Baltimore: FREE “Sinister Sundays at Marley Station! Wanna know how to get in?

B’more. Did you think I’d left you out with the DC Sinister Sundays? OF COURSE I DIDN’T FORGET YOU. I’ve got your hookup right here. Because horror movies at the multiplex means chills on all the levels — what better for August, amirite?

Same dealio.  Three films on three Sunday evenings in August.  Why don’t I let the fantastic PR posse do the tapping for me?

Revisit the films that inspired the SINISTER filmmakers at
Marley Station Theater for FREE on Sundays in August!

sinister 2 onesheet
WHAT:      To celebrate the release of Gramercy Pictures new film, SINISTER 2, Marley Station Theater will be screening some of the films that inspired the series for FREE. Marley Station Theater will be hosting FREE SINISTER SUNDAYS at 7:00PM on the below dates.

WHEN:
Sunday, August 9 – 7:00PM – THE RING (2002) / Rated PG-13
Sunday, August 16 – 7:00PM – NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) / Rated R
Sunday, August 23 – 7:00PM – SINISTER (2012) / Rated R

WHERE:   Marley Station Theater
                    7900 Ritchie Highway
                    Glen Burnie, MD 21061

*Each screening is limited to theater capacity and will be seated on a first come, first serve basis.   Food / Beverage is not included.

SINISTER 2

SINISTER 2 is the sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit horror movie. In the aftermath of the shocking events in “Sinister,” a protective mother (Shannyn Sossamon of “Wayward Pines”) and her 9-year-old twin sons (real-life brothers Robert and Dartanian Sloan) find themselves in a rural house marked for death as the evil spirit of Bughuul continues to spread with frightening intensity.

Starring James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Lea Coco, Robert and Dartanian Sloan

Directed by Ciarán Foy (“Citadel”)
Gramercy Pictures
Rated R
www.sinistermovie.com

In Theaters
Friday, August 21, 2015

And it’s the same deal with passes….
Read more of this post

DC Area! This August: “Sinster Sundays” at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse!

Hi there, my DC Area peeps! *waves* You say you want stuff in your neck of the woods? OKAY. I got you. In fact, I’ve got your August chill; “Sinister Sundays” will be hitting the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse! What’s that, you say? Well, peep the cool info from the lovely & talented PR posse:

Revisit the films that inspired the SINISTER filmmakers at
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for FREE on Sundays in August!

sinister 2 onesheet
WHAT:      To celebrate the release of Gramercy Pictures new film, SINISTER 2, Arlington Cinema & Drafhouse will be screening some of the films that inspired the series for FREE. Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse will be hosting FREE SINISTER SUNDAYS at 7:00PM on the below dates.

WHEN:      Sunday, August 9 – 7:00PM – THE RING (2002) / Rated PG-13

Sunday, August 16 – 7:00PM – NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) / Rated R

Sunday, August 23 – 7:00PM – SINISTER (2012) / Rated R

WHERE:     Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
                      2903 Columbia Pike
                     Arlington, VA 22204

*Each screening is limited to theater capacity and will be seated on a first come, first serve basis.   Food / Beverage is not included.

SINISTER 2

SINISTER 2 is the sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit horror movie. In the aftermath of the shocking events in “Sinister,” a protective mother (Shannyn Sossamon of “Wayward Pines”) and her 9-year-old twin sons (real-life brothers Robert and Dartanian Sloan) find themselves in a rural house marked for death as the evil spirit of Bughuul continues to spread with frightening intensity.

