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Fresh Popped Corn: May 2015 Movie Trailers

Once per month, we provide an overview of movies released for the coming weeks, and recommend to our readers where to spend their movie dollars, based on the look of the trailers.  Links to the chosen trailers are provided so you can see exactly what we are excited about!  Movie release dates are subject to change.

May 1st
It is officially the start of the summer blockbuster season with the release of Avengers:  Age of Ultron.  It may not get any bigger than this film, from a Box Office view, this year (at least until the release of Star Wars:  The Force Awakens this Christmas).  In fact, is there anyone you know who is not at least mildly excited to see this one?  We sure don’t.  Believe it or not, some other studios were still brave enough to schedule release dates coinciding with this giant, most in limited release.  Far from the Maddening World is a period piece in Victorian-era England featuring an independent and strong-willed young woman who finds herself with three decidedly different suitors who appeal to aspects of her own personality and desires.  The comedy Welcome to Me stars Kristen Wiig as a chemically-dependent woman who hits the lottery and decides to go off of her meds and buy herself a talk show, to extremely off-beat results.  Ride is about a wealthy woman who travels cross-country to find her son after she discovers he has dropped out of school to become a surfer.  Helen Hunt directs and stars in the lead role.  And the British import, Hyena, details the story of a cop with questionable morality who finds himself amidst a drug war between Turkish and Albanian gangs on the streets of London.  We will be at the theater along with everyone else to see Marvel’s Phase Two Flagship movie…where else would we be?  Enjoy the epic trailer below!

May 8th
The second week of the summer season leads off with the Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit, about a cop (Witherspoon) who needs to protect a woman (Vergara) from her mobster husband.  The D-Train, featuring Jack Black and James Marsden, will compete for the comedy fan audience with the aforementioned this week, with a twenty year high school reunion planner trying to land the attendance of a classmate turned celebrity to make the event a success.  The dramatic comedy 5 Flights Up stars Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton as a married couple, whose life grows complicated when circumstances dictate that they sell their apartment in the city for a change of scenery.  Maggie is a horror drama about a midwest farmer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who does his best to remain by the side of his daughter (Abigail Breslin) whose infection requires her quarantine as civilization teeters on the brink of a zombie apocalypse.  In the drama Noble, a former orphaned child from Ireland finds her purpose as an adult on the streets of Thailand, helping other misplaced children.  The Seven Five is a documentary detailing a cadre of corrupt cops in Brooklyn, NY who become glorified gangsters of the drug trade.  And in Skin Trade, Dolph Lundgren plays a NYC detective who partners with a Thai cop (Tony Jaa) to take down a human trafficking ring.  The action flick also co-stars Michael Jai White, Ron Perlman, and Peter Weller.  Tough call this week, as advance word is that Maggie may be the sleeper pick of the summer with Ahnuld (sic) turning in the finest acting of his career.  On top of that, while documentaries are not usually the type of entertainment summer audiences go for, the story is incredibly compelling.  And Skin Trade is looking to be a fine pick for the male audience that just wants a man’s man movie.  Check out all three trailers below.

May 15th
A lighter release schedule is featured in the last three release weekends in May, as many of the movies from week one and two will undoubtedly receive wider releases.  Mad Max; Fury Road will certainly be the movie competing with Avengers for the top slot, as the reigns Mel Gibson so made famous, get turned over to Tom Hardy with some help from Charlize Theron.  Pitch Perfect 2 sees Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and company reunite for another competition on the big stage under the direction of Elizabeth Banks for a sequel to the hit musical comedy.   I’ll See You in My Dreams sets out to prove that in life it is never too late to start over as a songstress (Blythe Danner) recently widowed embraces change.  I Am Big Bird is a fantastic looking documentary that features the man who has played Big Bird (and Oscar the Grouch) since 1968 with no plans of relinquishing the role that has brought joy to millions anytime soon. Mad Max looks to be the winner here, and could be the start of a new old franchise.  The action pieces look intense and beautifully apocalyptic as you can see in the trailer below.  Please also check out the I Am Big Bird trailer as well.

May 22nd
George Clooney and Britt Robertson take on the lead roles in the newest live action Disney movie, Tomorrowland, which looks to be a fun action-oriented movie for the whole family.  Spy features CIA desk jockey Melissa McCarthy taking over as a field agent to take down a global arms dealer in proper comedic form.  Another found footage sci-fi horror flick, Area 51, also hits theaters in limited release.  Feast your eyes on our pick, Tomorrowland, below.

