Well, it’s all systems go on this series I’ve been circling for a while.
I’ve been in discussion with the show’s creator for a couple of months now, brainstorming his vision and beating out a rough ten-episode first season narrative arc. Read more
Well, it’s all systems go on this series I’ve been circling for a while.
I’ve been in discussion with the show’s creator for a couple of months now, brainstorming his vision and beating out a rough ten-episode first season narrative arc. Read more
Yesterday, Akemi and I racked up 25 000+ steps checking out a local con. I’ll tell you all about it. But first… Read more
So, yesterday, I offered a rundown of My Top 10 Funnest Episodes, simply put — the ten episodes (out of the 100 or so episodes of television I’m credited on as a writer) I had the most fun scripting. I decided to offer up the flip side and give you My Top 10 Toughest Episodes and have narrowed the list down to 13. Read more
My credits include:
But two of my greatest accomplishments remain: Read more
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
“When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.
From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. ”
This one has made my Best Of list for as long as I’ve been making these Best Of lists. Wildly inventive SF peopled with some truly wonderful characters.
Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire
“Once they were heroes, but the age of heroes has long since passed. Banished from existence by a multiversal crisis, the old champions of Spiral City–Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, and Barbalien–now lead simple lives in an idyllic, timeless farming village from which there is no escape! But as they employ all of their super abilities to free themselves from this strange purgatory, a mysterious stranger works to bring them back into action for one last adventure!”
I’m a big fan of Jeff Lemire’s work (Sweet Tooth, Descender, Plutonia) but this book, about a group of bizarre former superheroes trapped in a small town community, is now my favorite.
Vision by Tom King and Michael Walsh
“The Vision wants to be human, and what’s more human than family? So he heads back to the beginning, to the laboratory where Ultron created him and molded him into a weapon. The place where he first rebelled against his given destiny and imagined that he could be more -that he could be a man. There, he builds them. A wife, Virginia. Two teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition (or is that obsession?) the unrelenting need to be ordinary.
Behold the Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong? Artificial hearts will be broken, bodies will not stay buried, the truth will not remain hidden, and the Vision will never be the same.”
As someone who explores the humanity at the heart of an Android, I am in awe of King’s examination of this very conceit. Sure, it may seem to be about superheroes and supervillains and superpowers but, really, it’s about family.
Kingin (Civil War II) by Matthew Rosenberg and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
“An Inhuman with the ability to predict the future has helped the heroes of the Marvel Universe clamp down on crime before it can even happen. While this thwarts most criminals, one man has found a way to keep doing what he does best. Wilson Fisk has managed to stay one step ahead of the good guys and his crime enterprise is BOOMING. But what’s his secret?! It’s a gritty, street-level view of CIVIL WAR II starring the Kingpin in a world without crime!”
I loved Matthew Rosenberg’s work for Black Mask Studios (We Can Never Go Home, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank) and, not surprisingly, loved his take on one of Marvel’s biggest bads. They say that everyone is the hero of their own story, and it’s fascinating to see this old adage play out with the Kingpin of crime.
Kill Or Be Killed by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
“The bestselling team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (The Fade Out, Criminal, Fatale) return with Kill or Be Killed, Volume One, the twisted story of a young man forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret from destroying his life.
Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, Kill or Be Killed is unlike anything Brubaker and Phillips have ever done.”
A dark, occasionally shocking, thoroughly absorbing read.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack
“Sabrina’s father, Edward Spellman, is back from the dead, inhabiting the body of the newly resurrected Harvey Kinkle! Sabrina, believing the love of her high school life is back, arranges for a romantic rendezvous — but neither Hilda nor Zelda want that reunion to take place and are willing to start a witch-war to keep them apart! Meanwhile, the diabolical Madam Satan reveals her true plans for the Spellman family… You dare not miss the last page of this masterpiece of the macabre!”
This one outcreeps and outclasses its predecessor, Afterlife With Archie, another surprisingly great horror title.
The Omega Men by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda
“Broadcast across the universe, the Omega Men reveal a beaten and restrained Kyle Rayner. They make their intentions clear as they kill the former White Lantern. Now the universe is on watch and the hunt for the Omega Men begins. The line between good and evil is blurred in this part of the galaxy, and you do not know who to trust. Please Omega.”
Layers upon layers in this grand DC conspiracy. I went in cold and came away a fan.
