Hello, friends!

I’m back after a miserably long absence- for which I sincerely apologize.

But forget that! Let’s pretend I’ve been here the whole time.

I’m happy to say that my blissful return is marked by a review of one of the first comedies of 2016.

On Friday January 15, 2016, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart return to the big screen with the sequel (Ride Along 2) to their previous flick, Ride Along, that received a lukewarm response from viewers.

I personally fell asleep when I saw the original Ride Along, but to be fair, I was on a date which was equally as miserable and boring as the movie. The movie wasn’t funny and neither was my date. Do with that what you will.

BUT I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Ride Along 2.

I still personally felt that Ice Cube’s character needed more “oomph,” he had some funny lines but Kevin Hart definitely pulls all the comedic weight.

I was also happy to see one of my many woman crushes, (yes- straight women also have woman crushes, instagram hashtags and all) Olivia Munn in this movie. She made up for the fact that Tika Sumpter, who plays Kevin Hart’s fiance/wife in the film is poorly cast and isn’t convincing in her character whatsoever.

As a whole, the movie was cute. Entertaining in it’s own right but by no means the funniest movie I’ve ever seen.

If you didn’t see the preceding Ride Along, don’t waste your time. You will be more than able to follow the sequel without wasting your precious time snoozing through the first. I do recommend seeing Ride Along 2 even though I wasn’t completely blown away by it. It is still a good choice for your weekend movie dates or family night out to the movies.

Please feel free to like and share this review on social media, and leave comments below of anything you’d like me to review next. 🙂


She (Kady)



Minions Movie 2015Remember how in the glory days of film, there were certain actors who were character actors. They were never meant to be leading men or women and for the most part, not suited to be. That’s how i felt after watching the movie minions. Now to be fair, I’m not the target audience. But even the target audience would have a tough time with this film. The Minions are cute as hell, though it’s tough to understand their spanishy gibberish and after a while, it got tiresome. But the main issue I had is they serve a perfect purpose as side players in a movie, occasional sweetness and comic relief, but not enough to carry a film. And Sandra Bullock’s villainess,  Scarlet Overkill, was just ehh. There were some amusing parts,such as the wholesome villain family that picks up the Minions for a ride to Villain Con, but that was about it. In the words of my daughter, it felt like a ten minute short that went on for 90 minutes.They’re cute as heck and the movie is harmless fun. But here’s hoping they learn their lesson and return them to the Despicable Me movies where less is definitely more.

Grade – (over 10 years old) D

Grade – (under 10) C

Buy the far better movies below:

despicable-meDespicable Me 2

Free Comic Book Day 2015 – Who We Should Thank

Free Comic Book Day

This is the first year in a very long time that I decided to check out what Free Comic Book Day has to offer. To say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement. I stopped at two comic shops in the Tampa area, both very far from my home or office but I chose them for different reasons. Here’s the story.

Yancy St Comics in New Port Richey – My first stop.

I chose Yancy St because two of my favorite creators were going to be there, Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan. If you don’t know who they are, shame on you. Besides creating one of the most memorable Batman villains ever, Bane, these guys are the pros pros. Chuck is a great writer, his run on Airboy is till missed by me today, and Graham was one of the best Bat artists. His latest book, Joe Frankenstein is something to read. A real fun book, highly recommended by moi. Anyway back to Yancy, I took a major schlep over there expecting very little and boy was I surprised. First I found out they’re located in a mall, always a good sign for me. I’ve been a proponent of shops in highly trafficked areas forever (too many shops go too cheap when it comes to locations to rent). Well in front of the shop, it looked like a mini-convention, with artist tables, a podium with announcements and giveaways, it had the feel of a carnival. Tons of fun. Then I entered the store and except for one pet peeve of mine, new comics encased in bags (discourages browsing), the shop was a delight. And to really blow it out, they had EVERY GRAPHIC NOVEL AT 50% OFF!!!!! And there were kids and teenagers everywhere I looked. First sign that times have changed.

