Posted on

Trailer Snark (November 25th, 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: Was there any doubt?  Hunger Games destroyed the box office this past weekend with $101M in Katniss currency.  The newest James Bond film settled for a very distant second with an addition of $14.6M to it’s overall domestic $153.7M total.  The Peanuts Movie came in third with $12.8M and is poised to break the $100M mark this week.  Our next highest debut was the Seth Rogen comedy The Night Before with $10.1M.  Secret in Their Eyes debuted in fifth with $6.6M.  The rest of the top ten was as follows:  Love the Coopers ($3.9M/$14.5M), The Martian ($3.7M/$213M), Spotlight ($3.6M/$5.8M), The 33 ($2.2M/$9.9M), and Bridge of Spies ($1.9M/$65.1M).  Who are this week’s Thanksgiving contenders?

Cue the music……

Creed (MGM) – Drama/Sports
Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality
Tag Line:  Your legacy is more than a name.
Starring:  Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone
Plot: The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
Running Time: 133 minutes

Chris: Brought back some memories of the classic original Rocky movie.  Might have to expand this trip down memory lane to a full length feature viewing!
Rob: I’m a sucker for a good boxing flick, and Apollo Creed was one of favorite Rocky characters.  I’m looking forward to seeing this down the road.
Jessica: In preparation for this Frankie had me watch all the Rocky films and I gotta say, Apollo Creed was totally a favorite of mine. This look like it’s going to be really good and I’m glad to see Sly making an appearance.
Ken: Every generation should watch Rocky (at least the first two, and skip #5). Rocky is an American classic and Creed looks like a worthy contender.
Jim: Looks like it could be a good one. I roll my eyes at how many times that Stallone has played Rocky, but I have to admit that, for the most part, he does well with the character.

The Good Dinosaur (Disney/Pixar) – Family
Rated PG for peril, action and thematic elements
Tag Line:  Little arms.  Big attitude.
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliot, and more.
Plot: An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jim: The dinosaurs look a bit rubbery, but Pixar seldom disappoints. I won’t be waiting long to see this one.
Chris: If my kids were younger, I’d be all over this one.  Rob IS all over this one….guaranteed.
Rob: I’m even more of a sucker for good animation, and Disney-Pixar is leaps and bounds above good.  They are quite simply, the best.  While this particular “What If” scenario (what if the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs missed) isn’t of very much interest to me, I will ALWAYS take a chance on Walt Disney Feature Animation.  They excel at not only animation, but at telling powerful stories.
Jessica: I am not a huge fan of “kid” movies or animation so it has to be something that looks REALLY fun for me to want to see it. This does not look that way. This is a big pass for me.
Ken: Looks cute and the animation is gorgeous. Choosing to go with no dialogue seems like a gamble for an animated kid’s film. Half the fun of the Never Ending Story was the superb voice acting.

Victor Frankenstein (20th Century Fox) – Drama/Horror/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for macabre images, violence and a sequence of destruction
Tag Line: Discover the origin of the monster and his creation.
Starring:  Daniel Radcliffe, James McEvoy
Plot: Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Ken: I was hoping that this was an expanded look at the R&D that went into building Frankenstein’s monster, as seen through the eyes of the Doctor’s assistant. Boy was I disappointed. It’s a hideous monster, all right.
Jim: Doesn’t look like it’s sure what kind of movie it wants to be, the tone slipped around a little too much in the trailer. Pass, most likely.
Chris: Effective trailer.  I was skeptical at first, but I’ll be sure to catch this one on the small screen when it hits.
Rob: Another take on one of my favorite books.  Looks like it could be entertaining, but a rental type flick at best methinks.
Jessica: I was SO excited when I saw it was Harry Potter and McAvoy in this one but the trailer leaves me feeling cold. Looks like an attempt to be “hip” with one of the best monster stories ever told. I will only ever watch this when it’s 100% free either on Amazon or Netflix.

The Danish Girl (Focus Features) – Bio/Drama
Rated R for some sexuality and full nudity
Tag Line: Have the courage to love.
Starring:  Eddie Redmayne. Alicia Vikander
Plot: The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Jessica: After seeing Redmayne play Hawking I am VERY excited to see this film. Add to that the topical nature of the fight for transgender rights and this one is right up my alley and down my street.
Ken: Yikes, could you imagine what that kind of surgery was like back in the 20’s? They didn’t even have penicillin.
Jim: Redmayne was great as Hawking, looks like he’s doing some interesting stuff here. Might be worth a look.
Chris: It’s Caetlyn the Movie!  Pass.
Rob: Transgender in the 1920’s.  Could be an interesting film, but not big screen material.

Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) – Bio/Documentary/Music
Not Rated
Tag Line:  None
Starring: Janis Joplin
Plot: Musician Cat Power narrates this documentary on Janis Joplin’s evolution into a star from letters that Joplin wrote over the years to her friends, family, and collaborators.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Rob: Janis Joplin is, of course, a rock and roll legend.  I don’t know very much about her, so this could be an interesting view.  But this broken record will once more say this isn’t big screen material.
Jessica: I am a HUGE Joplin fan and this looks interesting. A home viewer though, not theater.
Ken: A lot of world changing events came out of this era, including the greatest outpouring of musical creativity heard in the last two hundred years. If there was a book written about the 60’s, Janis would be its cover-girl.
Jim: What a voice. Led a short but interesting life. Definitely worth a rental.
Chris: Documentary on one of the biggest ground-breakers in rock history.  Not theater viewing for me, but worth a look down the line.

Tickets Purchased:  Three for Creed (Jessica, Ken, and Chris) and two for The Good Dinosaur (Rob and Jim)

When has boxing a dinosaur ever been successful?
When has boxing a dinosaur ever been successful?


Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 11/25/2015

Hi there comic fans. Glad to have you back for another episode of the Crank File. It’s Thanksgiving week and I hope that you are spending yours with friends, family and loved ones. But before we get our grub on and give thanks for this amazing gift that is life, there is another Wednesday of new releases to get through. After almost two full months of non-stop new series from Marvel, the big red machine is pumping the brakes this week and for this, I am thankful. Let’s get right on down to the main course. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Here’s what I’m gobbling this week:


The Top of the Pile: Saga #31 Image


Words: Brian K. Vaughan

Art: Fiona Staples

After a dramatic time jump, the three-time Eisner Award winner for Best Continuing Series finally returns, as Hazel begins the most exciting adventure of her life. Kindergarten!

The best book in the galaxy is back with a brand new arc. The last issue brought closure to several major plot lines with reunions for many of our main characters. It was bloody, but it was also as close to a happy ending as we’ve had. Life is sounding pretty normal in the Saga universe but don’t get too comfortable. I have a suspicion that the peace won’t hold for too long.


The Mainstream One: The Dark Knight III: Master Race #1 DC



Words: Frank Miller

Art: Andy Kubert

The epic ending you never saw coming is here because you demanded it! The Dark Knight rises again to face the dawn of the master race!

Was I demanding this? I mean, just between you and me, I wasn’t a huge fan of DKII. But Master Race is being pumped as a huge event just the same with over 70 variant covers for the #1, many of which are store exclusives. I wouldn’t recommend dumping big money chasing the higher ratio variants. While much of the artwork is undeniably awesome (I’m partial to the Jim Lee cover myself) I don’t see these holding their value over the long term.


The Indie One: Ringside #1 Image



Words:  Joe Keatinge

Art: Nick Barber

Ringside is an ongoing series set within the world of professional wrestling, combining the ensemble drama of The Walking Dead with interconnected rotating perspectives akin to The Wire. Each issue will explore the relationship between art and industry from the view of the wrestlers themselves, the creatives they work with, the suits in charge and the fans cheering them all on. But that’s just the beginning. The real violence is outside the ring.

I’m always a bit weary when a new series draws comparisons to modern classics like TWD and the Wire, but there’s no way I won’t at least give this one a skim. I was lucky enough to grow up in the golden age of wrestling. There was a time in my life when Monday was my favorite day of the week because it meant that both Raw and Nitro were on that night. It was just too swEEt. Now that I’m older, I’ve lost my taste for the entertainment side of professional wrestling but I find the behind the scenes stuff fascinating. If this is anything like The Wrestler or documentaries like Wrestling with Shadows and Beyond the Mat, then tag me in.


The #1 One: Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur #1 Marvel



Words: Amy Reeder

Art: Natacha Bustos

Unella Lafayette is a preteen super genius who wants to change the world but learned the hard way that it takes more than just big brains. Fearful of the monstrous Inhuman genes inside her, life is turned upside down when a savage, red-scaled tyrant is teleported from prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call today. 

A super-smart kid running around the Marvel universe with a pet T-Rex? Sounds hilarious. The concept is so weird that I have to give it a look.


 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Silk #1 Marvel



Words: Robbie Thompson

Art: Stacey Lee

Cindy Moon has been working to find the missing members of her family since she escaped the bunker that was her home prior to the events of SPIDER-VERSE. But her quest has taken her down a darker path than she expected, and she’s now in cahoots with none other than the most ferocious feline in the Marvel Universe – Black Cat! What’s gotten under her skin, and is there any redeeming the Sinister Silk?

I’m really digging some of these hip-hop covers and I was a huge fan of Mos Def before he quit rapping and began focusing on his acting career. So I’m buying it partly for the cover, but I’m mostly picking up this book because I love the character. I suspect that Cindy has a hidden agenda driving her partnership with Black Cat, but a brief turn down the dark side might introduce a little edge to the Silk palette.


Carpe Comics!

Posted on

Trailer Snark (November 20, 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: Spectre ruled the box office for a second straight week doing $35.4M in receipts for a total of $130.7M domestically.  Similarly, The Peanuts Movie also held on to its number two position with $24.2M over the weekend and $82.4M overall.  The highest debut came from Love the Coopers in third place with $8.4M.  Matt Damon’s The Martian was in fourth ($6.7M/$207.4M).  The 33 debuted at number five with $5.8M.  The rest of the top ten was as follows:  Goosebumps ($4.6M/$73.4M), Bridge of Spies ($4.2M/$61.6M), Prem Ratan Dhan Payo ($2.4M/$2.4M), Hotel Transylvania 2 ($2.3M/$165.2M), and The Last Witch Hunter ($1.5M/$26M).  What does this weekend hold in store for us moviegoers?  Let’s take a look…..

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two (Lionsgate) – Adventure/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material
Tag Line: The fire will burn forever.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Plot: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.
Running Time: 137 minutes

Chris: I just don’t get the fascination with this series.  I may see it only because I have a teen kid who loves the films, but consider me kicking and screaming from the car to the front door.
Jim: How can  a series of such exciting books get turned into such dull movies? That killer cast deserves better. The trailer is well made but, most likely, I won’t be saying the same about the movie.
Jessica: I read the books and only felt “meh” about them. They didn’t grab me like everyone else. I am sincerely tired of a love triangle. I find them boring and childish but I guess that’s the world of YA. Regardless, the movies have been OK but I don’t get real excited about seeing them, though I am curious how they wrap up the series so I’m sure I’ll see this, just not in the theater.
Rob: Looks entertaining, but I’d have to watch the prior movies before it.  I think I only saw the first one.
Ken: Love J Law but the first Hunger Games just didn’t capture my imagination. Might wait until they are all out on demand and binge watch it.

The Night Before (Columbia Pictures) – Comedy
Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity
Tag Line: Bringing joy to the world.
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Jillian BellPlot: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends, two of whom are Jewish, spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Ken: That looked funny and it incorporated all of the major holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza. Could be a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza classic for years to come.
Chris: Seth Rogen giving the creepy looks in the limo made me laugh.  Good for a renter I am sure.
Jim: there’s just never enough Seth Rogen. Count me in.
Jessica: Oh, I’m so in. This kind of stuff makes me laugh. I enjoy Rogen and the other guys should be fun as well and I’m a sucker for a funny Christmas movie.
Rob: Funny rental or Netflix film.  Not something I’d see on the big screen.

