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REVIEW: Spider-Man: No Way Home

REVIEW: Spider-Man: No Way Home

What has made Peter Parker an enduring hero for the last sixty years is that he could be us. He is someone who has great highs and really low low

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, but strives to do right because that’s the way he was raised. As Peter he is bullied for being shy and withdrawn, for being smart, for not being popular. As Spider-Man, he is belittled, picked on, subjugated to immense criticism and faces impossible odds with regularity.

We root for him because he rarely gives up, always comes back for more, and always tries to make things right. When Peter’s (Tom Holland) secret identity was revealed in Spider-Man: Far from Home we knew this was going to be a new set of obstacles. Spider-Man: No Way Home opens with the world adjusting to the idea that this high school student is a super-hero or menace. We see its impact on him, Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and his friends. The hunched shoulders as he strides in the school hallways shows just how much he hates this.

So, of course, he tries to make it right. And as we know from the comics, the Parker Luck will make sure it’s not an easy solution. From there, the movie, out now from Sony Home Entertainment, things grow increasingly complicated.

On the one hand, this is Peter’s journey, a possible final act for Holland as the webhead, and he makes a tough matter worse and in trying to fix it, things grow chaotic. There will be a price to pay for asking Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to make the world forget the secret. It first comes in the form of villains drawn from across the multiverse, which to these characters, is a new concept to reckon with. It then comes in the form of a tragic death. And finally, a novel sacrifice to restore the status quo. In this regard, the film is near-perfect in tracing his journey, and Holland sells it with every frame.

On the other hand, this builds on the worlds-shattering events from WandaVision and sets up May’s Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and as a chapter of Phase Four, it opens up an entirely new front to be explored in subsequent films and television series. We even get Easter egg hints at future Sony-produced films such as the now-shooting Kraven the Hunter.

Screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers manage to service both requirements for the Marvel juggernaut without making things feel bloated. With Jon Watts back for the third installment

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, his sure hand maintains order, making certain everyone has their moment or two, starting with Ned (Jacob Batalon), who is shown to have mystic potential, and MJ (Zendaya), who has come to embrace her boyfriend’s weird life.

What’s especially pleasing is how human the villains feel, and watching Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Elektro (Jamie Foxx), the Lizard (Rhys Ifans), and Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) interact with one another and the teens is a pleasure.

Willem Dafoe’s tortured Harry Obsborn/Green Goblin was also a fine wild card in the mix.

And if super-villains are brought from the multiverse to Peter’s world

, so too can there be allies in the form of other Spider-Man, somewhat older (Tobey Maguire) and wiser (Andrew Garfield). The three interacting is a delight and we can sense the unique qualities each brought to their webbed roles. Nicely, each of them deals with leftover issues from their film series so you get triple closure for the price of one.

Should Holland never don the suit again, we are left satisfied. But, we’re also ready for the next chapter.

The movie is streaming or available on disc in the usual combo packs. The 1080p Blu-ray transfer is near-perfect, all the textures and colors pop nicely, either in the shadows, night, or daylight. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is equal to the visuals making this quite worth seeing on a home screen.

The disc boasts quite a bit of Special Features, some taking a victory lap after three films, others exploring the large cast of characters. Interestingly, there are no deleted scenes. We do the following: Bloopers & Gag Reel (4:01); Action Choreography Across the Multiverse (6:25); A Spectacular Spider-Journey with Tom Holland (6:16); Realities Collide, Spiders Unite (8:09); Graduation Day (7:07); Enter Strange (5:04); Weaving Jon Watts’ Web (7:18); Alternate Reality Easter Eggs (4:41); A Multiverse of Miscreants (6:38); A Meeting of the Spiders – Heroes Panel (7:23); The Sinister Summit – Villains Panel (8:44);  The Daily Bugle clips (4:15);  Stunt Scene Pre-Vis (3:35); and Theatrical Marketing Materials: Tom & Jacob Lie Detector (1:58), Tom’s Press Tour (1:03), and Georgia Promo (1:15).

Squirrel Girl 6-Episode Podcast Announced

Squirrel Girl 6-Episode Podcast Announced

New York, NY— April 18, 2022 — It’s time to kick butts and eat nuts! Today, Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM announced their newest original scripted podcast

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, Marvel’s Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show!, is now available on all platforms.

