Friday, January 19, 2018

In 'Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold', the Scooby Gang Helps Batman Tackle a New Villain and an Unsolved Case

The first movie of 2018 that I’ve watched is Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  It sees Batman recruiting the Scooby Gang into the “Mystery Analysts of Gotham”, a prestigious club of detective superheroes.  Subsequently, a mysterious new super villain arrives in Gotham going by the name of “Crimson Cloak”, who seemingly has ties to Batman’s one and only unsolved case.  Thus, Mystery Inc., Batman, and the other heroes must now collaborate to unmask this new threat.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

'Professor Marston and the Wonder Women' Reveals Wonder Woman's Scandalous Origin

Wonder Woman was one of the most notable films of 2017.  However, what many don’t know is there was another “Wonder Woman” film released last year – a biopic about William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman.  Titled Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, it stars Luke Evans as Prof. Marston and details the bizarre relationship he had with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston (played by Rebecca Hall) and their mistress Olive Byrne (played by Bella Heathcote), who were significantly instrumental in helping him invent the first lie detector as well as the creation of Wonder Woman.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Though Kinda Strong, the Twist of 'Jigsaw' Is Predictable

I’m a fan of the Saw franchise.  The movies aren’t cinematic masterpieces, but I thought there was some degree of thoughtfulness and creativity involved with them – especially the first ones.  I enjoyed the outlandish traps, the unbelievable intricacies of the set-ups, Jigsaw’s Batman-esque competence in planning, and the generally well-sold twists.  As the result from these, I honestly found all seven installments to be entertaining thrillers when I got to see them, though the series did get somewhat convoluted and forgettable at its latter parts.

Jigsaw, the franchise’s eighth installment after a seven-year hiatus, sees a string of murders committed in the distinguished style of Jigsaw.  As more evidence pile up, law enforcement officials only become more baffled as it’s looking to be not the work of a copycat, but the real John Kramer a.k.a. Jigsaw himself.  But how can that be when he has been dead for over a decade?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Top 10 Memorable Comic Book Moments of 2017

Or rather…
Top 10 Memorable Batman Comic Book Moments of 2017

2017 was a Batman comic book year for me, and all of my most memorable comic book moments of the year involved Batman.

Honorable Mentions: Batman vs. Reverse-Flash (Batman #21); Kite Man’s origin story (Batman #27); Batman uses his rogue gallery to put Bane on a gauntlet, to wear him down before they go one-on-one (Batman #19); Batman recruits Lobo into the Justice League (Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6); The Bat-family has a meeting in a Batman-themed burger joint, and Bruce Wayne eats his burger with a knife and fork (Batman #16)

10.) Zack explains why he attacked Batman (Justice League/Power Rangers #2).
Hilarious!

Photo Biography Update (01-14-18)


Some notable photos taken during the period of June 26, 2017 to January 14, 2018...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Top 10 Comics of 2017


After three straight years, Saga is no longer my pick for top comic book title.  Heck, it isn’t even in the top 10.  Well, I’ve still been enjoying it.  But its issues being so few and far between finally got to me a bit in 2017.

Anyway, here are the titles I had fun reading the most last year…

10.) INJUSTICE 2
A sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2 is set after the events of the first Injustice game and before the second game.   Like its predecessor, it’s packed with riveting, hard-punching arcs; strong, emotional drama; raw, visceral character moments; shocking, out-of-nowhere deaths; and supremely creative lore-building.

If you’ve ever asked how the DC Universe would fare with a Game of Throne-style narrative dynamics, then Injustice 2 offers the answer.

'The Shape of Water' Is a Cold War Fairy Tale

The Shape of Water is filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s latest “creature feature.”  When I first saw its trailer, like what many others observed, I thought it looked like an origin story for Abe Sapien, a beloved character from the Hellboy movies, which del Toro also directed.  Aside from being a “Creature from the Black Lagoon”-type monster like Abe Sapien and being played by Doug Jones, the creature in The Shape of Water, per the trailer, was also shown to be fond of eggs and music – just like Abe Sapien.  However, it turned out The Shape of Water is an entirely unconnected, independent film from Hellboy.