Starring James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Lea Coco, Robert and Dartanian Sloan
Directed by Ciarán Foy (“Citadel”)
Gramercy Pictures
Rated R

www.sinistermovie.com

In Theaters
Friday, August 21, 2015

Down for some classic chills? Well, lemme tell you how you can get yourself a seat…
Read more of this post

Off the Shelf: Arkham Manor

Arkham Manor cover

Nutshell: A strange, compelling hybrid of Batman Detective Comics and “New 52″ Batman, there’s plenty of tie-ins to the Bruce/Bat canon.  So much so that though it can be read as a stand-alone, it’s better if you know who’s who (or at least have your laptop close by to hit up Wiki when necessary.)  It’s a pity this series was cancelled, though this six-issue storyline does wind up nicely.  Grade: A-

Story: Arkham Asylum crumbles to the ground.  The inmates need a new place to stay.  Wayne Manor?  Why not?  But Wayne Arkham Manor has been transformed from a safe house to an asylum that is anything but safe; there’s a killer hiding in the walls.  And an even deadlier menace hiding in plain sight…

Best Lines:
“This house has terrible secrets!  It whispers them to me.”
“Men like this will never be tolerated. Especially not in my house.”

Goodies:  Variant covers, storyboards.  Love the Nathan Fox/Rico Renzi variant cover art for #3.  Bruce’s former home as a malevolent Jabba the Manor.  Groovy.

Thoughts:  I’ll say it; I picked up Arkham Manor because I wanted to know more about Sybil Silverlock, the mother of Olive in Gotham Academy.  But Manor is a fun ride all on its own, with plenty of twists, turns and dark spaces.  Oh, and spoiler: there’s not that much 411 o n Sybil, something that I hope will be rectified in future issues of GA.  Moving on…

Here in Manor, Bruce — after losing his familial wealth (or at least playing like he has) — lives in an apartment in the city with his trusty butler Alfred.  There’s no real fleshing out of why he’s lost the fortune (though I’m sure the events in Endgame didn’t help his situation), but I’m kinda digging The People’s Batman.  It’ll be interesting to see how Bruce/Batman deals with bad guys that became bad due to bad decisions/poverty/bum deals, now that Bruce himself is closer to the economic status quo.  Shawn Crystal’s art fits in nicely with the usual gritty Gotham vibe, but there’s a touch of realism, a feeling that Batman is on equal footing with the rest of the characters.  There’s no gussying up the lead here, everyone is literally painted with the same brush.  And it works.

But one thing; I’m not digging the scruffy Batman here.  It’s not a cool Fight Club scruff.  It’s a “wino under the bridge” scruff.  I get that he’s coming back from some incredibly rough times, but just no.  Especially when the next panel sees Bruce clean shaven.

And of course there’s the Gotham Academy and Endgame tie-ins.  Along with a mention of S.T.A.R. Labs, for you Flash fans.  Gotta love it when a universe comes together.

As Arkham Manor is one of the “New 52″ titles that has been cancelled — probably to make way for Convergence titles? — I wish they’d included Arkham Manor: Endgame in this TPB.  But with plenty of dangling strings that other titles/writers can pick up and play with, Arkham Manor is a creepy-cool quick read that I’m sure will echo through many storylines in future.

Publication 411:  Collects the complete Arkham Manor (#1-6).  Hits shelves July 28th, 2015.

Movie Review: Southpaw

southpaw onesheet

The one-two punch of Fuqua and Sutter delivers a film that’s more than just a rock ’em, sock ’em throwdown. (Though the Horner/Eminem score/soundtrack collaboration helps keep the adrenaline flowing.) Fight film fans will love the attention paid to The Sweet Science, while ac-TOR film fans will love the man-vs-himself/up-again-from-nothing plot. Grade: A-

Hello, and welcome to Awards Season!  Oh, you thought it was still Summer Blockbuster-palooza?  Well, not if you’re going by the current crop of grade-A dramas and documentaries hitting theaters right now.  Love & Mercy, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Dope and Clouds of Sils Maria are just a taste of the awesome that have been hitting the big screen since the snow melt. (Mad Max: Fury Road serves both masters, blockbuster and awards bait, and does so admirably.)  Southpaw is one more thinkpiece in among the explosions and superheroes, but the combination of brilliant acting and incredible fight choreography will, like Fury Road, please blockbuster and best-of fans. Read more of this post