Emerald City Comics – My second stop

I went to Emerald City because I believe it to be the best shop in the Tampa Bay area (though Yancy St may be tied for first now that I’ve been there). It’s the only shop I go to with any frequency. It is a full service comic store, the kind you expect in bigger cities. ECs special guests were two of my favorite people in comics, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner and I would have loved to have caught up with them some more but there was a huge line and I didn’t want to be a dick and make people wait longer than they should have. As soon as I saw them, what did I see? Once again I saw little kids enjoying the day. One especially cute little girl hugged Amanda as a thank you. It made me ferklempt and gave me hope for the future. It’s not a secret that one of the biggest failings of the comic industry has been an aging fanbase (and catering to them, a topic for another day). However in all my xxxx years of being a fan and in the business in various ways, I can safely say there has never been a time when it was COOLER to like comics. When I used to go to shops, we never saw girls, EVER! Let alone good looking ones. And little kids were non-existent unless a dad brought them in. And here we are and cute girls of all ages are buying comics, enjoying them discussing them, buying toys etc. and little kids are excited about meeting a creator. Very very cool. A long way from hiding my love of comics from the people around me when I was a youngun. So who is responsible for this? What changed? In my opinion there are three people that stand out. And here they are in no particular order.

Chuck Lorre – The Big Bang Theory not only made comics seem cool, they also made going to the comic shops seem like a fun times. The biggest hit on TV showed us Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj doing their weekly visit to Stewart’s shop and made us all want to join them (even Penny did on more than one occasion). Thank you Chuck, I’d love to know if you were a comic geek too.

Kevin Feige – Marvel Films. The visionary behind the Marvel movie blockbusters, who remembered to make sure the movies were fun and escapist, so ALL-AGES and fans and non-fans alike, could enjoy them. Something the comic book divisions have forgotten (another topic for another day). The movies do it right and starting out with Iron Man (a B character in the comics), but realizing it works better in a movie (and with merchandise and toys) was genius. Kids love the Avengers and buy the toys, which could lead them into a love of comics (so publishers, don’t drop the ball).

Finally, the one I want to thank the most, is the least know name of the bunch and that is Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics in Concord, California, the creator of Free Comic Book Day. When I was co-running Future Comics with Iron Man legend Bob Layton, we wanted to bypass Diamond Distributors and sell directly to the retailers. So I got to speak with a lot of them and my favorite was Joe. When speaking with him, I always felt that eh cared not only about his own store, but the future of comics and especially the future generation of comic fans. The love was genuine so it’s no surprise that he was the one who came up with this wonderful idea, which has grown into such a monumental event. And it looks to me like it’s doing exactly what he had hoped, which was bring in new readers to the shops. Well done Joe!



religfreedommaps-1_v2Is it possible to have a rational discussion about the Indiana Religious Restoration Act? I have some questions for BOTH sides.

For those opposed, here are my questions:

  1. Do you also boycott any companies doing business with anti-gay regimes like in the middle east? If not, what is the difference? Wouldn’t a country where you can be put to death for being gay be worse than possible refusal of service?
  2. What is the number one fear that you have regarding the law to cause such an outrage, especially when 19 other states have it as well?
  3. If the governor also put in to play an anti-discrimination law protection for gays, would that make the issue go away? If not, why?
  4. Do you believe that religious people have the right to practice their religious belief? For example can a baker refuse to make a penis cake for anyone, let alone a gay person, if it’s against his beliefs? This includes Muslim bakers.
  5. Related to question 1, if gay rights are so important to you, do you support the only regime in the middle east who is gay friendly against the rest where it is considered an abomination and punishable by death? If not, why?
  6. Should an SEO company, owned by Jews or African Americans, be allowed to turn down traffic building jobs for the KKK and their messages? Should a gay person be able to turn down the same for websites spouting anti-gay messages?
  7. What is the number one thing you wish the other side understood?

