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Phillip Kelly

Phillip Kelly (186)

‘The Interview:’ Movie Review

I should be reading a comic right now or going to bed, but I just saw the new film from writer/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The same team that brought you This is the End, Pineapple Express, and Superbad. (Though not officially one of their films, Neighbors was extremely funny.) All hilarious movies. Unless you’re deaf to the world around you, you’ve heard of their newest outing, The Interview, a studio comedy that has accidentally found itself becoming a beacon for the Second Amendment, a cultural phenomenon, rising to the ranks of folk hero cult status, which it most likely wouldn’t have received otherwise. But, as we sat in the local, indie theatre (Yo, Cinefamily!), the energy in the room was palpable, curiosity was high, and, once the film started, no one stopped laughing. So, maybe it would have reached some of those levels. This was probably my favorite comedy experience in a theatre since watching Young Frankenstein in a room full of fans. Everybody knew what they wanted, and they got it. Everyone in that theatre simply connected as a community and found synchronicity.

I picked up Big Trouble in Little China #1 a while back and wasn’t sold. I’m a huge fan of the film. I watched it every day over the course of a summer one year in my youth, but with the first issue from BOOM! Studios, they lost me in the first five pages.

I was curious to come back to it at Issue #7, and, I have to say, it’s managed to pull a complete 180. We find Jack and Wang searching for Egg, who has been kidnapped by exactly the kind of creature-being you want to see in a Big Trouble in Little China story – the Seven-Headed Widow! Jack’s rat-a-tat speech rhythms are put to outstanding use. He’s still a stumbling buffoon whose two main personality attributes are charisma and bravery, and little else.

Abigail is new to town. Her only friend is her invisible dog Claude. As in most cases, and I was on the receiving end of this often while growing up, new kids aren’t treated very well by other kids. Also, Abigail’s dad has lost the job he just got but claims to be a great electrician, so his attention is suddenly focused on finding employment. With Abigail’s birthday coming soon, things aren’t looking up for her. Until she meets a Yeti at the local park.

Josie Schuller is a lady and she’s a killer, so the title tells us and so it is. This new book from Dark Horse Comics falls in line with their brand of comics, offbeat and edgy. Written by Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich, who previously worked together on Oni Press’ 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, You Have Killed Me, and Spell Checkers, the offbeat nature of Lady Killer makes for a fun read.

The Woods is created and written by James Tynion IV. I know him from his excellent work on Batman and Batman Eternal with Scott Snyder, both phenomenally well-told series. He has his creator-owned title, The House in the Wall, and from the looks of it, he also has a Wonder Woman title coming out soon. I have been looking for a good time to jump into The Woods to see what tales Tynion spins on his own, and Issue #9 promised to be a good time to jump into the mix. So, I did.

I wrote an entire review for this and am scrapping it, because I realized something: Drug and Drop is not written for me. It’s not written so that a 36-year-old American male can understand it. I’m not even close to its target audience.

So, much to my Managing Editor’s frustration, I’m submitting an entirely new review.

Really? Are you sure you’ve never heard of Lone Wolf and Cub? This is one of the most definitive comic books in Japanese history – in all of comic book history. It is a true classic. First released in 1970, there have been six films, four plays, a televisions series (Thank you, Wikipedia – seriously, donate some money to them.), and is, as far as I’m concerned, a masterpiece, high art, and fricking awesome.

Gail Simone (Secret Six, Wonder Woman) and Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Makeshift Miracles) spin a simple tale that goes where a typical story normally wouldn’t go but exactly where you want it to go when it’s Conan Red Sonja. It’s not an origin story, but a meet-cute (as it were) between these two characters long before they are to become the legends they will be. They’re really kind of jerks with a swaying sense of allegiance. If you’ve ever seen Zatoichi vs. Yojimbo (Japanese film starring the individual films’ titles characters), you hope that these anti-hero antics will continue until they match that level of brilliance.

Now’s the time to buy Dark Horse Presents again with Issue #6 (nee #199). As it proclaims on the cover page, it's the 2014 Best Anthology for the Eisner Award, Harvey Award, and Stumptown Comic Arts Award. That’s some heavy baggage to carry on any flight. It’s like being told you’re going to get a comfortable, hassle-free flight to anywhere ever these days. I’ll believe it when it happens. Consider me a believer; I couldn’t put this issue down.

I am a huge fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I just recently watched again to show my girlfriend, because she really wanted to see The Legend of Korra. I told her, no – Avatar first.

Let me tell you how much I love The Legend of Korra, which I’m currently making my way through Season Three. The world is rich and the characters even richer. It’s more than just a cartoon, it’s an experience. I adore the art deco-enhanced, fantasy-sci-fi designs whirl-winded together in Republic City that harken back to the gangster-ridden, screwball world of the 1920s and 1930s cinema. The music, the animation, the “talkie” voice-over recap at the beginning – everything. Just thinking about it makes me spasm with joy. The creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, have endless amounts of creativity to spare. To get a behind-the-scenes look at how this world came to be, one would think would be an absolute treat . . . and it is. With the new year, Nickelodeon is publishing The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series - Book Three: Change. Is it worth it? Let me break it down.

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