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A.P. Fuchs, author of The Axiom-man Saga ""
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Catwoman (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
Catwoman (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Halle Berry
Price: CDN$ 11.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, They Missed the Mark with This One, Jan. 25 2015
Patience Phillips overhears news of the terrible side effects of a skin cream that is being manufactured by the company she works for, Hedare Beauty, and is quickly silenced—fatally—for her eavesdropping. However, she comes back from the dead thanks to an Egyptian Mau cat and discovers she has cat-like abilities. Disguising herself as Catwoman, Patience seeks to learn the truth behind her own death.

Do you have any idea how excited I was when I heard they were making a Catwoman movie? I mean, it could be the greatest cat-burglar movie of all time loaded with super slick espionage, martial arts, sneaking around, Batman mythos references and/or cameos, strong-female-led action, cool costume(s) and more.

And then they made the movie they did.

Almost wish I could make this whole review two words—“no comment”—but that’d be cheating you guys.

This movie was not a Catwoman movie. I just don’t understand what they were trying to do here. Had this been a fan film and some attempted new take on the character, okay, fine, whatever, put it online and let people decide, but this was supposed to be the real deal. She wasn’t even called Selina Kyle in this. Instead, she was “Patience Phillips.” They tried to jazz up what is supposed to be a very down-to-earth origin and give it a mythology of its own. Okay, points for trying something new and superhero or supervillain origins are often tweaked or changed for the big screen. What makes Catwoman as a character awesome is the fact that she’s human, like Batman, and is basically his opposite. Not so in this one. She’s got cat-powers and while it was visually cool to watch her jump around and scale buildings and stuff, it’s just not who she is.

Halle Berry playing Catwoman is just fine. She’s sleek, sexy and pulls off the part. The problem is the story is not very good, the costume is terrible—how slinky and impractical can you get?—and there’s really nothing in this that ties it into the Batman universe. This is supposed to be a spin-off, but even spin-offs have a connection to the main source. i.e. the Elektra spin-off movie from Daredevil. Regardless of how you feel about that one, it’s still a spin-off and is known as such.

This was definitely a comic book movie in that they went for “comic booky” as the feel of it. Felt more direct-to-video to me, seemed rushed and just fell flat.

Catwoman is an awesome character and was resurrected in The Dark Knight Rises in a much more real world way. I hope that someday—hopefully sooner rather than later—another Catwoman flick is made and they really try to get it right. It has huge potential. Sadly, it was missed with this version here.

The Hospital Suite
The Hospital Suite
by John Porcellino
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.57
40 used & new from CDN$ 15.92

5.0 out of 5 stars An Extremely Honest Portrayal of Illness and Lessons, Dec 11 2014
This review is from: The Hospital Suite (Paperback)
This book is, quite simply, amazing. I've been a fan of John Porcellino's work for several years and when this book arrived in the mail, I got to reading it as soon as I could. John's honest portrayal of working through his illness and the aftermath that followed struck a chord with me on several levels. In fact, I just sent an email to John going into those things more in depth.

On the cartooning front, John is a masterful cartoonist and storyteller. This book kept me gripped from beginning to end and the art within complimented the story John was telling.

This book is highly recommended. Do yourself a favor: read it.

Von Herling, Vampire Hunter
Von Herling, Vampire Hunter
by Max West
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.12
15 used & new from CDN$ 10.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Vampire Tale, Dec 5 2014
As a fan of Max West's Sunnyville Stories, I was excited to give this yarn a read. Max does not disappoint. Von Herling is a classic vampire tale that sports thrills and chills all the while being acted out through anthropomorphic animals done is Max's patented style. There's rumors of a sequel so here's hoping Max hits the drawing board and comes through. Always looking for more from this creator. Well done, Max.

Sunnyville Stories, Volume 2
Sunnyville Stories, Volume 2
by Max West
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.50
9 used & new from CDN$ 12.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Continuation of an Amazing Series, Dec 5 2014
Sunnyville Stories Vol. 2 is a great continuation of Max West's landmark series. I'm a huge fan of the stories within this collection as well as Max's art. It's wonderful to find there is still good wholesome entertainment out there thanks to sagas like Sunnyville Stories. From what I hear, Sunnyville Stories is planned for 50 issues, which means there will be many more wonderful collections like this to come. Thanks, Max, for continuing to give us the further adventures of Sam and Rusty. Look forward to the next collection.