For those in favor, here are my questions:

  1. Why do you feel this law was even needed?
  2. What has happened recently for you to feel this is needed?
  3. Is the law the best way to ensure your needs are met?
  4. Do you believe the country should be governed by religious values or is it a freedom issue for you?
  5. How do you feel about gay rights in general?
  6. Why do you believe, if you do, that this is not discriminatory?
  7. Using the hypothetical Christian baker, should he be allowed to refuse service to gays or just gay themed products? Why?
  8. What is the number one thing you wish the other side understood?



Harsh Truth About Comics

I just read a fascinating article about the top 10 harsh truths about comics and I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one thinking about these issues. I agree with most, if not all of them, and have pontificated on this topic ad nauseum.

Here is the original story link:

WhatCulture.com Story Link

Here are my thoughts.

10 and 9. “They Are Kinda Childish”, “But Barely Any Are For Kids Any More”

Yes yes yes and it’s not a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with appealing to the child within with escapist fantasy. I’ve gotten vitriol from so-called fans who lambasted me for saying, for example, that superheroes are inherently childish. I don’t care how bad-ass you make Batman, he is still a guy who dresses up to fight crime. It’s a kid fantasy. Disney embraces this but aging fanboys do not. The irony is, the times it is the most IMMATURE, is when they try to forcibly make these childlike fantasies mature, often having the exact opposite effect. The author points this out perfectly with the examples. Batgirl getting raped doesn’t make you a cool writer or the character more mature, it shows how immature you really are. This subset of comic fandom wants to up the ante and have the comics grow up with them and in the end result, they bare little resemblance to not only what made them great, but have ruined them for the mainstream audience. Marvel’s movies get this far more than the comics themselves. There is far more camaraderie, humor, fun escapism in any of the best Marvel movies than in all the marvel books combined.

8. “A Lot Of Them Are Total Garbage”

100% true. A lot of this is because of the sheer volume of books that come out every month, which waters down the talent, and makes the characters less special. Here is one of those “when I was a kid” moments. When I was a kid, I could buy every single Marvel and DC book every month. That would be an impossibility today for 99% of the kids and even the adults. With multiple Bat books, Spider books etc. they have watered down the specialness of these heroes. And have killed the delicious waiting for the next issue that fans like me used to have, waiting 30 painful days for the next Wolfman/Perez Titans or Frank Miller’s Daredevil. And like anything else, when you put out such volume, 99% will be crap. When you’re selective, like Netflix or HBO, you not only have creators competing to be on the channel, you get the best for the most part. Imagine a Marvel with one main Spiderman book, where the best writers and artists fight to get hired on to, the cream will rise to the crop.

7. “They’re The Geek Equivalent Of Soap Operas”

When done right, it’s a good thing, an enjoyable escape from the real world. When done bad, oh boy. You get obsessive continuity laden stories that prevent a newbie from getting hooked.

6. “Crossover Events Are Total Rip-Offs”

Without question. Now there is a difference between a mini or maxi-series that is an event and a CROSSOVER event where you need to buy all these books to keep up. That is a plain ole rip-off, strong-arming you out of your hard-earned money. I wonder if years of doing this, along with the previously mentioned volume of junk, are part of the reasons why fans have dropped off. It used to be I’d stick with a title for completist sake. Now with the constant renumbering and expense involved, I haven’t done it in years.

5. “There’s A Whole Lotta Sexism Going On”

Here is where I partially agree with the author. They are sexist in many ways but it IS supposed to be fantasy and I have no problem with male and female heroes looking a certain way or wearing fantasy costumes. And I’m not the only, see the growing cosplay trend. The problem is when they go too far. Wonder Woman’s costume was NOT a problem. But there is a difference between how someone like Darwin Cooke or Bruce Timm draws her (in my opinion far sexier but tasteful) and how many of these artists do it today with their stripper bodies, breasts falling out, thong up their crack look. And when you really on fanboys who have barely left their mom’s basements, who are now the writers, it’s cringe-inducing.