The six-episode podcast series is written by Ryan North, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, and has original music by Justin Huertas and Steven Tran. The series stars AT&T pitchwoman Milana Vayntrub as Squirrel Girl and features performances by Crystal Lucas Perry (Nancy Whitehead), Leo Sheng (Koi Boi), Davied Morales (Chipmunk Hunk), Peter Hermann (Brain Drain), Erica Schroeder (Tippy T. Squirrel), and Tina Benko (Rachel Oskar).

Squirrel Girl, created by Will Murray and Steve Ditko, has taken down Thanos and Doctor Doom – but now she faces something far more terrifying… living authentically. The new series follows Empire State University college student, Doreen Green, who has recently been outed as a super hero – The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! Hoping to unify her personas in the public eye, Squirrel Girl has created a new student radio show on ESU’s own college station. With the help of her best girl-friend, Nancy Whitehead as producer, and her best squirrel-friend, Tippy-Toe in the booth; Doreen is ready to help more people than ever with her greatest super hero advice. And when the going get rough, she can always lean on her heroic friends: Iron Man , Spider-Man, Chipmunk Hunk, Koi Boi, and Brain Drain.

However, with a call-in show comes caller anonymity and not all the folks on the line want help – some want to crime – and crime hard! When a suspicious caller wreaks havoc on New York City, Squirrel Girl and her friends will have to put their heroics to the test and prove that once and for all Doreen Green is the UNBEATABLE Squirrel Girl.

On the series, writer Ryan North says, “For me, a lot of the fun of the project initially was getting to work in a new medium, one where everything that happened had to be communicated through sound. Of course, once we started recording, my favorite part was hearing the actors bring these characters to life. Milana and Crystal are Doreen and Nancy, and the way Leo and Davied and Peter brought Koi Boi, Chipmunk Hunk, and Brain Drain to life was just exceptional.” North continues, “The podcast continues right where the comics left off, so long-time fans will feel instantly at home , but it’s also built for new people who maybe have never encountered the world of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl before.”

This is not North’s first foray into writing Squirrel Girl. His comic series, THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, had a four-year run and garnered a devoted fan-following. Like the comics, the podcast series has Squirrel Girl’s same uber-positive, fun-loving tone that fans have come to know and love. And for fans who want even more of Doreen Green, North wrote an all-new Squirrel Girl vertical comic tie-in which launches today on
Marvel Unlimited, Marvel’s digital comic subscription service. The SQUIRREL GIRL one-shot, which is a prequel to the podcast, is now available on the app in the exclusive Infinity Comics format.

The series is produced in association with Radio Point by Bernie Kaminski from Radio Point, and Brad Barton, MR Daniel, Zachary Goldberg, and Larissa Rosen from Marvel. It’s executive produced by Alex Bach and Houston Snyder from Radio Point and Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Daniel Fink, Lorraine Cink, Stephen Wacker, Ellie Pyle, and Jill DuBoff from Marvel.

The first episode of Marvel’s Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show! is available now on all podcast platforms. Fans can also get early access to next week’s episode starting today via the SXM App or by subscribing to Marvel Podcasts Unlimited on Apple Podcasts, which also has exclusive bonus content! Future episodes will be available exclusively via the SXM App and Marvel Podcasts Unlimited for one week before being available widely on Pandora, Stitcher, and all major podcast platforms in the U.S.

Agent Game Comes to Disc on May 24

Agent Game Comes to Disc on May 24

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 
A spy thriller about a mission gone wrong set in the world of CIA renditions, Agent Game arrives May 24 on Blu-ray™ + DVD + Digital from Lionsgate. Directed by Grant S. Johnson (Nighthawks), the movie features Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson (1995, Directing, Braveheart), Dermot Mulroney (Hanna, Hard Luck Love Song, The Purge), Annie Ilonzeh (Chicago Fire, Person of Interest, Charlie’s Angels), Jason Isaacs (The OA, Harry Potter franchise, Black Hawk Down), Katie Cassidy (Arrow, Gossip Girl, Melrose Place), Academy Award® nominee Barkhad Abdi (2013, Actor in a Supporting Role, Captain Phillips), Adan Canto (Designated Survivor, Blood & Oil, Mixology) and Rhys Coiro (Entourage, The Walking Dead, A Million Little Things). Agent Game will be available on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital for the suggested retail price of $21.99.  
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
In this riveting spy thriller