Sunnyville Stories, Volume 1
Sunnyville Stories, Volume 1
by Max West
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Wholesome Storytelling Full of Wit, April 16 2014
I've been following Max West on Twitter for quite sometime and finally got around to getting a copy of Sunnyville Stories Vol. 1.

I love this book. It's old-fashioned cartooning mixed with clever wit and wholesome storytelling. Most importantly, Max's comic series has the one thing that's missing from the mainstream comics of today: heart.

There's a soul to this book, one that made me feel good inside when reading it. The art is classic cartooning, with that down-to-earth quality that I love about indie comics. The stories are simple, relatable and enjoyable.

Do I want to read the next volume of Sunnyville Stories? You bet I do!

Count me a fan. This book is good stuff.


Captain America (1990) Matt Salinger, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty
Captain America (1990) Matt Salinger, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty

3.0 out of 5 stars A 1990s Good Time, Jan. 10 2014
Taking part in a secret super soldier experiment in the 1940s, Steve Rogers becomes the American icon Captain America. After an altercation with the Red Skull, he is trapped in ice for fifty years before being thawed out in 1993. Upon awakening, Steve must come to grips with being a man out of time and also that the Red Skull is still alive and is leader of a powerful crime family. Steve must track down the Red Skull, with each clue giving more insight into his own past and bringing him one step closer to his arch enemy to settle a fight that began half a century before.

This flick is your classic Captain America story, that is, his origin, his World War II beginnings, battling Red Skull, being frozen, awakening in the future and reconnecting with his old enemy who is still active.

I remember seeing this as a kid and liking it. Saw it recently a few years back and still liked it. It’s not the greatest superhero movie, but it still holds its own all these years later.

It’s very much Steve Rogers’s story as he’s Captain America for a little bit then isn’t for a good while, then is again in terms of him getting into costume. As a kid, you don’t care about story and just want to see the superhero. As an adult, you see the big picture so don’t mind the non-costumed parts. It’s a story about a journey, both for Steve and even for Red Skull as you watch Steve wrestle with himself for being from the past and how everything’s changed, and also the different things he finds out as he searches for his enemy.

The Captain America costume is very rubbery, but it’s way better than the one that appeared in the 1979 movies and looks pretty good overall. The shield rocks and when Captain America throws it, it’s got that cool swooshing-through-the-air sound effect, adding to its power.

I was totally fine with Matt Salinger as Steve Rogers. He had that all-American sensibility about him, was naïve in the right ways, learned in others, and filled out those big red boots nicely.

This is a solid Marvel movie that was made well before the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe of today and should be on the shelves of every superhero movie enthusiast out there.


Blade III: Trinity
Blade III: Trinity
DVD ~ Wesley Snipes
Price: CDN$ 8.99
13 used & new from CDN$ 1.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Okay Ending to the Trilogy, Jan. 10 2014
This review is from: Blade III: Trinity (DVD)
3.5 out of 5

Things come to a head in this thrilling final chapter in the Blade Trilogy, pitting Blade against Drake aka Dracula, the king daddy of all vampires. Teaming up with Hannibal King and Abigail Whistler, the trio seeks to take down Dracula before he can create more daywalkers and eliminate Blade forever.

If you’re going to bring things to a head and have a final showdown between the good guy and a major bad guy, you need to ensure that your major bad guy is a big deal and you don’t really get any more big deal than Dracula. Created by Bram Stoker and based on the historical and infamous Vlad the Impaler, Dracula was the first vampire ever and has since become not only the most famous one, but has tons of media under his namesake including movies, books, TV shows, cartoons, songs—everything. And that’s just him never mind the countless media sporting all the vampires he inspired. Taking a vampire hunter like Blade and putting him up against Dracula makes good sense to me.

