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Trailer Snark (October 30, 2015 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Last Week: The Martian regained the top of the box office this week, which is a bit of an anomaly these days.  $15.9M is all it took to be crowned champion again (the film has made over $166M domestically).  In second place was the Goosebumps movie, still attracting enough families as it took in $15.5M for $43.7M overall.  Bridge of Spies was third ($11.3M/$32.5M).  The highest debut came from Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter, but it still was an under-performance against expectation as it only took in $10.8M.  Hotel Transylvania 2 stayed in the top five ($9M/$148.2M).  Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was the only other debut in the top ten with $8.2M, perhaps marking the theatrical death knell of the series.  The rest of the list was as follows: Steve Jobs ($7.2/$9.9), Crimson Peak ($5.5M/$22.4M), The Intern ($3.8M/$64.7M), and Sicario ($2.9M/$39.3M).  Important to note that despite wide screenings, both Rock the Kasbah and the Jem movie absolutely bombed with just over $1M each and outside the chart.  This week’s schedule is very light, and here are the entries…..

Our Brand is Crisis (Warner Bros) – Drama
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Tag Line: May the best campaign win.
Starring: Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton
Plot: An American woman, well-versed in political campaigns, is sent to the war-torn lands of South America to help install a new leader but is threatened to be thwarted by a long-term rival.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Rob: I’m almost with the llama on this one.  No thanks.
Jessica: I usually enjoy a political movie but not in a theater. I’d watch it for free sometime at home.
Chris: Sandra Bullock is a fine actress, and this political thriller seems to be a non-typical role for her.  If my premature weariness over this year’s political cycle can subside, I may be game.
Ken: Pass.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (Paramount) – Comedy/Horror
Rated R for zombie violence and gore, sexual material, graphic nudity, and language throughout
Tag Line: Always bring protection.
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan
Plot: Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.
Running Time: 93 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5e7Mr7eVTk
Ken: Pass.
Rob: This one looks pretty funny.  A few scouts and a “cocktail waitress” against the zombie apocalypse.  What could possibly go wrong?  Do I get a merit badge for watching this?  I’m in either way.
Jessica: Please don’t ever make me see this trailer again. I usually love a good zombie flick but this looks awful and I suspect the funny bits are in the trailer which bums me out since it’s not a funny trailer.
Chris: Looks atrocious…..that being said, my lack of cinematic standards will guarantee a Netflix viewing down the road, I am sure.

Carter High (Sweet Chariot) – Drama
Rated PG – 13 for thematic elements, some strong language and suggestive material
Tag Line: None
Starring: Vivica Fox, Charles Dutton, Pooch Hall
Plot: During the 1980s Carter High School in Dallas, Texas was a football powerhouse. This is the story of four of the student athletes whose off the field activities cost them their future.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Chris: I am not sure what it is about football movies, but they are (for me) the ultimate in sports drama.  The fact that this high school football drama takes place in a time period that I was beginning my own high school years will bring a certain nostalgia.
Ken: I’ll watch it on TV.
Rob: A story of racism impacting Texas High School football.  Looks pretty good, and pretty scary (since we’re talking late 1980’s true story material).  I’ll probably catch it on video though.
Jessica: Looks good and terrifying.

Tickets Purchased:  One for Carter High (Chris), one for Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (Rob).  Meanwhile Jessica stays home to watch Trick ‘r’ Treat on TV and Ken wonders where his darn scary movies are?

Happy Halloween from the Great Stories Football Team!
Happy Halloween from the Great Stories Football Team!

 

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The Female Perspective: “Supergirl” Is Indeed Super

Welcome! This is the 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.


If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and you should be) then you know that I have mad love for all things superhero. Man, woman, Hulk, etc, if it’s a superhero, I love it. One of my all-time favorites is Supergirl. Don’t get me wrong, Wonder Woman rocks my socks off but my very first superhero memories are of the Supergirl movie with Helen Slater and Peter O’Toole. That movie made me feel so many of the feelings and to this day I adore it and no one can talk me out of it!

You can imagine then that I turned into the new CBS adaptation of Supergirl with lots of excitement and a pinch of trepidation. Were they going to make her over-sexed and stupid? Were they going to make her kick-ass and awesome?

Oh CBS, you did not disappoint me. I simply adored the first episode of Supergirl this week. I can’t wait for more! I can only hope that the rest of the season is as good as that very first episode. There were a few times I got chills, always a good sign.

Supergirl Isn’t a Trollop Or a Moron (Thank God)

It’s so easy these days for female superheroes to be treated as nothing more than eye candy. Short skirts, up-skirt shots, tight outfits and … well, being a woman in a mostly (but not for long) male-dominated world can be a challenge. In recent years we’ve seen a wonderful surge in strong female superheroes (thanks Black Widow!) that gave me a lot of hope that this version of my favorite flying lady would be amazing.

CBS did a lot of things right with this permutation of Supergirl, from her costume (which went through a couple of versions, with a funny nod to the boy shorts and crop top look she had at one point *shudder*), to Kara’s personality. They didn’t make her dumb or slutty. They made her a total nerd, which I LOVE. She’s goofy, she’s clumsy, she’s awkward but she also has this powerful side of her, this side that can beat bad guys and punch in the front of tractor trailers. How can you not love her?

