Movie Review – Kubo & The Two Strings

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Set in ancient Japan, we first meet the young Kubo in his cliff side cave outside of a seaside town, as he tends to his sickly mother. Mom is ill, but has enough strength to tell stories of the past to Kubo; including how Kubo lost his eye. Without spoiling things, it’s easier to say that the past is unforgiving and Kubo shouldn’t stay out after dark. Though it wasn’t his fault, Kubo is caught out past curfew which, endangers the entire town. In the aftermath, that sends Kubo on the run, he tries to remember the tales his mother told. The stories of Hanzo’s enchanted armour are true and waiting to be claimed. This mystical armour is the only thing that can protect Kubo from the forces looking to destroy him. 

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Otakon 2016: Day 2

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Good Morning Starshine

Day 2 of Otakon 2016 kicked off under sweltering conditions that seemed worse than yesterday. Though it was 8am leaving Essex, Maryland for Downtown Baltimore; the temperatures had to be in the mid 80s, yet it felt like the mid 90s. My thoughts were with the cosplayers that had elaborate costumes. I wondered how many would abandon their all black or full body costumes for something more appropriate for the weather. Not many. The Baltimore Convention Center was consistently more crowded than Friday and featured more elaborate costumes.  Continue reading “Otakon 2016: Day 2”

2016 Awesome Con EXCLUSIVE: Arkham Files: Supervillain Psychoses Panel

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Have you ever wondered what makes some of Batman’s most infamous adversaries tick? Or, what they may look like in a real world setting? Well, it was these very questions which inspired me to put to together the panel, ARKHAM FILES: SUPERVILLAIN PSYCHOSES at Awesome Con this year.  Joined by Jahmal Harrell (fellow Reel Feel News writer), Julian Lytle (comic creator), and Charles Samenow (accomplished psychologist), I sought to get to the bottom of theses questions… Continue reading “2016 Awesome Con EXCLUSIVE: Arkham Files: Supervillain Psychoses Panel”

Otakon 2016: The 1st Day

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It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine…)

There’s a touch of trepidation in the air after the phrase “I’m going to Baltimore”. High profile, racially charged incidents has sullied the reputation of the nicknamed “Charm City”. The industrial blue collar town, 40 miles from the nation’s capital is a city on edge, as seen in the riots of 2015 and the protests of 2016. Yet, even if the contentious attitudes towards the city’s officials aren’t universally shared, everyone in town can agree that it was freaking hot out. The combination of sun and stifling humidity turned Baltimore into a sauna. The high temperature was 96, very close to a record, but had a heat index of well over 100. As I arrived at the Baltimore Convention Center (BCC) this afternoon, none of the world’s problems mattered.  The late summer tradition is once again upon us as Otakon weekend begins today.  Continue reading “Otakon 2016: The 1st Day”

2016 Awesome Con EXCLUSIVE: Billy West Panel

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Let’s rewind the clock back to 2013, shall we?  That spring (April, to be exact) a little event called Awesome Con unveiled itself to fans in the nation’s capital.  Having attended various comic book conventions prior to that (at the time), the prospect of having a comic convention right in my back yard to was too awesome  (pun intended) to pass up.  Despite its humble beginnings in terms of scale (during that first year), the event, even then, showed promise of what it could be (or arguably is, now), thanks to its format of panels, exhibitors, and special guests.  One particular highlight that 1st year, for me, was attending Billy West’s panel.

Being the voice behind many of my favorite animated characters, I thought it be worth checking him out, and boy was I right!   Equally irreverent and transparent with his thoughts about life and the trajectory of his career, in radio and voice work, it was a moment, that I captured, which left a lasting impression on me.  Not surprisingly, it was quite special for me to come “full circle” and have the opportunity to moderate his panel at this year’s event 3 years later.  In the first two-thirds of the panel, we chatted about his transition into voice work for children’s cartoons, his work on The Oblongs, as well as Futurama.  Afterwards, during the Q& A segment with the audience, he reveals a bit more! Check it out…. Continue reading “2016 Awesome Con EXCLUSIVE: Billy West Panel”