May 29th
The final week of the first month of summer introduces us to the Dwayne Johnson disaster flick, San Andreas, which follows a helicopter rescue pilot who searches for his daughter in the wake of a catastrophic earthquake.  Insidious:  Chapter 3 is actually a prequel which brings us the story of gifted psychic Elise Rainer’s first, albeit reluctant, assistance of helping a person plagued by a malevolent entity.  Aloha stars Bradley Cooper as a miltary contractor whose epic professional blunder has him retracing his steps to the place of his greatest success and then finding himself in a love triangle with his old flame (Rachel McAdams) and the Air Force handler (Emma Stone) assigned to him.  The great cast also includes Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray.  And Barely Lethal has Hailee Steinfeld as a teen who escapes a life of being a trained assassin for a chance at high school normality when she goes AWOL.  The comedy action movie also stars Samuel L Jackson, Jessica Alba, and Jaime King.  Aloha could be the understated pick of the week.  Here is the trailer below.  But if you want some mindless big effects movie, go check out California falling into the ocean.

What will you be seeing in theaters this month?  🙂

-The Great Stories Team

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The Female Perspective: Ricky Gervais and Rebecca Francis: Sexism Or Stupidity? You Decide.

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


It’s still amazing, even after all these years, what kinds of things pop on the internet. I guess maybe it’s partly because I remember a world before internet. I remember what it was like to talk to people instead of staring at your phone. I remember what it was like to search for information using a dusty, old Encyclopedia or the Dewey Decimal System in the Library. The world is different now, so different in fact, that sometimes I cannot recognize it. We can talk to people in other countries any time we want, we experience more stuff faster. We Tweet, we Facebook, we Instagram, we Google. On the surface, this kind of instant access to everything and everyone seems awesome. In fact, it’s not so great a lot of the times. A lot of the time, I find out about stuff like this and it just gets on my nerves.

I want people to educate themselves. To learn to defend themselves if need be but more than anything, to own up for their own mis-deeds and prejudices. Is that so wrong?

Okay, back to the blog at hand!

So, I heard rumblings and then a friend suggested I look into the whole Ricky Gervais versus female trophy hunter Rebecca Francis…Twitter…thing.

It all started when Francis decided to pose next to the dead giraffe she had shot (I won’t post those photos here, if you want to see them, go find them yourself). Ricky Gervais (a comedian I very much enjoy, as well as being an animal rights activist) fires out some angry, disgusted tweets (his right in this Social Media world).

What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling? -Ricky Gervais

The fact is, killing animals for fun and then posing with the dead animal with a big ole grin on your face isn’t just gross (to this animal lover anyway) it’s also completely tacky and reeks of disrespect to other species. Humans annoy me because they assume they are the better, stronger, smarter species – yeah, not so much.

I guess this week I’m a bit fed up with the human race. The stuff happening in Baltimore, the regular examples of idiocy on the internet and the fact that one of my good friends got harassed on Facebook and called horrible names for NO REASON (seriously, no reason) kind of bums this lady out. I know hatred has always existed and it will always exist but the internet makes it so much easier to access. I’m tired of hatred. I’m tired of name calling (even though I do it myself on occasion).

All I really want? Peace and Equality. Simple. End of story. Thank you and good day.

What do you think? Is Gervais wrong/right/insane?

Is Francis right in calling him sexist?

Sound off in the comments!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 4/29/2015

Thanks for joining me for The Crank File #14.

This is usually the part where I would recap last week’s comic news and note any significant market movers. But in light of recent events, I’d like for us to take a moment and turn our thoughts to the innocent people in Baltimore and Nepal, both victims of senseless violence.
……

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

The Top of the Pile: Batman #40 DC

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The gloves are off and the stops all pulled out. Snyder and Capullo’s masterful Endgame arc comes to a climatic finish in Batman #40. The Dark Knight and the Clown Prince have been racing towards the ultimate show down, and this issue will change the Batman universe for, well for at least the foreseeable future. Regardless, this issue marks a significant moment in Batman history and has unsurprisingly sold out at Diamond. It also features one of the most bizarrely awesome covers in Batman history. And that’s the regular cover. Don’t miss out on this one.

The Mainstream One: Fantastic Four #645 Marvel

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This is it. The End. The fourth issue of the four part The End is Fourever story arc will also be the final issue in the Fantastic Four’s 54 year run. The fourmidable foursome may not have their own title four now, but they will not be fourgotten. It’s actually impressive that Marvel’s first family has never been rebooted before this. I guess family values never go out of style.

The Indie One: Alex and Ada #14

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I think I’m in love with this comic, though it makes me kind of nervous to say so. Not the sexiest book on the rack, but Alex + Ada is definitely worth a look. This sci-fi thriller is soaked with social commentary, a compelling story that begs to be read and appreciated. In an age where shelves are packed with time-travelers, spies, super-powered beings and empty cheesecake, it’s refreshing to find a book that feels relatealbe and human. Read Alex + Ada, fall further in love, get next issue, goto 10.

