Thursday, January 31, 2013

5 Words of Advice for J.J. Abrams Regarding Star Wars: Episode VII

#1: Grow a Beard

   Regardless of all fears, doubts, and memories of Anakin riding some kind of space cow, I still giggled like a child when I heard about the release of a new Star Wars film.  After learning that J.J. Abrams had been chosen to direct, I actually became even more excited and hopeful. I've liked a great deal of Abrams' work  and am intrigued that a Star Wars fan is getting the chance to make a Star Wars movie. Still, as a fan myself, I have to throw my two cents in.  I recognize that J.J. Abrams isn't the only person involved with this movie, as of course film making is a collaborative effort, but since he's the director I'm throwing this advice his way.

Movie Review: Gangster Squad (2 out of 5)

     Odds are if you have went anywhere near a movie theater in the past year you have seen a trailer for Reuben Fleischer's Gangster Squad.  Warner Brothers obviously thought they had a hit on their hands when you look at the marketing campaign that went into this film, and rightfully so.  An American gangster film starring Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone among others directed by the man that gave us Zombieland that is a sure fire hit right? Suffice to say Warner Brothers was wrong.  On one hand you have to cut Warner Bros. a little bit of slack with the problems they faced with this film.  A significant scene involving a shootout in a movie theater had to be cut after the tragic events in Aurora Colorado last summer during the midnight premiere of Warner Bros most anticipated film of last year The Dark Knight Rises.  After the Aurora tragedy not only did the studio cut the scene, but they delayed the film’s release from September 2012 to January 2013.        

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Action Figure Barbecue: Stuff You Must Own!- New TMNT Classics series 2

Series 2 Rocksteady and Bebop along with the series 1 Turtles

  New Rocksteady and Bebop from Playmates' TMNT Classics

     Of course fans have always known of the timeless coolness of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but this year we have seen kids once again get excited over our favorite lean, green, pizza eating machines.  While Playmates toys has released a robust line of 4-5 inch figures targeted at kids, (although collectors love them too) what really got fans excited were the TMNT classics, 6-7 inch figures with excellent articulation that are excellent homages to both the original TMNT action figures and the cartoon appearances of the characters. Retailers could barely keep these guys in stock so it only makes sense that Playmates will continue with this awesome line.  Here's the first images I've seen of Rocksteady and Bebop, the two new figures from series 2. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Where the Amazing Spider-man 2 stands after the Rhino announcment.

     Spidey fans as well as fans of the Superhero Genre were shocked when THR broke the news yesterday that Paul Giamatti had been cast to play Spidey’s brute of a nemesis the Rhino in Marc Webb's upcoming The Amazing Spider-man 2.  The news came as a bit of a surprise for a couple of reasons.  First of all Paul Gimatti while a brilliant actor just doesn’t seem to fit the role of the rhino, while the Rhino is a favorite baddie of Spidey fans he isn’t necessarily the toughest adversary Spider-man goes up against.  While he poses a physical challenge he is often outsmarted within an issue or so.  Secondly The Amazing Spider-man 2 has already cast academy award winner Jamie Foxx in the role of Electro.  If history tell us anything about Superhero film especially 2007’s Spider-man 3, unless Christopher Nolan is directing Multiple Villains are probably a bad Idea.  There were some Amazing articles written around the web yesterday on Paul Giamatti’s casting as the Rhino, so that isn’t what we well dwell on here at the Epic Review.  Instead taking into account yesterday’s casting news  we will try to examine just where this sequel stands nearly 2 years before it’s anticipated May 2, 2014 release date. 

 (Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-man follow)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook (Confirmed:Epic, 5 out of 5)

     Just before Oscar nomination's were announced earlier this month David O' Russell's Silver linings playbook was considered a little bit of a dark horse to get nominated for best picture.  Once the nominations came out not only was Silver Linings nominated for best picture, but it became this first film since Reds in 1981 to have nominations in all four major acting categories (Bradley Cooper/Best Actor, Jennifer Lawrence/Best Actress, Robert Deniro/Best Supporting Actor, and Jackie Weaver/Best Supporting actress).  All of a sudden O'Russell's dark horse seemed like a real contender,but at the same time there are those within critics circles saying just the nominations were good enough for Silver Linings the film is too cliche or predictable it doesn't need to actually win anything.  I am here to tell you those critics may be wrong!  