BBC.com Culture Presents “Are Heroes Born or Made?” at San Diego Comic-Con‏

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Returning for their second year, BBC.com Culture is coming to SDCC with a panel titled, “Are Heroes Born or Made?”  Read the press release below for more details on the panel as well as its impressive list of panelists… Continue reading “BBC.com Culture Presents “Are Heroes Born or Made?” at San Diego Comic-Con‏”

MARVEL COMICS Proudly Presents “BLACK PANTHER: A NATION UNDER OUR FEET – PART TWO” Featuring The World Debut Of “BEAST WITH IT” By PRODIGY OF MOBB DEEP FEAT. MARK THE BEAST

 

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 Today Marvel Comics announces some exciting new for Black Panther fans!  Check out the press release below…. 

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Review – Independence Day Resurgence

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It’s been 20 years to the week since Will Smith and the remnants of the USAF battled aliens looking to harvest America (and I GUESS the rest of the world). 20 years since Bill Pullman as President Whitmore delivered one of the greatest presidential addresses in the history of the position (real or fictional). 20 years ago, a failed astronaut, a cable repairman and a drunken crop duster pilot, worked together to save mankind. Continue reading “Review – Independence Day Resurgence”

Movie Review – The Huntsman: Winter’s War

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Before the events of Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), we learn of Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the misunderstood evil sorceress who will become queen and her sister Freya (Emily Blunt). Freya had an affair with the Duke of Blackwood and is now with child. Unfortunately, the Duke committed filicide, sending Freya into a rage, unleashing her cryokinesis. The two sisters separated as Freya turned toward the Northern Lands and began her icy rule. Determined to rid the world of love; convinced that it is a weakness, kidnaps children to raise them as soldiers called The Huntsmen. Two particularly talented warriors are Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain). The secret couple, secretly wed and live relatively harmoniously, that is, until their discovered by Freya. There are only two laws in Freya’s Queendom: Love is forbidden, and Freya demands absolute loyalty. The penalty for breaking either law is death (of course). Both Eric and Sara resist, but Sara is apparently killed in the fight forcing Eric to flee, starting his story in Snow White and the Huntsman. As that story ended happily ever after, the peace didn’t last long. The infamous Magic Mirror has been stolen and in the wrong hands, its power could be used to rule the world. The only one trustworthy enough to retrieve the Mirror and place in a safe place, hiding it from all is (conveniently) our Huntsman and some friends made along the way.

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Review – Barbershop: The Next Cut

 

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It’s been over a decade since we’ve taken a trip to Calvin’s barber shop, on the Southside of Chicago. The shop has evolved as the neighbourhood has evolved; but the bitter pill of change can be hard to swallow. Recently, Chicago has made international headlines, as high-profile murders plague the city. Gang warfare threatens the residents of the impoverished Southside, catching innocent victims in the crossfire. Fed up with the lack of progress by local police The Mayor’s Office proposes a plan to wall off the neighbourhood, with Calvin’s shop in the center. Fearful of the Mayor’s proposal, escalating violence and the impact on his impressionable, teenage son; Calvin secretly weighs his options: Move the shop to the preppy Northside, or stay the course and inspire a positive change in the neighbourhood (somehow). Continue reading “Review – Barbershop: The Next Cut”

Awesome Con Coming To Washington, DC June 3rd-June 5th

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As mentioned before, if you follow me, you know that I love my Cons!  After starting my Con Season with C2E2, I now await the commencement of my summer Cons, starting first with my hometown Con known only as Awesome Con.  Having attended since its 1st year in 2013, I have witnessed the Con steadily GROW (and I do mean GROW) year after year.  Though the event has slowly revealed info regarding their incredible guest list week after week, today they have released their first official press release.  Check it out below…

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2016 Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) EXCLUSIVE: Diego Gonzalez Talks Body Art & Con Fandom

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Last year, I stumbled upon a terrific artist by the name of Diego Gonzalez, whose airbrush art was quite incredible.  Since then, I kept in touch and was happy to learn that he was returning to this year’s C2E2 with his art.  Knowing that he is always pushing himself to do the new & inventive things (whether its airbrushing custom caps, controllers, shoes, etc.), I made it a point to visit him again this year to see what he was up to… Continue reading “2016 Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) EXCLUSIVE: Diego Gonzalez Talks Body Art & Con Fandom”