The #1 One: Pisces #1 Image

Pisces

Aliens with a heavy dose of psychological terror, Kurtis Wiebe returns to his horror roots with this new series from Image. Wiebe has built a dedicated fan base off the strength of Peter Panzerfaust and Rat Queens, but it was his work on Green Wake that won him a Shuster award for Outstanding Comic Book writer. Pisces #1 tells the story of a Vietnam war vet who is recruited by NASA for a mission to make first contact. There’s an advanced preview available on ComicBookResources.com, and the artwork looks both vibrant yet genuinely creepy.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Silk #3 Marvel Regular, What the Duck and Nauck Phantom

Silk3Silk ThrillerSilk Pantom

The regular cover is just straight up zany. The Thriller cover is a delight (even though Silk isn’t actually on it) and I just can’t get enough of the ASM 300 cover swipes (even though Silk isn’t actually on it). It’s a menage a troi in Silk covers.

The Speculation Pick: Batman #40 DC

See the top of the pile.

Carpe comics

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The Female Perspective: Was It a Joke and Was It Even Funny?

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


What would Black Widow think of what Evans and Renner said? Hmmmm...
What would Black Widow think of what Evans and Renner said? Hmmmm…

I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking over my blog post for today. I go back and forth between a few different topics until I land on one that really speaks to me. Today, it’s not a simple idea to write about it, it’s one that is complicated, nuanced and tricky as heck. Today, I want to talk about how we all live an a culture that has knee-jerk reactions to stuff and sometimes I have to wonder, is that stuff really worth the anger and hub-bub?

I want to start by saying that nothing in here is meant to insult anyone and I hope that it can all be taken in the grand spirit of debate.

The reason I wanted to write this blog today is because of the Jeremy Renner/Chris Evans/Scarlett Johansson story that broke over the weekend and why it matters more than we want to think it does. 

First we’ll start with the Renner/Evans “joke”. If you haven’t seen it, watch below.

When I watched this I sighed to myself thinking, “this is a joke for two boys in a locker room or at a bar, not for an interview millions will see”. It’s a slippery slope because of a few different things, first off, Black Widow/Scarlett Johansson deserves more than this kind of treatment. My feeling about it as, who cares who she hooks up with? Why does she have to hook up with anyone? Oh yeah, because she’s a woman, silly me, I forgot.  The fact is, I like Evans quite a bit, he has shown to be a kind person and yeah, he’s Captain America, so I know my opinion on this matter is viewed through an “I want to like you” lens, which makes it hard to be angry. The question then arises, is this even worth being “angry” about?

Sometimes sexism just slips out. Sometimes it’s well-intentioned but doesn’t consider the bigger implications. Sometimes it simply doesn’t land as it was meant. None of which means the person doing it is inherently “bad.” But that’s exactly why we bring it up. – Nerdist.com

The fact of the matter is that it’s sexism, well-intentioned and “accidental” though it may be, the whole thing stinks of sexism and that seriously bums me out. You want to think that because Black Widow has been such an amazing force in the Avengers movies that this won’t happen, but it does. Johansson gets asked if she wears underwear under her suit, I mean, really? What the heck does that matter and I know, as a woman, that I could care less! I want to know how she does her stunts, does she do her stunts? Stuff like that.

Black Widow the character get’s repeatedly pushed aside on marketing materials for the Avengers and you will be hard-pressed to find her on any of the new toys and merchandise. Why? Is it because she’s a minor character? Nope. Is it because she doesn’t do anything important? Nope. It’s because the execs who create the marketing think she is less than for some reason…oh wait, not some reason, it’s because she’s a woman.

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I truly hate saying things like that, I feel like it makes me sound like an angry feminist but the fact is, I can be an angry feminist. I am angry that Black Widow doesn’t get her due (but PLEASE make a movie about her) when she is as good or even better than some of her male counterparts. The first time you meet her she is tied to a chair and kicks all sorts of ass without missing a beat. AWESOME.

So there are some problems here. Little things that, when added together, ultimately paint a bigger picture about the under-representation and lack of respect for the women of the superheroverse. A woman with sexual agency who is confident and secure in herself is a great, progressive step forward in terms of female representation. But it’s unfortunate that we’re still defining her by with whom she sleeps or flirts. Even if it is “just a tasteless joke about a fictional character.” A character that’s a very real entity despite the fact that she’s made up.