Also, as a side note, well done on the new Jimmy Olsen, I can see why Kara went speechless when she met him the first time!

Kara and Jimmy Olsen.
Kara and Jimmy Olsen.
When Supergirl flies, there's real power behind it.
When Supergirl flies, there’s real power behind it.

She’s More Than Just Super

So often these days strong women are seen as bratty, as bitches and that’s so often very far from the truth. It’s an endlessly frustrating discussion, why can’t women be strong and be seen as strong rather than cranky or PMSing?

This Supergirl is strong without it being annoying. She doesn’t go around (so far) acting tough and doing strong…stuff just for the sake of it. She is learning how to be a hero and she wants to do right by her now destroyed world.

When we meet her, she’s conflicted about her strength and unsure if the world needs another Super-anything but when she gets a taste of her true power, she is addicted to it. She needs to help where she can. She needs to do the best she can by her adopted people. She needs to be a hero because she is a hero. Supergirl is born.

What I’ve always enjoyed about Supergirl is that she’s just as powerful as her cousin Superman and what I enjoy about both the 1980’s movie and the new show is that they let her fight and be beaten up. In fact, she’s punched into the sidewalk at one point, it’s pretty brutal and I loved it. They didn’t shy away from showing how strong she really is nor did they shy away from showing that being a superhero can be a tough gig. They showed her being beaten up just like Superman would have been. Like any male character would have been and the best part? She gave as good as she got.

Well done Melissa Benoist and CBS.
Well done Melissa Benoist and CBS.

It’s Not Perfect But …

So far, CBS did right by Supergirl and I can’t wait for next week. I know the show isn’t perfect, I wish they had connected this Supergirl to the current Superman movies or at least alluded to them in some way, that would have been really cool to know that people are used to or even perhaps a little weary of the superhero’s in their midst. The destruction their kind can cause when they are trying to do right. That would have been great. They also mentioned Superman A LOT. A LOT. I’m hoping that isn’t continued throughout the whole show.

It seems as though this Supergirl exists in a world where Superman has been around for 24 or so years so it’s long past the time of our current Superman (I think, anyway. The timeline was a little confusing) so fine, I can live with that.

I LOVED that they used Dean Cain (a former Superman) and Helen Slater (SUPERGIRL!) as this Supergirl’s adopted parents, the Danvers. I thought that was a clever nod to the past permutations of our favorite Super-folk.

Feminist TV?

I’ve heard some rumblings about how this is “feminist TV” and I thought about that last night as I contemplated my blog for today. There were the same rumblings when Furiosa kicked butt in Mad Max: Fury Road and it also made me pause, who cares if it’s “feminist TV”?

What IS “feminist TV”?

Is it regular TV with women as strong lead characters? If so, I’m okay with that.

So why is it said as if it’s a bad thing?

Oh, that’s right, because there are still men out there who are threatened by strong, powerful women who are their own hero’s. That don’t need saving by a man. That’s right. I forget that sometimes. Those guys can shove it. Give me more FEMINIST TV!

Regardless – I’ll take a good dose of feminist TV any day of the week over some of the more misogynistic, male-dominated fare that has dominated TV and other entertainment my entire life. Now, I just need to see that Supergirl toy and I can’t wait for Rhode Island Comic Con this year, I am hoping to see a few Supergirl’s running around!

Watch The Trailer For Supergirl Here!

What did you think of the new #Supergirl? Tell me in the comments!

I'll always love Helen Slater's version but CBS did a good job. Let's hope it continues!
I’ll always love Helen Slater’s version but CBS did a good job. Let’s hope it continues!
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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/28/2015

Happy Halloween comic booOOooooOOOook fans (read in a ghost voice). Welcome to a spooktacular edition of the Crank File, written in spooOOooky script. It’s the end of October folks and monster month has been an absolute treat. The Marvels relaunch was a little shaky, as expected, but everyone I spoke to seems to be finding something to enjoy. I liked what I saw from Iron Man and Captain America. The latest Star Wars Force Awakens trailer went a long way to ease any doubts I had about the new Star Wars movies. The internet dropped a crazy Batman vs Superman theory that actually sort of makes sense and AMC’s Walking Dead stabbed it’s audience square in the gut (for the watch). Week four delivers a merciful break as we enter All Hallow’s Eve. So without further adooOOoooOOoo…

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Manifest Destiny #18 Image

 

MD18

 

As the arc comes to a close, extreme measures are taken to protect Lewis & Clark’s mission.

Always finding its way up to the front of the stack, Manifest Destiny is some of the most fun I’ve had reading comics. The series continues to horrify and delight with more monsters, more terrors and more grisly deaths. Manifest Destiny really hit its stride in the third arc Chiroptera & Carnivores with a balanced mix of action and storytelling. Issue #18 will undoubtedly close out with fireworks so Westward, ho!

 

The Mainstream One: Justice League The Darkseid Wars Batman #1 DC

 

JL1

 

As the Darkseid War rages on, Batman’s role in Gotham City–and the world-alters drastically as he’s forced to accept his new role as a God of Knowledge.