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, no one is safe. Harris (Dermot Mulroney), a CIA interrogator at an Agency black site, finds himself the target of a rendition operation after being scapegoated for an interrogation gone horribly wrong. As the team tasked to bring Harris in begins to question their orders — and each other — Olsen (Mel Gibson), a senior intelligence officer, and his subordinate, Visser (Annie Ilonzeh), raise the stakes. Now, it’s up to Harris and some newfound allies to uncover the truth and turn the tables. 
BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES  

  • Audio Commentary with Director Grant S. Johnson 
  • Subterfuge: Playing the Agent Game 

CAST
Mel Gibson              The Expendables 3

, The Patriot, Braveheart 
Dermot Mulroney    Hanna, Hard Luck Love Song, The Purge
Annie Ilonzeh          Chicago Fire, Person of Interest, Charlie’s Angels
Jason Isaacs            The OA,” Harry Potter franchise, Black Hawk Down 
Katie Cassidy           Arrow, Gossip Girl, Melrose Place 
Barkhad Abdi          Good Time

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, Captain Phillips, Castle Rock 

Adam Canto             Designated Survivor, Blood & Oil, Mixology
Rhys Coiro               Entourage, The Walking Dead, A Million Little Things

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Year of Production: 2022 
Title Copyright: Agent Game © 2021 Sky Buddy LLC. All Rights Reserved. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2022 Saban Films LLC. All Rights Reserved. 
Type: Catalog Re-Release 
Rating: Rated R for violence and language 
Genre: Action, Thriller 
Closed-Captioned: N/A 
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH 
Feature Run Time: 90 Minutes 
BD Format: 1080p High Definition 16×9 (1.85:1) Presentation 
BD Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master AudioTM 
DVD Format: 16×9 (1.85:1) Presentation 
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Audio 

Aquaman: King of Atlantis Shifts to June 21 Release

Aquaman: King of Atlantis Shifts to June 21 Release

BURBANK, CA – Monstrous creatures, devious foes and incredible underwater adventures populate Aquaman: King of Atlantis

, an action-packed mini-series now coming to Digital and DVD (USA $14.99 SRP; Canada $19.99 SRP) as a feature-length animated film on June 21, 2022 courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the mini-series premiered on HBO Max on October 14 to rave reviews from both critics and fans alike. James Wan (Aquaman) served as executive producer through his Atomic Monster production company on this playful reimagining of the iconic DC Super Hero and tells an original tale about Aquaman’s first adventures as King of Atlantis.

Aquaman: King of Atlantis begins with Aquaman starting his first day on the job as king of Atlantis – and he’s got a lot of catching up to do. Luckily, he has his two royal advisors to back him up: the scholar Vulko, and Mera, the water controlling warrior princess. Between dealing with unscrupulous surface dwellers, elder evils from beyond time and his own half-brother who wants to overthrow him, Aquaman must rise to the challenge and prove to his subjects – and to himself – that he’s the true heir to the throne, and holder of the trident!

Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead

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, Shazam!) leads the cast of Aquaman: King of Atlantis as the title character, and he’s joined by Gillian Jacobs (Community, Invincible, Injustice) as Mera, Thomas Lennon (Supergirl, Reno 911!) as Vulko, Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Justice League Action) as Ocean Master, Andrew Morgado (Supergirl, Archer) as Mortikov, Kevin Michael Richardson (The Simpsons, American Dad!) as the Royal Announcer, Flula Borg (The Suicide Squad, Pitch Perfect 2) as Mantis, and Kimberly Brooks (DC Super Hero Girls, Batwheels) as Hammer. Also providing voices is Chris Jai Alex, Trevor Devall, Armen Taylor, Kaitlyn Robrock, Regi Davis, Ludi Lin, Robbie Daymond, Erica Lindbeck, Laila Berzins and Erica Ash.

Victor Courtright (ThunderCats Roar!) and Marly Halpern-Graser (Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) served as showrunners and co-executive producers. Courtright and Marly Halpern-Graser conceived the story for the mini-series/film

, and Halpern-Graser, Bryan Condon (Right Now Kapow) and Laura Sreebny (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) co-wrote the teleplay. The mini-series was executive produced by James Wan (Aquaman), Atomic Monster’s Michael Clear (Annabelle Comes Home), Rob Hackett (Swamp Thing), and Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!). Keith Pakiz (ThunderCats Roar) served as director on all three episodes of the mini-series.