We’re not looking for another apology or a moratorium on jokes, just trying to bridge the understanding gap that seems inherent between those that understand just how subtle, insidious, and socially reaffirmed sexism can be. – Nerdist.com

The fact is, Evans and Renner apologized (though I’ll say that Evans’ apology was classy and seemed sincere whereas Renner’s was kind of…blah) which is perfect and it should be enough but for some reason, it’s not. We don’t need more apologies, we simply need it understood that when you are in the public eye you really, truly have to think before you speak and no one’s perfect, I don’t pretend to think that for a second, mistakes happen but sometimes, those mistakes are more insidious than people think. Sometimes they prove the point that sexism is alive and well in the world and it can happen at the most surprising moments and while I don’t really want to get annoyed at every little thing, I do feel the need to state loudly and clearly, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

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Renner mentioned in his apology that Black Widow is a fictional character, why is everyone getting so upset about a remark made about a fictional character? Why is everyone so hyper-sensitive? Why can’t we have fun anymore?

Well Hawkeye, the reason is that we got the joke, sure we did but women have been the butt of this joke for a LONG time and we’re sick and tired of it. It’s time for a new joke, it’s time for some new material because right now, in this world we live in, those kinds of jokes simply aren’t as funny as they used to be. There is an edge of malice behind them that hurts, we want to laugh but sometimes, we ladies want to cry because it’s not right. Yes,  I realize that those that hate feminism will get up on their high horse and remark that the “feminists have lost their sense of humor again! Let’s all stop telling jokes because the feminists are mad!” But that is not what this is about. Not even close.

They were joking. They’re good guys. Why do you hate fun? We’ve been over this.

But there’s another more important question that Renner’s apology highlighted: Why get upset about something as trivial as remarks about a fictional character? Put it like that, and anyone who took offense sounds like a moron, arguing in the comments section about whether Batman could take down Tony Stark. It’s just fiction! Don’t get excited!

But there’s nothing less frivolous than fiction. You’d think the star of the mind-blowingly successful Avengers franchise might have realized that.

…Fiction matters. You don’t have the luxury of getting to know most people. But fictional characters you can learn inside and out. – Washington Post, “What Jeremy Renner Really Got Wrong About Black Widow”

The fact is, apologies have been made and articles have been written and the outrage has been felt. We need to move on and deal with stories that matter more in the grand scheme of things and right there is where I get stuck. Isn’t this type of quiet sexism what causes the problems today? Isn’t ignoring it or moving on what makes it so slippery, so invasive? It’s a conundrum for me because I don’t want to be angry. It makes me tired. I don’t want to hate Evans or Renner or any of the Marvel characters because I’ve seen them in other talk show venue’s and they all genuinely love and respect each other. It’s a joke, right?

International-Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-Poster-700x989

Therein lies the problem, sometimes joke’s just aren’t all that funny. Sometimes they’re sexist and we have to speak up, even if it makes me sound like an angry feminist.

More than anything, I’d love to hear what Johansson has to say about all this, if anyone has seen a response from her about this “controversy” forward it along to me! Tell me your thoughts on this type of “joke”- funny, not funny, sexist or stupid? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: That Darn Wonder Woman Movie

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!


97d717e3d9870029282f0722d9e4306e-the-5-most-embarrassing-moments-in-wonder-woman-comic-book-history

I’ve talked a few times now about the worlds need for a Wonder Woman movie and here I am again, talking about Wonder Woman. The movie is slated to be released in 2017 but it continues to have issues. The film lost its director, producer and “Game of Thrones” director Michelle MacLaren. The studio quickly filled the spot (more on that in a moment) but before they did they decided to make clear that “creative differences” (the reason given as to why MacLaren split) actually means that MacLaren was unqualified to helm a film of the epic scale she was looking to direct. They have now tapped Monster director, Patty Jenkins – who, by all accounts, is equally as “unqualified” to helm such a project (if we are going by the Warner Brothers standards of qualifications, that is).

Here’s my issue, and it’s illustrated by Joseph Phillip Illidge in this article. When Joss Whedon was tapped to direct The Avengers, he was equally as unqualified and yet, the movie was a success. Same goes for  Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed Captain America: The Winter Solider (which was awesome). I guess what it boils down to is that I’m confused, why was MacLaren thrown under the bus? Because she wanted to do an epic movie about an EPIC AMAZONIAN by the name of Wonder Woman? Eee gads, imagine the nerve of her to want to make the story of Wonder Woman EPIC. Scandalous.

No, I think it runs much deeper than that, I think that they disliked her story ideas, decided to split and then they decided that since she’s a woman, they can crap all over her without issue (merely an opinion, not fact). Even though that makes them hypocrites. Experience does not immediately equal success (Ridley Scotts disaster of a movie Exodus: Gods and Kings should prove that point nicely), sometimes a lack of experience can be a plus! You aren’t jaded by Hollywood, you have fresh ideas and can take a character that is universally known, like Wonder Woman, and really do something new and fresh with her. I mean, MacLaren works on Game of Thrones for pete’s sake! There are a whole plethora of strong female characters on that show!

Can anyone be better than Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman?
Can anyone be better than Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman?

