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Tube Watch (Week of May 29th, 2014)

The Great Stories team checks in again with you to tell you what we have been watching in the world of entertainment this past week!

 

We start with Jim, our resident aficiando of classic movie fare.  This week, The Tall T (1950’s western kidnap thriller starring Randolph Scott and Richard Boone) was his throwback selection of the week.  He also spent some being a very good and responsible father by introducing his daughter to the world of Indiana Jones with viewings of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom!  Father-Daughter time doesn’t get much better than that I suspect!  On the more recent front, he was pretty unenthusiastic with the allegedly true story of soldiers trying to save precious art from the German in WWII, The Monuments Men which starred Clooney and Damon.

 

Marcel enjoyed Godzilla with a friend at the movie theaters.  He also recommends The Legend of Hercules which just recently hit DVD/BluRay.  Also on the agenda was a viewing of The Nut Job, another recently released animated film, with his mom!  Both gave this one a thumbs up.

 

Melissa, aside from The Nut Job, ended up at the local theater with Chris to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, which could be the best X-Men movie made so far!  They also both took in the recently released Pompeii, and while the story was a bit ho-hum, the special effects were excellent in this Paul Anderson film.  She also suffered through the first episode of Game of Thrones Season One with Chris, deciding that this was not her type of entertainment.

 

Chris, on the other hand, enjoyed Game of Thrones quite a bit, and is looking forward towards his banishment from the bedroom to watch the rest of season one, which fellow blogger Rob was so gracious to lend to him.  On a solo note, Chris also watched Paranormal Activity:  The Marked Ones which will hopefully bring about the end of that played out franchise.  And reaching a little further back into the archives, Too Big To Fail, which was the HBO-produced drama about the sub-prime mortgage crisis starring James Woods and William Hurt.  Not a bad flick about a topic that truly affected just about everyone out there.

 

Rob, amidst his reading material and parenting responsibilities, was still faithful to the current season of Game of Thrones but also managed to sneak out to theaters to see the X-Men movie…..yes, he is a die-hard mutant fan!

 

What were you all watching this week?

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Comic Picks of the Week (May 28, 2014)

Last week, I focused on the excitement surrounding a single title being released.  This week, we’ll be sure to cover several options. I’m definitely of the opinion that you can’t go wrong with Joe Mad!  This week we’ve got Inhuman #2 featuring Joe’s amazing artwork, along with the conclusion of The Star Wars based on George Lucas’s original screenplay, the second part of Star Wars: Rebel Heist, and Serentiy: Leaves on the Wind #5.   inhuman2starwars_rebelheist2   All too predictable, right?  Well, how about we throw in a new title?  It’s been a while since an Image book has piqued my curiosity, but C.O.W.L. #1 has done just that.  A super hero labor union?!!?  Throw in some organized crime and a very disillusioned public, and you’ve got what might prove a very interesting story.  Give this one a shot!   COWL_01-1 Great stories are everywhere! ~Rob

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Tube Watch (Week of May 22, 2014)

Another week gone by, and the Memorial Day weekend fast approaches us.  The Great Stories team will be at the Pop Culture Expo in Wilmington, MA on Saturday the 24th looking to give away prizes and find some charismatic talent for a new project, but that is putting the proverbial cart before the horse.  Let’s take a look at how the team filled in their precious free hours over the past seven days!

Chris and Marcel both took to the theaters last weekend to see Amazing Spider-Man 2, and came away feeling that it was a good time.  Not the perfect Spider-Man movie, but entertaining all the same.  Chris also added Godzilla to his movie-going experience on Sunday and was happy to have the memories of the Matthew Broderick version (1998) wiped from his memory.  On DVD, Chris also happened to catch two abduction thrillers.  The first, Beyond (starring Jon Voight) was completely underwhelming and should be passed over.  But the second, Gone (starring Amands Seyfried) was far better and worth a rainy night viewing.  Additionally, he watched the thriller Man on a Ledge (starring Jamie Bell and Ed Harris).  Definitely a worthy picture.  And finally, the true story drama Fruitvale Station, about a young man who tragically loses his life in Oakland after a controversial stop and arrest, which ended up being an effective film documenting the victim’s final day.

