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REVIEW: Nathan Hale’s Alamo All-Stars, Major Impossible

REVIEW: Nathan Hale’s Alamo All-Stars, Major Impossible

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Alamo All-Stars
By Nathan Hale
Amulet Books, 144 pages, $19.99

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Major Impossible
By Nathan Hale
Amulet Books, 126 pages, $13.99

In 2012, Nathan Hale, the graphic novelist not the dead patriot, began a series called Hazardous Tales, starting with his namesake. Since then, he has released nine volumes, with the tenth due in the fall.

The series spans the years and focuses on the familiar and unfamiliar names throughout American history.  In each case, a trio of spectral figures act as narrator, Greek chorus, and the print equivalent of Statler and Waldorf. We have Hale the colonial hung as a spy, his masked hangman, and a British red coat. In each case, they take the middle ages reader through the story. Hey pause to explain historic figures, details, debunk urban legends, and much more. As a result, they are entertaining and informative in the best sense of both words.

2016’s volume six, Alamo All-Stars, has been turned into a larger-sized new edition with sixteen additional pages tucked in the back. These include photos of artifacts, the real people depicted, and other artifacts along with mini-comics featuring the history the Alamo cat. There’s even a section devoted to Phi Collins and his donating his Alamo memorabilia to the fort.

What most know about the Alamo is the rallying cry, “Remember the Alamo!”, and legendary figures Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett were present. After that, things get fuzzy, but here Hale walks us through all the players, the shifting alliances, and the eventual establishment of Texas as a state. It was nice seeing a different take on Juan Sequin, the focus of Jack Jackson’s wonderful Los Tejanos graphic novel.

There are frequent pauses for the ghostly trio to provide commentary, sort out rumor from fact, and help us keep track of the various Mexican leaders. I’m not sure how the intended audience will find the book, but I certainly learned a lot from it.

The more recent release gives us something far lesser known. Nicknamed Major Impossible, we are treated to the story of John Wesley Powell, a one-armed explorer who organized an expedition to explore the Green and Colorado rivers by boat, traveling from Wyoming through Utah and the Grand Canyon region of Arizona. The trip had never been done by Americans, well white Americans, and was a harrowing experience for the ten men who set out shortly after the Civil War, to continue mapping the American west.

Again, he carefully takes us through their trials and tribulations, keeping track day by day. There are disastrous choices made, difficult decisions to make, and the unknown around every bend of the rocky terrain. I knew none of this and was interested enough to finish it, thanks to the lively writing and drawing.

Each volume is well-illustrated and presented in muted colors, giving a nostalgic feel to them, and setting one apart from the other. In every case, Hale shows his research cleverly hosted by the Research Babies.

These are recommended from fourth grade up and will make useful tools well into middle school.

His Dark Materials: The Complete First Season on Disc in Aug

His Dark Materials: The Complete First Season on Disc in Aug

BURBANK, CA (May 14, 2020) – Lauded by critics as HBO’s new hit original fantasy drama series, His Dark Materials: The Complete First Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on August 4, 2020.  Adapted from Philip Pullman’s epic trilogy of the same name, which has sold over 22 million copies worldwide, His Dark Materials: The Complete First Season will feature all eight episodes from the debut season along with an exclusive new bonus feature, Making His Dark Materials. This special feature follows the ambitious undertaking of bringing the beloved award-winning book series to life. Available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the release will be priced at $29.98 SRP ($39.99 in Canada) for the Blu-ray and $24.98 SRP ($29.98 SRP in Canada) for the DVD.

His Dark Materials takes place in a world parallel to our own, where a human’s soul exists outside one’s body in the form of a talking animal called a “daemon.” The all-powerful Magisterium rule over this world where they suppress any knowledge that attempts to challenge its ideas, particularly around the theory that multiple worlds exist. Season One of this compelling HBO series follows Lyra (Dafne Keen), a young orphan who was left as a baby at Oxford’s Jordan College by her uncle Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and desires a life of adventure beyond the confines of her bookish, scholarly surroundings. But when Lyra’s best friend goes missing, her search for her kidnapped friend uncovers a plot involving stolen children and transforms into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon known as Dust. Over the course of the season, as she journeys through the different worlds – including our own – Lyra encounters extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living and the dead at stake.