No, I think this isn’t a case of MacLaren being inexperienced, I think it’s a case of honest to goodness “creative differences” along with a wee bit of the sexism thrown in for good measure. Mix all of that with the fact that the menfolk at Warner Bros clearly disagreed with her ideas and you have “creative differences”.

This leaves me feeling worried about the Wonder Woman movie. I mean, Monster was a good movie, Jenkins did a great job making Charlize Theron’s murderer both brutal and sympathetic, but at the same time, will Warner Bros. allow Jenkins to take Wonder Woman where she needs to be able to go? Will Jenkins be allowed to treat Wonder Woman like all the other heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and give her a bad-ass back story (oh yeah, she already has one!) along with a fantastic plot that keeps viewers engaged and excited?

Only time will tell really. I know that I, for one, will be very interested to see what happens with the Wonder Woman movie. I am also breathlessly awaiting some footage of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in  Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice. 

I need more than this! I want to see Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman fighting, jumping, kicking butt!
I need more than this! I want to see Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman fighting, jumping, kicking butt!

Wonder Woman may just be another superhero to many, but to me (and I’m not ashamed to admit this), as a feminist, Wonder Woman is much more than that. She is a feminist icon, one of the most popular heroes to date. She is a strong powerful woman hero who stands for feminism in the best possible ways. While she has been treated well in the past, I am nervous about how she’ll treated in today’s over-sexualized world.

My ideal Wonder Woman stands toe-to-toe with Batman, Superman or any other male superhero.
My ideal Wonder Woman stands toe-to-toe with Batman, Superman or any other male superhero.

Again, only time will tell…I for one, have my fingers crossed for the best!

What do YOU think? Sound off in the comments!

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The Crank File: Here’s What I’m Reading 4/22/2015

Hey there comic book fans and welcome to The Crank File lucky issue #13. The Crank File is an open forum where I will offer speculations, reviews and ravings on all things comics.

Another week, another swipe at the Milo Manara Spider-Woman cover taken by deviant artist Frank Cho. Where will the dirty perpatrator strike next? Who will be the nex super-heroine sullied by his number two pencil? I can’t wait to find out because I think these covers are hysterical. Just a heads up people, Frank Cho will be coming to the Boston Comic-con in August and I’m hoping that he’s sketching covers. I’ve got this idea for a Power Girl Manara swipe that would blow your mind.

A light Wednesday for me and my wallet is thankful. On Saturday I discovered a swimming pool supplies shop that oddly enough also sold comics out of their warehouse. I brought home a stack of dollar books and I’m looking forward to hitting it up again this coming weekend. But there’s some fun stuff coming out between then and now so here’s pretty much everything I’m reading this week.

The top of the pile: Black Hood #3 Black Circle

blackhood_03-0mackvar

The Archie revolution continues with Black Circle’s dark, modern tale of viganti justice and man has it been a heck of a ride. Black Hood is not your traditional super-hero crime drama. It’s an anti-hero story. Our protagonist Greg Hettinger is a basically an ex-cop junkie with a gun who executes with extreme prejudice. But the way that author Duane Swierczynski presents his inner conflict, you can’t help but him on as his life spirals out of control. Great read if you’re like me and you take your comics like your coffee, black.

The Mainstream One: Convergence #3 DC

convergence 3

I won’t lie, I might just skim this one off the rack. Convergence has landed sort of awkwardly and after only two issues I’ve have found myself asking over and over, “Why”? Why are we doing this DC? Why have you thrust your heroes into these trans-dimensional hunger games? Why do you tease us with the reunion of Bruce and Thomas Wayne and then don’t show us?? Issue #3 is a make or break moment for me. I hope you brought your A-game DC or I’ll be sitting the rest of this one out.

The Indie One: Postal #3 Image

Postal_03-1

Three #3’s at the top of this week’s list. I’m really enjoying the twisted world of Postal. This dark mystery is unfolding and has surprised me with a couple of interesting hooks. Set in the town of Eden, Wyoming where all the residents are reformed criminals, Postal is told through the town’s socially impaired postman Mark Shiffron. I haven’t been in love with the artwork so far, but contemplating the musings of a mildly autistic protagonist has been fascinating. He is simply the most reliable, unreliable narrator I’ve ever read. We can trust that everything that he’s telling us is true but we have no idea what he isn’t comprehending. Part Sherlock Holmes part Lennie Small, Postal delivers on Wednesday.

The #1 One: Uncle Scrooge #1 IDW

Scrooge01

Life is like a hurricane, here in Duckburg. Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes. It’s a duck-blur. Might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Duck Tales. If you hooted out “woooo-ooo” in your head just then, then you already know why it’s on my list.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Star Wars #4 Boba Fett variant Marvel

Boba

Because we can all use a little more Fett in our lives. I love the action figure variants and this one was limited to 5000 copies. I got mine reserved. I hope that you pre-ordered yours because the bay has been going wild with this one.