Marcel and Melissa both continued to watch the first season of Once Upon a Time, and both are majorly hooked on the story so far.

Rob, per usual, was faithful to his beloved Game of Thrones series this week, but had no other time to watch anything beyond some collegiate lacrosse.  Heck, he had a pile of comics to go through on his way to picking this week’s comic selection, so we can give him a pass, right?  🙂

Lastly, but never leastly (sic), Jim reveled in some Clint Eastwood action by watching The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.  Not to be outdone with this classic, he also added the Cary Grant/Tony Curtis film, Operation Petticoat to his viewing schedule.  And on the more recent front, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (starring Ben Stiller) which he found to be a well done remake with a great soundtrack.

 

What did you watch this past week?

 

 

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Comic Picks of the Week (May 21, 2014)

The cancellation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was nothing short of a crime against humanity.  We now know, thanks to Brent Friedman, that there were 8 seasons planned and written.  He would certainly know, as he had a direct hand in that work.  While we were blessed to receive “The Lost Missions” direct to Netflix there are questions aplenty raised by the missing content.

This week, thanks to Dark Horse, we get some of those answers!  Star Wars:  Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #1 hits the comic stands Wednesday.  At long last we get to experience the next part of Darth Maul’s tale.  Cut down by Kenobi, Darth Maul was maddened and broken, yet we bore witness to the strength of his hatred and his rebirth in a galaxy far, far away.  Together he and his brother carved out a piece of that galaxy until Darth Sidious took notice of his former apprentice.  But, The Dark Lord of the Sith rejected him as he had a new apprentice in mind….but until now we did not know what transpired next…

This is hands down the comic pick of the week!!  Tomorrow can’t arrive fast enough!

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Great stories are everywhere!

~Rob

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Tube Watch (Week of May 15, 2014)

Happy Thursday everyone!

Another week has past us by and the Great Stories team filled in their precious free moments with some good material.  Let’s review.

 

Jim was busy with Peter Jackson’s two latest films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which he believed to be enjoyable enough but lacking in the “oomph” of the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy that has captivated millions.  A relatively light week for our friend and appreciator of classic Hollywood fare.

 

Rob took in A Game of Thrones, as per usual, but added The Blindside starring Sandra Bullock to his viewing list, which he thought was pretty good.  Also on tap for him was the season premiere of a new HBO series called Silicone Valley.  But he is most looking forward to HBO’s upcoming series The Leftovers, from the mind of Lost writer Damon Lindelof.

 

Chris and Marcel both watched the season finale to Agents of SHIELD, which a series that really has finally taken flight.  They both hope season two can continue the quality level and positive momentum that was front and center for the last few episodes of the season.  They also both watched 47 Ronin, starring master thespian Keanu Reaves <snicker>.  A pretty good samurai movie for sure.  And on top of that, they both took in a nice WWII drama called Emperor, starring Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Fox as the man assigned to investigate the Emperor of Japan’s role in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as well as the questionable surrender that came after two atomic bombs were dropped on Japanese cities.  Definitely worth your one and three quarter hours of time.

 

And finally, Melissa attempted to watch the Oscar-nominated All is Lost, starring Robert Redford, but was so bored to tears that she fell aspleep (in the middle of the day!).  I think a movie with one actor and no real dialogue to play off of other personalities can be a bit of an acquired taste.  Who knows?  She and Chris also both watched the underwhelming Reasonable Doubt, starring Sam Jackson and Dominick Purcell, about a prosecutor whose job putting away a murder suspect may have been compromised by a poor choice.

 

What were you watching this week?

 

Have a great upcoming weekend everyone!

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Comic Pick of the Week (May 14, 2014)

Great Stories selects……

 

Original Sin-Avengers #29 (Marvel)

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Coming hot off the heels of last week’s main story arc Original Sin #1 book, comes the first of the cross-over entries.  And what better way to start it all off with Marvel’s premiere team book, Avengers?  Cap has discovered a controversial plot among those closest to him, and the betrayal could have lasting ramifications.  And how does this fit in with the death of The Watcher?  A certain collusion of great minds that brought about the disastrous events of World War Hulk a few years back may be at it again.  Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Leinil Francis Yu have our attention for sure, and we hope you check it out!