The best there never was: Royal Rumble 2013 Review

Well it's that time of the year again.  The Road to Wrestlemania has begun.  And it is already off to a lackluster start.  Last night at the Royal Rumble, The Rock defeated CM Punk for the WWE title and John Cena won the Royal Rumble match itself to set up the inevitable confrontation between the two in the main event of this year’s Wrestlemania.  Now I am opposed to this for several reasons.  First, who ever thought it was a good idea to take the WWE title off the longest reigning champion since Hulk Hogan?  Punk was the best thing going in the WWE since the Attitude Era.  When you have someone holding a title that long, does it make sense for him to drop it to someone who will not be there after Wrestlemania?  Sure, it will be cool for the Rock to parade the WWE title around the late night shows while he is promoting his latest sub-par movie, but why do this at the expense of the best thing you have put on TV since Stone Cold.  The Rock does not need the title to draw.  He could have faced John Cena at Wrestlemania and it would still have the same buy rate regardless of whether it was a title match or not.  Does anybody really think that the Rock is going to appear at every Raw between now and Wrestlemania?  Is the Rock going to be in the Elimination Chamber match?  Will the Rock appear via satellite tonight on Raw?  The WWE had the potential to put on one of the best Wrestlemania main events in recent history if they would have kept the title on Punk and have him faced The Undertaker.  I can imagine it now, the longest reigning champion in a quarter century against the guy who is 20-0 at Wrestlemania.  I’m getting goose bumps just typing it but alas, we get Rock/Cena again.  Heck, I would have rather seen Punk drop the title to Cena at Wrestlemania than lose it to the Rock last night.  At least you know Cena will be there after Mania. 

Action Figure Barbecue! You bring the jello mold!

Barbecue17 humbly invites you to Action Figure Barbecue!


     Special thanks to my man Brad for inviting me to be a part of ThEpicReview!  In trying to cover all things Epic on his Blog, Brad realized that there would be a severe deficiency in regards to coverage of action figures, toys, and other nonsense, so that's where I come in. I'm Barbecue17 and I'm an action figure junkie collector.  And a darn fine one at that, I might add.  You know all those cool toys from your childhood you wish you'd kept?  Guess what, I kept mine.  You know all those cool figures you see online and wish you owned?  Guess what, I own them.  You know all those long and lonely nights you wish you could spend sitting around with your toy collection, curled up next to a wood buring fireplace because the power company turned off your electric since you chose to spend your last $100 dollars on a Lego castle and the 134th Batman figure to add to your collection, staring longingly into the eyes of your vintage Castle Grayskull?  I've been there son, and I wrote the book on it.

    That being said, let me invite you to stop by the ThEpicReview for hot and fresh servings of action figure reviews and toy industry ramblings.  In the next few days I'll be covering some new action figure and toy releases, covering my 10 favorite toys of 2012, and much more! 

In the comments section, feel free to let me know your thoughts on what toys you would like to see covered on Action Figure Barbecue.  Otherwise, it's going to be all 90's era Spawn figures, all the time!

When not hanging out at ThEpicReview, Barbecue17 spends his time writing action figure and toy reviews on Amazon: Barbecue17's Amazon reviews

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Movie Review: MAMA (3 out of 5)

     MAMA a phrase you  have been hearing echo through trailers and TV spots repeatedly the past month.  Perhaps your initial reactions were close to mine, which were: You couldn't stop imitating the word MAMA as it is said in the trailer in that eerie whisper, and if you are a film fan you may have thought to yourself Guillermo del Toro is doing a horror film how could this go wrong, even if he is only producing?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Marvel's Confirmed Doctor Strange movie, and what it means for the future of Marvel's cinematic universe

     The Marvel cinematic universe got a little stranger Friday afternoon when president of production for Marvel studio's Kevin Feige confirmed plans for a Doctor Strange film in an interview with MTV.  The film will reportedly be a part of of Marvel's phase 3 cinematic plans, hitting theaters sometime after phase 2 culminates with the Avengers 2 in 2015.  So far the only other film that Marvel has slated for phase 3 is the Edgar Wright directed Ant Man, whose test footage wowed at San Diego Comi-Con last summer.  So Ant Man aside, what does this planned Doctor Strange film tell us about phase 3 of Marvel's plans for it's lucrative studio, now owned by Disney?

     Since Doctor Strange is the center of the mystical universe within Marvel it could mean that is exactly what phase 3 will deal with.  Similar to the way that phase 2 will revolve around the cosmic areas and characters of the Marvel universe such as Thanos and the Guardians of the Galaxy.  This could leave us to believe that perhaps Thano's infinity gauntlet may make it through phase 2 and even play a prominent role in phase 3, perhaps elevating someone such as the hood to become the main antagonist in a Doctor Strange film, or even a 3rd Avengers film.

     However all of these assumptions contradict what Kevin Fiege said during a meet the film makers event in London in April of 2012, when he stated the he believed Marvel's Civil War would be the right story line for a 3rd Avengers film.  Which would make perfect sense considering that Civil War changed the face of Marvel comics last decade, and would make for one epic superhero film.  While Civil War may make for an incredible third Avengers film, it wouldn't make sense to bring Doctor Strange into that event considering he spent the entire Marvel Civil War in solitude as a pacifist.  There is however one way Marvel could use Doctor Strange to help set up Civil War, and that would be putting a major emphasis on the Illuminati during phase 3.  The Illuminati are a secret organization within Marvel comics that work together in order to mold the superhuman world, and the worlds perception of it.  The Illuminati originally consisted of a cast of Marvel's heaviest hitters: Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Namor, Black Bolt, Charles Xavier, and Reed Richards.  Of course the Illuminati roster would need to be reset, because Fox owns the film rights to both Professor X and Reed Richards.  This Illuminati played a pivotal role leading into Civil War, which would be fascinating for Marvel fan boys everywhere to see played out on the big screen.