In addition to Dafne Keen (Logan, the Refugees) as Lyra and James McAvoy (X-Men, Atonement) as Lord Asriel, the ensemble cast features Golden Globe Winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair) as Mrs. Coulter; Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) as the adventurer Lee Scoresby; Clarke Peters (The Wire, Treme) as The Master of Jordan College; Lewin Lloyd (The Aeronauts) as Lyra’s missing friend Roger Parslow; James Cosmo (Braveheart, Game of Thrones) as Farder Coram and Anne-Marie Duff as Ma Costa, who are part of the boat-dwelling Gyptian community; and Will Keen as Father MacPhail and Ariyon Bakare as Lord Boreal, both ministers for the Magisterium.

“Fans and critics alike have been raving about HBO’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy since its debut,” said Rosemary Markson, Senior Vice President Marketing, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “We are thrilled to release His Dark Materials: The Complete First Season with over an hour of behind-the-scenes extras including an exclusive new featurette for all viewers to enjoy.”

His Dark Materials is produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema for BBC One and HBO.  Executive producing the series are: Dan McCulloch, Jane Tranter, Joel Collins and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf; Philip Pullman, Jack Thorne, Tom Hooper, Otto Bathurst; Deborah Forte, Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line Cinema; and Ben Irving and Piers Wenger for BBC One.

8 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Lyra’s Jordan
  2. The Idea of North
  3. The Spies
  4. Armour
  5. The Lost Boy
  6. The Daemon-Cages
  7. The Fight to the Death
  8. Betrayal

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Making His Dark Materials (**Exclusive to Blu-ray and DVD)
  • Dafne Keen: Bringing Lyra Belacqua to Life
  • Ruth Wilson: Bringing Mrs. Coulter to Life
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda: Bringing Lee Scoresby to Life
  • James McAvoy: Bringing Lord Asriel to Life
  • Adapting His Dark Materials
  • The Daemons of His Dark Materials  
  • Dressing His Dark Materials 
  • Building His Dark Materials

DIGITAL

The first season of His Dark Materials is currently available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, Google Play, Vudu and others. A Digital Code is also included in the U.S. with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.

BASICS

Street Date: August 4, 2020

BD and DVD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format

Run Time: Approx. 460 minutes

Enhanced Content Run Time: Approx. 63 minutes

DVD

Price: $24.98 SRP ($29.98 in Canada)

2 DVD-9s

DVD Audio: English (5.1) DD

DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Complex Chinese, Brazilian Port

BLU-RAY

Price: $29.98 SRP ($39.99 in Canada)

BD Audio: English (5.1) DTS HDMA, French (5.1) DD

BD Subtitles: English SDH, French, Complex Chinese, Brazilian Port. Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish

Loot Crate & Serial Box Announce Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood

Loot Crate & Serial Box Announce Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood

Los Angeles, CA – Loot Crate and Serial Box have teamed up for an incredible sweepstakes to celebrate the release of Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood, Serial Box’s newest ebook & audiobook series you can read OR listen to on your phone and on the web. One lucky winner will receive the Marvel 80th Anniversary Crate + Premium Jacket and all-access to Serial Box’s content. Ten First Place Winners will receive Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood series from Serial Box + a Loot Crate “Best of Marvel” custom crate. Head to https://www.lootcrate.com/contests/serial-box-sweeps for your chance to enter.

Series Description: Someone has stolen the Black Widow’s blood. Now she must find them before it’s too late. As Natasha Romanoff follows the trail across the globe, she discovers she wasn’t the only target. Whoever is responsible stole Bucky Barnes’ blood, too. And one thing is certain: anyone who wants the blood of the Widow and Winter Soldier needs to be taken down, and fast. Despite a tangled web of shared history stretching back to their Red Room days, Barnes and Romanoff must join forces, confronting the demons of their past as they race to protect their future. A single drop of blood could be all it takes to save the world—or destroy it.