The series is due to continue next week in the main arc book with Original Sin #2.

Great Stories are everywhere!

 

-Chris (for the Great Stories team)

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Tube Watch (May 8, 2014)

Hope everyone is having an awesome week.  We are back to share what we have been watching over the past week. 🙂

Starting with Melissa, she was happy to discover a Tinkerbell-related feature of the non-animated variety in the two part 2011 TV movie, Neverland, starring the recently past Bob Hoskins (RIP) and Kiera Knightley, but she was quite underwhelmed and it became “Nevermind” on watching part two.  She also continued her journey through Lost by beginning season five.  And she also watched the first few episodes of a newer TV show, ABC’s Once Upon a Time, which quickly won her over!

Chris finally caught up with the rest of the Great Stories team by watching Catching Fire, though he is still not that sold on the merits of the series.  Also on the viewing schedule was the superb Dean Koontz adaptation of Odd Thomas with Anton Yelchin and Addison Timlin (and directed by Stephen Sommers).  Of the few Koontz adaptations out there, this one is easily the best.  That was about it, as NHL hockey playoffs took precedence!

Next up was Marcel, who continued his Agents of SHIELD viewing with Chris, as well as joining Melissa in watching Once Upon a Time.  He has also been watching one of his favorites, The Goldbergs, which appears directly after Agents of SHIELD.

Jim had a relatively light week with only two movies.  His viewing of the Oscar-nominated Philomena was well worth his time.  And it would not be a complete week without one oldie but goodie, as he took in the Cary Grant comedy,  The Awful Truth.

Here’s to heading into our fast-approaching weekend!

The Great Stories Team

 

 

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Comic Pick of the Week (May 7, 2014)

Rob may not be handling this week’s picks, but that does not mean that Moon Knight can’t figure into this week’s comic pick blog.  Heck no!  We are very interested in Marvel’s latest big event storyline, and Original Sin #1 hit book shelves this week.

 

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You might think a storyline featuring a blend of Avengers (such as Iron Man and Captain America), street level anti-heroes (such as Punisher and Moon Knight), as well as intergalactic and other-worldy heroes (such as Gamora and Doctor Strange) would pose as an odd team combination, and you would be absolutely right from our perspective.  But the intrigue is palpable with Uatu the Watcher being murdered by an assassin of unknown origin.  What are the ramifications of this event?  What was the motive?  And who would be powerful and resourceful enough to have pulled off such a despicable act?  I guess writer Jason Aaron and artist Mike Deodato think that the crew they have assembled will bring all to light and we are happily jumping on board for the journey to truth.

But it does not end there!

Writer Garth Ennis, perhaps in a nod to all of those fans of Ridley Scott’s Alien, has given us the new sci-fi horror series Caliban.  Issue #2 dropped this week, and we are excited to see where the man known for the popular series Preacher is going to take us.

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Something tells us this book is not going to be for the squeamish, so proceed with caution!  And in our case, we will joyously bound forth and head towards certain doom with a wide grin and just hope for the best.  😉

Remember, Great Stories are everywhere!

-Chris

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Fresh Popped Corn: May 2014 Movie Trailers

Once per month, we will be taking a look at movies released for the upcoming month, and telling our readers where we would be spending our movie dollars each week, based on the look of the trailers.  Links to the chosen trailers will be provided so you can see just what we are so excited about.  Movie release dates are subject to change.