Batman sits atop the Mobius chair and becomes god. An unstable man with violent tendencies and a thirst for vengeance gains omnipotence. What could possibly go wrong? I wasn’t planning on picking this one up initially, but I heard that in this issue Batman confronts the man who shot his parents all those years ago, Joe Chill.

 

The Indie One: Rumble #8 Image Comics

 

r8

 

Special Halloween issue, introducing a new major character!

I read the first issue of Rumble when it came out and liked it enough to add it to my pull list. Issues 2-7 had been sitting in my pull box since then and I decided the reading load for monster week wasn’t enough, so I decided to tack six issues of Rathraq on top of it. I didn’t really need to sleep anyways. It’s hard to boil Rumble down to a blurb, but it is action, fantasy, humor, horror and heart and it’s all done incredibly well.

 

The #1 One: Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D #1 Marvel Kirby Monster Variant

 

HCa

 

Hidden deep beneath AREA 13 lies the clandestine headquarters of S.T.A.K.E.–a top secret division of S.H.I.E.L.D. housing aliens, mythical beasts, and all manner of extra-normal entities. Under the command of legendary soldier DUM DUM DUGAN, these monsters step out of the shadows and defend the world against supernatural threats too dangerous for normal men.

Marvel’s answer to the Justice League Dark, S.H.I.E.L.D’s Howling Commandos are a motley crew of monsters and humans who specialize in dealing with the weird stuff that their super-strong counterparts can’t punch through. I like the premise, it allows Marvel to tell dark, supernatural stories that don’t work elsewhere but I was underwhelmed by the preview. My Newbury 50% special of the week, I’m going to try to grab the Del Mundo Kirby variant.

 

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

 

PG1

 

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure.

The Paper Girls debuted a few weeks back and it was awesome. If you’re like me and love Brian K Vaughan’s writing, then you probably already own a copy. But right now, Midtown Comics is selling copies signed by creators Brain K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Jared Fletcher and Matt Wilson for cover price plus shipping. It even comes with a COA. Be sure to snag a couple cheap comics to protect your copy of Paper Girls during shipping, Midtown does not ship their comics with backers.

 

The Speculation One: Self Storage #1 451 Media Group

 

SS1

 

What if you found a zombie locked up in a self storage unit? Would you keep it? Chris Smith has eked by in life hocking the auctioned-off junk from those people who no longer pay the rent on their self storage units. He spends his days hopping from one storage facility to the next, bidding on units sight-unseen, only to sell whatever’s inside to antique dealers and pawn shops for as much money as he can squeeze. But Chris has never found anything like what’s waiting for him inside unit # 83… …Her name is Jessica.

Small, indie publishers are all the rage this year. Last week’s Sunflower #1 from 451 Media Group sold out quickly and immediately shot up to $15 in after market trading. I’m hoping for similar results with their zombie book, Self Storage. The previews looked great and should be an entertaining read regardless.

Carpe Comics!

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Trailer Snark (October 23, 2015 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Last Week: Jack Black as R.L. Stine takes the top of the box office this week as Goosebumps pulled in $23.5M in its opening week.  The Martian dropped one spot to number two taking in another $21.5M ($143.7M overall).  Bridge of Spies debuted at number three with $15.3M followed by the debuting Crimson Peak which took in $12.8M.  Fifth place belonged to Adam Sandler’s animated Hotel Transylvania 2 ($12.2M/$136.4M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  Pan ($5.8M/$25.7M), The Intern ($5.4M/$58.7M), Sicario ($4.5M/$34.6M), Woodlawn ($4.1M), and Scorch Trials ($2.7M/$75.4M).  Let’s take a look at this weekend’s lineup of new contenders…..

Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension (Paramount) – Horror
Rated R for language and some horror violence
Tag Line: Every secret will be revealed.Starring: Brit Shaw, Chris Murray
Plot: Using a special camera that can see spirits, a family must protect their daughter from an evil entity with a sinister plan.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Ken: I’m a sucker for found footage horror movies and have seen almost every Paranormal Activity movie made, despite the most terrifying part of the last few has been the decline in quality.  I’ll probably break down and watch it when it comes to streaming.
Jessica: These movies are always good for a laugh and/or maybe a chill up the spine. I’d catch this one at home. I’m sure it’s right in line with all the others of the series.
Chris: I caught the last few on DVD and there was a serious decline in entertainment, but I will say that this trailer seems to have raised the franchise game a bit.

Jem & the Holograms (Universal) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic material including reckless behavior, brief suggestive content and some language
Tag Line: Every generation needs a voice.
Starring: Aubrey Peeples, Molly Ringwald, Stefanie Scott
Plot: As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Chris: Not as outrageous as one might expect.
Ken: Oh god, I just threw up a little bit. This looks horrible.
Jessica: Don’t bother with his pile of trash. It’s Jem in NAME only and  a total waste of time for any movie goer. It disgusts my Jem loving heart! I’m going to have to watch a cartoon to wash the ugly taste of Hollywood’s money-making machine from my mouth after seeing this lousy trailer for what can only be a lousy movie. See, I used no foul language! That was hard.