The series is narrated by Sarah Natochenny (Ash Ketchum in Pokémon). The all-female writing team, led by Lindsay Smith (Orphan Black: The Next Chapter; Serial Box’s The Witch Who Came In from the Cold), includes screenwriter Margaret Dunlap (Netflix’s Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble: Black Panther’s Quest), writer Mikki Kendall (Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot and Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists), L.L. McKinney (A Blade So Black), and Taylor Stevens (Vanessa Michael Munroe series).

Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood is the second Marvel title to launch on Serial Box. Marvel’s Thor: Metal Gods is currently available on the Serial Box app and SerialBox.com and Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing With Fire will launch on May 28th.

Enter for your chance to win at https://www.lootcrate.com/contests/serial-box-sweeps

If you can’t get enough of your favorite Marvel characters, be sure to check out the Marvel Gear + Goods crate. Crates start at $36.99 plus shipping and handling. To subscribe to the Marvel Gear + Goods crate, go to https://www.lootcrate.com/crates/marvel

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Watch Party Today

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Watch Party Today

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and IGN will put newly-released Justice League Dark: Apokolips War in the spotlight this afternoon with a Virtual Watch Party followed by an all-star Digital Panel – the latter to be hosted by IGN, and starring several of the movie’s filmmakers and actors.

The Watch Party will commence at 1:00 pm PT/4:00 pm ET. Fans are encouraged to purchase the Digital version of Justice League Dark: Apokolips War from their favorite online retailer, and then cue up the film to watch and simultaneously follow several of the actors and filmmakers as they live-tweet their thoughts, anecdotes, and observances on Twitter. Fans posing questions over Twitter might even get a few answers from the stars and filmmakers.

Panelists confirmed for the one-hour panel – which will premiere at 3:00 pm PT/6:00 pm ET Saturday on IGN and its affiliated YouTube and Facebook pages – include Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me, Jerry Maguire), the voice of Superman for seven films; Matt Ryan (Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine), the voice of Constantine for both of the Justice League Dark films in the arc; Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), the series’ voice of Batman for 11 DC Universe Movies; Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Insatiable, Ugly Betty), the voice of The Flash in six films; co-directors Matt Peters (LEGO DC: Batman – Family Matters) and Christina Sotta (Young Justice); screenwriter Ernie Altbacker (Batman: Hush, Justice League Dark); and executive producer James Tucker (Reign of the Supermen, Justice League Dark), the maestro overseeing the continuous Justice League arc for the past seven years.

Those wishing to play along with the Watch Party should begin following these actors and filmmakers confirmed to participate in the live-tweeting:

Matt Ryan – @mattryanreal

Jason O’Mara – @jason_omara

Christopher Gorham – @ChrisGorham

Co-Director Christina Sotta – @sodasotta

Screenwriter Ernie Altbacker – @ejaltbacker

Screenwriter Mairghread Scott – @MairghreadScott

Executive Producer James Tucker – @JTuckerAnimator

Additional participants will be announced as they are confirmed.

Online destinations to view the Justice League Dark: Apokolips War panel discussion:
IGN’s Website: https://www.ign.com

IGN Official YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/ign

IGN Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ign/

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout and some language.

Culminating a seven-year, 15-film animated journey that began with the release of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox in 2013, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War finds Earth decimated after intergalactic tyrant Darkseid has devastated the Justice League in a poorly executed war by the DC Super Heroes. Now the remaining bastions of good – the Justice League, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and assorted others – must regroup, strategize and take the war to Darkseid in order to save the planet and its surviving inhabitants. This is truly the war to end all wars, and only the victor will live to enjoy the spoils.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is now available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital, and coming to 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on May 19, 2020.

Win a Copy of Emma on Blu-ray

Win a Copy of Emma. on Blu-ray

It’s quite possible Jane Austen may qualify as the author whose works have been most adapted for the screen since the turn of the century. Her work continues to endure and in many ways might qualify as one of the earliest pop culture phenomenons.

The latest such effort is Emma., which Universal released just prior to the nation going into quarantine. While available to rent previously, it is now available to own via streaming with the Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD) coming May 19. Or, you can win our contest.

All you need to do is tell us which adaptation of an Austen work is your personal favorite and why. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., Friday, May 15. The contest is open to North American readers only and the decision of the ComicMix judges will be final.

Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of Emma. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse (Taylor-Joy) is a restless “queen bee” without rivals in her sleepy little English town. In this glittering satire of social class, Emma must navigate her way through the challenges of growing up, misguided matches and romantic missteps to realize the love that has been there all along.

Autumn de Wilde’s feature debut Emma. is “irresistible” (Justin Chang, NPR) and “the best adaptation yet” (Matt Goldberg, Collider), featuring a fresh and razor-sharp screenplay by Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries) that stays true to Austen’s endearing novel and brings to life the English Countryside in 1815. With an exceptional ensemble cast lead by Taylor-Joy Emma. is rounded out by Johnny Flynn (Beast), Bill Nighy (Love Actually, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Series), Mia Goth (Suspiria), Josh O’ Connor (“The Crown”), Miranda Hart (Spy, Call the Midwife), Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, War & Peace), Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education), Connor Swindells (Sex Education), Rupert Graves (Sherlock, A Room with a View) and Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones). Accompanied by a joyous and energetic score by composer Isobel Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) and David Schweitzer, Emma. is a stunning new vision of the groundbreaking literary classic on love and redemption. The theatrical version of the film is currently available for early viewing on a wide variety of popular on-demand services as a premium rental offering.

BLU-RAYTM, DVD & DIGITAL BONUS FEATURES:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • A Playful Tease – Go behind the scenes with the talented cast of as they share their experiences making the film.
  • Crafting a Colorful World* – Cast and crew discuss the gorgeously preserved locations, extravagant set dressing, and authentic Regency costumes featured in Emma.
  • The Autumn Gaze* – An intimate look at director Autumn de Wilde’s filmmaking process and her photographic eye.
  • Feature Commentary with Director Autumn de Wilde, Screenwriter Eleanor Catton, and Director of Photography Christopher Blauvelt

*Blu-rayTM and Digital Exclusive

Emma will be available on Blu-rayTM, DVD and Digital.

  • Blu-rayTM unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
  • Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.
  • MOVIES ANYWHERE is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-rayTM and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. MOVIES ANYWHERE is only available in the United States. For more information, visit https://moviesanywhere.com.

FILMMAKERS:

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn and Bill Nighy

Music By: Isobel Waller-Bridge, David Schweitzer

Costume Designer: Alexandra Byrne

Edited By: Nick Emerson

Production Designer: Kave Quinn

Director of Photography: Christopher Blauvelt

Co-Producer: Jo Wallett

Executive Producers: Amelia Granger, Ben Knight

Based on the Novel By: Jane Austen

Screenplay By: Eleanor Catton

Produced By: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin

Directed By: Autumn de Wilde

TECHNICAL INFORMATION DVD:

Street Date: May 19, 2020

Selection Number: 62211117 (US) / 62211384 (CDN)

Layers: DVD 9

Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 16:9 1.78:1

Rating: Rated PG for brief partial nudity

Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian and Latin American Spanish

Sound: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 and French-Canadian Dolby Digital 5.1

Run Time: 2 Hours and 4 Minutes

TECHNICAL INFORMATION BLU-RAY:

Street Date: May 19, 2020

Selection Number: 62211116 (US)/ 62211385 (CDN)

Layers: BD-50

Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 16:9 1.78:1

Rating: Rated PG for brief partial nudity

Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French-Canadian and Latin American Spanish

Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 and French Canadian DTS Digital Surround 5.1

Run Time: 2 Hours and 4 Minutes

REVIEW: Bloodshot

REVIEW: Bloodshot

In 1992, every comics company had a guy with gun – DC’s Deathstroke, Marvel’s Punisher and Cable, Fleetway’s Judge Dredd, and then came Valiant’s Bloodshot.

In the 2010s, every studio needed a comics franchise to exploit for box office supremacy – Warner’s DC, Disney’s MCU, and Sony, not happy sharing Spider-Man with Disney, picked up Valiant’s Bloodshot from the Columbia scrap heap by way of Paramount.

In the intervening years, filmgoers had already been treated to an endless array of gun-toting, cool-looking figures from Neo to John Wick (who just happen to be played by the endlessly fascinating Keanu Reeves).