     Enough about the story, what about about casting? For years Marvel fans have clamored for one man to inhibit the astral plane as Doctor Strange, and that is Viggo Mortensen.  In fact at one point Mortensen was even linked to the role of Doctor Strange in Thor the Dark world, but Marvel quickly dispelled that rumor.  Marvel execs told collider last year that they would love to work with Mortensen, but nothing was in the works.As much as I would love to see Viggo wield the eye of agamotto, it probably isn't happening. The role of Doctor Strange just doesn't seem like one that the Oscar nominated Mortensen would be interested in.  At this point as far as casting is concerned fan's will just have to hope Marvel lives up to it's current reputation of casting the right person in the role of their most beloved heroes.   

     If Disney/Marvel Studios current track record is any indication no matter what direction they decide to go with a Doctor Strange film, and his characters place inside their cinematic universe.  Comic and film fans can rest assured that the studio will give the Doctor Strange character the type of film treatment he deserves.  The question remains will we feel this same way entering phase 3 of the Marvel cinematic universe?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

J.J. Abrams is Directing Star Wars Episode 7

     J.J. Abrams is officially making the Trek from the final frontier to a galaxy far far away.  The man who revived the Star Trek franchise has been ask to do the same for the biggest film franchise in this galaxy, as the director of Star Wars Episode 7 which is slated to hit theaters Summer 2015.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Arnold is back, but is the Terminator franchise?

     The news broke earlier today via that indeed Arnold Schwarzenegger is confirmed for Terminator 5.  Now the question is where does the Terminator franchise go from here? The truth is even though Arnold is back, the franchise that used to be the pinnacle of the action genre might not be just yet.

Monday, January 21, 2013

TV Review: Fox's The Following Pilot (Confirmed: EPIC, 5 out of 5)

     At the end of Fox's pilot episode of The Following serial killer Joe Carroll (Mark Purefoy) told Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) this will be our masterpiece.  Well I don't know about that, but if the pilot is any indication The Following may be Fox's masterpiece.

Movie Review: The Last Stand (3.5 out of 5)

     Arnold is Back, and right where he needs to be headlining  R-rated action flicks once again!  When I first saw the trailer for that Last Stand late last year two things came to mind: How the hell can academy award winner Forrest Whitaker be in this film, and be given no starring credit in the trailer? And Good Lord Johnny Knoxville has a major co-starring role in this film.  So how in the God's name am I supposed to take this movie seriously? That being said it is Arnold's first return to a starring role in an action film since Terminator 3.  So of course being the sucker for mindless action that I am, as well as a fan of 80's and 90's action stars I had to check out Jee-Woon Kim's The Last Stand.

Bagged but not board: Superior Spider-man #1 (4 out of 5)

(WARNING this article contains spoilers for both Spider-man #700 and Superior Spider-man #1)

     As I said when the blog launched we will be reviewing some other things besides film such as comics hopefully with reviews to come of a few more of the Marvel Now # 1's such as Uncanny X-men and the Guardians of the galaxy,  but in the mean time what better place to start than a new beginning for Marvel's most beloved character in Dan Slott's Superior Spider-man #1.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Movie Review: Life of Pi (4 out of 5)

When I first saw the trailer for Life of Pi while it looked visually stunning I didn't know if it was a film I had to see.  Then once the Academy Awards Best Picture nominations came out and Ang Lee's Life of Pi made that list of nominees I figured I better check it out while I still could in theaters.  I was severely wrong when I thought Life of Pi wasn't for me,  because truth be told it is a film for everyone.  The stunning and fantastical images and characters are sure to capture the imagination of both children and adults, and in this case are only enhanced by Lee's masterful use of 3D.  However at its core Life of Pi  does so much more, which is to provide a thought provoking commentary on not just religion but more importantly faith in general regardless of whether you are an Atheist or the most devout follower.   

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lights Camera Action!

Welcome to thepicreview! I have been wanting to do a blog about the things I care about for sometime so lights, camera, action! This blog will focus mainly on film, but will frequently cross several bridges of entertainment such as: Television, Comics, and Collecting.  Yes the name of the blog is thepicreview, and while we will be doing a ton of reviewing of things from film to comics, we will also preview various arenas of geek culture, and hopefully provide thought provoking/entertaining commentary and discussion to the things that in the grand scheme of life don't mean much, but are the things that we love to enjoy.  Let the games begin!-the reel Brad Bell