The Boys S1-2 Come to Disc Ahead of S3

The Boys S1-2 Come to Disc Ahead of S3

UPDATED: Sony announced on April 18 that the release date has shifted from May 3 to Mary 31.

SYNOPSES

SEASON 1
The Boys is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes — as popular as celebrities

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, as influential as politicians, and as revered as gods — abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. It’s the powerless against the superpowerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about “The Seven” and their formidable Vought backing.

SEASON 2
In a more intense Season 2 of The Boys

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, Butcher, Hughie, and the team reel from their losses in Season 1. On the run from the law, they struggle to fight back against the superheroes. Meanwhile, Vought, the hero management company, cashes in on the panic over supervillains; and a new hero, Stormfront, shakes up the company and challenges an already unstable Homelander.

SPECIAL FEATURES

SEASON 1 BLU-RAY AND DVD
• Deleted Scenes
• Blooper Reel
SEASON 2 BLU-RAY AND DVD
• Butcher: A Short Film
• Deleted & Extended Scenes
• Blooper Reel

CAST AND CREW
Cast: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capone, Karen Fukuhara, Nathan Mitchell, with Elisabeth Shue, with Colby Minifie, and Aya Cash

Executive Producers: Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, Ori Marmur, Craig Rosenberg, Phil Sgriccia, Rebecca Sonnenshine, Ken F. Levin, Jason Netter
Developed by: Eric Kripke

Based on the Dynamite Entertainment Comic Book Series by Garth Ennis; Illustrated by Darick Robertson

New Look at Forthcoming Constantine: The House of Mystery

New Look at Forthcoming Constantine: The House of Mystery

Four animated shorts – representing distinctly different art styles and comics eras – comprise DC SHOWCASE – CONSTANTINE: THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY, the third compilation of Warner Bros. Animation’s DC-centric shorts.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, DC SHOWCASE – CONSTANTINE: THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY – which includes the shorts Blue BeetleThe Losers and Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! – will be available everywhere on Blu-ray and in 4K on Digital starting May 3, 2022.

Everyone has their demons, but Constantine is dealing with an entire house full of them – including his beloved Zatanna – in Constantine: The House of Mystery, the lengthy anchoring animated short of the compilation set. Matt Ryan (Constantine

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, Legends of Tomorrow) reprises his role as the title character, while Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) is back for another turn as Zatanna.

The Question discovers a clue to the mystery at hand as the unlikely duo – along with a few other super pals – attempt to foil the nefarious plans of Doctor Spectro. Matt Lanter (Timeless, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 90210) stars as Blue Beetle alongside David Kaye (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) as The Question, and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Dr. Spectro.

Kamandi goes on the attack while Tuftan and Zuma watch as the adventure unfolds in Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth! Cameron Monghan (Gotham, Shameless, Reign of the Supermen) gives voice to Kamandi, while Tuftan and Zuma are voiced by Steve Blum (Star Wars: Rebels

, Cowboy Bebop, Naruto franchise) and Adam Gifford (Masters of the Universe: Revelation), respectively.

Special Agent Fan Long fighting force – left to right, Johnny Cloud, Henry “Mile A Minute” Jones, Gunner, Pooch and Captain Storm – on a secret mission into the jungles of an uncharted island in the South Pacific. Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Book of Boba Fett) leads the cast as the mysterious Fan Long, while other standouts include Dean Winters (John Wick, 30 Rock) as Captain Storm, Dave B. Mitchell (Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms) as Gunner, Eugene Byrd (Bones, Arrow) as Mile-a-Minute Jones, and Martin Sensmeier (Westworld, The Magnificent Seven) as Johnny Cloud.

Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real by Brian Gordon

Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real by Brian Gordon

If something works, you do it again. Brian Gordon’s Fowl Language comics – originally appearing online starting in 2013, and ramping up after he lost his cartooning-for-Hallmark-Cards job a couple of years later – were a hit online, and then a hit in their first book form, Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting.

So, a year later, Gordon’s book publisher, Andrews McMeel published a second collection of the Fowl Language strips, Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real . (For those counting on their fingers, that would be in 2017.)

It’s not entirely clear if the books reprint all of the strips, or reprint them in order – Andrews McMeel has been doing comic strips in book form for a long time, so I trust they know how to do this right, but this is not a continuity strip in any way. The only real markers of time passing would be the age of the kids, and, well, they’re ducks to begin with. Gordon might well draw them as small hellions for another decade, even as they act like tweens and then teenagers, just because that’s funnier.