Secret in Their Eyes (STX Entertainment) – Mystery/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving disturbing violent content, language and some sexual references
Tag Line: Don’t look closer.
Starring: Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Plot: A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Rob: Aside from the fact that a child is killed the movie looks very good.  Plus it has Nicole Kidman.  Hello Nurse!
Ken: Snooze. It had me for a second but pretty soon after…  Great cast though, might see some powerful performances.
Chris: Looks like my kind of thriller.  Great cast, and an effective trailer!
Jim: Movie certainly looks well-made and engrossing, but I have to admit that I’m tired of getting pummeled by trailers that try to get my attention.
Jessica: I hate the title of this movie but it’s PACKED with stars. I would check it out.

Legend (Universal Pictures) – Bio/Crime/Thriller
Rated R for strong violence, language throughout, some sexual and drug material
Tag Line: Love. Fight. Live. Rule like a legend.
Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning
Plot: The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organized crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s.
Running Time: 131 minutes

Jessica: Oh Tom Hardy. TWO Tom Hardy’s? I’m in love with this movie already.
Rob: Meh.  60’s crime thriller based in London.  Pass.
Ken: That looked like good fun, dinnit? Had a bit of the classic Guy Ritchie feel to it. Best YouTube Comment:  i wasn’t interested in the movie when i saw Tom Hardy in it, then i realized that Tom Hardy was in it.  Now I’m sold.
Chris: I don’t know.  I am probably going to be in the minority on this one, but this gangster flick does nothing for me. I do like Chazz Palminteri.
Jim: Think this has been made before as The Krays, back about 1990. Trailer looks good enough,  but not enough to send me running to the theater.

Carol (Weinstein Company) – Drama/Romance
Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity and brief language
Tag Line: Some people change your life forever.
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler
Plot: Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Jessica: I’m intrigued for sure and Cate Blanchett is a personal fave of mine.
Rob: Looks good, but again not a big screen type of film in my book.
Ken: I’m digging the 50’s vibe and Blanchett is a fave of mine as well.
Chris: A married couple’s relationship threatened by another woman.  I don’t know.  Looks a bit too Lifetime for me….
Jim: Stylish-looking and Cate Blanchett is great, but I’m with Chris—too Lifetime-ish.

#Horror (IFC Midnight) – Horror/Mystery
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Sadie Seelert, Haley Murphy, Timothy Hutton
Plot: Inspired by actual events, a group of 12 year old girls face a night of horror when the compulsive addiction of an online social media game turns a moment of cyber bullying into a night of insanity.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Jim: Not a lot that I haven’t seen before in a horror trailer, but creepy enough to look interesting.
Jessica: No. A thousand times no. The trailer was boring and unoriginal so I can only imagine the movie is the same.
Rob: #SkippedtheTrailer #NoInterest
Ken: #Horrible . They flashed like 10 names across the screen at the end. I didn’t recognize any of them, but I admittedly don’t watch a lot of movies.
Chris: Stylish horror genre picture from actress turned director Tara Subkoff.  It actually looks pretty intriguing and creepy from my perspective.  Could be a good one to catch curled up in bed on a cold night.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Night Before (Jessica and Jim), one for Secret in Their Eyes (Chris), one for Legend (Ken), and Rob continues buying up all of the pre-sale Force Awakens tickets he can find.

The opposite of Rogen and Company's prayers.  And we all hope they are answered!
The opposite of Rogen and Company’s prayers. And we all hope they are answered!


Posted on

The Female Perspective: I’m More Than My Hair

Welcome! This is a 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.

Before I really get into this blog I want to start by saying that I realize there are way more important things in the world to be talking about other than my hair or women’s hair or haircuts. I get it, the world is messed up right now and there are many, MANY people hurting and I feel for them. At the same time, there isn’t much I can say here that isn’t already being said better by other, smarter, folks than me.

Let me just say this, closing our hearts and boarders to people isn’t the way to make this country safe. Evil always finds away, sad but true. Becoming part of the evil though, that’s a choice we make when we turn our backs on the hungry, the poor, the scared and “huddled masses”, we are all smart people capable of smart choices. Let’s try doing that for a change.

Just a thought.

I, like so many women, have attempted most hairstyles (not the mohawk, I would look silly) and dyed my hair a rainbow of colors. I have always liked to experiment and see how I look different ways. Eventually, that stopped when I was at my heaviest weight. I grew my hair out nice and long and kept it that way because I was convinced that my head was far too small for my body and the long hair masked that issue.

My "before" photo.
My “before” photo.

Recently I have lost over 100 pounds and I can see my cheekbones for the first time in a very long time. Also recently, I have gotten into wearing fun wigs, one of which being a purple wig in a short bob. I really enjoyed the look and decided that  maybe it was time to cut off my long locks in favor of a shorter do.

I went back and forth on this for a week or so, because for me (and a lot of women) hair is a big deal. It’s part of our femininity, our sexuality and I had been around so many men that said long hair was sexy, short hair was not, that I had pretty much decided that if I cut off my hair I would be unattractive to my love. Which could not be farther from the truth, he was ALL for me changing my look. He urged me to get really daring with it (I love that man) and to really transform my hair in the same way I have been working so hard to transform my body this last year.

Then a good friend of mine posted a story about a woman who cut off all her hair, it’s a story of sickness and recovery, of unbelievable bravery and I realized, holy crap, it IS just hair. It grows back. It’s not who I am or even what I am. It’s just some fuzzy stuff on the top of my body that I style (sort of) or dye different colors or get annoyed with when it gets caught in zippers or under purse straps. It’s. Just. Hair.

Clare Bowen. Photo credit - Joseph Llanes Photography
Clare Bowen. Photo credit – Joseph Llanes Photography

Here’s the story:

Clare Bowen

Wanna know why I cut it all off?

When I was four years old, I asked my mother; “Are there heaters in Heaven?”

I had just been diagnosed with end stage nephroblastoma, after several visits to a GP who denied anything was wrong and dubbed my parents “paranoid.” I’d overheard the doctors telling my family that the only hope of saving me, was an experimental treatment that might kill me anyway. But without it I had maybe two weeks left. The hospital was cold. I’d never felt air conditioning before.