 

May 2nd
It is the week of the spider true believers, and you know that legions of like-minded folks will be flocking to their local cinema to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2, including us!  For those non-Pater Parker fans there are precious few choices to be had as there is only one other wide release film going up against the Sony Picture juggernaut.  But you may be able to catch one of the limited release films if you are lucky.  Friended to Death is a comedy about an unlikeable fellow who tries to prove how much he is valued when he fakes his own death and monitors the response on social media.  Mr. Jones is a thriller about a couple who are filmmakers looking for inspiration for a new creative work when the run afoul of a strange neighbor to deadly result.  Whitewash stars Thomas Hayden Church as a snowplow operator who accidentally kills a man and attempts to bury his sin and run away from his guilt in a promising looking thriller.  Walk of Shame stars the lovely Elizabeth Banks as a news anchor trying to break through to the big time and gets her chance before her choices and fate attempts to derail her in this comedy, which also happens to be the only other wide release film of the week.  Decoding Annie Parker is a drama about a woman who pursues a research breakthrough on genetic code after being diagnosed with breast cancer.  And finally, Belle, is a period film about a young mixed race girl in England who, along with her lover, attempt to break social stigmas and gain acceptance.  Check out the trailers for Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Whitewash, which are our top selections!

 

May 9th
A big release week follows with Seth Rogan’s next raunchy comedic entry in Neighbors, co-starring Zac Efron and Rose Byrne as a young couple with child deal with the young men from a fraternity who move in next door.  Legends of Oz:  Dorothy’s Return is an animated feature based on IDW’s iteration of the famous characters as they bring a whole new support cast to the Wizard of Oz world.  The voice talents of Lea Michelle, Patrick Stewart, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammer, Dan Akroyd, and Martin Short are all featured.  Mom’s Night Out stars Sean Astin, Sarah Drew, Patricia Heaton and The Snake King himself (people who have seen Courageous know what I am taking about) in a family comedy about a woman who needs a break from the real world and attempts a night out with her friends with unexpected results.  Chef is a Jon Favreau film about a daring culinary genius who won’t operate by the rules and decides to strike out on his own in a beaten down truck to pedal his creations.  The movie also stars Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Vergara, and John Leguizamo…what a cast!  God’s Pocket is Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s last complete film-making effort as he stars as a man in a tough predicament after his stepson is killed in a construction “accident”.  Mad Men’s Christina Hendrick’s stars as his very unhappy wife.  Jesse Eisenberg is a desk clerk for a shadowy government organization whose life take a strange turn when he confronts a clone of himself in The Double.  Devil’s Knot tells the true story of three horrific child murders in the deep south and the teens who are accused of the grisly act but are not necessarily guilt.  Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth star.  In Palo Alto, James Franco and Emma Roberts star in a drama about some angst-filled teens and the trouble they find.  And finally, Stage Fright stars Minnie Driver in a whacky horror/comedy musical.  The allure of Chef’s cast is making that selection tough to beat, but if you have the kids in tow, you could probably do worse than checking out Mom’s Night Out.  Here are both trailers for your enjoyment!

 

May 16th
Godzilla invades theaters nationwide this week, and we are completely fired up to see this movie rip that abomination starring Matthew Broderick in 1998 right from our minds!  Disney unleashes a movie based on a reality show called Million Dollar Arm, featuring a talent scout who goes to India to find the next big thing.  The movie stars Jon Hamm and Lake Bell.  A Night in Old Mexico has Robert Duvall as an old cowboy who takes his grandson on a misguided adventure that has them run afoul of gangsters and vagrants of all types in an effort to not go quietly into twilight.  A Short History of Decay features Brian Greenberg and Emmanuelle Chriqui as former lovers and writers who have taken different tracks of success and personal loss in a comedic drama.  Don Peyote is a stoner’s psychedelic journey into conspiracy theory that just looks a bit too strange for our taste in spite of an interesting cast including Dan Fogler, Josh Duhamel, Jay Baruchel, Anne Hathaway, Wallace Shawn, and Toher Grace.  Half of the Yellow Sun looks like a promising drama set in 1960’s Nigeria as a wealth family is fractured by a betrayal of sisters starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetal Eijofor.  Joaquin Phoenix helps a young woman deemed too sick to enter the United States on Ellis Island in The Immigrant, co-starring Marion Cotillard.  And almost a decade late, Wolf Creek 2 features Australia’s favorite psychotic villain wreaking more havoc and munching on more human trail mix in the form of unsuspecting backpackers (yawn).  Here is the mean lizard for your viewing pleasure!

