DC: Flywheel Dupont has a Fantastic (Four) Experience for ya!

fantastic four 2015Okay fine.  There’s no promo screening for Fantastic Four DC.  But how’d you like to feel like a superhero?  Flywheel Dupont has the hookup.  On August 4th, they’ve got a special Fan4stic Flywheel Experience, and you can sign yourself up!  (First come first served, natch.  But once you have your reservation it’s yours, baby.)

Not sure what the Fan4stic Flywheel Experience entails, but if you go and suddenly are able to become invisible, stretch yourself thin, create fire from air, or turn to stone?  Please give me details. ALL THE DETAILS.

Speaking of, head to FLYWHEELSPORTS.COM, create an account, and then e-mail your username to FANTAS_TORQ4@YAHOO.COM.  Boom. (And btw, fants-torq4. Awesome.  I see what they did there.)

Fantastic Four hits area theaters August 7th, 2015.  Now go get your spin on!

Flywheel Fantastic Four Dupont

 

Vacation: the death-knell of road trip movies? No, but close.

vacation onesheet

Wanna see Vacation? I feel bad for you son. It’s got 99 minutes…and there’s no fun.  Grade: D

Yep.  Chalk this one up to the ol’ cash-grab; Vacation proves that even if you pick proven funny folks to headline your film, it doesn’t mean it’ll actually be funny.

Story?  Sure.  Rusty — you remember the boy child from National Lampoon’s Vacation, right? — is all grown up.  Just like his dad, he’s a mess of a man who nonetheless enjoys every bit of his life.  And just like dad, he’s married to a beautiful woman who is way out of his league.  When Rusty’s yearly cabin vacation gets shot down by the wife Debbie and their kids, he decides to do the one thing you should never do; revisit history.  So a cross-country trip, wedging in a visit to sis Audrey and the ‘rents because why not.  Best week ever!  Cue “Holiday Road”!

Ed Helms and Christina Applegate do their level best to give Rusty and Debbie depth beyond the punchline-fodder they’re trotted out to be.  Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins play the New Griswold Kids, James and Kevin.  And after about 3 minutes I wanted to punch Kevin in the mouth, and I’m so not that gal.  It’s one thing to write a character that’s a total jerk douchebag, it’s another to give him absolutely no redeeming value and then make him one of the folks you’re supposed to root for.  SPOILER — don’t worry, you’ll see this coming if you decide to waste your money — James finally gives a smack-down to Kevin.  But it’s not as enjoyable as it should be.  Nothing in this movie is.
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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….
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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

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