4. “Artists And Writers Make No Money”

Partially true. The big names make a ton of money and you’re not starving if you work for the big two companies as a regular writer or artist. But for indie creators or those who can’t get regular gigs, it is very tough. And mile many big businesses, comic companies care only about the short term dollar, not the long-term investment and care nothing about Karma. The only time they do anything “unselfishly” is when the PR gets real bad and they have no other choice (see Siegel and Shuster’s settlement when the first Superman movie came out). Now some people say these creators knew what they were getting into and that’s true (though many were conned or bullied into the situations). But how about being decent? Would it kill your company to help someone like Bill Mantlo who helped make you hundreds of millions?

3. “And It’s A Colossal Waste Of Your Money”

Very true. For the value and the entertainment time they provide, they are NOW way overpriced. When I was ten, comics cost $.20.. That’s twenty CENTS. In today’s dollars, that equals to about $1.10. Comics now range from 2.99 and up and you are being hammered to buy far more of them. I’ve heard all the arguments about rising print costs etc. but for the most part, its crap. They get away with it because they’ve convinced the fans it’s the norm. So now you have books that are 3-5 times more costly, that are far less likely to become collectibles one day, that give you a bathroom trip of enjoyment for the most part, and YES they are a waste of money.

2. “We’re At The Whim Of Movies”

True but sometimes, it’s not a bad thing. If the movies show us what the mainstream audience likes, then why not pay attention. However, like most things in the industry today, they take the superficial elements and not the core reasons. Then make impulsive decisions that can alienate the long-time reader.

1. “They Haven’t Got Long Left”

I’ve been STUNNED on how long the shops and print comics have lasted. If I had to guess, I’d say it was partly due to those same aging fanboys and their weekly habits, along with the visceral enjoyment that reading a paper comic brings. Plus some of the packaging on the trades and compiled editions have gotten very creative and beautiful and something you would want to display, but with an aging customer base, how long can it last? You have a sporadic group of retailers, many of who are unprofessional in their business running (see previous comment about aging fans taking over, same with retail), who are far apart and offer little to no opportunity for impulse buying (which could lead to an ongoing customer), combined with a niche market catering to existing older readers and not bringing in new ones to stem the flow of dropouts, and how can it last? I don’t have an answer but on the surface, it doesn’t look good. The move to digital, in theory, could help (available everywhere, no print and lower distribution costs), but will that kill the community aspects when the stores go away? Conventions are bigger than ever but will that matter in terms of driving digital sales? Or is it true that just like the pulps, comics’ time has passed and is just holding on? I don’t think so but I do believe it will take a visionary like a Steve Jobs, who has the power to enforce long-term planning and the charisma to get the buy-in, to save it.


TigerDirectSo I go into my local TigerDirect store and find out they are closing nearly all the retail stores and going to focus on web-based business. The way they started out and should have stayed. Why so angry you ask? Let me splain Lucy.

TigerDirect.com focused on selling computer and electronic stuff at cheap prices. When the much-missed CompUsa stores closed, TigerDirect bought the brand and reopened them under their umbrella. At first I was happy. As an IT guy, it was the only decent local option for parts. Years later I still went there for that reason, but swallowed my bile every time I did. It was a miserable experience going there, call them the anti-Apple store guys. They were such miserly greedy bastards, treating everyone who walked in like dollar signs. Fake smiles and greetings, pounced on you the second you walked in, it was everything I hate about customer service. I was there three times a week and they treated me like a stranger every time. Just AWFUL!!! And every change they made to their policies was in their best interest ONLY, never a better deal for the customer. They were the epitome of greedy, phony out-dated corporatey fake friendliness as you can be.