Life in the White Palace (Granddad’s nickname for hospital) meant I got to grow up surrounded by children just like me. We were mostly bald, all tubed, taped, bandaged up and stitched back together. We were all missing parts, some obvious like eyes or legs, others more hidden, like lungs and kidneys. Those who still could, tip-toed around like little fairies because chemotherapy had destroyed the muscles in our legs and it hurt to put our heels on the floor. But we were all together, so no one’s appearance came into question. No one got laughed at or teased. We were all we knew.

And then I got really lucky. I survived, my hair grew back and I got strong again. I look relatively normal on the outside, but on the inside, I am still the same stitched back together little creature, in a world where people are judged so harshly for the way they look. It has always been completely incomprehensible to me. How can people think there’s time for that?

I was really inspired when I heard a story about a little girl who said she couldn’t be a princess because she didn’t have long hair, and I wanted her, and others like her to know that’s not what makes a princess, or a warrior, or a superhero. It’s not what makes you beautiful either. It’s your insides that count… even if you happen to be missing half of them.

Every scar tells a story, every baldhead, every dark circle, every prosthetic limb, and every reflection in a mirror that you might not recognize anymore. Look deeper than skin, hair, nails, and lips. You are who you are in your bones. That is where you have the potential to shine the brightest from. It is where your true beautiful self lives.

Thank you ABC network and particularly our creator, Callie Khouri for letting me change Scarlett’s hair, and my team, family and friends for helping me make the decision. If it makes even one person think twice about judging another, then in some small way, the world is better.
Self-esteem takes a lot longer to grow back than hair.


Amazing right? It says everything I am trying to say with a beauty that leaves me breathless and a little teary. It made me see that my worry over the length of my hair is about much more than physical appearance. It goes so much deeper than that, to a place where I lived for much of my life. To a place where I was afraid and lonely, thinking that no one could ever love me. To a place where I felt completely inferior.

I don’t live in that place anymore. Therapy. Friends and a man named Frankie have changed my life forever. I’ve learned to be confident and happy and to know that I am loved no matter what I wear, what I look like or what I do. It’s a beautiful place to live and it’s a place I live in with short hair now and guess what? I feel really pretty and free of long hair misery that the hair represented. That hair represented the fat Jessica. The unhappy Jessica. The unhealthy Jessica. While it is just hair it’s also so much more than that which it shouldn’t be and the good news? Most of it is all gone now and I couldn’t be happier.

So what’s my point with all of this? My point is that life is too short to obsess over a haircut. It’s too short to worry about what other people might think about how you look. Life should be lived in full color, with the sound turned way up, with laughter, with love (lots of love), with good food, good friends and good times. Don’t live in the place of fear. Live in a place of joy and your life will be a life well lived.

My "After" Photo.
My “After” Photo.

What are you afraid of? What fear do you wish you could conquer? Maybe 2016 is the time to do that! Tell me in the comments.


Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 11/18/2015

Welcome back comic fans, to a very solemn episode of the Crank File. Thoughts and prayers go out to the people of France and the friends and families affected. It’s weird, trying to drum up the conversation about comic books after a tragedy like this occurs. The bulk of our super hero books are bursting off the pages with glorious depictions of battle. The Marvel and DC universes are literally on the brink of annihilation every 5 years or so. These scenes of mass destruction, which while looking undeniably awesome, feel macabre in light of real life acts of violence. But here we are. So hopefully we find something to enjoy this week. Something to talk about and take our collective minds off that craziness knocking just outside our door for a while. Something uplifting, something that reminds us why we remain courageous in the face of great danger, and why good triumphs over evil, every single time.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.


The Top of the Pile: Ms. Marvel #1 Marvel



Words: G. Willow Wilson

Art: Takeshi Miyazawa, Adian Alphona, Ian Herring

The internationally-beloved, butt-kicking, smack-talking, most adorable super hero makes her triumphant return. Look out world, Kamala Khan is back and officially an Avenger! Yup, the dream to end all dreams has happened for Kamala. She’s toe to toe with the best of the best, but will being one of Earth’s mightiest heros be everything she imagined? Is being a celebrity hero as wonderful as Kamala has hoped? Plus: WHO IS THAT WITH BRUNO??

One of the most popular and endearing comic book characters of our generation, Ms. Marvel is not only a teenager and female, she’s Muslim. There is currently NOT a lot of good-will towards Muslims in the world. I wonder if we will eventually see this creeping into Kamala’s world. Marvel has a unique opportunity to have her say something socially relevant. Or maybe she’ll just battle mutants and inhumans. Either way, this is the same critically acclaimed creative team from Ms Marvel volume 1, so I’m pretty sure that they’ll crush it. Grabbing the Sara Pichelli 1:25 variant if I see it at a decent price.


The Mainstream One: Batman Europa #1 DC



Words: Matteo Casali

Art: Jim Lee, Giuseppe Camuncoli

Superstar artist Jim Lee returns to the Dark Knight with this premiere issue! The impossible has happened and Batman is on the verge of being taken down by an enemy he cannot defeat: a virus for which there is no cure! And the only hope for his salvation is The Joker! Who infected Batman, what does the Clown Prince of Crime know, and how will the Dark Knight get that information? Together, the enemies crisscross Europe, desperate to find answers before time runs out.

I was so stoked when I saw that this book was finally coming out. Batman Europa was originally scheduled for release in 2004, and again in 2011. Better late than never I suppose. One of my all-time favorite comic book artists is doing pencils and inks for the #1. Jim Lee, the man who sparked my love of comics at the tender age of 10 with his run on 1992’s X-Men, is returning to Batman. For one issue. The remaining three issues of the mini series will have different artists. And cue sad trombone music.


The Indie One:  Tokyo Ghost #3 Image



Words: Rick Remender

Art: Sean Murphy

Led and Debbie find their target in the Gardens of Tokyo, a messianic figure that keeps the island free of all technology.