Movie Review – Eye in the Sky

 

Eye-in-the-Sky-Movie-Wallpaper-02High above the Arid landscape that is the Eastleigh section of Nairobi, Kenya is an unmanned aerial vehicle. A drone. Equipped with cameras and two hellfire missiles, the drone is in position and ready to strike. Its target: a home where three high-profile terrorists, including a radicalized British national and their newest recruits are getting acquainted. Leading the mission to capture the terrorists is Col. Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren), a high-ranking British Intelligence Officer. Upon identifying the threats, Col. Powell coordinates with local authorities to make the arrests. Before the locals can raid the compound, a startling discovery is made. Apparently the terrorists are beyond pleasantries and have began preparation for a suicide bombing.  Continue reading “Movie Review – Eye in the Sky”

Movie Review – Zootopia

There’s a world where animals have evolved to a higher level of think, far past their basic instincts. However, animals all over uses their natural abilities to their advantage. Rabbits farm and the King of the Jungle is Mayor. It’s perfectly sufficient to use your natural talents to cement your place in life, but what if you could achieve more? What if you could change your predestined station in life and follow your dreams? Since she was a kit, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) of Bunnyborrow has always stood up for the little guy, even though she’s pretty tiny herself. While her overprotective parents Bonnie (Bonnie Hunt) and Stu (Don Lake) would rather see Judy join her 237 siblings and maintain the family farm; Judy wants to protect and serve in the Zootopia Police Department.  Continue reading “Movie Review – Zootopia”

Movie Review – Triple 9

 

 

 

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Michael Belmont (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is Ex-Special Forces and indebted to Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet), the wife of a Jewish Russian Mob Boss who’s imprisoned back home. Irina promises to pay handsomely if, Michael and his team of corrupt Atlanta detectives can recover items from a bank’s vault. Irina’s sister, Elena (Gal Gadot) has a son with Michael but, Irina has the boy in custody, as an extra incentive for Michael to complete his tasks. With a window of 5 minutes to acquire the package, the team moves quickly; but the apparently their mission isn’t complete in Irina’s eyes. There’s still one major item to be acquired before Michael’s debts are settled. The package sits somewhere inside of a Homeland Security compound. If everything went well, the crew could be in and out in about 15 minutes. Several minutes longer than the average response time for cops to arrive, the only chance of success is to draw all cops to an event, big enough to draw every cop in the city. A triple 9 call.  Continue reading “Movie Review – Triple 9”

Movie Review – Race

Race-2016You already know the story of former Olympian James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens. He lived a life after the Olympics, but all anyone can remember is his fateful turn at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. The film, however starts in the beginning, where Owens (Stephan James) leaves his parent’s cramped Cleveland home, for Columbus, Ohio and Thee Ohio State University. When Owens’ family left segregated, rural Alabama to resettle in the north; the thought was that the North was more tolerant, more accepting of migrant Blacks from the south. Compared to Alabama this was true, but Jesse still experienced resistance in school. Through it all, he managed to obliterate the competition on the way to the Olympic Games. If, they were to be held of course. Rumours about bigotry and internment of Jews in Europe began too big to ignore. Ironically the U.S. Olympic Committee threatened to boycott the games over the alleged anti semitism. Avery Brundage (Jeremy Irons) of the American Olympic Committee was sent to Berlin to investigate the claims.  Continue reading “Movie Review – Race”

New On Demand – Death in the Desert

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Heir to a billion dollar Vegas casino empire, Ray Easler (Michael Madsen) has to hide a truckload of silver and cash in the desert before his enemies and the government comes to collect. He entrusts Matt Duvall (John Palladino) with burying the goods, but Matt has eyes for ex-stripper, turned Ray’s housewife Kim Davis (Shayla Beesley). Only two in the world know this buried treasure, deep beneath the Las Vegas suburbs, but when the nihilistic Ray is found dead on a mattress in his mansion; the spotlight gets turned on our  lovers, Kim and Matt.