Except the Dracula in this movie is pretty so-so, which doesn’t cut it, in my opinion. I was expecting an ultra-powerful vampire, one that would give even the Reapers in Blade II a run for their money in terms of villain awesomeness. Instead, I was given a strong vampire, but not the ultimate vampire. Too bad, too, because having him as a bad guy is an awesome idea.

As always, Wesley Snipes leads the flick as the titular hero, picking up right where he left off in Blade II and staying consistent in character start to finish.

Having Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King—I’m a Reynolds fan. Put him in the right role and you’re guaranteed something good. Not sure how he stacks up against his comic book counterpart, but for this flick, not only was he tough as all get out and kicked all sorts of butt, but the comedic elements he brought had me laughing out loud more than once and yet such jokes worked in this movie and didn’t seem out of place.

Jessica Biel as Abigail Whistler—who doesn’t like a strong woman who can hold her own and fight vampires? I appreciated the seriousness she brought to the role and was a nice counterbalance to Hannibal King.

Kris Kristofferson was briefly back as Whistler, Abigail’s father. Won’t say more as I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen the flick yet.

This movie has solid action throughout, but I wish the climactic battle between Dracula and Blade was more epic. Seemed average, but that could just be me. Really liked this movie on the whole, though. It was the Dracula angle that brought it down a notch solely because there was more they could’ve done in terms of raising the stakes with such a villain.

In the end, it’s a decent send-off for Blade and a pretty good bookend to the trilogy.

Go check it out.

Blade II
Blade II
DVD ~ Wesley Snipes
Price: CDN$ 12.95
22 used & new from CDN$ 1.91

4.0 out of 5 stars This Sequel Delivers with a Unique Concept!, Jan. 10 2014
This review is from: Blade II (DVD)
A major virus is sweeping the through the vampire community and transforming its hosts into creatures called Reapers, who have a thirst for blood worse than vampires, are near invulnerable, and who can also pass the virus on to victims of their own. Worse, they feed on both human and vampire alike. Desperate to stop these creatures, the vampire community strikes a truce with Blade and gets him to help them fight these awful creatures. As Blade carves his way through the Reapers, he finds out their sinister origin and must put a stop to the Reaper vampires once and for all.

The thing with sequels is you gotta go bigger and better than the first one. It’s not always easy and usually fails, however there are exceptions and Blade II is such an exception. Instead of just simply pitting Blade against more vampires, he now has to fight alongside them and stop a common enemy. How does that go? “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”? That’s what’s happening here and is a unique take on the vampire mythos and takes Blade to the next level.

Wesley Snipes is back as the Daywalker, and does everything right in this flick like he did in the first movie: tough, sweet action, martial arts, swordplay, solid acting and more. It’s always great when you can see the actor enjoys what they’re doing—or convinces you they are—instead of merely phoning it in as is sometimes the case when an actor keeps reprising a role.

Kris Kristofferson is back, too, which is awesome because Whistler is a big part of the first movie and this one might’ve felt hollow without him. How they bring him back after what happened in the last movie was also clever.

The Reapers—total killers with sweet SFX, brutal savagery and they make the regular vampires look like a bunch of modern day angsty vamps by comparison. Always a good thing when you up the ante on the bad guy.

I really liked this sequel, especially because, like I said, it had a fresh take on the slayer-vs-vampire mythos and I’m all about fresh takes. The story moved along at a good clip, kept me engaged, and makes me have a good time every time I have a Blade movie marathon.

Awesome stuff, Blade II.

Recommended like the first.

Blade [Blu-ray]
Blade [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Wesley Snipes
Price: CDN$ 8.73
32 used & new from CDN$ 3.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, Dec 30 2013
This review is from: Blade [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Half-human/half-vampire Blade makes war on the undead--that's the vampire undead, I'm talking--and tries to dismantle the vampire underworld piece by piece. He soon meets Karen, a hematologist, who was bitten by a vampire. Before the change occurs, she researches how a possible cure can be attained. Meanwhile, Deacon Frost, a rising star in the vampire community, believes he can become even more powerful by awakening the blood god La Magra. The problem is he needs the blood of the "daywalker"--Blade--to achieve it.

Blood and carnage ensue as Blade tries to stop the vampire world from rising to supremacy while also battling the bloodthirsty vampire within himself in this thrilling monster superhero movie extravaganza.