The second issue of Tokyo Ghost was every bit of good that I was hoping for and my expectations for issue #3 are through the roof. It’s Rick Remender and Sean Murphy for crying out loud. The Tokyo Ghost creative team has way too much talent to be overlooked.


The #1 One:  Huck #1 Image



Words:  Mark Millar

Art: Rafael Albuquerque

In a quiet seaside town, Huck uses his special gifts to do a good deed each day. His neighbors return the favors by keeping his abilities a secret. But when a newcomer alerts the media, a firestorm erupts, sending Huck on an adventure that will change everything.

It’s Mark Millar so of course it has already been optioned, and although option doesn’t mean that it will see production, Huck already has built a bit of buzz around itself. Mark Millar’s series typically start off strong and the preview of Albuquerque’s artwork is breathtaking. Definitely worth a look.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: I Hate Fairyland #2 Image



Words and Art: Skottie Young

Does Gert die by the axe of her assassin, Bruud The Brutal? Spoiler. Probably not

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to afford the Vader Down 1:5000 variant, but I’m happy with this crass cover for I Hate Fairyland. Skottie Young goes completely for broke on the visuals in his deranged twist on a cute fairytale and it totally pays off. His drawings never fail to make me laugh. I imagine Skottie read a lot of Calvin and Hobbes growing up. And did a lot of psychedelics.


The Speculation One:  Martian Manhunter #6 DC



Words: Rob Williams

Art: Eddy Barrows

A new female Martian warrior emerges as the mystery of our four heroes and their connection to the late J’onn J’onzz is finally revealed, and the Martian invasion reaches its deadly endgame.

Female iterations of traditionally male characters are all the rage right now. The fact that she’s a warrior hints that she’s probably a Green Martian, not a White Martian pacifist like Ms. Martian M’gann M’orzz. It could be a new character. No telling if this one will stick around, but at $2.99 I’m willing to take a gamble.


Carpe Comics!

Posted on

Trailer Snark (November 13, 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: James Bond shakes and stirs the box office with a mighty $73M in receipts to take the top spot this week (greater than the combined box office of all top ten movies from last week).  The Peanuts Movie came in second with $45M.  The Martian held onto the third place spot ($9.3M/$197M).  Goosebumps was fourth ($$6.9M/$66.4M), and fifth place belonged to Bridge of Spies ($6M/$54.9M).  The rest of the top ten were as follows: Hotel Transylvania 2 ($3.5M/$161.2M), Burnt ($3M/$10.2M), The Last Witch Hunter ($2.6M/$23.5M), The Intern ($1.8M/$71.4M), and Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension ($1.6M/$16.2M).  And now let’s look at this week’s new box office entries……

By the Sea (Universal) – Drama/Romance
Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt
Plot: Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.
Running Time: 132 minutes

Jessica: I have no opinion on this one other than to say it looks like Bradgelina’s version of Eyes Wide Shut (not the story, the couple doing a film together that’s “edgy” and blah blah blah) though Angelina is a talented writer/director this just doesn’t appeal to me much.
Chris: I don’t know.  That was a strange trailer.  And it made me wonder how difficult it is for a real life married couple to act out such obvious marital angst?
Ken: Hilarious. It’s a dark comedy… No? No. Then it looks terrible.
Jim: Not sure how the movie will be, but the trailer is certainly well done. Moody and leaves me asking questions.

The 33 (Alcon) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language
Tag Line: Hope runs deep.
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin
Plot: Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Jim: Looks good, I’m a sucker for disaster movies. The fact that it’s based on a real incident only adds to my interest.
Jessica: Looks good, not sure how accurate it is but it’s a home viewer.
Chris: I am with Jess on this one.  Disaster films are more home fare for me.  This one does look good, and retells a real event, which makes it a cut above the average disaster flick.
Ken: Well of course they’re going to make it out alive. It’s a movie. Duh. I’ll watch this at home where no one will see me cry.

Love the Coopers (CBS Films) – Comedy
Rated PG – 13 for thematic elements, language and some sexuality
Tag Line: You can’t regift family.
Starring: Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Marisa Tomei, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde
Plot: When four generations of the Cooper clan come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Ken: “Love” may be a bit strong. The Coopers are alright.
Jim: Love the cast, but not the trailer.
Jessica: Ugh. I love me a good Christmas movie but this does not really look like that. I’ll stay home and re-watch “The Ref” or “Christmas Vacation” thanks.
Chris: I am not sure I would cough up the $10 to see this one in the theater, but I am intrigued.  The cast is great.

James White (The Film Arcade) – Drama
Rated R for drug use, some sexuality/nudity, and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Cynthia Nixon, Christopher Abbott
Plot: James, a 21-year-old New Yorker, struggles to take control of his self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges.
Running Time: 85 minutes

Chris: Looks unwatchable to me….and that is saying something.
Jessica: Don’t care at all about this one.
Ken: You guys are crazy, I thought this looked very good. Not go to the movies and pay $20 good, but good enough that if it was on TV on a Tuesday night I’d give it a watch.
Jim: Looks like a good, solid film, but I’m not sure if I want to do gritty and realistic this holiday season.

Entertainment (Magnolia Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for language, crude sexual material, a disturbing image and brief drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring: Greg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Dean Stockwell, Michael Cera
Plot: En route to meet his estranged daughter and attempting to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave desert.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Jim: Pretty weird. I dunno.
Chris: I wanted to reach through my laptop and stick a gag in Turkington’s mouth.  Not a good sign. Michael Cera only makes strange movies these days it seems.
Ken: That was so weird and I loved every minute of it. The sad clown humor totally tickles me.
Jessica: I was annoyed at the “existential masterpiece” comment and then clicked off when it started go nowhere. When I can’t bother with the trailer that’s a BIG miss for me.

My All American (Clarius Entertainment) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity
Tag Line: Hope never quits.
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Finn Whitrock, Robin Tunney
Plot: Freddie Steinmark, an underdog on the gridiron, faces the toughest challenge of his life after leading his team to a championship season.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Jessica: Football true stories are usually good, inspiration viewing.
Jim: No sports movie cliché left unturned.
Chris: Rudy for a new generation?
Ken: America loves an inspiring football story and this one’s all heart. It’s crazy to think that just 50 years ago there were no black players in college football.  