So this second book is very much like the first: the kids are mostly in the same life-stage (very young, in their very first school years, the years when they scream and run around for no reason all of the damn time), and the attitude and style are still the same time.

The format has settled down a bit: nearly everything here is that odd Internet main-comic-and-then-a-bonus-panel format, with the main comic on one page and the bonus panel, typically an afterthought or secondary punchline, on the next page. I read this digitally, so each page was on its own, but the book is laid out with the main comic on a left-hand (even-numbered) page and the bonus on the right, so Gordon is not trying to make it a similar “reveal” to how bonus panels work online.

Again, it’s the same kind of jokes and humor as the first book, and the kids are still in the same life-stage: small children are exhausting, demanding, and at least borderline insane, with demands and passions that appear and disappear in a second but are all-encompassing while they last. And the father character has to deal with them, and swears more than is typical for “funny-kid” humor.

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, and Gordon has a good cartoonist’s eye to make it work, both in his precise writing and his expressive drawing. (He did make cartoons for Hallmark for nearly two decades; he might not have done public-facing stuff with his name on it, but he’s been doing humor in public for a long time and has the chops to prove it.)

Like any book of cartoons, you need to both want a book of cartoons (they’re fun and breezy and may seem expensive for the time you spend reading them) and want cartoons about this (if you’re aggressively child-free, this is not for you). But if you do, and if you do, Gordon, again, is good at this and makes a lot of jokes that land really well. I also still think there’s a potential (and maybe actual; I haven’t checked) merchandise empire in his single-image comics – lots of these would be great as posters or T-shirts or similar.

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Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

In Search of Peter Pan by Cosey

In Search of Peter Pan by Cosey

Some titles are meant to be taken literally; this is not one of them. Peter Pan is not a character in this story, and no one is searching for Peter Pan the person. Or for any fantastic element, actually.

But Peter Pan is also a metaphor – though usually a metaphor for a certain kind of man-child who refuses to grow up, which is not the case here – and that is much more relevant.

Cosey’s graphic novel In Search of Peter Pan  is set in the remote Valais Alpine village of Ardolaz, in the late 1920s. The British writer Melvin Z. Woodworth – he’s of recent Serbian ancestry, which will be important to the plot – is vacationing there, hoping to find inspiration for his next work. He is of course late with that book, with letters from his agent and editor hounding him and threatening dire consequences if he fails to deliver. He is of course carrying a copy of J.M. Barrie’s works, and reading Peter and Wendy.

He is also chasing his dead older brother, Dragan, who left for the continent to become a famous composer, and apparently succeeded, since he sent home regular payment and stories about his triumphs in the continental capitals. He died, in a pointless accident, near Ardolaz a few years back.

Melvin mostly keeps to himself in this snowy valley: skiing and hiking around, reading and drinking quietly in the bar in the evening, wandering the town to look around and chat with a few of the more colorful locals. The reader realizes that he’s looking for inspiration for his next story pretty quickly, and that he’s also looking for traces of his brother, and perhaps the truth of Dragan’s life, somewhat more slowly.

But In Search of Peter Pan is mostly about what Melvin was not looking for, but finds anyway. There are rumors of a major counterfeiting ring, which ran for many years, shut down suddenly, and may have started again. There are ominous rumbles from the snowpack higher up the mountain, and talk in the village that they will all be evacuated ahead of an apocalyptic avalanche….sometime soon. There’s a gorgeous, mysterious young woman who he sees bathing naked in a high-mountain hot spring. Someone is playing the piano in the big old hotel, late at night, and slipping away before anyone else arrives.

All of that is related. All of that circles around the mysteries of Dragan, and of the local outlaw Baptistin, who Melvin aids on the spur of the moment at the beginning of the story and who is key to the counterfeiting ring.

There is an avalanche. There is an evacuation. Melvin does meet the mysterious naked woman – that’s what mysterious naked women are for in fictions by men, part of the rewards for figuring out mysteries and solving plots – and he does learn both what Baptistin has been doing and the true story of his brother’s life. There is a happy ending.

Melvin manages to square the circle of being both a very, very respectable man in a respectable classy occupation and also a master of derring-do criminality, getting all of the benefits and none of the detriments of both sides. I also could quibble that the ending may be slightly rushed, and a little too much of “and then Melvin got all of the good things in the world, all at once, because he’s the hero.”