The Fix by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber
“THE FIX is a story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run Los Angeles—and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels.”
Wild, hilarious, and more than a little offside.
So, over on alt. Dark Matter twitter account (@DarkMatter_show) I uploaded the above pic, snapped very early on in the show’s first season. It’s a beautiful set, beautifully lit, with gorgeous playback displays and…a truly awful star field out the front. The production purchased it from somewhere in the middle east – and it didn’t come cheap. It was, I was told, a top of the line star field often used in planetarium shows and displays. Which would have been great – had I been putting on a planetarium show or display. On camera though, the stars looked terrible – big and bright and oh-so-fake. Our attempts to dial them down were less than successful and a consultation of the handy guidebook that accompanied the purchase proved equally problematic given that it was entirely in Farsi. Despite our eventually securing a translation, the damn star field never quite worked and, in the end, the majority of our looks out the window had to be helped along by VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and the visual effects department.
When we got our second season pick up, the first thing to go was that pricey star field. We took a page out of Stargate: Universe’s playbook, replacing it with a simple black curtain studded with tiny lights and tinsel. At less than a tenth the cost, it looks roughly a thousand times better.
How’s that for behind the scenes trivia?
Also part of the DarkMatter_show’s twitter feed season 1 flashback were these pics of our cast – back when they were young, oh-so-innocent and, frankly, didn’t know any better. Jodelle Ferland (FIVE) above, and the boys (Alex Mallri Jr., Roger Cross, and Anthony Lemke) below.
Anyways, I’ve put a handy little widget in the right sidebar of this blog that will allow you to keep up with the latest twitter developments. Oh, and before I move on, there was also this –
First version of the Ferrous Corp guard outfit that was eventually toned down considerably to basic black.
So, hey, amid the prep, post, on-set action, and spinning ideas for season 3, I now have considerably more free time on my hands and have returned to my reading ways. Here are a couple of recommendations I’m throwing your way:
Beyond Redemption By Michael R. Fletcher
This title topped the list of author/blogger Terry Ibele’s “Six Amazingly Bizarre Sci-Fi & Fantasy Novels You’ve Never Heard Of” –
Intrigued, I purchased a copy and was absolutely blown away by the most outrageously heinous characters in the most outrageously good fantasy novel I’ve read in recent memory. If you like your fantasy (grim) dark, this is the book for you.
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Thomas Mauer
It opens with a D&D dragon-slaying expedition and ends with a diner reveal. In between, it’s sheer comical, caper-centric, character-driven brilliance.
At present, my love for this title knows no bounds. Check it out.
Turncoat by Alex Paknadel and Artyom Trakhanov
via BOOM! Studios: “300 years since humanity was brutally subjugated by the alien race known simply as the Management. Two years since these invaders abandoned Earth to return to their home world. Following her participation in the brutal massacre of human-alien hybrids left behind by the Management, resistance fighter Marta Gonzalez declines to join the new human government and starts her own private detective agency instead. Gonzalez is forced to confront her own bloody past and acknowledge the fact that the transition from oppression to emancipation is anything but clean.“
The latest from Alex Paknadel (Arcadia), one of my favorite comic book writers.
Okay, off to get in a little more reading and a little more season 3 story spinning before tonight’s Game of Thrones premiere. Who’s watching?
After last year’s impressive reading tally, I set the bar a lot lower this year but, even so, it looked like I was going to come up short of the 100 book mark. Over this past month, however, I’ve done some major catching up. Here are a few of the titles I enjoyed…
Half A War by Joe Abercrombie
The third and final instalment in Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea trilogy is epic fantasy at its high flying, action-packed finest. This one has all of the elements one would expect from Abercrombie – colorful characters, heart-stopping twists and, best of all, that wicked sense of humor I’ve come to know and love.
Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach
The second book in Rachel Bach’s (Aaron’s) Paradox Trilogy continues an SF series that stands out well above the rest. These books are smart, fast-paced, engrossing and, without a doubt, flat-out the most FUN you’ll have reading in recent memory.
Get Carter by Ted Lewis
I’m not a huge fan of noir-themed titles but this British classic, adapted into a movie starring Michael Caine back in the early 70’s, hooked me early and held my rapt attention through the entirety of my cover to cover single seating read. A brilliant and brutal crime novel that has restored my appreciation for the genre.