Kilo Two Bravo (Honora) – Drama/War
Rated R for disturbing and graphic depiction of war injuries, and for pervasive language
Tag Line: A film about bravery, courage, heroism and the ultimate sacrifice.
Starring: David Elliot, Mark Stanley, Scott Kyle
Plot: Kajaki Dam 2006. A company of young British soldiers encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg – or your life.
Running Time: 108 minutes

Ken: A group of soldiers watching their friends getting blown to bits in a minefield. No thanks, not my idea of entertainment.
Jessica: A group of soldiers watching their friends getting blown to bits in a minefield. No thanks, not my idea of entertainment.
Jim: Looks intense, but I’ve seen this too many times before (The Hurt Locker, Survivor, etc).
Chris: The trailer did not do much for me in spite of my love for military flicks, but the buzz is pretty great which makes me think twice.

Tickets Purchased: One for The 33 (Jim), one for Entertainment (Ken), one for Love the Coopers (Chris), and Jessica stays home to watch Christmas Vacation on a constant loop.

Now, that's entertainment!
Now, that’s entertainment!
Posted on

The Female Perspective: The Gold Bikini and Why It’s Not That Bad

Welcome! This is a twice-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.

As I am now fully recovered from the madness that was Rhode Island Comic Con, I feel I can sit down and happily write a blog post this week that both embodies my love of feminism and my love of Star Wars.

The gold bikini.

While I look beautiful, I am actually made of steel.
While I look beautiful, I am actually made of steel.

Recently, there has been a lot of hubbub about Princess Leia and the gold bikini because now that Star Wars is owned by Disney, they want to retire the bikini and move on to other things. This has caused more uproar than it actually deserves (shocking since we as a culture seem to love getting angry about the things that don’t actually matter, I call the Starbucks coffee cup controversy to the stand as evidence!). I read an excellent perspective on the whole thing that clearly see’s both sides of the “argument”.

Here’s the thing, those that love the gold bikini are full of concern that because Disney no longer supports the ensemble it means that they are going to go through and omit it’s very existence from the films and merchandise. Relax. That is not going to happen. The fact is, the gold bikini is entrenched in the Star Wars culture, you cannot get rid of it, even if you try. Besides that, there really is no point in doing so. It would be a huge expense for something that really, isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of thing. And seriously, if George Lucas “re-edits” Star Wars again, people might straight up beat him with wet noodles until he (or Disney) changes the movies back.

The article I read on Geek Tyrant makes an excellent point about the whole thing;

Leia is a princess, and now, like it or not, a Disney Princess. This means her character, likeness, and image will be marketed and sold to the core young girls of the world as such. When Disney says they are no longer supporting the merchandising of Slave Leia, they are saying “it’s weird that we are trying to sell sexy Leia to children.” – GeekTyrant

There it is, in plain, simple language, the fact is, it’s weird to market a sexy outfit to young girls when Leia wears a whole bunch of other, much more sensible outfits. In fact, as the Geek Tyrant article mentions, Leia is out of that gold number as soon as it is safely feasible to do so. The movie in no way sensationalizes it or make her wear it the entire movie. Actually, in the movie itself she is pretty much fully covered up the entire time after that.

She's just waiting for the right moment to strike.
She’s just waiting for the right moment to strike.

The fact is, Carrie Fisher is beautiful woman and clothed or half-naked, she is still gorgeous. The other fact is, she was a prisoner to Jabba The Hut and of course he’s going to put her in some crazy-ass attire, like all the other slaves in his clutches! Give me a break, that whole scene is creepy and gross, as it’s meant to be and there is nothing better than when Leia strangles Jabba with the chain meant to keep her captive. If that isn’t some serious lady power, I don’t know what is.


The second point I want to mention is best illuminated from the Geek Tyrant article;

Altering her costume or editing scenes does a greater disservice than the oppressive nature of her outfit. Would it be better to see a full clothed Leia choke a space gangster to death after he threatens to kiss her? The outfit fills in the blanks to an older audience while keeping children widely in the dark. Essentially it’s perfect on all levels in that regard. –GT

YES! Exactly. This is why it doesn’t matter if Disney puts some space between them and the costume. It’s been over 30 years since it came out and all the toys, marketing, etc has been done to death. At the same time, the costume is a part of the history of Star Wars and therefore needs to remain in the films as-is. It actually serves a purpose in the story.

I remember seeing Return Of The Jedi when I was a kid and thinking, man Leia sure looks pretty in that bikini. Not once did I wish I was wearing it (I was always fonder of her more utilitarian outfits) nor did I think she was somehow lesser in comparison to her male counterparts because of that outfit. I was always so glad that Leia was integral to the story, on equal footing with the men AND full of princess power. It was a win-win in my young feminist book and it continues to be so to this day.

Most of the time Leia wore pants.
Most of the time Leia wore pants.

I am definitely on the side of pro-bikini but not because Leia looked pretty or sexy but because it showed that even in a ridiculous gold bikini you can fight off a would-be rapist, get rescued while also fighting off the bad guys side-by-side with the boys and getting the hell outta dodge with the man you love. It’s a beautiful portrayal of a strong woman looking soft and feminine but within her is a core of steel.

What do YOU think? Are you for or against the gold bikini? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments!

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 11/11/2015

Hey there comic book fans, good to have you back for another piece off the Crank File. How many of you out there went to the Rhode Island Comic Con last weekend? After last year’s debacle I still wasn’t ready to make the drive down, so instead I spent my Sunday over at a small convention being held at a local elks lodge. I was able to snag some really nice books at a bargain, including a Harbinger #1, and first appearances of Gamora and the Winter Soldier. But the word from people who went to RICC on Saturday was that the event organizers did a much better job managing the nerd herd this year. Attendance was high as expected, but crowd density was kept under control by spreading the event out across two convention halls and implementing scan badges. The only real complaints I heard were about $40 parking and Carrie Fisher being a later scratch due to illness. Fisher promised that she would return next year, and you know what? You just might see me there next year as well.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: All-New All-Different Avengers #1 Marvel


AV12  AV1

Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Adam Kubert

The Avengers are dead–long live the Avengers! Earth’s Mightiest Heroes–Captain America, Thor, Vision, and Iron Man–are living separate lives, not tied to any team–but when a threat from beyond the stars targets our world, fate draws them together once more, alongside Nova, Ms. Marvel, and Miles Morales a.k.a. Spider-Man!