The irony is that one week before they decided to close the stores, they displayed a sign proudly on how this particular branch won the customer service award for the month. I nearly laughed myself to unconsciousness when I read it.On what criteria did they display any customer service?

So karma hit them and now they’re closed. The only tinge of negative feelings I have about it are there really are no other options for same day parts, that’s all. If any business person out there wants to fill the need, chat with me first. I’ll tell you everything not to do, using TigerDirect as a textbook example.


Cinderella Poster

Disney’s latest film is their live-action portrayal of the beloved classic fairytale, Cinderella. Having grown up in the generation where this cartoon was especially popular, I had very high hopes. As many of you can imagine, making a classic fairytale cartoon into a live-action film is a tough feat that is difficult to execute without ruining the essence of the story. But to no surprise, Disney did what they do best and gave us all a truly romantic and heartfelt movie with a great cast. One of the things I did really love about the film is how perfectly everyone looked for their part. Ella (AKA Cinderella- wait until you see where the full name comes from) is played by the quite adorable Lily James. With her natural beauty and easy grace, Lily James truly did look and act like our time-honored princess Cinderella. Ella’s prince charming, played by Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden, may have had a different hair style than the prince in the cartoon version but his acting was spot on. Funny, sweet, and a bit broody, Richard Madden is just as handsome as he is talented. The film’s other cast members were just as fantastic for their roles including Cate Blanchett as Stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother and Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger as the Stepsisters.

Let me tell you the absolute best part of the film- the costumes. Crowns off (haha, get it?) to Sandy Powell, the costume designer for the movie because she completely outdid herself. Every single costume was so ornate and beyond mesmerizing to look at. And following suit with the incredible costumes were the wonderful set design and props (credit to Casey Banwell and Francesca Lo Schiavo). Overall, the aesthetics of the movie made the two hour running time much easier to sit through.

Another aspect of the film that was somewhat shocking but happily accepted was the fact that it wasn’t a musical. That’s right, folks, there wasn’t a single breakout of song and dance in the whole movie. For those of you that were expecting a live-action rendition of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” you may be a bit disappointed but I promise there are other aspects of the film to make up for it.

In conclusion, I think that every teenage girl and anyone with children should definitely go see Cinderella. It is a very happy film much like the classic cartoon and you will have that “feel good” smile on your face when you leave. Even though it may not be the most rich or unpredictable plot, it is entertaining and fun.



cinderella glass slippers

Is It The Golden Age Of Live Action Superheroes?

The Best Superhero Depiction EVER

There has never been more “accepted by the mainstream” geek stuff in history, and there have never been more well produced live action superhero movies and tv shows. Combine this with the immense popularity of the Big Bang Theory and the Marvel movies, it appears to be a Golden Age of live action superheroes and geekdom in general. I agree with the latter and not so sure on the former. Allow me to explain.

First, I do not think this is the Golden Age of live action superheroes, but will say, with a caveat, that it’s is the Golden Age of live action “alternate” superheroes. And a Golden Age for geek stuff in general. I can remember when people used to hide the fact, or were embarrassed about reading comics etc. Now thanks to the Big Bang Theory and the Marvel movies, this is no longer the case.

Unlike Pulps, Bond novels (or other fantasy novels), comics are both WORDS and ART. The creators created this stuff and it is important to respect their creations and not change things just to make a mark (I’m talking to you organic web shooters). So when an artist, let’s say a genius like Jack Kirby or Will Eisner draw someone a certain way, it’s important to respect that overall vision, especially if the creator is no longer with us. Now if the creator is still alive, let’s say Erik Larsen, and someone wants to make the Savage Dragon Asian, and he doesn’t object, that’s fine. I may still hate it as a fan but the creator has final say. But when someone is no longer around, you must respect his intentions or, here’s a thought, MAKE YOUR OWN CREATIONS (talking to you Josh Trank on the so-called FF movie).