The Speculation One: All New X-Men #40 Marvel

Xmen 40

Comic golden boy Brian Bendis has been teasing a new super hero comic set in the Marvel Universe, The Utopians. Utopia used to be part of Asteroid M, base of operations for mutant super villain Magneto. After Asteroid M’s destruction, Cyclops moved a chunk of it off the coast of San Francisco where it became a sanctuary for mutantkind. So who are the Utopians? Judging by this cover, we will be finding out soon.

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The Female Perspective: This Lady Geek Is In HEAVEN

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!


Star-Wars-590x330

If you are a geek (dork, nerd, whatever you call yourself) like me then last week was a BIG week for you. Why? Well damn, the new Star Wars trailer dropped along with the Superman versus Batman trailer came out early and we also saw the new Fantastic Four Trailer, the new Ant Man trailer and I got a look at the teaser for the new Quentin Tarantino movie, The Hateful Eight. I mean, seriously? Could you ask for any more than that????

I thought I’d compile all these goodies into one happy place for people to peruse at their leisure, plus, I am dying to take another look at this good stuff.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I can barely handle this trailer, it starts with that familiar music. The haunting Star Wars melody that is seared into my brain since childhood. Then freakin’ MARK HAMILL starts talking about the Force and all bets are off. We get a new look at some of the upcoming leads (including what looks to be a bad-ass lady, yay!) and not only that, Solo and Chewie…Oh man…SOLO AND CHEWIE…I need a minute, here, watch the trailer.


Okay, I’m better now…onward and upward they say! Let’s move along to yet another highly anticipated movie, Superman versus Batman: Dawn of Justice 

We get a great voice over (including Lex Luthor) taking about the difference between Gods and men and should we trust this fella called Superman? It sets up a fantastically dark story. I have to admit to being slightly disappointed that we don’t get to see anything of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in here (I’m anxious to see her in action) but I get it. They want to set up the central battle between Batman and Superman, sure I get it. I just have to ask, for the next trailer, can we see some Wonder Woman??? I have a deep fear that she’ll be shuttled over to the sidelines, a secondary character and that she won’t be as strong as her male counterparts. But I also have hope that it’s going to be one kick-butt kind of movie. I personally loved the Nolan Batman films, I enjoy when my superhero’s get all dark and gloomy (take a look at Netflix’s recent hit, Daredevil for a great example of this) so I’m really looking forward to this one.

“Devils don’t come from hell below us, they come from the sky.” – Ahhhh awesome quote to set up the distrust of Superman, and do you blame them? He destroyed a city last time!


I know nothing about Ant Man except for what my boyfriend tells me but I can tell you, watching these trailers makes me want to see this movie. I have been a huge fan of Paul Rudd for a long time now, he can be serious and hilarious and that is PERFECT for a superhero movie. Ant Man looks like it’s not going to disappoint and with the Marvel track record, I have a lot of hopes pinned on this movie. It looks fun, interesting, different and amusing. Can’t wait!

Not to mention, the sight gags they can do when there is a battle on a kids train set end up being pretty dang funny. Watch the trailer for more!


I’m going to admit something that may not be popular right now, I enjoyed the first two Fantastic Four movies. I know, I know, that is a widely unpopular viewpoint but I simply don’t care. I found them to be fairly decent films, silly at times and badly acted at others but you can do worse than Michael Chicklis is anything and Chris Evans.

All of that being said, I have to say that watching these trailers for the new Fantastic Four that I am intrigued, once again, we are seeing a darker take on a comic book story and it looks to be a pretty interesting film. I don’t care if Doom looks “right” or that the actors are different ethnicities (and really, what the heck does that matter?), all I care about is a good story, good acting and a fun movie. That’s all I ever want from these movies and Fantastic Four looks to be in line with being a good time. We’ll see when it hits theaters!


More than most things, I am a huge Quentin Tarantino fan, from his True Romance screenwriting days to today’s glorious films like Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds I just love everything he does. So I am super extra psyched for his new movie, The Hateful Eight, not only because it boasts a cast that includes Kurt Russell and Walton Goggins (if you don’t know who he is, watch Justified and you’ll love him too) but because it’s Tarantino doing a Western and it’s, well it’s Tarantino. That’s enough for me!

The teaser dropped in theaters recently, it’s been out for a while but can now be viewed by us regular folk. Sadly, there is no footage in the trailer (there wasn’t any yet) but hopefully we’ll see a trailer with footage soon. I can’t wait!

For the story and the teaser trailer, click here.


And simply because I’m doing a fun post today with videos, here’s one that struck my funny bone, it’s…well, just watch it, it’s funnier if you watch it.

I think he sums up how many of us were feeling watching the Star Wars trailer, it was a special day.

