Features

An unsurprising exercise in brand extension and hopeful franchise starter, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, the first, big-screen iteration of Pokémon, the made-in-Japan series of interconnected stories, videogames, trading cards, and animated films (TV and feature-length, including 21 of the latter, an unexpectedly mind-blowing number if there ever was one) centered on the titular, super-charged fantasy creatures who battle for supremacy with the guidance of their human trainers, partners, and friends, fails to fully or even partially embrace the inherent weirdness of its central premise in exchange for a slipshod, sloppy, slapdash neo-noir storyline involving a twenty-something searching for and reconnecting with his lost, presumably dead father (figuratively, if not literally). Repeatedly slowed down by logic lapses, coincidences, and contrivances that can be listed or described in a single review, Pokémon Detective Pikachu misses the mark by too much to be called anything except a middling misfire. (more…)

Five years ago, Keanu Reeves, pushing the half-century mark, but looking – and more importantly, performing like a super-fit, near-invulnerable 40-year-old – returned to the action genre he made his own more than two decades ago (e.g., Point Break, Speed, The Matrix Trilogy). As a result, he turned into one of the most unlikely movie stars of his generation (or any generation for that matter).  Little has changed since then. Rather than trying his hand at another big-budget, sci-fi-actioner doomed to failure amid outsized expectations, Reeves chose an entirely different, ultimately far more successful path. The first entry in the series, John Wick was a super-lean, super-efficient, minimalist action-thriller that placed a premium on physical stunts, many, if not most performed by Reeves himself, over logic- and physics-defying CG-enhanced effects. Then and now, John Wick was an anomaly, a glitch (so to speak) in the business matrix. While it didn’t become a mega-hit at the box office, the investment-to-return ratio was more than enough to get a sequel into production three years later, John Wick 2: Chapter 2, and a third entry, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, just two years later. (more…)

 

Afropunk refers to the participation of African Americans and other black people in punk and alternative subcultures like Cyberpunk and alternative history fiction similar to Steampunk. And few comics have embodied that like Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer. David Crownson and crew have found success with their comic featuring not only a woman but of a woman of color, with a mostly person of color cast. Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer comes off as a breath of fresh air with a unique perspective and vivid storytelling.

(more…)

Love or hate it, Game of Thrones is a phenomenon. Few shows in history can boast being this big. Even its mistakes become media controlling phenomenon. All shows have a few slip-ups here and there. You’d expect that from a show with as many moving parts as Game of Thrones. But last week’s coffee cup scandal had people in a tizzy. Seeing a blatant piece of the modern world in their medieval fantasy made some folks lose their minds. This certainly couldn’t be the only time a goof like this has happened on the show, so… why the fuss?

(more…)

Happy new trailers galore, folks! This week, after reasonable time to cool down from Avengers: Endgame, a new, spoiler-filled Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer has popped up and it’s glorious.

Let’s start with the low-down. After the awful events of Endgame, Peter Parker is taking a relaxing vacation with his friends, including Ned and MJ. Assumingly, his good buddies were also dusted for the past five years, otherwise they’d be a lot older. Along for the ride is Happy, Iron Man’s old right hand man and kind of his Aunt’s boyfriend. Together, they lament losing Tony and are just trying to live their lives day to day, protecting people.

That is, of course, until Nick Fury starts calling.

(more…)

Pokemon has long set its place in nerd culture for its games, cards, anime, and countless merchandise. With the release of CGI/Live action movie Detective Pikachu and upcoming game Pokemon Sword and Shield, the fandom remains as strong as ever. Like anything popular, though, the property is not without it’s problems and controversies. Hard to imagine boobs, Guns, Seizures, Racism, and Death are associated with cute fictional fighting creatures… but here we are. (more…)

So after our heartbeats have finally regained normal rhythm following a very Long Night with Episode 3, we see our group of fan favorites take stock, mourn their dead, and rejoice following the final battle with the un-dead. Drinking heavily, and enjoying some well earned comforts, audiences see their characters interact, rest and enjoy, and also engage in some sexy time it seems. However this weeks Episode 4, The Last of the Starks, has left audiences with a lot of questions, and also surprisingly, a really bad taste in a lot of fans mouths. Spoilers ahead as I am sure you are aware… (more…)

Hasbro is brand is synonymous with quality action figures and accessories. With the release of Avengers: Endgame, they continue to impress. Whether you’re a kid that needs your favorite figure to add to your epic imaginary figure battles or the adult seeking to add to their own collections (or vice versa!), Hasbro has you covered. Now, fair warning, if you haven’t seen Endgame yet A) WTF are you waiting for? And B) these figures feature some character and plot spoilers, so beware! New 6-inch figures, Titan Hero Series 12-inch figures, and children-sized roleplaying gear grace Hasbro’s latest line-up, giving some character some much needed attention and fans more collectibles and toys to drool over!

 

(more…)

Set in an alternative universe – similar, but far from identical to ours – where a former TV star becomes president (because he played one on a popular, long-running show), an ultra-right-wing Rupert Murdoch-clone rules the airwaves (among other media), and where a Seth Rogen-looking character (played by Seth Rogen) somehow manages to make the jump from unemployed, lefty journo to head speechwriter for a secretary of state, future presidential candidate, to one-half of an unconventional romantic couple, the Jonathan Levine-directed Long Shot asks a tremendous amount from paying audience members and down-the-road future streamers: To set aside any all reality-world doubt and embrace the sheer wish-fulfillment fantasy inherent in the overused schlub-romances-a-beauty-queen-with-brains premise. If you can buy in, if you can get past what any reasonable person would consider the equivalent of a Big Ask, then Long Shot has a semi-random assortment of party favors and weed-soaked pleasures on offer for sporadic enjoyment and/or entertainment.   (more…)

Warning! If you haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame, read NO further! This post features heavy Endgame spoilers! You have been warned!

Mental Illness, PTSD, depression, and anxiety are real issues that plague millions of us. It’s a struggle that some fight with every single day. A vast majority of society is still trying to wrap their heads around illnesses they can’t see and struggle to understand. Some find it hard to even admit they themselves fight against their own brains and bodies. Endgame’s portrayal of conditions like depression and PTSD have been met with mixed reviews, depending on the character experiences them. But which character stands out as the most polarizing?

(more…)