July 7 this time with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) crossing over to this film.

A third Planet of the Apes film War for the Planet of the Apes is out July 14. The Apes film series is one of my favorites with the first chronicling why the apes got their smarts and the second what was happening with them just after the fall of man. This third film seems to be the story about the final apes vs man battle, with the winner taking claim to the planet. If you’ve seen the 1960s/1970s apes movies I’m sure you know how that works out.

Closing out the summer is the first movie based on the The Dark Tower Stephen King book series on July 28. Starring Idris Elba as the heroic gunslinger Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the evil sorcerer, the The Dark Tower movie series is being billed as a sequel or continuation of the books rather than a big-screen version of them. It’s hard to describe The Dark Tower without giving too much away, but there are alternate dimensions, monsters and magical powers and, best for Hollywood, if this first is successful a series of seven other books that can all be turned into films.




Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (1990) cover



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Guardians…



guardian-of-the-galaxy-poster1Yeah, see it in IMAX.

Guardians of the Galaxy