My two favorite new Marvel heroes, Miles Morales and Kamala Khan are leading a new team of earth’s mightiest heroes. Written by the indispensable Mark Waid, the only hard part about picking up this issue is choosing between the Ross regular cover and the hip-hop variant.


The Mainstream One: Secret Wars #7 Marvel



Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Esad Ribic


Don’t get me wrong, the constant delays with the main Secret Wars story are completely inexcusable. It’s the second week of November, Marvel’s all-new, all-different universe has been in existence for a solid month now and we STILL have no idea how we got here. All of this would make it easy to disregard Secret Wars and just move on, since apparently it doesn’t matter in the new Marvel universe anyways, but the quality of storytelling has been so high that I feel compelled see it through to the end regardless. Just please try to wrap it up before 2016 Marvel.


The Indie One: Airboy #4 Image



Writer: James Robinson
Art: Greg Hinkle

Is this a dream, reality, or somewhere in between? All James Robinson and Greg Hinkle know is that now that they’re in Airboy’s world and not the bars of San Francisco, they have to put down the bottle, put away the drugs, zip up their flies-and actually act like heroes. Except they don’t know how to be heroes. And if they die, will they just wake up…or really perish?

The booze and drug fueled adventure reaches its explosive conclusion in the final issue of what has been one of my favorite mini-series this year. Definitely not one for the kids, Airboy is a bombastic blend of humor, vulgarity and existential insight. Led by the pure hearted Airboy, our heroes have traveled back in time to fight history’s evils and to battle their own inner demons. A metaphysical masterpiece, I cannot wait to see how it all ends on Wednesday.


The #1 One: The Goddamned #1 Image



Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: R.M. Guera

‘And the earth was filled with violence.’ Genesis 6:11. It’s 1655 years after Eden, and life on Earth has already gone to hell. The world of man is a place of wanton cruelty and wickedness. Prehistoric monsters and stone-age marauders roam the land. Murder and destruction are the rule of the day. Humankind is a failed experiment. This is life before the Flood. The story of man on the verge of his first apocalypse. Welcome to the world of THE GODDAMNED.

The creators of the seminal crime series Scalped, reunite for a new ongoing series of stark and brutal biblical noir, and it sounds like an absolute winner. This one’s easy to jump on board with a special over-sized debut issue featuring thirty pages of story for only $3.99.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: All-New All-Different Wolverine #1 Marvel (Marquez Variant)


Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: David Lopez

X-23 was created to be a weapon and for a time, that’s all she was. But with the help of her mentor, Logan-the original Wolverine-she escaped that dark past. Tragically, Logan has fallen, but Laura will continue in his footsteps as a hero. Recent events have her doing everything in her power to keep those around her alive, as violent forces are hell-bent on mutual destruction. If anyone can stop them, it’s Laura. She is the best there is at what she does. She is THE ALL-NEW WOLVERINE.

I’m not completely sold on Laura Kinney taking up the mantle of her father/clone yet and I’m skeptical about how Ms. Wolverine will be received by fans. I think most Wolverine fans will gravitate towards Old Man Logan, but this cover is just too good to pass on. The Marquez variant is a beautiful homage to the original Wolverine’s first appearance at the end of The Incredible Hulk #180. Nuff said.


Last Week’s Leftovers: Klaus #1 Boom



Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Dan Mora

Set in a dark fantastic past of myth and magic, Klaus tells the story of how Santa Claus really came to be. Where did he begin? What was he like when he was young? Why does he do what he does? How does he do what he does? And what happens when he faces his greatest challenge? Drawing on Santa Claus’ wilder roots in Viking lore and Siberian shamanism-taking in the creepier side of Christmas, and characters like the sinister Krampus-Klaus is a ‘Santa Claus: Year One.’

I loved that description, “A Santa Claus Year One”. Morrison is the master of deconstructing classic characters and stories and then re-imagining them in a new light. It’s Santa, and Santa’s a bad ass. Klaus #1 was all sorts of awesome. It was violent, trippy and weird, par for the course on a Morrison title, but it was comprehensibly weird. With Christmas just around the corner, you can start getting into the spirit with the first issue of this 6 part mini-series from Boom studios.


Carpe Comics!

Posted on

Trailer Snark (November 6, 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 is still stranded on Mars and piling up the money as the campaign to save him has now captured $182.8M domestically and still had enough of a draw to take the tops of an anemic box office with $11.4M this week.  Goosebumps remained in second place with $10.2 and $57M overall.  Bridge of Spies was third ($8M/$45.2M).  Hotel Transylvania in fourth ($5.8M/$156M) and fifth place belonged to the slightly delayed and debuting Bradley Cooper film Burnt, which pulled in $5M.  The rest of the top ten featured only one newcomer (Our Brand is Crisis) and went as follows:  The Last Witch Hunter ($4.7M/$18.6M), Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimension ($3.4M/$13.5M), Our Brand is Crisis ($3.4M), Crimson Peak ($3.1M/$27.7M) and Steve Jobs ($2.5M/$14.5M).  A bigger group of new entries are coming this Friday than what we saw last week.  Here they are….

Spectre (Columbia Pictures) – Action/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux
Plot: A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
Running Time: 148 minutes

Jessica: So all over this one! I really like Craig as James Bond and I loved the last movie quite a bit. Looking forward to this one, I mean, jeez louise, it looks to be both star and action-packed!
Rob: Bond.  James Bond.  Daniel Craig has proven himself time and again to have what it takes to deliver and excel in the role of Ian Fleming’s British Secret Service agent extraordinaire.  Mendes, who also directed Skyfall, is back for the next installment and based on the trailer it will not disappoint.  
Ken: Being Bond never goes out of style. That looked awesome.  Somebody pour me a vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred.
Chris:  He was the original superhero to me.  James Bond, no matter the incarnation, is the definition of cool and the movies almost never disappoint.