The What/Why/How of Paper Towns

paper towns

Nutshell: Paper Town‘s plot feels cobbled together from every John Hughes film ever made, but with a dash of millennial ennui to make things “fresh”. That doesn’t work. Luckily, the talented cast of twenty-teen somethings do, making the shopworn story enjoyable. Grade: B

What is it: Paper Towns is a film based on a popular YA book from the guy who gave us The Fault in Our Stars.  And as with Stars, Towns has a rabid following.  The story here — about a guy whose senior year becomes interesting when the girl-across-the-door vanishes, leaving clues he follows to try to find her — is mostly a plot device for a teen road-trip/buddy tale.

Why should you see it: Enjoy YA?  Enjoy films like Can’t Hardly Wait, Some Kind of Wonderful and Sixteen Candles? Don’t mind a pedestal girl who doesn’t seem worthy of the adoration?  Then you’ll dig this film. Read more of this post

“Mississippi Grind” trailer puts Ryan Reynolds on the road and rolling high

mississippi grindYes, Reynolds blew everyone away with that SDCC Deadpool trailer.  But gotta say the trailer for Mississippi Grind is looking pretty sweet too.  No, Reynolds isn’t wearing spandex or blowing away bad guys in Grind (at least not from this trailer).  But it looks like a cool cross between bromance road trip comedies and Oceans Eleven.  Though gotta admit Reynolds’ costar Ben Mendelsohn had me thinking “did Martin Short have work done?  He looks so young!”  But no.  Different dude. But the performances Reynolds and Mendelsohn hint at in this trailer look like ones that could get some buzz in a few months time. (Hint: awards season)

Here’s the synopsis:

In this lively, freewheeling road movie, Emmy Award nominee Ben Mendelsohn plays Gerry, a talented but down-on-his-luck gambler whose fortunes begins to change when he meets Curtis (Ryan Reynolds), a younger, highly charismatic poker player.  The two strike up an immediate friendship and Gerry quickly persuades his new friend to accompany him on a road trip to a legendary high stakes poker game in New Orleans. As they make their way down the Mississippi River, Gerry and Curtis manage to find themselves in just about every bar, racetrack, casino, and pool hall they can find, experiencing both incredible highs and dispiriting lows, but ultimately forging a deep and genuine bond that will stay with them long after their adventure is over.

Reminiscent of classic 1970s American Cinema, Mississippi Grind is an unforgettable journey featuring two characters who—flawed as they may be—are always worth rooting for.  It’s a film about friendship, addiction, regret, family, and the paths we sometimes unexpectedly find ourselves on—told with empathy, humor, and a remarkable light touch by acclaimed filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson, It’s Kind of A Funny Story).

Mississippi Grind also stars Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Robin Weigert, and Alfre Woodard.

It is produced by Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell, who previously worked with Fleck and Boden on Half Nelson, and also produced The Place Beyond the Pines and Blue Valentine.

Check out the trailer below.  Pretty interesting, no?  Mississippi Grind hits theaters September 25th, but hits DirecTV August 13th.  Those sneaky devils.

Off the Shelf — New Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity

Suicide Squad Pure Insanity cover

Nutshell:  Just like Harley’s poor brain, New Suicide Squad: Pure Insanity is muddled and violent.  But unlike Harley, it’s not necessarily entertaining.  It has its moments, but as DC is already rebooting the lineup, I’m guessing they felt the same way.  Bonus points for the final issue, that introduces a new character I really want to get to know better. Grade: B

Story:  It’s a new day, and a new Suicide Squad Task Force X for Amanda Waller to try to corral.  But she’s got a new partner — Vic Sage — and a couple of assignments that will definitely put teeth into the task force’s nickname.  Onward, to Russia!

Best Lines:
“So while we get what we want, all anybody sees is just a bunch of lunatics doing what they’d probably be doing anyway.”
“A bunch of so called ‘super’ villains…who get beaten up by other people in tights on a regular basis?”
“I’m helping her.  I’m a psychiatrist.”