Hope you enjoyed this post with my thoughts on some big upcoming films, but tell me, what movie are you looking forward to most? Is it one of the ones I talk about or is it something different? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: A Feminist Who Sticks Up For Men, Eee Gads!

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!


I came across an interesting article yesterday titled, “Meet The Feminist Who Is Sticking Up For Men“. Intrigued, I read the article with an open mind, especially since I am a feminist who sticks up for men! The article annoyed me to some degree, not with the idea that a woman could stick up for men, but because of the idea that it’s so preposterous an idea that a woman would stick up for men that we have to have an article about it.

EQUALITY.
EQUALITY.

Yes, there have been lots of feminists that hate on men (still are) and as the article points out, some feminists have gone so far as to say such things as:

American writer Andrea Dworkin once said she wanted ‘to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig’, while author Sally Miller Gearhart suggested (in all seriousness) that ‘the proportion of men be reduced to, and maintained at, 10 per cent of the human race’.

Even Jilly Cooper, queen of the bonkbuster, famously asserted that ‘the male is a domestic animal which, if treated with fairness, can be trained to do most things.’

These types of comments sadden me, in my mind I don’t believe that feminism is about hating on men or trying to get rid of them. To me, feminism is about finding equality for the sexes, it’s about finding balance. To so many others it’s about man-bashing or hatred and that breaks my heart. I suppose the same could be held true for other movements, there are always going to be those who side with anger and hatred over calm reasonable discourse. I simply wish there was a way to make the world understand that feminism isn’t about man hating. Not at its core anyway.

The subject of the article is an academic named Christina Hoff Sommers, she has written some books that have raised eyebrows in the feminist community. She currently makes video’s called “The Factual Feminist”, where Hoff Sommers attempts to break down the stereotypes surrounding feminism and the “facts” about various studies that try to tout women as being superior to men. I watched a few of them and honestly found them interesting. Hoff Sommers isn’t trying to woman-bash any more than she is making a plea for moderation. In her book, “Who Stole Feminism?” she made the same plea and found that it landed on somewhat def ears.

“When Who Stole Feminism? first appeared in 1994 I received fan letters from some well-known feminists, but – for the most part – the establishment was unhappy with my plea for moderation. I found myself excommunicated from the church of feminism.

“Some called me a backlasher, a traitor to my gender, anti-woman. One angry critic referred to Margaret Thatcher and me as ‘those two female impersonators’.

Sadly, not much has changed since the 1990’s. If a woman dares to stand up for me, she is met with scorn and judgement from the feminist community. It’s unfair and it’s uneducated. Men aren’t bad, some of them are really awesome and they create balance in our lives. So many feminists in the past have pondered the question, how would the world be without men? They often answer that women would be fat and happy or there would be less crime. The latter is most likely true, since men are guilty of most violent crime, but the question remains…would we be happy without men? I don’t think so, I think that most of us enjoy our interactions with men, we love men and we want them around to talk to, cuddle with and gain inspiration from.

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The fact is, feminism needs a face lift, we need to push forward the idea that women love men and that feminism isn’t about man-hating. It’s about finding balance between the sexes, making everything fair and honest. It is not about putting men down or trying to make them feel “less than”, I want men to feel as powerful as women do. I want us to live in harmony.

Is it a naive dream perhaps? It makes no difference to me, I have hope that one day we’ll find that balance.

Equality-feminism

What do you think? Do you agree that men need to go or do you think we need to strike a balance? Sound off in the comments!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 4/15/2015

Greetings comic book enthusiasts and welcome to The Crank File issue #11. The Crank File is an open forum where I will offer speculations, reviews and ravings on all things comics.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like springtime. The piles of snow have retreated back into the deepest patches of shade. After being buried in cold grey for months, you almost forget what spring is like. The longer days and the sweet warm air. Baseball games and roadtrips. A world reborn through itself, year upon year, as it has for eons. And as the seasons turn, things inevitably change. Case and point, I have three books published by Archie comics on my list this week as opposed to my normal zero. Let’s turn and face the strain. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Convergence #2 DC

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Another great looking design variant from Convergence. Alternate realities collide in the second issue. Battles are fought and father and son are reunited. Thomas Wayne Batman from the Flashpoint universe meets Bruce Wayne Batman from our universe. These two haven’t seen each other since the 1930’s. Who cares that they just did the exact same thing in Spiderverse, reuniting Peter Parker and Spider-Ben?

The Mainstream One: Thor #7 Marvel

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I’m really digging the new Thor. I think Jason Aaron’s script has been exceptional and the action sequences beautifully chreographed. A lot of Thor fans will disagree with me on this, but then I admittedly never was a big Thor fan. This new Thor intrigues me and her identity will finally be revealed in May. I’m hoping that some clues will drop in this month’s episode.