The Last Witch Hunter (Summit Entertainment) – Action/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Tag Line: Live forever. Hunt forever.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood
Plot: The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history.
Running Time: 106 minutes
Jessica: I admit that at first I laughed at this one but I have a not so secret love for Vin D. and I would totally watch this at home and probably enjoy the holy heck out of it too. I mean, Frodo Baggins and Alfred Pennyworth are in it with Turetto!
Chris: Looks like the comfort food of movies to me!
Ken: CGI isn’t scary and I can’t understand a word of what Vin Diesel is saying. All that aside, I could watch anything with Rose Leslie in it.  

Rock the Kasbah (Open Road) – Comedy
Rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence
Tag Line: Opportunity rocks when you least expect it.
Starring: Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, and Zooey Deschanel
Plot: A down-on-his-luck music manager discovers a teenage girl with an extraordinary voice while on a music tour in Afghanistan and takes her to Kabul to compete on the popular television show, Afghan Star.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Ken: Even Sharif would likes this one.
Jessica: I want to want to see this but it’s a pass for me.
Chris: I did not have any laugh out loud moments in this trailer.  Maybe they saved the good stuff?

Suffragette (Focus Features) – Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Tag Line: Mothers. Daughters. Rebels.
Starring: Anne-Marie Duff, Carey Mulligan, Grace Stottor
Plot: The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.
Running Time: 106 minutes

Chris: We continue our civil right’s theme movie march this week tackling women’s suffrage.  Girls just want to have fun, you know!
Ken: Political radicalism and random acts of destruction. Girl power!
Jessica: This is my JAM! I am SO EXCITED for this one. I think it’ll be emotional and powerful. Can’t wait to check it out.

I Smile Back (Broad Green Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for strong sexual content, substance abuse/disturbing behavior, and language
Tag Line: Love desperately, live recklessly.
Starring: Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles
Plot: Laney Brooks does bad things. Married with kids, she takes the drugs she wants, sleeps with the men she wants, disappears when she wants. Now, with the destruction of her family looming, and temptation everywhere, Laney makes one last desperate attempt at redemption.
Running Time: 85 minutes

Jessica: Sigh, why do awesome comedians always have to make serious films? I enjoy Silverman and this looks good but … I have no idea what else to say about it. I might see it someday.
Chris: I loathe Sarah Silverman (as an entertainer)….there, I said it.  That being said, this is a very un-Sarah Silverman like movie.
Ken: Silverman takes her turn doing serious drama. She looks pretty convincing at playing crazy.

Burnt (The Weinstein Company) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout
Tag Line: Never underestimate a man with nothing to lose.Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Plot: Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a Chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.
Running Time: 100 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiGJlUVQDGk
Ken: Reminds me of Anthony Bourdain’s absoluitely insane tales from his autobiographical book Kitchen Confidential. This trailer has whet my appetite.
Jessica: This one I will happily NEVER watch and I have love for Cooper but this looks all kinds of terrible and sugary sweet. Blech.
Chris: Bradley Cooper does Hell’s Kitchen…sort of.  Meh….

Tickets Purchased:  One for Burnt (Ken), One for Suffragette (Jessica), and One for The Last Witch Hunter (Chris)…..ah, back to happy disagreement folks!

Can Vin Diesel save the world from civil rights hungry women driven crazy by Chef Bradley Cooper?  Did that make any sense at all?
Can Vin Diesel save the world from civil right’s hungry women driven crazy by Chef Bradley Cooper? Did that make any sense at all?
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The Female Perspective: STAR WARS: The Force Awakens … A Bunch of Trolls

Welcome! This is the 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.


December 18th cannot come fast enough.
December 18th cannot come fast enough.

Unless you live under a rock you know that the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out in all it’s Star Wars glory last night. Following a flurry of excitement and geeky goodness came the trolls.

The dang internet trolls.

Seriously, I really don’t like those guys (or gals).

What did they do this time? Oh, they created a hashtag that says “#BoycottStarWarsVII”, yeah, that’s right, there are actually people (at least, I think they’re people. Are trolls actual people? I’m beginning to think they’re actual trolls, like the ones that live under bridges.) out there that claim that the new Star Wars movie is “anti-white” because the star appears to be a black man.

According to FB the hashtag has been used over one hundred thousand times already.
According to FB the hashtag has been used over one hundred thousand times already.

Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. Somehow, someone, somewhere decided that from watching this 2-minute trailer that the entire movie is about this fellow and that means that the entire movie is now anti-white. Even though the other main character all appear to be white. Besides that point, there has always been diversity within the Star Wars world.  Lando is black, Darth Vader is voiced by a black man and I’m pretty sure all those aliens flitting in and about are of various ethnicities other than white. Just a suspicion of mine though and the fact is, I can’t possibly make this make sense. It’s so out there that my brain can’t even fully understand why someone would believe this, let alone make a specific hashtag to promote their racist propaganda.

12045298_1032897560075206_4886884940212660605_o

The fact is that whether this is “just” internet trolls, a cry for attention or nothing much, it is an important piece of the necessary dialogue about racism in this country. People try to say it’s gotten better because we don’t have slaves or separate rest rooms but that was obvious racism. What we have today is subtle racism and it is far more insidious and dangerous than the overt racism ever was. People can hide behind their computer screens or in plain site and yet, they are full of hatred for other races. This subtly is what brings us hashtags like this that go viral. It’s what stings in media stories that call black men “thugs” and white men “citizens”. The fact is that even if this boycott Star Wars hashtag is a joke, it’s not a very funny one.

Do not bring the children into your twisted logic. Kids aren’t born with racism.

In a world where we can put every single thought in our heads out into the mysterious internet, people are finding that other people say crazy, nutso, mostly insane things. That includes creating a hashtag to boycott what promises to be the biggest movie of the year.

I’m sorry trolls but you are going to lose this one. People who are true Star Wars fans are not going to run away because Luke Skywalker may or may not be the lead. They’re going to flock to this movie to see who the heck he’s become in all these years because, let’s face it, these trailers aren’t telling us much about our favorite Jedi, Smuggler, Princess and Wookie. We get little teases of their roles, little moments of seeing them on screen as some of our favorite fictional characters, it all leaves us wanting more.

I can't even ... There are no words ...
I can’t even … There are no words …

Besides all of that, the hashtag is clearly a cry  from white supremacists racists for attention.

You know some troll is sitting in their basement (yes, I’m generalizing here), enjoying a Mountain Dew and a microwaved burrito while laughing gleefully at the furor they’ve caused with their racist comments and hashtag.  Heck, I’m feeding into that with this blog but I can’t even help myself because the idea of someone saying that the new Star Wars is “anti-white” and everyone should boycott it just makes me insane.

At the end of the day, will this cut into the Star Wars money making machine? No way. The racists will not get what they want and the Star Wars franchise will soar on into movie history, as it should and as a movie with racial diversity in it’s cast. Not to mention, in the wake of “boycott Star Wars” has come it’s opposite, director Ava DuVernay, after expressing her own dismay, charged fans to co-opt another tag, #CelebrateStarWarsVII and some of the Tweets from that have been glorious indeed.

I because it’s giving us new, diverse voices and stories from a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars is for everyone!!!

I read an article from iO9 today that used this line that I wholly agree with and it also reminded me that with all the awful stuff we see online, there is always, always going to be good stuff too. As evidenced by #CelebrateStarWarsVII and it reminding us that for kids especially, seeing a black man in the lead role is a wonderful thing indeed and for many of them, it’s not nearly as big a deal as it is for some of us.

Take something dumb and toxic, and turn it into something wonderful and funny. That’s also what the internet is about. ~iO9

Take that trolls, whatever toxic garbage you toss our way, we’ll always combat it with goodness and light because guess what? With darkness there is always light and as a good friend of mine always says, the light will win.

The Force is with us all.

Is it just trolls being trolls, nonsense or something to be worried about? 

Tell me YOUR thoughts.

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Spector for Hire: Advertising Done Right

EA/Sony just hit the ball out of the park with their latest advertisement.  Go ahead, click this link and tell me this isn’t an absolute clinic on how to advertise.  This may well be the best ad of all time.  If The Gunn Report says differently, then The Gunn Report is wrong.

https://youtu.be/mByznNYCWTY

Star Wars: Battlefront is being released on November 17, 2015.  My pre-order has been in for ages, but this commercial captures the essence of what it’s like when your heart belongs to a galaxy far, far away….

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/21/2015

Hey there comic book nerds. All of you Marvel fans out there, are you struggling to keep up with the All-New, All-Different relaunch? Feeling that void in your wallet growing wider and wider each week? Want to check out all the yarns spinning out of the big red machine without having to resort to a Ramen noodle diet? Check out a Newbury Comics if there’s one in your area. You might be able to get 50% off any Marvel comic priced $3.99 or lower until the end of October. $3.99, that’s just about every book out from Marvel this week. Oh happy day.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

 

The Top of the Pile: Weirdworld #1 Marvel

WW

 

The final battle for the fate of Weirdworld. To save his home of Polemachus, Arkon must lead his newfound allies against the armies of Morgan le Fay!

You will have to excuse me for sounding like a broken record, but Weirdworld has been my favorite thing from this Secret Wars event. It is truly unique and awesome in so many ways. A smash-em-up world of some of the craziest creations to have ever graced Marvel’s pages. The entire Marvel reboot has been worth it for Weirdworld alone.

 

 

The Mainstream One: Star Wars: Shattered Empire #4 Marvel

 

SW4

 

Concluding the first new-canon comic tale set between episodes VI and VII! As the Empire Shatters around them, Rebel heroes fight for a better tomorrow!

The last issue in the first cannonical volume of Star Wars to be published by Marvel, Shattered Empire has not been what I had expected. Solicited as a story that would bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and the Force Awakens, I was hoping for hints of subplots that would tie into The Force Awakens. Sadly, it has been not that kind of series. Heavy on the character drama, I’m guessing that this is an introduction to relatives of our Force Awakens heroes.

 

 

The Indie One: Tokyo Ghost #2 Image

 

TG2

 

Constables Led Dent and Debbie Decay are given their final mission: purge their bodies of all technology and invade the Garden Nation of Tokyo.