Goodies: Variant cover art gallery. (My favorite? The NSS #5 cover by Jeremy Roberts.  Breathtaking, and just a hint of Blade Runner.)

Thoughts:  Though touted as a reboot that anyone can jump in and enjoy, New Suicide Squad: Pure Insanity definitely benefits from a healthy knowledge of Task Force X backstory.  Waller “can’t be trusted anymore”? For newbies, that’s a head-scratcher comin’ straight out the gate.  In fact, the story takes of immediately.  A bit too suddenly, to be honest.  Maybe that’s because I’d like to see Harley and JD snap at each other a bit more, or at least check out how Waller got these folks to sign on to another round. BTW, the NSS lineup:
– Harley Quinn
– Joker’s Daughter
– Deadshot
– Deathstroke the Terminator
– Black Manta
– Boomerang
– Reverse-Flash
– Ninja Man-Bats (yeah.  You read that right. And they’re freakin’ awesome.)

Yep.  Putting together Harley and JD, Deadshot and Deathstroke…what could go wrong?  Well, there’s plenty, but Pure Insanity focuses on the insanity and less on character interaction.  Which is a shame, because part of the reason Suicide Squad appealed to me is getting to dig into the motivations behind these characters.  Why do they do what they do? Who are they behind the forces that drive them?  Not gonna get much of an answer here.

Gotta say I’m not loving Joker’s Daughter.  She’s just not doing it for me, other than the crazy cool cosplay possibilities.  She’s never met Joker, and yet she claims to know him.  Meh.  And before you say it; yes, I’m a huge Harley fan.  But even so, JD just feels like a mockup, a place-holder for a cool character they don’t know what to do with, or how to fully portray.  Same goes for Sage. He’s simply a brain aneurysm waiting to happen.  All bluster with nowhere to go.  He’s not an effective foil for Waller.  He’s simply a man who yells when he doesn’t get his way.  Yawn.

BTW, if you dig this NSS lineup, be aware that #9 sees a whole new post-Convergence roster.  (Regular DC readers will have seen the lineup back in February, thanks to Channel 52…which I’m sure will get its own revamp soon now that “New 52″ is a thing of the past.)  That should be a hint and a half that the powers-that-be weren’t impressed with the start of this series.  Me?  I have other reasons for being meh; of course they introduce Poison Ivy after Harley jets.  But I’m not bitter.  Nossir.  (Totally bitter.)

But in any case, writer Sean Ryan jump starts the story and it’s almost PWP for most of the story. (Note: DC does have a great primer on the NSS.  But as the lineup is switching up soon, I’d check out that link sooner rather than later.)  Gotta admit the art here is violence-tastic though, as are the gorgeous colors by Blond.

The pages and panels here can be a real pain in the ass to follow if you’re reading this digitally.  Page-by-page is rough with artist Jeremy Roberts switching from two-page spread panel format to single page format.  Half the time I had no idea what they were talking about…til I hit the right arrow button.  And then I had to go back to the last page and re-read it again.  Ripped me right out of the story.  I’m usually a fan of the two-page spread — and I bet these pages are killer in hard-copy —  but with digital editions it can be a hassle.  ProTip: don’t go digital with this book if you want an understandable flow.

The best part of Pure Insanity? The final issue/chapter, when we get a look at what the Rocket Red Brigade’s super-secret project, and get introduced to a member of the Brigade (perhaps a reboot of Gavril Ivanovich?) that has a decidedly different opinion than his compatriots.  Ryan does a wonderful job getting into this character’s head, and I’m dying to know more.

For die-hard Suicide Squad fans, and lovers of the ol’ ultraviolence.  Folks looking for something more along the lines of the movie currently in development may want to take a gander at the previous ‘Squad comics.

Publication 411: Collects New Suicide Squad #1-8.  Hits shelves July 21st, 2015.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 374 other followers

%d bloggers like this: