by Xann Black
I’m back to do another post! Apparently claiming I would do more writing at the end of my last post counts as a written contract in my state, yada-yada; several calls to Goldberg law offices (800-600-6014!) later, it turns out I actually do have to fill more space with letters. Fortunately, I like doing this!
- Time Bandits – Directed by Terry Gilliam, this “children’s movie” challenges beliefs in ways that most adults probably could never handle. On the outside, it’s a quirky romp through time with a band of little people determined to rob history itself blind; within this are serious questions about morality, friendship, and the nature of good and evil.
- Equilibrium – Every few years, when I haven’t seen this for a while, I somehow convince myself that it’s overrated. Then I find a friend who hasn’t seen it, and while showing it to them think “Man, I was way off.” Christian Bale stars in this 1984/ Farenheit 451 blend of action movie and political piece. Think V for Vendetta, but with Batman instead of Agent Smith at the center.
- Date Night – Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. Together. Plus James Franco and Mila Kunis in a cameo. Plus Mark Wahlberg, minus shirt. I expected good, but by-the-numbers comedy from this; what I got was sharp, poignant satire mixed with a healthy dose of genuine chemistry, and one really awesome car chase.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – When the original run of FMA happened, the manga hadn’t been completed yet; thus, the admittedly bad, sometimes awful second half of the series was more or less filler. Thankfully, with the full run of story now completed by the creator, the animation studio saw fit to completely reboot the franchise. The first two volumes (26 episodes) have commercial releases, and the blu-rays look flawless. And if you don’t mind reading subtitles, the whole 64-episode run is on Hulu, though I don’t know for how long.
- Rubicon – New from AMC – Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and the upcoming Walking Dead – give us their spin on the “espionage drama.” Except it’s way better than anything else that has ever tried this. Based around a fictional private-sector intel-gathering, code-breaking, foreign-policy-altering think-tank, the only thing more interesting than the conspiracy within the conspiracies are the characters themselves.
- The Venture Bros. – Now into the “second part” of its fourth season on Adult Swim, this show is just too damn funny. I really don’t know how else to describe it. Part Johnny Quest spoof, part pop-culture riffing, and all genius, my best suggestion is to have your pop build a box to teach you how awesome it is. Just remember that it sometimes gets very hot, in the box, that pop built.
- Batman & Robin by Grant Morrison – I’m aware that Morrison’s current work isn’t something everyone is a fan of. But this series – with Dick Grayson as the caped crusader, trying to wrangle an out-of-control Damian Wayne as the boy wonder – has consistently delivered for my money. Removed from this time-travel craziness, it finds it focus in examining just what these personas represent to Gotham, to the people behind the masks, and even to costumed heroes the world over.
- Chew by John Layman – In a world where certain food has become illegal, a young detective makes his way by using his ability to psychically connect with anything he eats. Whatever ideas might spring to your mind from that statement, they’ve probably been incorporated. With elements of (and jabs at) crime dramas, prohibition-era mob fiction, and noir flicks, this is a great read for someone looking for some new indy love.
- The Marvels Project by Ed Brubaker – The man who helped resurrect Daredevil and has turned Captain America into something amazing again asks us an interesting question: What if Marvel superheroes, from first to last, weren’t just happy accidents, but part of something very carefully orchestrated? Highly reminiscent of the groundbreaking Marvels from a decade ago, this is the universe we all know so well, but through fresh eyes and without the prejudices and pre-conceptions we also know so well.
That’s all for this time.