I enjoyed the first issue of Tokyo Ghose a lot, my only criticism was that it was dense. It threw a lot at the reader and wasn’t big on subtlety. Not an easy read but I think Remender did it intentionally to get the reader up-to-speed on the details so that he can get to the stories. Looking forward to where this series heads in issue two.

 

 

The #1 One: Back to the Future #1 IDW

 

BttF1

 

‘Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines,’ part 1: Take a trip back to 1985 and be there when Doc Brown and Marty McFly first meet, and then jump even farther back, to 1945, to witness Doc’s involvement in the super-secret Manhattan Project. All-new canonical stories by Bob Gale, creator and screenwriter of Back to the Future.

There are movies that were experienced by everyone of a certain generation. Back to the Future was seen at least once by anyone who was alive during the 80’s. Me and my friends watched it wayyyy more than that. The fist movie was an instant classic and keeps a special place in my heart.  This is some heavy stuff doc!

 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Beauty #3 Image

 

B1

 

The Beauties are dying. They’re dying bad. Foster and Vaughn find unlikely allies in their fight to find the truth.

Three issues of Beauty, three gorgeous variant covers. Story ain’t half-bad either. Recommended.

 

Carpe Comics!

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Trailer Snark (October 16, 2015 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Last Week: Matt Damon’s The Martian once again claims the top spot this past week with an additional $37M added to its $108.7M total.  The animated Sandler sequel Hotel Transylvania also managed to stay in its second place spot with $20.5M and $116.8M overall.  The debuting Pan came in third amidst mediocre reviews with $15.5M.  The Intern was bumped one spot to fourth ($8.6M/$49.5M).  Sicario took fifth ($7.3M/$26.7M).  The rest of the list lacked any surprises or new debuts and was as follows:  Maze Runner: Scorch Trials ($5.2M/$70.6M), The Walk ($3.6M/$6.3M), Black Mass ($3.1M/$57.5M), Everest ($3M/$38.2M), and The Visit ($2.4M/$61M).  Let’s see who the contenders are this week……

Goosebumps (Columbia) – Action/Comedy/Adventure
Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Tag Line: The stories are alive.
Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush
Plot: A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Greendale, Maryland.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Chris: We have Jack Black as the curmudgeon gatekeeper/author of every Goosebump ever written and about the be unleashed on humanity.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by the trailer, with an assist from low expectation.
Jessica: Didn’t read the books, don’t care about the movie.
Ken: Is Jack Black supposed to be playing R.L. Stein? I read a lot of Goosebumps as a child and I only felt the slightest twinge of nostalgia.

Crimson Peak (Legendary Pictures) – Drama/Fantasy/Horror
Rated R for bloody violence, some sexual content and brief strong language
Tag Line: Beware.
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston
Plot: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.
Running Time: 119 minutes

Ken: The visuals look amazing. And who doesn’t like a good haunted house story around Halloween?
Chris: Guillermo del Toro is a true artist (see Pan’s Labrynth as evidence).  This looks to be a clear winner by my eyes and ears.  If you like stylistic horror, look no further.
Jessica: I love me some Guillermo so I’m in! I love a good spooky flick, plus it has Loki and Jax!

Bridge of Spies (Disney) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Tag Line: In a world on the brink the difference between war and peace was one honest man.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda
Plot: An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Jessica: What? I fell asleep again. BORING.
Ken: A lot of marquee names on this one: Spielberg, Hanks and the Coen brothers. I’ll check it out when it comes to streaming.
Chris: Spielberg and Hanks are at it again.  This time tackling the Cold War between the us and the Soviets.  Good timing as the Russian bear seems to be rising again to fill the world power vacuum.  Definitely has my attention.

Truth (Sony Pictures Classic) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Tag Line: None
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Tpher Grace, Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood
Plot: Newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating then-President George W. Bush’s military service, and the subsequent firestorm of criticism that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Chris: Docu-drama on the forged military service documents of President George W Bush.  Apologist piece or objective presentation?  Who knows…maybe I will catch it on the small screen?
Jessica: This looks really fascinating, stellar, star-packed cast and an intriguing story about fighting the good fight and asking the hard questions. Totally want to see this.
Ken: I think I’m digging this movie’s message, but let’s just all take a moment and acknowledge that G. W. should never have been president in the first place.

Room (A24) – Drama
Rated R for language
Tag Line: Love knows no boundaries.
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, William H Macy
Plot: After 5-year old Jack and his Ma escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Ken: Looks like a good story that doesn’t interest me.
Chris: An escape to the real world?  I am not sure what this movie is really about from the trailer, but it looks like it wants to pull the heart strings.
Jessica: Looks intriguing. I’d totally check this out at home.

Woodlawn (PureFlix Cinema) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements including some racial tension/violence
Tag Line: One hope.  One truth. One way.
Starring: Caleb Castille, Sean Astin, Jon Voight
Plot: A gifted high school football player must learn to embrace his talent and his faith as he battles racial tensions on and off the field.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Jessica: Looks like an uplifting story about acceptance and faith. I’d check this out at home and I do have mad love for Samwise Gamgee.
Ken: Sean Astin needs to stop doing football movies. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
Chris: Faith-based football movie dealing with racism in the Deep South (a popular subject of film-making) in the early 70’s…..actually looks pretty good.  I kind of dig football movies.

