1THE SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDERMAN

A terrific first issue by writer Nick Spencer and artist Steve Lieber focuses on the flip side of superheroics = the lives, both personal and professional, of their colorful counterparts.  Try as they might, supervillains just can’t seem to catch a break and, in this book, we find out why.  Bad choices, from costumes to heists to the company they keep, all converge to assure their inevitable defeat.  Very funny and very clever.

1ATTACK ON TITAN

Humanity has been reduced to a pocket of survivors.  From within the walls of a fortified city, they venture out for food and resources, constantly under threat of the giant, flesh-eating titans that now roam the Earth.  A half dozen episodes in to this shocking, well-paced, action-driven series, I was ready to put it on my Top 10 list.  Then, around episode 9, things grind to a halt.  Nothing happens for episodes on end as every dramatic moment is milked to death.  What a letdown after such a great start…

1FLOWERS OF EVIL

What, at first blush, appears to be another entry in the J-horror genre turns out to be a creepily effective psychological drama in a high school setting.  Isolation, alienation, humiliation and blackmail all figure into the mix in an anime that makes for some uneasily engaging viewing. The pacing here is a slow burn, suspensefully so, and any squirming you do will be in response to the often uncomfortable narrative developments.  Overall, I liked it a lot, although I did take issue with some of the out-there choices our characters make.

I really liked the movie Drive and was looking forward to checking out director Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest collaboration with actor Ryan Gosling, Only God Forgives – but there’s no way it’s topping THIS review: REX REED: Gosling Movie One of Worst Ever Made… “Ultra-violent, demented, plotless, creepy, meat-headed and boring, this is nothing more than a depraved travesty of abstract expression that wastes the film it’s printed on.”  Back in the day, my writing partner and I used to do a Bad Movie Night where we screened the likes of Showgirls, Color of Money, Barb Wire, Boxing Helena, and Battlefield Earth.  I think we may have to reconvene just for this film.

Meanwhile, the box office bombs continue to drop: BOXOFFICE DISASTERS CONTINUE….  It’s interesting that, only last month, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas warned the industry that something like this would happen: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas warn Hollywood heading for ….  Meanwhile, the movie I’m most looking forward to checking out is the modestly budgeted The Way, Way Back. 82% on Rotten Tomatoes (The Way, Way Back – Rotten Tomatoes). Unique for, among other things, being one of the few summer comedies that hasn’t used Icona Pop’s “I Love It” as part of its marketing campaign.

1Hey, look who’s on the cover of the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone magazine.  It’s murderer, child-killer, maimer, and terrorist Dzohkhar Tsarnaev.  Doesn’t he look positively dreamy?  The editors of Rolling Stone sure seem to think so, giving him the full rock star treatment. Why, if you were giving the mag a cursory glance, you might even mistake him for Jim Morrison or Adrian Grenier.  Following outraged response (much from Boston, the site of the terrorist attack) and a mounting boycott, Rolling Stone released a statement in which they essentially stood behind their story.  Only problem is NOBODY’S CRITICIZING THE STORY!  THEY’RE CRITICIZING THE PICTURE ON THE COVER!  Oh.  In that case, Senior Editor Christian Hoard offers this flip response to those whiney complainers via twitter:

1Yes, Christian.  Exactly.  You should have drawn a picture of yourself on his face.  Or something.  Perhaps realizing he was being an utter douchebag, Mr. Hoard deleted the post and issued an apology. Meanwhile, associate editor Simon Vozick-Levinson weighed in with his own defense, again via twitter:

1Again, I haven’t heard anyone criticize the story.  Maybe these editors should do a better job of reading the various articles that have criticized their bonehead decision.

Walmart fires employee for asking customer not to leave dog in hot car. According to Walmart, she wasn’t fired for asking a customer not to leave his dog in a hot car.  She was coincidentally fired for reasons unrelated to that incident – even though Walmart won’t offer details (for “privacy reasons”) and the fired employee still maintains she was fired for asking a customer not to leave his dog in a hot car.  According to Walmart, she was rude to a customer.  I wonder what she did? Maybe something like…ask a customer not to leave his dog in a hot car?

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archersangel

those boneheads at rolling stone just don’t get it.