Sharpe’s Tiger by Bernard Cornwell
Having worked my way through most of George MacDonald Fraser’s similarly-themed Flashman series, I decided to give Cornwell’s historical anti-hero a shot – and came away mightily impressed. I loved this book and hope the rest of Sharpe’s adventures are as masterfully detailed.
Arcadia #4 by Alex Paknadel and Eric Scott Pfeiffer
This mind-bending SF series continues to, well, bend minds. Paknadel juggles intellectually intoxicating narrative elements to magnificent effect while Pfeiffer’s art dazzles in perfect compliment.
Descender by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
From The Underwater Welder to Sweet Tooth to Trillium, Lemire’s work is distinguished by its grounded, at times painfully real characters struggling in fantastic and surreal environments. In Descender, it’s Tim-21, a child robot who may be the key to averting a looming invasion. A delightfully sweet and compelling series.
FOUR against seven. They’re gonna need more guys!
What do we have here?!
Well, look who’s coming back to stir things up!
The boys convene in one of my favorite scenes in this episode.
Don’t forget to join me for a live post-episode Periscope after both airings tomorrow night.
Watch the show…
10 pm EST
7/10 pm PST
Then join me for a Periscope chat…
11 pm EST
8/11 pm PST
Well, it’s been about two weeks since the move to Toronto and I’m pleased to report we have more or less settled in. We’ve met quite a few very nice people in that short time – also, a number of weirdoes. But I suppose that’s to be expected. Toronto is a bigger city. Also, unlike Vancouver, Akemi and I can’t simply live as recluses. Necessity forces us to go out, encounter others and, in some instances, interact with them. The fact that I’ll strike up a conversation with just about anybody helps (or hurts depending on the relative sanity of my impromptu conversation partner).
The dogs have also settled into a nice little routine that includes four daily visits to the local dog park where Jelly leaves her stroller to get in her short walks, Bubba does his best to avoid contact with other dogs, and Lulu stubbornly refuses to return home until she has visited the dog run where she too ignores the other pooches in favor of begging their owners for attention.
I do miss Darlene and the gang at The Book Warehouse in Toronto. I’ve checked out a couple of the local book stores and have left underwhelmed. The sole exception is Bakka-Phoenix Books (84 Harbord Street), a terrific shop specializing in genre fiction. I spent a good half hour chatting with the staff while Akemi sat patiently by, endlessly perusing an illustrated Miyazaki book.
Even though I vowed to stick to digital versions while here in Toronto, I couldn’t help myself and picked up a selection made up of staff member Leah’s recommendations and some titles that caught my eye:
Presently reading Norman Lear’s Even This I Get to Experience. Just finished – and loved – the first volume of Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga, recommended to me by Prodigy Pictures Development Wunderkind Nat Cooper. I swung by The Silver Snail and picked up volumes 2 and 3 yesterday. And also brought home a bunch of other comic books and graphic novels Natalie sent me home with on Friday, among them Buzzkill by Donny Cates that I thought was pretty darn terrific as well. Speaking of comic book, it looks like it’ll be trade paperbacks only moving forward as Marvel has apparently wrapped up (canceled?) the only two single issue series I was collecting: The Thunderbolts and the awesome Superior Foes of Spiderman.
The eating, meanwhile, has been good. WAY to good. Some of the highlights –
The crispy prawn rice rolls at Luckee in the Soho Met. I don’t even like rice rolls but thought these were great. I’m not a huge fan of some of the entrees, but their dim sum menu items are uniformly great.
The sautéed sweetbreads at Le Neuf Cafe (9 Clarence Square) which, by the way, makes the best desserts in town – everything from salted caramel eclairs to their tiny chouquettes that Akemi has become addicted to and now picks up on almost a daily basis.
Wahlburgers (A Mark Wahlberg burger joint, 46 Blue Jays Way) opened her recently and I checked out their promising-sounding Thanksgiving Burger. The patty was flavorful but the stuffing and roasted butternut squash were decidedly not. The side of sweet potato tots (Actually made from yams. For some reason, people in Toronto don’t know the difference between a yam and a sweet potato) was disquietingly sweet. Everyone else in line ordered the signature Our Burger. Maybe I’ll order that next time. Or just go Burger’s Priest which I’ve been meaning to do.
After stocking up at the St. Lawrence Market this morning, we returned home where I made myself a bacon sandwich using two types of bacon (back bacon and peameal), Bourgogne cheese, and micro greens.