In Search of Peter Pan is atmospheric and evocative: Cosey is good at both long stretches of dialogue and at entirely silent pages. This is a deeply enjoyable story with real depth to it

, marred only slightly by some pretty blatant male wish-fulfillment.

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Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

The Muse by Zidrou and Oriol

The Muse by Zidrou and Oriol

If that cover image trips any warnings on whatever computing device you’re reading this on, I apologize – but it is the cover for this book.

The Muse  is an album-length graphic novel, written by Zidrou, drawn by Oriol, translated by Matt Madden, and published – only electronically; there’s no print version in English – by Europe Comics a few years back. It’s the story of a painter over a hundred years ago, as told by a painter about eighty years ago, doubly distanced.

In the very last days of the nineteenth century, Vidal Balaguer was one of the most talented of the painters of Barcelona – but also in the worst troubles. His father has recently disowned him, so his debts are mounting. The woman who was both his best model and his lover, Mar, has mysteriously disappeared and the police suspect he may have killed her. And the one painting he might be able to sell is his masterpiece of Mar – the one that is the cover of this book – which he can’t bear to part with.

One of his friends tells this story, to another model, forty years later, in a frame story that disappears for most of the book and is not important at the end: it’s a way in rather than a full frame, and I’m not completely convinced it actually adds anything to the core story of Balaguer. I even lost track of which one of the 1899 friends this old painter was supposed to be, since he doesn’t do anything important in the Old Days.

Balaguer is beleaguered – maybe the word is similar in Spanish? I don’t know if this is deliberate, on Zidrou’s part or Madden’s. Things are disappearing from his apartment. Creditors are circling, threatening to take everything he has. A police detective threatens even more.

There is an explanation, and this reader guessed it – and Balaguer’s way out of his situation – much sooner than the book revealed it. I can’t say if that is a common reaction; I’ve been that kind of reader for thirty years or more

, always picking apart the stories I encounter and predicting where they will go next. I’m not always right; I was this time.

Oriol has suitably painterly art for this story; the spaces are deep and rich and evocative

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, the people subtly color-coded, the action mostly interior. Zidrou gives it a leisurely, talky script – these are mostly painters with time to waste in cafes or scraping paint onto a board – but reading it electronically (on a tablet screen, in my case) makes the balloons and lettering smaller than I would have preferred.

I did not find this a surprising story, or a profound one, though I did enjoy the telling. Zidrou may have aimed at surprise or profundity; I can’t say. In the end, there’s no real sense of why this happened to Balaguer rather than any of the other painters in his circle: was he better? was it his connection to Mar? was it just the luck and frisson of a moment?

Muses are fickle by nature, of course. Maybe that’s the answer.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Uncharted Plots Course for Home Video April 26

Uncharted Plots Course for Home Video April 26

SYNOPSIS
Street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago. What starts as a heist job for the duo becomes a globe-trotting, white-knuckle race to reach the prize before the ruthless Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs. If Nate and Sully can decipher the clues and solve one of the world’s oldest mysteries, they stand to find $5 billion in treasure and perhaps even Nate’s long-lost brother…but only if they can learn to work together.

BONUS MATERIALS
4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY and DIGITAL
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Behind the Scenes Featurettes
o Becoming Nathan Drake
o Big Action Breakdown: C-17 Globemaster
o Charting the Course: On Set with Ruben Fleischer
o Never a Dull Moment: Stunts & Action
o The Buddy System
o Villains, Backstabbers & Accomplices
• Commentary with Director Ruben Fleischer
DVD
• The Buddy System

CAST AND CREW
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer
Produced By: Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner, Ari Arad
Screenplay By: Rafe Lee Judkins and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway
Executive Producers: Ruben Fleischer, Robert J. Dohrmann, David Bernad, Tom Holland, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, Neil Druckmann, Evan Wells, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
Cast: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Antonio Banderas

SPECS
Run Time: Approx. 116 mins.
Rating: PG-13 for violence/action and language
4K Ultra HD™: 2160p Ultra High Definition 2.39:1 | Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) / French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish, English Audio Description 5.1 Dolby Digital
Blu-ray™: 1080p High Definition 2.39:1 | Audio: English, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish

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, English – Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital
DVD: 2.39:1 Anamorphic Widescreen | Audio: English

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