For me, Blade was the "prequel" movie to the start of the superhero box office comeback, which would later be kicked off by X-Men. It was almost as if studios were testing the waters with a serious superhero movie using a lesser known character and disguising him as a "slayer" to see how audiences would react. That's my superficial first impression, but then when you get into Blade and watch it you soon find out there is far more here than just a slayer-vs-vampire flick. Is he a superhero? Yes, but not your conventional one. There is no secret identity, no costume per se--though he does sport a cool trench coat and sword--and no standard supporting character in the vein of a love interest. Instead, you get a conflicted man who's part vampire who's trying so desperately to tame the beast within while also doing what's right: killing vampires and helping those who get caught in the crossfire. Sounds like a superhero to me.

Wesley Snipes as Blade is sheer awesomeness. He's tough as nails, got the martial arts moves, is dark and handles himself like someone who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Which is true, of course, as he's doing his best to keep the vampires at bay, namely the ambitious ones who would seek to subdue, even eradicate, the human race.

Kris Kristofferson is dynamite as Whistler, Blade's father-figure, friend and mentor. Talk about a tragic origin for this guy and one that tugs at the heartstrings. He's the perfect example of a man trying to make things right because something so wrong was done to him and those he loved. Plus "Kris Kristofferson" is a cool name so he gets points just for that.

I liked Stephen Dorff as Deacon Frost, a cocky villain who knows how powerful he is and is tired of others trying to "keep a good vampire down." He'd make an amazing Bat-villain, in my mind, just by the way he plays villains--confident, dark, a tad witty--maybe Riddler? I mean, the real Riddler, the one who's serious and not a slapstick goofball like in Batman Forever.

Blade's exciting from start to finish, with action sequences and slayer-vs-vampire moments that make you want to hit the rewind on the remote and watch 'em again. I'm really glad they made two other sequels because Blade's a character with endless story possibilities because both him and his universe go beyond the simple slayer-vs-vampire motif. Like a Transformer, there's more to him than meets the eye and this flick does a great job of showing that. No wonder it did so well at the box office and earned about triple its budget.


Batman: Year One [Blu-ray]
Batman: Year One [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Bryan Cranston
Price: CDN$ 9.96
26 used & new from CDN$ 9.96

5.0 out of 5 stars An Awesome Origin for the Batman!, Dec 30 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
4.5 out of 5

After spending many years abroad, Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to fulfill the vow to rid it of crime that he made to his deceased parents when he was a boy. At the same time, Chicago cop James Gordon moves to Gotham to start with the GCPD. Soon, Bruce adopts the identity of the Batman and makes war on Gotham's crime families, with James Gordon hot on his tail as the cop tries to take down the vigilante crime fighter.

I love origin stories. The mythology of characters, their history, their motivations, the events leading up to the creation of a super identity--all of it's gold in my book. Batman: Year One is such a story, giving you not only Batman's origin, but the chance to walk a mile in his shoes during his first year as a crime fighter. You get to see him test the waters, make mistakes, have some wins and losses, and watch as he earns the trust of Gotham's finest.

This movie is a down-to-earth story about Batman and James Gordon, very much a crime story versus a superhero-vs-supervillain tale. Batman deals with real world criminals in real world ways. You also get a glimpse into the hard life he leads, what he gives up to be Batman, and how he balances life as a fool in the public eye so he could be a fear to the criminal underworld at night.

You also get to see a different side of James Gordon, the marriage trouble, his humanity, and the plight of being a good cop in a bad town. His portrayal makes him every bit a hero as Batman in this story.

This flick is based on the one-shot comic book by comics superstar Frank Millar and matches the book's style for the most part, really bringing it to life.

This is a story of beginnings so the pacing is different than what most people are used to, and instead of having a beginning, middle, big lead up to a climax then end, it has--to me, anyway--more of a beginning, middle and then part of an end because it's really a prequel to all the other Batman stories that come after it. Which is fine. It works, but I remember going, "Is that it?" when it ended after I first watched it.

I'm glad that Batman's first year was brought to the small screen and I hope more first year stories are made for other heroes. Superman next would be great.


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