Reporting from AFI Fest 2012 Presented by Audi
Let’s take a moment and thank Mike Myers. And, Jason Bourne.
It was in 1997 that Myers unleashed Austin Powers onto the world. A send-up of mod, '60s spy movies, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (as well as its sequels of diminishing returns) left no detail of the spy movie unmocked. The James Bond movies were hit the hardest, but, then again, they were always the biggest targets. Myers played the dual roles of Austin Powers (he of the Connery-like chest hair) and the Blofeld-like supervillain Dr. Evil. Whether it was Roger Moore’s embarrassing use of the judo chop as a means of self-defense or the villains’ ridiculous plans for world domination or their inability to just shoot Bond in the head, Myers and company did an admirable job of pointing out for our amusement the more absurd aspects of the James Bond movies.
New on the Tube is a series devoted to reviewing relatively new television shows and determining how they may (or may not) appeal to their intended audiences, where the shows are going, and what can be done to make them better.
The result of a military experiment gone horribly wrong, Vincent Keller is a highly adaptable man with medical knowledge and a keen interest in keeping himself off the grid. Catherine Chandler, a brilliant NYPD detective, encounters Keller while investigating one of her crimes and finds out that the two of them have a shared history from the night her mother died. Determined to find out the truth about things, Catherine is often at odds with Keller’s desire to remain unknown to the government, as well as an overwhelming attractiveness between the two that sparks a lot of tension. The show airs on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW.
This ain’t no March of the Penguins! Like some passionate, forbidden collaboration between Walt Disney and Quentin Tarantino, Penguins vs. Possums is an angry stampede of fur and feathers like nothing you’ve ever seen before. By Sebastian Kadlecik, John Bring, and Lindsay Calhoon, Penguins vs. Possums initially catches your eye with the ridiculously fun concept, hooks you with tongue-in-cheek humor, and then reels you in so completely with its powerful story and character work. It is undoubtedly one of my favorite comics being made today.
The Thought Bubble Anthology is a collection of short comic stories collected for the Thought Bubble Festival in the UK. The festival is a celebration of comics, and that is reflected in the anthology. The comic is essentially a sampler with a focus on our love of comics.
Perhapanauts is a cross between the BPRD and Torchwood. The team is made up of several monsters, a psychic, and Jerry O’Connell from Sliders. No, that wasn’t an invitation to White Castle. The monsters on the team include Bigfoot, the Mothman, Chupacabra, and a ghost. If the premise doesn’t make you chuckle a little, then the comic should. I can say that this is one of those comics that does a great job of balancing several different layers of humor, from picking your nose with cheeto fingers to some things that are funny. In a one-page extra, we find the best superpower ever: ice-cream headaches.
What if The Manhattan Project wasn't just about building a nuclear bomb but was only one of hundreds of dangerous and potentially world-changing projects at work? The Manhattan Projects follows the geniuses behind the project and puts them up against all sorts of new problems which they must figure out how to overcome WITH SCIENCE! In this latest issue of The Manhattan Projects, the team continues to focus on the dangers from other worlds by turning to the Russian science think tank Star City with a most unusual offer.
There’s a full splash page in this comic where a Tyrannosaurus rex, wearing a robotic exoskeleton, charges in and shouts “Today for snack, it’s missiles, and I brought enough for everyone.” End of review. Just go by this comic right now; there is nothing else you need to know. What? You’re still here? Fine, I’ll review the comic, but, honestly, there’s a dinosaur that shoots missiles, how cool is that? Super Dinosaur takes every single daydream that you used to have as a seven-year-old and mashes them together into a funny, heartwarming, and incredibly entertaining comic book. It’s like they found a way to bundle all of the joyful energy of a grade school jungle gym into a monthly comic.
When I first heard about this series, I wasn’t sure what to think of it; I’m a fan of Japanese culture and have a huge interest in feudal Japanese history, so I was afraid that they wouldn’t do the Japanese culture justice, but I was wrong. The comic is fast-paced, it’s able to tell the story succinctly, and is very entertaining. Dark Horse, you have gained my interest; now just keep it.
Brady, Cheeks, and Haley continue their ‘verse-jumping adventure through iconic and geeky genres in Dark Horse Comics’ digital release this week of Husbands #3: A Case of Assumption. At this point, if you’ve been following my previous reviews, you’re probably tired of hearing over and over about how frakkin’ enjoyable this book is, but don’t blame me! It’s completely the fault of writers Jane Espenson and Brad "Cheeks" Bell, who are simply refusing to turn down the awesomeness by even a notch!
Reporting from AFI Fest 2012 presented by Audi
Not everything needs to be a movie.
As a lifelong film geek, I understand the desire to see a favorite piece of material play out on the big screen, but some things weren’t meant to translate as a movie. Don’t get me wrong; I get the instinct to see your favorite stories or characters played out on beautiful CinemaScope. I’ve been planning my sure to be ill-fated movie version of The Catcher in the Rye since I was 15 or 16. (Young Leonardo DiCaprio would have made such an awesome Holden Caulfield!) Some properties just aren’t going to translate well.
And yet, we plow right ahead. Something’s a huge bestselling book? Make a movie out of it. A gigantic hit on Broadway? Make a movie out of it. A hugely popular video game? Make a movie out of it. A line of popular toys? Make a movie out of it. But, just because something works well in one medium doesn’t mean it will translate well to another. (I’d go a step further and argue that there will never be a good feature film made from a video game, as a movie takes away the best part of the game - that you get to be the main character.)
Walter Salles’ film version of Jack Kerouac’s classic novel, On the Road, suffers from this syndrome. Despite obvious care and attention, it just doesn’t work well as a movie.