Tonight, we head out to a special event dinner at a local Italian eatery that is hosting a special guest chef from Vancouver: none other than our buddy Chef Robert Belcham (Fuel, Refuel, Fat Dragon, Camapagnolo, Campagnolo Roma). I will, of course, report back.
If I had to pick one comic book that I considered “the weirdest” growing up, it would have to be Richie Rich. The title character was described as “the poor little rich boy” but I never found anything remotely poor about him, either literally or figuratively. I suppose, one could make the argument that deep beneath the surface, Richie was a troubled soul. In the end, all the riches in the world couldn’t buy him the one thing he desired most: true friendship. Of course, in retrospect, making friends probably wouldn’t have been so hard if he hadn’t been such a dick.
How much does it cost to ship in an endangered tortoise from the Galapagos Islands? And then stud its shell with precious gems?
DON’T try this at Dodger home games.
Nothing says “destitute and starved for affection” like a kid taking an old soup can for a walk. But Richie looks pretty happy. Happier still when he later fires a full broadside at the enemy ship.
It’s like: “Dayamn, my top is so brilliant, I need sunglasses to play with it.”
Structurally unsound, impractical, and energy deficient, but the new President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council has to represent.
Yeah, I’m just going to look the other way while you finish grading my test.
100’s are aerodynamically superior to 50’s and 20’s.
Money doesn’t actually grow on trees. It grows on stalks so, technically, your parents weren’t lying to you.
This is actually a great idea. Next time you break a window, it’s automatically paid for.
If only golf courses came with shops that allowed you to purchase golf-related items like golf balls – or hire non-chatty caddies. “Yo, Overalls. I’m putting over here!”
Which all results in this. Sad but not surprising.
“They sure don’t make ’em like they used to” goes the old adage, and nowhere is this more evident than in the ever-evolving world of comic books. From Superman battling nazis to Spiderman meeting President Obama, comics have a rich tradition of embracing history and reflecting social and cultural norms. What was perfectly acceptable ten, maybe twenty years ago is now often viewed with an even mix of horror and amusement. “What were they thinking?”we ask. But before we get all smug and self-important, let’s remember that ten, twenty years ago, readers were saying the same thing. And ten, twenty years from now, they’ll probably look back on us and marvel over OUR ridiculous conceits and misguided earnestness. So adorably/annoyingly politically correct. It’s a wonder they ever got anything done!
With that in mind, allow me to present Comicdom’s Most Dated Covers: A Trip Down
Lois Memory Lane. We’ve come a long way, baby!
“I’m ashamed of my physical deformity so I’ll just wear this lead-lined safe on my head so that people don’t stare.”
In this case, the actual story couldn’t possibly do justice to the kinky version we’re all imagining in our heads.
Sorry, Lois. You made your deathbed. Now lie in it.
Wow. She is REALLY desperate to get married.
Writer Nick Spencer is at the top of his game here, exploring the private and professional lives of a group of B-team villains, The Sinister Six – who are actually made up of FIVE members hard-luck members. They’re sneaky, opportunistic, and completely disloyal, but you can’t help but love ’em.
Established notions of the fantasy genre are upended in this wild and whimsical series about “a pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing maidens-for-hire”. Equal parts dark fantasy and dark humor combine for an epic tale of magic, adventure and, above all, friendship.
In a near future of advanced technology quite literally on the heels of a robot revolution, mild-mannered Alex Wahl is sent an unexpected birthday present from his grandmother: a Tanaka X5 android. Bewildered and little creeped out, he decides to return the gift to the manufacturer, but there’s an earnestness and beauty to the android he names Ada that gives him pause. The Luna Brothers have a knack for cracking dialogue and wonderful character-driven stories (see Ultra), and this title – written by Jonathan Luna and Sara Vaughn – holds the promise of comparable greatness.
To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of Thor. I’ve always found him – well, kind of dull. But in the hands of Jason Aaron, the God of Thunder is transformed into a rich, engaging, humorous character. The latest story arc, The Accursed, is epic high fantasy with a Game of Thrones vibe but a spirt and style all its own.
A continuing tie-in to the major “Forever Evil” story arc running through the DC titles. Alternate/Evil versions of the Justice League from a parallel Earth have orchestrated a take down of this planet’s heroes and triggered a super villainous uprising. While there are big battles and action aplenty, for my part I’m enjoying the smaller, character-centered stories that shed light on the behind-the-scenes machinations of Earth’s new criminal power brokers. Double-crosses, shifting alliances, and hidden agendas – writer Geoff Johns does a masterful job of building suspense and doling out the unexpected twists and turns. Like a comic book version of a serialized cable series.