May 23rd
Marvel’s X-Men hit the big screen, once again, and marks the second big comic book splash of the month with X-Men: Days of Future Past.  All the characters you loved from the last few movies in a giant ensemble featuring both the First Class cast alongside the long-running players.  The storyline featured is one of the most popular in the entire X-Men comic run to date, so bet on a big showing!  Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore re-unite on screen for Blended, a story of two families coming together even after an epic fail first date between two single parents.  The Angriest Man in Brooklyn looks like the better comedy, however, as Robin Williams plays a dyspeptic man given 90 minutes to live by his doctor (played by Mila Kunis).  How does such a man make right all his old scores.  You’ll have to watch to find out.  Cold in July looks like a great thriller with Dexter, er I mean Michael C Hall, being tormented by a very sinister Sam Shepard.  Tracks is an Australian film that tells the true story of a woman who set out to traverse 2000 miles of the dangerous outback.  And finally, Words and Pictures has Clive Owen struggling as a teacher to a generation whose educational values lay far afield from his own.  Juliette Binoche co-stars.  Our picks are X-Men and Cold in July.  Enjoy the trailers!

May 30th
Disney looks to top the charts again as Angelina Jolie stars as Maleficent, a faerie who goes bad due to a betrayal that turns her heart to stone.  The untold story of the villain from the classic Sleeping Beauty.  Seth MacFarlane directs and stars in A Million Ways to Die in the West, facing off against outlaw Liam Neeson as a sheep farmer tries to find his courage in the brave new frontier.  Looks like epic fun.  In limited release, The Grand Seduction is a comedy starring Brendan Gleeson about an Irish town badly in need of finding a doctor to fill the town’s need of opening a factory to provide jobs.  James MacEvoy stars as a morally-corrupt cop who relishes in the more seedy aspects of his profession in the appropriately named Filth.  And Night Moves is a eco-terror thriller that centers around two young corrupted idealists played by Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning.  Lots of good choices this week, but our money is on the limited release Night Moves.  Check it out here.

 

Thanks for checking out another edition of Fresh Popped Corn.  What movies are you most looking forward to seeing this month?  We would love to hear from you!

-The Great Stories Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tube Watch (Week of May 1 2014)

Hey Everyone….the team is back to fill you in on what we have been watching after taking a one week break to catch some sunshine in beautiful San Diego California.  So, what has been happening the last couple of weeks?

Chris was busy watching the NHL playoffs commence by taking in both Bruins and Kings games but did make time to watch a very entertaining crime thriller/action movie called Gangster Squad with Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, and Ryan Gosling.  And that was about it for his solo viewing fare as most of his free time was spent quietly murdering his phone in the hotel pool while covering the tracks of his crime.  😉

Melissa turned in some marathon viewing of Lost episodes, and managed to get through half of Season Three and all of Season Four in the past two weeks.  Impressive!  She is even doing a fine job piecing together the storyline and guessing at the upcoming plot developments (without cheating by internet).

Marcel has been keeping close tabs on Agents of SHIELD as it runs quickly towards the season finale, and loves the events that are unfolding.  Yes, this series has definitely hit a good groove!  He also watched a couple of older comedies, Click with Adam Sandler and Mean Girls 2, which he enjoyed.  On the not so good front was the A&E remake of Bonnie & Clyde with Emile Hirsch and Holiday Grainger.  He says quite simply, “it was terrible”.  As plain spoken as a twelve year old can be!

Rob has had no time for anything but repeated watches of Game of Thrones.  He might be in heaven if that show played on a 24 hour loop.  😉

And finally, Jim continued his Alfred Hitchcock marathon from our last Tube Watch entry by adding The Birds to his list.  He also took in the fantastic Breakdown starring the GREAT Kurt Russell.  Love Jones, a 1997 romantic comedy starring Larenz Tate and Nia Long, met his approval (I assume his wife put him up to this one!).  And he took time to watch A Boy Named Charlie Brown with his wonderful daughter Amy.  Ah yes, to share the joys of your own childhood with another generation is really one of the best things about parenting, isn’t it?

That is all from the team this week.  Check in again soon!

 

-The Great Stories Team