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Movie Review – Deadpool

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I had my doubts. Usually February is a dumping ground for films unworthy of both award or blockbuster status. We’re beginning the closest thing to an offseason for Hollywood and 2016 looks typically dismal. My skepticism of Marvel Comics & 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool goes far beyond its release date. As a spin-off of the X-Men franchise, Deadpool has some pretty big shoes to fill, especially as a lesser known property. However, anyone that’s moderately familiar with ‘The Merc with the Mouth’ should be as concerned as I am that Fox could ruin this franchise in a similar fashion to ‘The Fantastic Four’. So what is it then? Did Fox sacrifice story for profits, or did they alienate a portion of the audience by making the ‘R’ rated film Deadpool needs to be. Or, is Deadpool not good enough to hang with the boys of Summer, in this increasingly crowded field of superhero films?

But first… Continue reading “Movie Review – Deadpool”

Movie Review – Hail, Caesar!

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Working as a Hollywood ‘Fixer’ is a thankless but necessary job. For Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) solving every problem involving Capitol Studios, is all in a day’s work. The big production on set is “Hail, Caesar”, starring Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). The sword and sandals epic (akin to Ben-Hur) that is eerily similar to the 2016 Sony release ‘Risen’, is nearly finished. The final scene, where Baird gives his final monologue remains to be shot and Baird is nowhere to be found. Abducted by a group known only as ‘The Future’, Mannix must produce a ransom of $100k. That’s only the beginnings of his troubles. 

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Movie Review – The Choice

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Life is but an unending series of choices. Some are more important than others and some are absolute no-brainers. For Travis Shaw (Benjamin Walker) he’ll have to make the most important choice of his life. It will impact his life and those around him forever. There’s neither a right nor wrong answer to his dilemma, only the best case scenario; but more on that later. The story starts off with Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) and her acclimation to her new home in the sleepy coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina. Gabby, a nurse is Travis’ new neighbor and they don’t exactly hit it off. But eventually opposites attract and the two develop a relationship. However, Teresa has a problem, her boyfriend, Dr. Ryan McCarthy (Tom Welling) who’s a doctor at Teresa’s job. Teresa has a choice to make. Should she ignore her growing feelings for Travis and stay with Ryan, or should she leave her perfectly fine relationship with Ryan for Travis? Back to Travis for a second; his decision is a major plot development and discussing it now would ruin the movie.

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Review – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Set on the familiar countryside estate, the Bennett family live a simple life. Mrs. Bennett worries about the wellness of her five daughters Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Catherine and Lydia. Getting older by the second, the Bennett siblings are approaching the marrying age, which usually means a financial gain for the Bennett’s. Mr. Bennett is equally concerned for his daughters. While the social elite train and study in Japan, China is a cost-effective solution and the Bennett girls have trained hard in the Orient. But, training for what? Well, the zombie apocalypse, of course. In one scene the girls don their best wares for an upcoming ball. There’s an equal amount of tightening and fastening of corsets and garters, along with sharpening of knives and polishing of muskets; making the girls truly as dangerous as they are pretty.  Continue reading “Review – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

Movie Review – The Finest Hours

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After an unnecessarily long exposition, we finally meet the ill-fated SS Pendleton, a battered Type T2-SE-A1 tanker; off the Massachusetts coast, south of Cape Cod. The Pendleton was en route to Boston from New Orléans until. A sudden lurch then am loud explosion ripped the boat in half. The bow drifted more to the south and the stern, with its 33 men remained afloat in tormented seas, but quick thinking from the crew delayed the inevitable. The stern of the Pendleton had power, but was taking on more water than it could pump out; with only a few hours of buoyancy left, The Finest Hours is an overly dramatic (at times) account of the rescue attempt of those men. Continue reading “Movie Review – The Finest Hours”

Movie Review – The 5th Wave

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In an instant, The Others appeared. Their origin, motives, even their appearance remains a mystery. The world watch the lone spaceship circumnavigate the planet, only to hover over a suburban Ohio town. A high school Junior and otherwise pretty average kid Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Moretz), survival meant gym class. As the story starts in medias res, Cassie now survives with a scavenged M4 rifle, a few bottles of water and protein bars from abandoned gas stations. The remnants of her humanity remain in her diary, as Cassie faces danger at every turn.  Continue reading “Movie Review – The 5th Wave”