There was no particular demand for one more, certainly not one played by Vin Diesel whose range goes from A to B. From Pitch Black to Hobbs and Shaw, he’s pretty much the same guy, without the range of roles his rival, Dwayne Johnson, has managed.

So, Sony finally delivers a Diesel vehicle in Bloodshot and it was fittingly met with a giant yawn from general audiences and comics fans alike. Out now on disc and streaming, the Sony Home Entertainment film isn’t bad; it isn’t great either. What’s missing is something that feels fresh, a performance that shows us something different, and a reason to be emotionally invested.

Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is a dead Marine brought back to life thanks to nanotechnology. Fresh from the grave, he intends to kill Martin Axe (Tony Kebbell), the man who murdered his wife Gina (Talulah Riley) before realizing that the man who resurrected him, Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), is up to no good (ho-hum). A lot of this smacks more of Deathlok than anything else and even that’s been recycled on television.

We race around the world, we watch him fight people, break things, got injured and regenerate, rinse, repeat.

The debuting director, David S.F. Wilson, was a good choice if you’re into production design and special effects, where the film is at least moderately interesting.  Where the film needed a more skilled director was to work with hack Jeff Wadlow’s screenplay, which he’d been working on for many a year, through several studios before someone wisely brought in Eric Heisserer to finesse it, but it might have been too little, too late.

Wilson doesn’t seem to know what to do with the supporting players including the cyborg jerk Jimmy Dalton (Sam Heughan) or the possibly intriguing KT, played by Diesel’s Fast & Furious universe costar Eiza González, who acquitted herself nicely in Baby Driver.

Despite the bland script and lackluster direction, Diesel gives it his all and is 100% committed to the part. He just isn’t given anything interesting to do with the character.

The film suffered from bad reviews just in time for the coronavirus to shutter theaters around the world, leaving the film to a streaming fate as it eked out a mere #28 million worldwide against a $45 million budget. Whatever plans there were for a Valiant Cinematic Universe may have become an unintentional Covid-19 victim.

The movie can be found streaming and in the standard 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD flavors. The film itself was reviewed via Moviesanywhere.com and the high definition performance was sharp, clear, colorful, and just fine making the movie look better than it is.

The digital and discs have an assortment of special features that are worth a look only if you liked the feature. There’s R.S.T. HACK: CHAINSAW, a set of four animated shorts (6:20) purportedly revealing classified information on CHAINSAW.

Before Sony enthusiastically provided the cash for the ending, an earlier and less interesting version was shot and is included here with optional commentary (4:26). There are three other deleted and extended scenes: This is What we Fight For (1:22) Why can’t I remember anything (2:50), and Eric Evacuates (:31).

Rounding out the extras are the standard background pieces including Outtakes & Blooper Reel (1:59), Initiate Sequence: Directing Bloodshot (9:16), and Forgotten Soldiers: The Cast of Bloodshot (11:13).

REVIEW:Justice League Dark: Apokolips War

REVIEW: Justice League Dark: Apokolips War

REVIEW:Justice League Dark: Apokolips WarAll of the marketing promises that Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, out today for digital streaming, is the final chapter of the DC Animated Movie Universe. Similar to Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame wrapping up a decade’s worth of stories, this too brings everything to a cosmic climax, the likes of which have not been attempted before. The largely successful effort clocks in at 90 minutes, making for the longest film yet in the 38 animated features from Warner Animation.

The film opens with John Constantine (Matt Ryan), now a full-fledged member of the League, in bed with Zatanna (Camilla Luddington), a moment of bliss before impending doom. The language and graphic violence definitely make this inappropriate for the youngest viewers so parents are forewarned.

Darkseid (Tony Todd) has been a looming threat and now, he launches his all-out assault on Earth. With the Titans left to defend Earth, Superman (Jerry O’Connell) leads the Justice League into battle on Apokolips. They get their asses kicked and Earth gets conquered.

Two years later…Really, no spoilers so far because this was in the first few minutes of the epic battle. Through dialogue and sparing flashbacks, writers Mairghread Scott, Christina Sotta, and Ernie Altbacker show how one by one, the world’s greatest heroes fell. Earth is now being plundered for its resources and humanity has been reduced in great numbers.