Ponytail
Ponytail

Oh, what a world, what a world… roll

Bailey
Bailey

The world is full of idiots.

bambamfans

I wonder if circulation of Rolling Stone was down and they did this to get some publicity. I hope it does poorly. I won’t be buying it.

I was reading your blog post on talking to strangers. It’s been something I’ve been working on over the years. I’m pretty shy, but going to conventions on my own I’ve found I’ve gotten fairly good at meeting strangers in lines and striking up conversations.

I’ve been lucky to meet people I’ve only known online. That’s easier because it feels like I’ve known them in person.

Outside of conventions it’s a little more difficult as it’s harder to find a common interest.

Cheers, Chev

jojo
jojo

I am so offended by the cover of Rolling Stone and am so surprised by the response of the editors to public criticism. There are so many other choices they could have made. so disappointing.

Lewis
Lewis

One of the Rolling Stone people commented that they put him on the cover since he is the age demographic of their readers

….um, when was the last time someone saw a college student read Rolling Stone magazine?

(I used to work at a book store for several years and whenever college kids came in to buy music magazines it was never Rolling Stone)

Lewis
Lewis

In other news..

saw Carl’s new show “Cedar Cove” on the Hallmark channel last night. To quote Tony the Tiger, “It was grrrreat!”

Can’t wait for episode 2 next Sat. which will introduce Teryl Rothery’s character!!!

Kymm
Kymm

Uggg that Rolling Stones cover is unbelievable. It’s a music magazine, not exactly a hard hitting news source. (It’s kinda the equivalent to putting him on Playboy)… random…. I agree that it must be a pathetic attempt for attention. I’m not surprised by their deliberately obtuse response to any criticism b/c their goal was to get noticed/talked about, which they succeeded at…

K

dasndanger
dasndanger

While I don’t agree with the RS cover, I do understand it. Or, should I say, I understand the impact it had on me, regardless of the intent of the magazine.

It’s a powerful picture for those who are thinking with their heads, and not hearts. The picture isn’t meant to invoke sympathy, but to show how the face of terrorism has changed from old bearded men to that of youth and – in some opinions – beauty. I find it an interesting study in psychology – will people be more forgiving of this kid because he’s good-looking? Since we live in a society where so much emphasis is placed on appearance I say yes – yes, some people will forgive this terrorist based solely on how he looks. Other weak-minded individuals may actually be inspired by him based on those same looks. I find the public reactions quite interesting because, amid the outrage, you just know there are some who are pinning that picture on their walls as we speak.

Some have questioned why the victims are not on the cover. That is an easy answer – in most cases, the victims are never remembered by the masses. The one who gains fame is always the criminal. We remember names like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, but most – if not all – of us would be hard-pressed to remember the name of just one of their victims. So said to say, the one who will be remembered in all of this will be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – and if not his name, then certainly his face. I’ve asked myself why this is so, and I think it’s because though we are saddened by the loss of life, the victims are too much like you and I. I truly think most people don’t like to dwell on the victims because it makes us, in turn, feel victimized, too. So we focus on the bad guy and try to figure out the whys and wherefores, and as we do that bad guy becomes a bit larger than life, a symbol of evil to hate, or to idolize.

das

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Those scifi covers are so cool!

Well put Ponytail!

mike from Canada
mike from Canada

I just finished watched Attack On Titan. It should really be “Attack of the Titan’s” or “Titan’s Attack!”.
This show set my teeth on edge almost from the start. I wanted to grab Eren and pull him through the TV, slap him silly and tell him to Shut The Hell UP! He’s alternately screaming at everyone and having a breakdown in self confidence. I thought they were milking the dramatic scenes from the beginning, and it only got worse as it went on. But I still wanted to see what the heck was going on. The show is almost half filler. Honestly. Huge amount of catching up on previous show. Then a quick replay of the last shows ending. Then the titles, credits and song. A little new story line. Then two short technical information stills. Then a little bit more of new story. Then the ending credits. Worst amount of filler I’ve ever seen.

Plus the pacing of the anime is slow. They could have told the same story in half the time and still had enough time for Eren to berate everyone around him, and then fall into a funk. I still continued to watch hoping that at some point we would discover more about the titans, or the basement. But no.