Momentum (Starz Digital Media) – Action/Thriller
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, James Purefoy, Morgan Freeman
Plot: Alex, a mysterious thief, is pulled in by her former partner for one last heist. She quickly finds it was never just about the diamonds. A brutal murder sparks a cat and mouse chase between…
Running Time: 96 minutes

Chris: Olga Kurylenko does non-Bond action thriller.  This one looks a bit more hard core than the shaken, not stirred English gentleman variety action film.
Jessica: Eh. This didn’t do a whole lot for me. Though, on an interesting note, I did a transcription of an interview between the director of this movie (it’s his first film. he has been Clint Eastwood’s main cameraman for YEARS), seems like a really passionate film guy, gotta respect that.
Ken: There’s just something about foreign accents that makes bad dialogue in action films bearable.

Tickets Purchased:  Three for Crimson Peak

It's that time of fear...er, we mean year!
It’s that time of fear…er, we mean year!
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The Female Perspective: This Halloween, Be Sexy, Be Powerful, Don’t Be Slutty

Welcome! This is the 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.


I was thinking about my blog for this week and wondering what kind of goodness I wanted to write about and eventually I thought about how Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There’s something about the air that’s different, it’s cooler (well, usually. Right now it’s a tad warm in Rhode Island) and it’s just … weirder. So I started thinking, what are some great costumes for the feminist lady? Can it be sexy? Can it be daring? Will it still be feminist if you show off your good bits?

I think the answer can be yes though I admit it makes me feel a little bit weird saying that. I’m not someone who loves the “slutty” costume series and a lot of them really just look ridiculous (does anyone buy these???) but I also think that people should dress up as whatever they want. If it makes them feel good, who am I to judge? Then I think to myself, the real problem isn’t the risqué costumes, it’s the term “slutty” – that seems to be a quick and not-s0-subtle way for us women to degrade ourselves while doing something as simple as getting a Halloween costume.

Let me suggest some alternatives to being a Sexy Disney Character (ick) or other so-called “slutty” costume.

To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.
To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.

#1) Rosie The Riveter

Smart & Sassy.
Smart & Sassy.

How can you go wrong with this badass lady? Not only is the costume SUPER easy to make, it’s also really recognizable either as the “Yes We Can!” lady or Rosie. No matter what, you’ll look smart, sexy, powerful and be super comfortable.

Am I one of the only people who want their costumes to be comfortable along with looking awesome? I’m okay with it if I am, just thought I’d ask.

#2) A Suffragette

And it's perfect for the upcoming release of the movie "Suffragette"!
And it’s perfect for the upcoming release of the movie “Suffragette”!

You might be going, huh? What? Is that some weird toy or cosplay? Nope! In case you didn’t know, women didn’t always have the right to vote and it’s because of these brave women (aka suffragette’s) that we can vote and enjoy the rights we have today. Not only is it an unusual costume, it’s also pretty cool, you can wear a vintage dress and wear a SASH without having to be a beauty queen or … um, sash model. Seriously, who else other than beauty queens wear sashes?

#3) Any Awesomely Famous Women From History/Pop Culture

Honestly, these are as easy as pie (mmm…pie). You can go as Frida Kahlo and sport a fabulous uni-brow that will certainly catch all the glances. Not to mention, as Frida you can wear beautiful, colorful, flowing clothing and really show off your artistic side.

If you are more into movie/TV icons you can go as a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent and go around kicking people’s butts or grabbing that hot guy dressed as Thor and tell him you want him to join the S.H.I.E.L.D initiative – it’s a perfect pick up line for the single gal!

You can also go with more traditional fare like a fully dressed Disney princess, the Queen or even my personal fave, Buffy The Vampire Slayer or get really tough with your best Furiosa costume!

Buffy Costumes - totally DIY awesome!
Buffy Costumes – totally DIY awesome!

There are so many awesome options for Halloween costumes that DON’T involve showing off every bit of skin you can get away with but still be powerful and in full command of your sexuality. Don’t sell yourself short by picking something “slutty” – I can promise you that you are better than that.

Halloween is a time to express the side you never get to express. It’s a time to dress up in a way you’ve always wanted to, but thought might be disapproved of. Go Goth, Emo, Punk, Prairie Lady, whatever makes YOU feel good.  If that means showing some skin, then go with it, but do me a favor, don’t call yourself a “Slutty” anything. If someone tells you that you are dressed as a Slutty Nurse just because your skirt is short or you’re showing some cleavage, make sure to correct them and say you are a Nurse, plain and simple. Calling ourselves “slutty” is what I object to. I think it’s degrading and it cheapens any effort we put into dressing up for a party. We are more than our body parts ladies. We are more than our cleavage and our booty. We are powerful, we are sexy, we are smart and we are worth respecting ourselves.

This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!
This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!

This Halloween, dress as you want, have fun with it, be daring, but most of all, be the powerful Universal force you truly are. Don’t sell yourself short by being slutty. Show the world that you can be both powerful AND sexy and that being sexy does not mean you’re not feminist. Being sexy is about harnessing your inner Goddess and rolling with it. Not about being cheap. You’re all brilliant, now show off that brilliance this Halloween!