Of course, there is a resistance and this is where the bilk of the story takes place. Clark Kent, laced with Kryptonite through his body and therefore powerless, recruits Constantine, mourning Z’s death with alcohol, to help resume the fight. A loose network of heroes and villains, relying on one another for survival, forge a plan. As a result, characters from across the films are present with Lois Lane (Rebecca Romjin) taking a leadership role. And it’s no surprise lowlifes like Captain Boomerang (Liam McIntyre) are still around.

Meantime, Damian Wayne (Stuart Allan) recruits his mother, Lady Shiva (Sachie Alessio) to join the battle. He and Raven (Taissa Farmiga) have one of the more significant storylines in this sprawling story while she and her father Trigon (Jon Bernthal) also have a major thread.

Standing in their way is Darkseid, no longer surrounded by any other member of the New Gods. His new Furies include transformed versions of Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson), Mera, and Hawkman. Occupying the Mobius Chair is Batman (Jason O’Mara), now a loyal servant.

As the film unfolds, one of the most glaring aspects of these massive team-ups is exposed. Characters who normally avoid death from gunfire, talon, knife, cosmic blast, etc. easily fall here to show just how overwhelming the odds are. As a result, many characters are seen in very quick cameos. Similarly, Darkseid is just way too powerful, on a scale never before seen. He seems to make easy work of not only Earth’s heroes but the entire GL Corps and kills the immortal Guardians, which doesn’t feel right. And what happens to the Central Power Battery is an incredibly false note.

Surprisingly, Constantine is far more heroic and the center of action than he should for such a cosmic tale, but given that the title is Justice League Dark, it makes some sense. The other occult members play minor roles with Etrigan (Ray Chase) getting some of the film’s best lines.

This, of course, is a story about heroes and heroism with plenty of noble sacrifices throughout. The final solution involves some of both and fittingly wraps the film series. Then there is one final problem, with 31% of Earth’s magma now gone, the planet is doomed. Superman, though, refuses to give up and as he rallies the exhausted troops, Constantine turns to one of them, telling him he knows what must be done. And the film ends as it must.

I’m not sure why they felt the need to end the continuity, but they tie up many threads from previous films. And the heroes aren’t gone for good. Coming later this year will be a new Superman tale.

The film was screened digitally and there’s an interesting gap after the end credits suggesting a post-credit hint for the future.

None of the Blu-ray’s special features were included for review but for the record, you can expect on May 19:

  • DC Showcase: Adam Strange (Animated Short) – On an asteroid mining colony, mysterious drifter Adam Strange is dismissed as an interplanetary derelict. But when the miners open a fissure into the home of a horde of deadly alien insects, his true identity is exposed. He is space adventurer Adam Strange, whose heroic backstory is played out in flashbacks as he struggles to save the very people who have scorned him for so long. Charlie Weber provides the voice of Adam Strange, alongside with Roger R. Cross, Kimberly Brooks, Ray Chase, and Fred Tatasciore. Adam Strange is produced and directed by Butch Lukic (Batman Unlimited franchise), who also conceived the original story – which is written by J.M. DeMatteis (Constantine: City of Demons).
  • Darkseid: New God/Evil Classic (New Featurette) – This documentary explores the machinations of one of fiction¹s greatest Super Villains as we learn more about what fuels Darkseid¹s drive to becoming a galactic Atilla the Hun and the importance of Deities in our classic and modern fiction.
  • Filmmaker Audio Commentary – Observations and behind-the-scenes insight from Executive Producer James Tucker, Directors Matt Peters and Christina Sotta, and Screenwriter Ernie Altbacker.
  • Look Back: Justice League Dark (Featurette) – John Constantine leads a group of misfit characters that use magic to vanquish their opponents. This is the dark version of the Justice League taking on the malevolent forces that go beyond our plane of existence.
  • Look Back: Batman and Harley Quinn (Featurette) – Take a peek at the animated feature film, Batman and Harley Quinn, featuring the creators and talented voice cast.
  • From the DC Vault: Justice League Action, “Zombie King”
  • From the DC Vault: Justice League Action, “Abate and Switch”
  • From the DC Comics Vault: Teen Titans, “Nevermore”
  • A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Superman: Man of Tomorrow – An advanced look at the next animated film in the popular DC Universe Movies collection.