I’m not offended by the cover on Rolling Stones. But I think that the media should should STOP printing or showing mass or spree killer’s pictures. If they absolutely have to, show a 1.5″ x 1.5″ somewhere near the back. We shouldn’t give them the notoriety they crave. We should make them little more then a tiny blip in the history books, if that. We should definitely not reward them for their actions by giving them the notoriety they so badly want.

Instead we should erase evidence of their existence.

I make a point of not shopping at Wal Mart. For all the many reasons they get in the news. Like not supporting an employee who confronts a customer that is slowly killing a dog.

lt2369

What’s a magazine cover?

Christian
Christian

I also don’t understand what issue people have with the Rolling Stone Magazine.
(I’m from Europe so don’t hate me.)
Was it because they put him on the cover on the first place?
(I think Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were on the cover of Time Magazine and nobody took issue with that.)
Was the story inside the Magazine glorifying him in any way, or was it because he supposedly looks pretty in that picture? (I think he looks a scarecrow.)

Randomness
Randomness

Ohh anime. I’m really looking forward to the Fairy Tail x Rave crossover episode special out mid August.

Kodansha Japan released a preview of it on their Youtube channel, which now has almost 110,000 views in 3 days lol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLwOutsU0ws

I love Fairy Tail, such a fun anime series. Well worth watching if you love anime, also worth noting the preview video I posted here isn’t really spoiling anything. Crossover episodes never follow the main plot, they’re just harmless fun as both anime shows were done by the same author..

Ponytail
Ponytail

Joe, The Conjuring conquered the box office this week coming in #1 at 41.5 million. It cost 19.5 million to make. So if you got a scary movie to make, now’s the time.

gforce

Very well said, Das!

Shana
Shana

Thanks for the reviews on Attack on Titan and Flowers of Evil. I agree about attack on titan, fast start and then it slows. I keep hoping it picks back up, but alas it seems it will not.

Roger Hågensen

I do not see any wrongdoing here by Rolling Stone.

What that photo tells me is that the kid looks like just about any other kid you might walk by on the street.

The problem everyone seem to have is that he looks “normal”, the problem is not the picture.

And before anyone start a flamewar, please read this article first: Trayvon Martin and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: A tale of two photos
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-trayvon-martin-and-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-photos-20130722,0,1810573.story

Also Mr. Mallozzi, “murderer, child-killer, maimer, and terrorist” is giving that guy more credit than he deserves. Bin Laden was a terrorist, Hitler was even worse.
This guy? This guy was an unknown, he set off a bomb, that’s it.

And before anyone say how can a foreigner like me possibly understand. Remember that incident in Norway? A bomb going off and a guy doing mass shootings and a killing spree on an small island? He is a bomber and a mass-murderer, and his name does not deserve to be mentioned. But he is not a terrorist either. Be careful throwing the word terrorist around as there is no distinction such as a First time terrorist vs a Seasoned terrorist.

And why “child-killer” ? Does this mean that the death of non-children does not matter as much? And “maimer” makes it sound like he ran around with a hacksaw.

I understand people get upset, but there are only so many steps away from a lynch mob mentality or a militia mentality.

Just think of how many times somebody on the net say “I wish he’d die” or “I wish you where dead”, just because they are upset with someone.
It happens a frightening amount of times.
People have said it about George Lucas for example which is ludicrous.

And to get back on the topic of the picture again (I easily get sidetracked).
Digging up a photo where he looks like a crook would be different.
“Never judge a book by the cover” is an old saying, yet that is what everyone (including you Mr. Malozzi) does here.

And I think it is a valuable lesson, because in my case I would maybe be in jail because of the way I “look”.

One would assume that in a modern society that we judge people by their actions and not their looks (or other things).

virgildraco
virgildraco

well Mr Mallozzi, Shingeki no Kyojin, simply the best best animation of the year, and also the best manga actually, even though in the anime they slowed the pace down a little on the action, these last episodes have a great impact on what coming next, even though some conversations seem trivial, they are of capital matter, so dont give up on it, and you should buy the manga, it really is worth a shot, one of the best manga i’ve ever read

Randomness
Randomness

@Shingeki no Kyojin, simply the best best animation of the year, and also the best manga actually

Nah, personally I thought that was Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S. It’s a great show, more popular even smile

The opening music is very very catchy too.

PBMom

I think Das makes some very good points here. I am not sure how I feel about it. Been too busy to really think about it much.