Check them out if you get the chance, then report back!
Snow Monkeys update: Down 12 points with three quarters of football still to play!
Today’s entry is dedicated to long-time Stargate fan Jill Bratcher, AKA majorsamfansg1. All the best for a speedy recovery and return home, Jill!
Dis would have been a great movie if it had been half an hour shorter. And made a lick of sense. Monster can imagine script notes session went someting like dis:
Producer: Dis skript full of plot holes and not make much sense.
Writer: Dats okay. Me fix it.
Producer: By applying logic so it easier to understand?
Writer: No. By making it so complicated dat audience simply assume dey too stoopid to understand.
Well, me have news for makers of Iron Man 3. Monster not stoopid. Me have GED from Pyongyang Institute of Higher Learning and Dance!
Movie begin wit Tony Stark seeing a therapist because he suffering panic attacks after Avengers movie. How dese panic attacks figure into plot and pay off at end of movie. Spoiler alert: Dey don’t!
Meanwhile, U.S. government rocked by string of bombings orchestrated by villain called de Mandarin! Why he called de Manadarin? Well, in original comic books, he called de Mandarin because he be of Chinese descent and adopt title of Chinese bureaucrats of Imperial China. In de movie – well, he not Chinese but Middle-Eastern so he called de Mandarin because…mebbe he named after de orange? It was either dat or Tangerine?
When Tony’s bodyguard get injured in an explosion dat, in retrospekt, not make any sense at all (we’ll get to dat), Tony vow revenge and dare Mandarin to come after him. So bad guy respond by blowing up Tony’s cool mountain-side home.
At dis point, fairly more-or-less straightforward movie take a hairpin turn when Tony end up in Tennessee to investigate similar bombing there. He befriend lovable little rascal of a kid who all sorts of quippy and cute and no doubt shoe-horned into story to appeal to young audience. Dudes, it’s a movie based on a comic book character!
While Tony enlist brilliant kid’s help to recharge his armor, he investigate apparent suicide bombing by local soldier and pay visit to his mom at local bar. COINCIDENTALLY, she happen to be waiting for someone to give dem a top sekret file on her son. A top sekret file dat, for some reason, also contain information on other soldier blown up in similar explosion.
Why mother have dis information on other soldier? Why bad guys need to get deir hands on dis file? Why dey just not go over to her place and take it instead of arranging meeting in a public place? How Tony be so lucky as to just happen to walk into bar and approach soldier’s mother on exact night she be planning to meet bad guys and hand over file? How possible – LOOK! EXPLOSIONS! COOL!
Tony fight bad guys who turn out to be super soldiers wit super-strength, agility, and healing powers. And, for no apparent reason later on, super fire breath. He defeat dem, but barely.
In one of movie’s many ridikulous moments, Tony learns all about super soldiers by hacking into super seckret database containing convenient video recordings of experiments on soldiers wit someting called Extremis. Sometime it work, making dem superhuman. Other times it not work, making dem blow up. BUT….
We see one soldier blow up because his body unable to accept Extremis. Dis be explanation for explosion. But den how to explain explosion of soldier in Tennessee? If his body rejekted Extremis, he would have blown up in lab, not in public? And what about soldier who exploded, injuring Tony’s bodyguard? Why he blow up? If it delayed reaction to Extremis, what all dat nonsense about him getting a briefcase from bad guy?
Tony track bad guy to Miami and get drop on Mandarin who…turn out to be aktor hired to play part of a wanted terrorist. Very funny – except for fakt dat, even though he be seemingly goofy and unwitting accomplice who assumed deaths were fake, he couldn’t be stoopid enough NOT to be aware of news reports on terrorist acts in his name. Also, he SHOT a guy on video!
Dis little twist bring up another point. In comic book, Mandarin be one of Iron Man’s greatest villains – but he played for a joke here. So dis pretty much rule out any appearance of real villainous Mandarin in future Iron Man movies…unless he be some supervillain who just decide to name himself after a laughingstock rube.
Tony captured. But get his armor back. But Pepper kidnapped. And President! And Air Force One blow up but Iron Man manage to save flight crew in one of movie’s more inspired sekwences.