The Peanuts Movie (20th Century Fox) – Family
Rated G for kids like you and me
Tag Line: Violet.  Original Mean Girl
Starring:  Who cares…it’s Charlie Brown and gool ol’ Snoop!
Plot: Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home.
Running Time: 93 minutes
Chris:  I could not help but smile and recall childhood throughout the trailer.  Peanuts re-introduced to a new generation is not a bad thing at all!
Jessica: I want to want to see this but I’m not a huge Peanuts fan, this looks like fun though for people who really love the gang.
Rob: Anyone who skips this movie is a blockhead.  While I wish it was hand-drawn, it is clear to me that they truly wanted to honor the legacy of Charles Schulz.  I can’t wait to see this film!
Ken: The movie looks super cute and fun but I’m more of an old school Peanuts fan. Back before Snoopy hijacked the strip, Peanuts was straight brutal.

Spotlight (Open Road Films) – Drama/Crime
Rated R for some language including sexual references
Tag Line: The true story behind the scandal that shook the world.
Starring: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schriber, Stanley Tucci
Plot: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.
Running Time: 128 minutes

Ken: A priest, a rapist and a pedophile walk into a bar. Then a second guy walks in.  
Chris: I am sick just even entertaining the thought of watching the trailer.
Jessica: Holy crap this looks amazing, terrifying, disturbing and just plain fantastic. The trailer had me going, “Wow” out loud in my office like a crazy person.
Rob: A look at the depravity of one of the most evil groups of men on the face of the earth; the Catholic Clergy.

Trumbo (Bleecker Street Media) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Tag Line: When they tried to silence him, he made the world listen.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren
Plot: In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood’s top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.
Running Time: 124 minutes
Rob: Looks pretty solid, but not of the big screen caliber.  Then again, don’t let me tell you what to think…
Ken: I can’t watch Bryan Cranston wearing glasses without seeing Heisenberg. I keep wondering when Aaron Paul will show up. Hey Mr. White, it’s McCarthyism yo!
Chris: Meh……
Jessica: I adore Bryan Cranston and as a writer, this speaks volumes to me. Love it.

Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) – Drama
Rated PG – 13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language
Tag Line: Two countries, two loves, one heart.
Starring: Saoirise Ronan, Emory Cohen
Plot: An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Jessica: Okay this one got me. I don’t usually truck with movies like this but it looks well-done and interesting. Not for theater prices but at home viewing for sure.
Rob: Another good looking film, but for the small screen.
Ken: Not my pot of potatoes.
Chris: Not my typical movie fare, but there is some old world charm is this one.  Renter with the wife.

Miss You Already (Roadside Attractions) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, sexual material and some language
Tag Line: When life falls apart, friends keep it together.
Starring: Dru Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper
Plot: The friendship between two life-long girlfriends is put to the test when one starts a family and the other falls ill.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Chris:  I was actually quite moved by the trailer. Hope there is triumph in the end.
Jessica: Again, I didn’t think I’d like this one but darnit, it got me. I have a very powerful group of women friends and this is exactly what it would be like in a lot of ways if one of us got sick. I love stories about strong women supporting one another.
Rob: Chick flick.  Pass.
Ken: Looks like the sister movie to 50/50. Another trailer enhanced through the magic of music, this time it’s the classic REM track Losing My Religion.

Tickets Purchased: Four for Spectre (Ken, Jessica, Chris, and Rob) and one for Peanuts (Rob movie double duty)

Dr. Evil has nothing on this tyke!
Dr. Evil has nothing on this tyke!


Posted on

The Female Perspective: Rhode Island Comic Con & More (Aka, Shameless Self-Promotion)

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.

This month there is A LOT happening for your intrepid blog writer. First off is Rhode Island Comic Con which, if you haven’t heard, is the biggest show in the smallest state and it’s AWESOME. This year I have an artist table next to my collaborator Frankie B. Washington. To say I am stoked is an understatement. I’ll be hawking my books, photographs and my new (and first) comic book, “The Rapture: The Final Battle” based on characters from my short story, “The Rapture,” which is in my book, “Menagerie Of The Weird.” You’ll want to read it, trust me.

The Final Battle, art by Frankie B. Washington. Story by FBW and JL Metcalf. 2015.
The Final Battle, art by Frankie B. Washington. Story by FBW and JL Metcalf. 2015.

Today’s blog is going to be a short one because I have lots to do to prepare for RICC and I want to ask you all, if you are in the Providence, RI area, to come say HELLO and help support some of us “starving” artists. We love to chat so even if you don’t want to purchase anything, come say hello, snag a free goodie bag or some candy and enjoy the fun that is to be had at RICC. I’ve been 2-years in a row now and I can tell you, it’s a freakin’ blast and a half.


On top of that awesome sauce (and I plan on doing a blog after RICC next week to update y’all on the fun that was had!) it is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo 2015. If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo then let me tell you a little bit about it. Basically, it’s a challenge to write a complete novel (75,000 words) in the month of November. I participated and was a winner last year with my 2nd novel, “Coming Undone: Musings on Life, Love and Hobbits.” This year it is my goal to complete the sequel to my first book, “The Last Daughter of Lilith,” and I’ve got a pretty good start on things. No title or cover art yet but you can bet your fine behind that it’s going to be awesome. If you are interested in participating in NaNoWriMo you can still sign up!

Then to top off all the goodness of November we have Thanksgiving and then in December I have my final show of the season, the yearly writers Expo sponsored by the Association of Rhode Island Authors, ARIA on December 5th at the Lincoln Mall. More on that later this month!

Finally, I pose this question for my readers, do you attend Comic Conventions? Do you cosplay?

Share your stories/pictures/etc and let’s chat! 

Hope to see you at RICC!
Hope to see you at RICC!