What are YOU going as for Halloween? Tell me in the comments!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/14/2015

Monster week came and went, and with all the hype and build up to October 7 it wasn’t shocking that I came away feeling a bit unsatisfied. Marvel launched its post-616/1610 universe with #1’s for some of its flagship series, but my favorite books from Marvel last week came from the late, great Secret Wars #6 and their various Star Wars titles. Iron Man was fine and it was fun seeing Amazing Spider-Man web-slinging around Shanghai but I expected more from All-New, All-Different. The $4 and $5 dollar price tags didn’t help. But there’s no slowing the Big Red Machine machine as it rolls in with another flurry of #1’s this week: Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Gwen, Captain America Sam Wilson, New Avengers, Spider-man 2099, Uncanny Avengers. And spoiler alert, none of them even make this week’s list. And neither does Batman.

This is indeed a disturbing universe.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Roche Limit #5 Image

Story by: Michael Moreci
Art by: Kyle Charles

 

RL5

 

The Conclusion of volume two of the sci-fi trilogy.

The first Roche Limit volume was a great series which spoke so many truths about things that often go unsaid in sci fi. The second volume has been a totally independent story from volume 1, with a completely new lineup of characters and new plot points but has maintained the same razor sharp dissection of the human condition. Love this series and can’t wait to see how volume 2 wraps up.

 

 

The Mainstream One: Chewbacca #1 Marvel Alex Ross Variant

Story by: Gerry Duggan
Art by: Phil Noto

 

Chew1

 

After the battle of Yavin, Chewbacca is on his own when he crash lands his ship on an Imperial occupied planet. Now stranded, Chewie finds himself caught in the middle of trying to return to the rebellion and helping a young and feisty girl in need.

Chewie is my favorite Star Wars character of all time. I can totally relate to his growl-softly-but-carry-a-big-bowcaster mentality. The baller Alex Ross cover is just gravy.

 

 

The Indie One: Low #10 Image

Story by: Rick Remender
Art by: Greg Tocchini and Dave McCaig

 

L1

 

This is it: Stel Caine has risen from the depths to set foot on the surface of Earth, the first human in millennia to do so. But what she finds there will make her wish she never left the safe darkness of the deep sea.

I flip flopped a couple times between Low and Roche Limit for the top spot. Roche Limit eventually took the honors mostly because it will be the final issue of volume 2, but everything I said about Roche can be said about Low. Low could easily find itself on top Wednesday.

 

 

The #1 One: The Twilight Children #1 Vertigo

Story by: Gilbert Hernandez
Art by: Darwyn Cooke

 

TC1

 

When a white orb washes up on the shore of a remote Latin American village, a group of children naturally poke at the strange object to see what it is. The orb explodes, leaving the children completely blind. And when a beautiful young woman who may be an alien is found wandering the seafront, she’s taken in by the townspeople, but soon becomes a person of interest to a quirky pair of undercover CIA agents, and the target of affection for a young scientist. Can they come together to prevent an all-out alien invasion and save the souls in this sleepy, seaside town?

 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: I Hate Fairyland #1 Image Cover B

Story and Art by: Skottie Young

 

FF1

 

Yeah, it shocked me too. And that’s just the preview version. I’ve seen the actual cover and it is NOT censored. Four letters and the full double deuce. Skottie Young appears hell bent on breaking away from his adorable “Marvel-babies” persona with his first creator owned series.

In an adventure that ain’t for the little kiddies, (unless you have super cool parents, then whatever), you’ll meet Gert-a six year old girl who has been stuck in the magical world of Fairyland for thirty years and will hack and slash her way through anything to find her way back home. Join Gert and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND!

 

 

The Speculation One: Clandestino #1 Black Mask

Story and Art by: Amancay Nahuelpan

 

C1

 

The country of Tairona became a no man’s land after the military coup. Guerrillas were formed across the lands, and rebels unified against the dictator to resist the regime. The hopes of many lay on Clandestino, who barely escaped from the military attacks as a child, and was then recruited by the rebel forces, to later lead the revolution against the dictator.

The market has spoken and Black Mask is unarguably the hottest publisher at the moment. NM copies of We Can Never Go Home #1 and sets of Space Riders #1-4 selling around the $100 mark. Clandestino will certainly have a small print run and you would be wise to pick up any #1’s from Black Mask.

 

Last Week’s Leftovers: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50 IDW Jack Kirby Variant

Story by: Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow
Art by: Mateus Santolouco, Cory Smith

 

 

TMNT-50_Cover-RI

 

When news broke of Donatello’s “death” in issue #44 shelves were promptly raided, discussion forums flooded, theories bandied about and you couldn’t find a copy for less than 5x cover. I feel that the events that went down in Ninja Turtles #50 were far more shocking so imagine my surprise when nobody cared. Sure, it was Marvel Monster Week and the New York Comic Con was going down, so maybe most of the community was suffering from a mild hangover. It is the only logical reason that explains why issue #50 didn’t completely rock the internet. This was a key issue and I think a lot of people missed the boat on this one. Don’t be one of those people. Keep your eyes open for the 1:10 Jack Kirby variant.

 

Carpe Comics!