It all culminate in big extended impressive but over-long climactic battle pitting Tony and his buddy, Rhodey, against bad guy and super soldiers. Pepper, who now a super soldier because she be injected wit Extremis, help save de day. And Tony celebrate by blowing up all his extra Iron Man suits, assuming he won’t need dem because bad guys all dead even though he thought he had killed dem before and dey turned up very much alive later. Also, FYI, some of dem not really injured and just fell into ocean so chances are – LOOK! EXPLOSIONS! SO COOL!
Wait a minute. Pepper now a super soldier? No, because Tony be a genius. He fix her. Uh, if Tony be such a genius, why he not fix himself? Okay, because Tony be a genius, he also fix himself and remove shrapnel from his heart. Happy now? Uh, if Tony such a genius, why he not remove shrapnel from heart two movies sooner?
Wait another minute! What was bad guy’s plan? To get Vice President in office? But if dat de case, why not just assassinate President instead of going through big show of kidnapping him, stringing him up, etc? What was point of de Mandarin? More me tink about it, more me hate dis movie.
VERDIKT: Great movie for people who love explosions – and not much else.
RATING: 4 chocolate chippee cookies.
Dr. Strange? More like Dr. Creep! Apparently, dis guy not familiar wit de Hypocritical Oath, but he all sorts of familiar wit “doctor-patient confidentiality”…if you know what me mean. No? Well, let monster put it dis way. When he around de ladies at work, he like Cookie Monster at a bake sale. Or Grover at a topless bake sale.
We introduced to Dr. Stephen Strange who be a psykiaktric resident at local hospital – and major player. And not necessarily in dat order. Dis guy more unprofessional den Dr. Bunsen Honeydew at a Science World “History of Lube” exhibit. He sexy talk wit head nurse and den kiss her – in middle of hallway in front of everyone – which lead monster to assume dey be in a relationship. But when good-looking mental patient end up in his care, he not have any problem hooking up wit her either. At one point, another female patient visit him complaining about painful ulcer. He say to her: “I’ve got an extra bed and I can give you something to help you sleep.” Sure you can, doc. Sure you can.
Meanwhile, a sorceress who worships a demon puppet is given tree days (Why tree days? Why not!) to kill an old wizard before he can pass down his power to worthy successor – or, barring worthy successor, creepy doctor who happen to own a weird ring.
Old guy, it turn out, live in downtown brownstone dat renovated to resemble Fred Flintstone’s digs. He be shacked up wit younger man, Wu, who look after his needs and refer to him as master. Er. Yeah. Old man show him drawing of sorceress and tell him to remember her face. Really? How de hell he supposed to do dat? It be like police putting out APB on actor who played Archie Andrews in de live action movie and distributing comic book for identification purposes.
It turn out old man be on to sorceress and head out to confront her. She pull de old bait and switch, showing up, den disappearing, den mind controlling innocent woman into pushing him off bridge down to street below.
Old guy get up and limp away. “Hey, buddy!”somebody call. “You sure you’re alright?” Of course he alright! He only plummeted 20 feet onto concrete and get hit by a car. You’ll have to do better den dat if you want to kill a wizard!
Cue weird synth music! Cue inexorable extended guitar solo! Cue trippy dream sekwence! Cue astral travel!
Dr. Strange “treat” young woman mind-controlled by sorceress. He shake hands wit old wizard and get power – also, possible cold.
But sorceress gain entrance to old guy’s bedrock pad and string him up on astral plane where he lose his powers and resemble Alice Cooper’s dad. Dr. Strange follow and battle sorceress who, it turn out, really just looking for someone to love and have a baby wit.
Overwhelmed by Dr. Strange’s manly moustache, she try to hook up wit him – but he rejekt her and den blast her wit energy bolt just in case she not get de message.
Except movie goes on for another half an hour. Strange goes thru lame ritual. He become official apprentice sorcerer. He screw with street performer. Puppet demon punish sorceress by making her really old. And, mysteriously, a couple of scenes later, she back to her old self, on Earth, and now a self-help guru.
Now really De End.
Verdikt: Cheesy and lame but unintentionally hilarious and mercifully short.
Rating: 3 chocolate chippee cookies.
Dis movie have everyting you would expekt from a summer blockbuster. Humor! Fun! Action! Dazzling speshul effekts! Cracking dialogue! Overlong running time! And some developments dat not make sense – but be pretty cool anyway.