Today: Dr. Seuss, Round Deuce!

We know at this time no one feels very funny,
But Dr. Seuss still wants to take all our money.
So if you’re stuck at home thanks to COVID-19
with nothing to do in your long quarantine,
we’d like you to know as a last resort
you can see DSE appeal their loss in court
as the previous ruling they’ll try to impugn!
It’ll happen on Monday at the stroke of high noon
(that’s Eastern time; West coast, it’s three hours prior).
It streams live on YouTube, so watch as their… lawyer
attempts to rebut the last judge’s decision
by claiming her judgement had much imprecision.
We’ll stick to the facts and we’ll cite precedent
as the Ninth Circuit hears our (remote!) argument.

The links are below and there’s bandwidth to spare,
so watch justice in action— we hope you’ll be there!

https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/calendar/view.php?caseno=19-55348

REVIEW: The Gentlemen

REVIEW: The Gentlemen

After dabbling in worlds created by others, including Sherlock HolmesThe Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Aladdin, director Guy Ritchie decided to return to his roots and tell a quirky English crime caper. Whether he was feeling nostalgic or attempting to regain the cred earned from the wonderful Layer Cake is unknown. What I can tell you is that while far from perfect, The Gentlemen is an entertaining delight.

The film is largely a two-handed, an engagement between Fletcher (Hugh Grant), an untrustworthy independent reporter, and Ray (Charlie Hunnam), the right hand to drug lord Michael Pearson (Matthew McConaughey). It’s move and countermove between the two as Fletcher tries to extort 20 million pounds or reveal what he believes to be the scoop of the year. And as they go back and forth, they tell each other pieces of the bigger pictures and then we go into flashbacks. Each time one thinks he’s trumped the other, we get a new wrinkle, another story, and things fall into place. By the end, you’re satisfied and amused which we could all use right about now.

The flashbacks and changing points of view may take some getting used to if you’re unfamiliar with Ritchie’s earlier work. But they and the oddball cast are what make the film worth watching. It’s terrific seeing Grant cast against type and he’s well-matched by the underseen Hunnam. That said, we’ve seen McConaughey in this role before so he’s fine, just boring in comparison, and the more versatile Michelle Dockery, as his wife Rosalind, is way under-utilized (and there should have been far more prominent women in the story). Colin Farrell steals every scene he’s in as the athletic trainer/thug Coach, who manages a gang of boxers turned gangbangers.

There’s some predictability here and there along with some stereotyped characters marring the story, but overall, this was fun to watch and should have done better before we were quarantined. There is strong production design and costuming, especially Grant and Farrell.

The film is now available from Universal Home Entertainment in all the formats you could ask for including the Blu-ray, DVD, and digital HD combo pack. Note: the digital HD is for iTunes only, which I personally object to.

The 1080p transfer nicely captures the colors, lighting, and textures. The Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 default) audio mix is also strong so the viewing experience is a positive one.

As entertaining as the film is, the Special Features leave a lot to be desired. You get Best Gentlemanly Quips (3:09), Glossary of Cannabis (00:46), Behind the Scenes of The Gentlemen (1:37), and a Photo Gallery.

 

New Clip from Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge

New Clip from Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge

Based on the worldwide hit game created by Ed Boon & John Tobias, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge spotlights the once-in-a-generation tournament between the champions of Outworld and Earthrealm – a competition that will ultimately determine the fate of Earth and all its citizens. Lord Raiden, protector of Earthrealm, must gather the greatest fighters of his realm to defend it from the evil Shang Tsung in the battle to end all battles – Mortal Kombat!

This clip entitled “Not So Fun Now” finds Sonya Blade battling the elusive Reptile in the middle of the jungle. Sonya Blade is voiced by Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight).

An all-new, feature-length film produced by Warner Bros. Animation in coordination with NeatherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, “Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge” is now available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital, and arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD next Tuesday, April 28, 2020.