Friday, January 12, 2018

'Runaways' Isn't Excellent Yet, but It's Treading on a Promising Direction

Created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Adrian Alphona in the 2000’s, the Runaways comic book series might have introduced the most groundbreaking concept for a young superhero team since the X-Men debuted in the 60’s.  It’s about six kids who discovered that their parents were secretly super villains – mob bosses, time travelers, mutants, mad scientists, dark wizards, and aliens – and their charity annual event was actually a guise for their meeting as “The Pride”, a criminal organization that reigned over Los Angeles’ underworld.  Armed with the skills and powers they inherited from their parents, they banded together to fight their parents.

Their unique origin and their initial arc made them one of my favorite ensembles.  And I’ve always thought that adapting them and their story into live-action would be awesome.  I would have preferred an MCU feature film.  But if a TV series on Hulu is the best Marvel can offer, then I’ll take it.  It turned out being good anyway.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

For 'Loving Vincent', Substance and Style May Be the Same Thing

If nothing else, Loving Vincent is worth a watch because it’s the first of its kind – a fully painted animated feature film – and it’s probably the most beautiful, poignant tribute to Vincent van Gogh since Don McLean’s masterful ballad “Vincent.”  It explores the tragic of life of the painter, as the son of his friend Postman Roulin looks into the curious nature of his death.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

'Ang Larawan' Provokes Reflections While Looking Good and Sounding Good

Ang Larawan (The Portrait in English) is a musical film based on a musical stage play, which is in turn based on Nick Joaquin’s literary magnum opus A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.  It follows spinster sisters Candida and Paula, daughters of renowned painter Don Lorenzo, as they feel nostalgic of the glory days of their once-regal ancestral house which they are now struggling to maintain due to financial difficulties.  Money would have been easily attainable, as many are willing to pay a hefty sum for Don Lorenzo’s last masterpiece, something their father had left them.  They don’t really love the painting – they even feel that it’s burdensome and may even harbor animosity towards it – yet they refuse to part with it.  Instead, for their income, they rely on performing menial labor, such as capturing rats; the rent money of boarder Tony Javier, an opportunistic, sleazy vaudevillian pianist; and the unreliable support of their married elder siblings, who are more interested in selling the house than helping them keep it.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Top 20 Memorable TV Moments of 2017


Since the movies got twenty, TV will also get twenty.

20.)
In Kakegurui episode 11, in the gambling showdown between Jabami and the student council treasurer Manyuda, the latter refuses to acknowledge the authority of the dealer of the game, who is the masked student council vice-president, regarding the extraordinary stipulation of the final round.  Manyuda insists that only the president, who has gone away for a meeting, has the power to do that.  Then, the vice-president – who dons a mask all throughout the series – removes her mask, revealing her face for the first time.  To the shock of everyone present, it’s the president all along!  Apparently, the president and the vice-president are twins, and I presume that they are living their lives in the same manner as Christian Bale’s character(s) in The Prestige.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Top 20 Memorable Movie Moments of 2017


My favorite 2017 movies have already been listed.  Now it’s time to list the 2017 movie moments that have been most memorable to me – for being admirable, resonating, uplifting, heartbreaking, shocking, bizarre, insane, horrible, or in whatever way they have made a lasting, striking impression in my mind.

Last year, I only did a “top 10” list.  But this time around, there were so many to choose from that I just had to have twenty spots.

20.)
The Villainess’ POV opening scene.  It was unfortunately unmatched during the rest of the film.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Top 20 TV Shows of 2017


My resulting year-end list for 2017 TV somewhat mirrors the mid-year rankings.  Anyway, without further ado, let’s jump into it (by the way, for a more expounded evaluation on a particular show, click on the links when available).

Honorable Mentions: The Flash (its current season is a back to form for it.  Unfortunately, season 3, early in the year, is so disappointing and off-puttingly angsty that it isn’t able to make this list’s cut-off), Welcome to the Ballroom, Justice League Action, Planet Earth II, Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler

20.) PSYCH: THE MOVIE
This would have been much higher in the list if everyone from the old gang had been able to participate.  Series revival please!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Top 20 Movies of 2017


It’s once again time to list my favorite films of the recently finished year.  Though there were a few notable 2017 movies that I wanted to watch but didn’t get to (Darkest Hours, The Shape of Water, All the Money in the World, Loving Vincent, Smaller and Smaller Circles, Molly’s Game, Phantom Thread), I’m fairly satisfied with how this list has shaped itself from those I did get to watch.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

20.) WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

“…a resounding, meaningful science fiction epic.  Sharp direction, compelling performances, an intelligent and powerful story, thematic depths, and marvelous special effects combine to make it so.”
Click here for the full review.