Movie Review – Dirty Grandpa

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In a week Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) and his fiancée Meredith (Julianne Hough) will finally tie the knot. Meredith may be a bit controlling, but wedding planning is serious business and Jason isn’t much help. Once an aspiring photographer, Jason is now an uptight lawyer at his father’s (Dermot Mulroney) practice. Jason’s life (according to his father) is finally taking shape until his grandmother dies. The film starts after the funeral where life goes on for Jason, as he and Meredith are finalizing their wedding plans. Jason’s grandfather Dick (Robert De Niro) is in mourning wants to go to a special vacation spot where he and his wife went over the last 40 years. What seems like a chance for Jason to bond with his grandfather, Dick has other ideas. Allegedly, Grandma’s dying wish, was for Dick to go out and find love again. As a horny septuagenarian, Dick will settle for lust and worry about love later. For Jason, surviving the weekend with his horny grandpa in tow won’t be as easy as it seems.

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My Top 10 Films Of 2015

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Every year around this time, we stop and reflect on the year that has passed. Every year we complain at the lack of original ideas hitting the theaters and how much more prices have risen. It’s easy to complain that the mainstream wide releases are remakes, adaptations from books or sequels. True, and 2016 doesn’t seem to be any different. So this list is of my favourite films for this year 2015. 

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2015 Virginia Film Festival WRAP UP

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Last weekend, I returned to yet another film festival that I love, and that is the Virginia Film Festival.  Created in 1990, the festival has become a staple of Virginia, regularly holding its event on UVA’s campus in Charlottesville.  Never a stranger to landmark films and terrific guests, the festival has featured films such as NEBRASKA, BLACK SWAN, and THE DESCENDANTS to name a few. Additionally, the festival has had the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins, Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, Gena Rowlands, Sigourney Weaver, William Styron, Tippi Hedren, Ross McElwee, Matthew Broderick, Will Forte, Mia Wasikowska, Barry Levinson, David Dastmalchian, Ashley Judd, Jenna Elfman, and Patrick Wilson all come as special guests through the years. Continue reading “2015 Virginia Film Festival WRAP UP”

2015 Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival Wrap Up

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As Halloween officially finds itself in our rearview mirror, I figured I’d revisit one of my favorite festivals to attend each year, which is the Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival.  Celebrating its ten year, the horror festival has become a staple event (especially for me, see Tweet) at AFI Silver-in recent years-during the month of October. Continue reading “2015 Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival Wrap Up”

Movie Review – Pan

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In the century long retelling and revisioning of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale of the boy who could fly, Joe Wright’s version may be the most depressing. Early on we’re told (or warned) that this isn’t the story we’ve been told before. That could be problematic, but hopefully Pan captures the essence of the character, despite the subtle changes to the story. Well, no. Though it’s never really been discussed, how Peter got to Neverland; this origin story doesn’t really mesh with the story we do know. It starts off with young Peter (Levi Miller) surviving the London Blitz in an orphanage that’s barely hospitable for barn animals. But, the curious (or defiant) Peter with his friend Nibs (Lewis MacDougall) have reason to believe, that the bullish Mother Barnabas (Kathy Burke) is hoarding the goods while the kids eat a rationing of gruel. In the night, some of the kids go missing. Presumed to be adopted, Peter and Nibs continue on the hunt for treasure, but are startled when they discover the true cause of the missing kids. 

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Otakon 2015 Part 3: The Photoshoots

 

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Costume role-playing or Cosplay is the unannounced sideshow at any fan convention. Whether it’s store-bought or handmade, it’s important to show up as your favourite character. With comic books at a high in the mainstream consciousness, cosplaying maybe more popular now than ever before. Unfortunately, Otakon doesn’t feature a costume contest, but there were many photo shoots scattered around the convention space. The following are some of the best of cosplay from Otakon 2015.  Continue reading “Otakon 2015 Part 3: The Photoshoots”

2015 San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) EXCLUSIVE: Sunday Recap

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Normally, after a busy week of press obligations and attending panels, Sundays (for me) are normally reserved for extra time in the Exhibit Hall.  However, while I did take some time to hang out in the Exhibit Hall, I broke a bit from my typical routine, and attended panels for Heroes Reborn and The Strain.  Check out some of the cool moments from these panels below… Continue reading “2015 San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) EXCLUSIVE: Sunday Recap”