Movie begin at top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility where scientists studying glowy box very similar to one we saw in Captain America: The First Avenger. Dey call it a tesseract and it be a powerful energy source – dat, it turn out, able to open a portal to distant part of de universe, allowing mischievous Loki, brother of Thor, to reach Earth. He attack facility, put scientist and superagent Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) under his mind control, den leave wit tesseract. Nick Fury respond by self-destructing facility wit hundreds of agents inside. But plenty more where dey come from!
Loki plan to use tesseract to power another portal dat will allow aliens to invade Earth (Why never be really explained. Because dey covet our resources? Because dey spiteful? Because dey pissed off wit Downton Abbey turd season finale?). To do dis, he need to stabilize power source so, while Hawkeye steal iridium for him, he create distraktion in Stuttgart dat end up wit him giving himself up to Iron Man and Captain America – and, later, brother Thor who show up for classic “pre-Oh, we’re all good guys after all!” fight.
Loki imprisoned in ultra-cool flying aircraft carrier (de Helicarrier) while Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (and Black Widow and, mebbe, Captain America) try to figure out why he gave up so easily, where tesseract be located, and what be up wit his glowy space scepter.
But it turn out dat scepter have power to make people irritable and, soon, all de heroes be arguing wit each other like de cast of Real Housewives of New Jersey. At which point Hawkeye lead attack on helicarrier wit mind-controlled soldiers. Good guys do deir best to kill dese innocent mind-controlled soldiers (Don’t worry. Plenty more where dey came from!) but it too late. Helicarrier badly damaged. As Iron Man and Captain America work to get helicarrier back up and running and Black Widow fight Hawkeye and Thor fall thru sky, Loki eskape after injuring Dr. Bruce Banner who turn into…
De Hulk. It turn out DAT was Loki’s plan all along! He wanted Bruce Banner to Hulk Out and cause damage!
But why? He already have tesseract and working on impervious force shield to protect it. Why bother wasting time wit superheroes? Because he be mischievous? It feel like a giant stage weight – but a spectakular, action-packed, very cool stage weight anyway.
Heroes figure out where Loki set up tesseract = on top of Stark Tower! Dey head off to stop him – along wit Hawkeye who seem all better after getting konked on de head. Even though he lead attack on helicarrier and was working for Loki an hour earlier, he immediately accepted and trusted by everyone. Dis movie have no time for second-guessing! It have a climaktic to get to!
But bad news for heroes! And New York! Loki succeed in opening portal and alien army arrive! No way to stop dem because portal protected by impervious force field!
But great news for heroes! And New York! Alien army may look scary and tough, be almost seven feet tall and armor plated, but regular humans like Hawkeye and Black Widow have no problem kicking deir asses or punching deir lights out. Also, turn out impervious force field NOT impervious after all because mind-controlled scientist who built it created fail safe in de system…despite de fakt he be mind-controlled.
While Black Widow work to turn off portal and heroes battle aliens, Iron Man fly nuke up through portal and straight to alien HQ special delivery. He power down and plummet – just as nuke explode and portal closes. Luckily, he saved by Hulk!
Speaking of which: What up wit Hulk? In previous movies, it take him a while to Hulk Out but, in dis movie, he do it faster den a speeding bullet (Literally – Bruce Banner tell heroes he try to shoot himself in mouth but Hulk spat out bullet). Up on helicarrier, Hulk a crazed beast dat can’t be reasoned wit and attack innocent people – which be someting he never do in previous movies, only attacking dose who attack him first. But later, in movie, he seem to have control over when he can Hulk Out (“Oh, I’m always angry” be de excuse) and he not only can be reasoned wit, he aktually take orders from Captain America. You can argue dat, back on helicarrier, he under influence of Loki’s space scepter – but den why only him and no one else?
Still, Hulk’s “mopping de floor wit Loki” sekwence one of movie’s high points!
Day saved! Time for celebration! Even though probably thousands of New Yorkers killed. World loves Avengers!
Verdikt: And so does Cookie Monster!
Rating: 8 chocolate chippee cookies.
In no particular order…
PASTE POT PETE (aka THE TRAPSTER)
Oh, he must be cold. How can you tell? Well, he’s wearing a freakin parka!
KRAVEN THE HUNTER
Damn, those slippers look mighty comfortable.
The groin cannon aint exactly subtle. Pictured above: I assume he has to work himself up by watching porn before he can shoot.