Now I will agree that back in the day, everyone made caucasian heroes and that’s  shame. But it is what it is. But it’s more than just race, it’s about the core elements of the character too. For some, the visual elements don’t matter as much, for others it does. Yet whether it does or not, in my opinion, all things being equal, it’s always better when they look the part. And I said ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL. Not saying I’d rather have a terrible actor who looks the part over a great one who doesn’t look like he came off the page. So when and how should they decide? Here is my opinion on the matter and when it is the most important.

First thing is the basic part of who he or she is. If someone were to break down the character at his or her core, and the intents of his or her creation, would the visual be a part of who they are? For example, let’s discuss one of the most popular heroes ever, Batman. One of the key points of his creation is that he MADE himself this way, driving his physical and mental development to the peak of human ability. So to me, if he doesn’t look like a superb physical specimen, it’s a huge fail. Same with Captain America and the results of the super soldier serum. But Tony Stark and Iron Man, it doesn’t matter as much. While I’d personally prefer he looked like Timothy Dalton in the Rocketeer, and was more suave and sophisticated like he was portrayed in the comics, it’s not a fail that he is Robert Downey Jr and is more like the Ultimate version of him. But for Batman it matters. So for me, every live action Batman has been a fail, period. And Chris Evans has been a B, for reasons other than physical. Some other heroes who the visual matters for are as follows:

  • Thor – should look like a Norse God, no exception
  • Superman – Should look awe-inspiring
  • Robin/Nightwing – should be a mini-Batman and a teen age girl’s dream
  • Peter Parker – should look like a put upon nerd, thin and seemingly fragile
  • Wonder Woman – the perfect woman physically. Tall, strong and beautiful
  • and more.

Does it matter that Barry Allen is not blonde? No. Would it have been even cooler if both him and his costume looked more faithful? Yes. But not a fail. It would be more of fail if he wasn’t portrayed the right way as a shy, thoughtful scientist because that’s WHO HE IS.

So why does Chris Evans get a B and why don’t I like Helmsworth as Thor? Remember how I said comics are both art AND words? Well the visual is not the only thing that matters, the thematic elements are key as well. So while Chris Evans made a GREAT Steve Rogers (pre-serum) and is good physically, Captain America should inspire people by his presence and when he shouts a command, it should be spine-tingly. This could be the fault of how they direct the character but he hasn’t shown this core part yet. As for Helmsworth, he looks like a male model version of Thor. No charisma, no god-like awe, just a big strong blonde.

So is this the Golden Age of live action superheroes? Not for me. When I think of depictions, I think of Christopher Reeve as Superman, still the greatest live-action depiction of a superhero ever. When you saw him you saw Superman. When he said a line like “a friend”, he said it with no irony and true believability. He radiated goodness and trustworthiness. He was perfect! Runner-up to him as the best live action depiction would be Bruce Lee as Kato (and right behind him was Van Williams as the Green Hornet). There is nothing to complain about with him as Kato, looked right and bad ass.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best depictions (and why) and your opinions on the biggest fails.


The Stars Come Out For The World Premiere Of "Into the Woods"

Below you will find great photos from the world premiere of Disney’s new film, Into the Woods.

Hosted in New York City at the Ziegfeld Theater on December 8th, 2014, the movie’s famous cast members gathered together to reveal their latest endeavor. Glowing with excitement are several of the featured actors: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, and Tracey Ullman. Alongside the movie’s cast were legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and writer James Lapine as well as the film’s director and co-producer, Rob Marshall. Into the Woods’ dynamic team of producers, John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Callum McDougall were also present at the premiere.



Here’s an exclusive first look at one of the scenes from Disney’s Into the Woods. 



The musical drama features all of your favorite characters from the popular Brothers Grimm fairytales. In the video clip linked below, you will get a sneak peek of Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, singing a fun and romantic tune on the steps of the castle- home to Prince Charming, played by actor Chris Pine.

Click here to watch

Into the Woods opens in theaters Christmas Day 2014!