The Indie One: The Fox “The Hunt” #1 Dark Circle

The Fox

Coming from an award-winning creative team, this book is getting a lot of positive buzz. The artwork looks great and I enjoyed what I read in the preview. The first Archie book to make the list, this title from their Black Circle imprint promises to be a dark and engaging tale.

The Number One One: Archie vs Predator #1 Dark Horse

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So technically a Dark Horse book, but the gang from Riverdale co-star here so I’m counting it. Archie and crew travel to spring break for some fun in the sun where they encounter Predators. That’s noat a typo. It’s quite beyond comprehension. Especially the “vs.” part. How is that title not “Archie Murdered by Predator”? Will have to read this one and find out for myself.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: RunLoveKill #1 Image

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Love this cover. It’s so good that this Image #1 is being released without any variants.

The Speculation One: Betty and Veronica #275 Adam Hughes variant Archie Comics

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Adam Hughes can paint the female anatomy like no one’s business. His “good-girl” pinup art-style is instantly recognizable, oft imitated but never replicated. He is the dirty Norman Rockwell of our generation and this one is another hit.

Last Week’s Leftovers: TMNT #44 2nd Print IDW

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TMNT #44 was so popular that it was rushed to a second printing. Last week I finally got a chance to read the “death” of Donatello issue without having to shell out 5x cover price. His savage beating at the hooves of Beebop and Rocksteady was certainly a powerful moment, one that should leave an lasting mark upon Turtle history. I will refrain from further spreading the rumors of his untimely death, but I think this could be Donatello’s Killing Joke moment.

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The Female Perspective: Book vs. Movie, Why Are Some Adaptations So Bad and Does It Matter?

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!


Turning books, graphic novels or comics into movies is nothing new. We see it all the time (because Hollyweird can’t seem to come up with their own ideas these days) and what continually fascinates me is the fact that people get hung up on details that aren’t translated “correctly”. Take, for example, “The Hunger Games” – I remember hearing people complain that the cat was the wrong color. I also heard recently that someone was disgruntled with “Daredevil” because Matt Murdock wasn’t a ginger and that Kingpin wasn’t “big enough”. These types of complaints are the norm when adaptations happen. The fact is, there is no adaptation that will ever satisfy everyone. That being said, I also think that people need to relax a bit.

Daredevil is available now on Netflix. It's well worth the watch!
Daredevil is available now on Netflix. It’s well worth the watch!

This is in no way a judgement on people being upset that something they loved wasn’t translated word for word. I know their pain, there have been plenty of adaptations that have broken my heart for taking something that seems important to me and completely omitting it or ignoring it in the adaptation.

So what’s the solution?

There really isn’t one, what I’ve found is that I go into these adaptations with an open mind and low expectations. I try not to hope too much that they’ll translate it word-for-word. I go in knowing that there will be changes and I may hate them. I mean, take a look “World War Z” – it’s this fantastic book that’s an oral history of the Zombie outbreak. It’s broken up into chapters about different people’s struggles before, during and after the outbreak. It’s a brilliant novel and I was psyched to see the movie. Then I saw the movie…the only similarity between the movie and the book is the title. I quickly realized this and let go of my expectations and allowed myself to just enjoy the action/adventure film they had turned it into. Was I 100% pleased? No. Did I manage to enjoy it? Yes. Do I hope they never do it again? Uh, yeah. Please don’t get my hopes up again!

Movie and Book could not have been more different. A disappointment but not the worst by far.
Movie and Book could not have been more different. A disappointment but not the worst by far.

This doesn’t always happen of course, sometimes I come out of the movie royally peeved off that the directors and screenwriters did a horrible job – didn’t they have any respect for the source material??? No other place is this easier to see than in the many, MANY poorly done Stephen King adaptations. I personally loved “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Carrie” and “The Mist” but I was really disappointed in “The Stand” TV series (it does not hold up after all these years) and the remake of “Carrie” was a disaster.

The remake of "Carrie" was horrid, especially when compared to the horror masterpiece of the original.
The remake of “Carrie” was horrid, especially when compared to the horror masterpiece of the original.

The fact is, we all know that there are bigger issues at hand but the thing about entertainment is that it makes us forget the stress of our lives, the problems in the world (and the upcoming Presidential election…more on that later this week) and to be disappointed by our entertainment is a weirdly devastating blow. We want to be taken away and left feeling happy! Movie studios just don’t care about the fans of the source material, they want to create a movie that makes money and appeals to a large quantity of people.

I want to hope that upcoming adaptations, such as “The Dark Tower” series that’s been rumored, “The Stand” movie series and the many other upcoming adaptations on their way satisfy the fans and the masses. That might be a bit too much to hope for though. Oh well, my fingers are crossed!

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What was your least favorite adaptation? What was your favorite? Let me know!