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Trailer Snark (July 29, 2016 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: Star Trek Beyond took tops in the Box Office fight this week with $59.6M in receipts.  Secret Life of Pets dropped to second with $29.3M to add to its $260.7M overall.  Ghostbusters was third ($21.6M/$86.8M) and just ahead of the fourth place debut of horror movie Lights Out ($21.6M).  Ice Age: Collision Course managed fifth with $21M, but its audience was fragmented with two other major hit animated films.  Finding Dory was still doing nice business in sixth ($7.2M/$460.1M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  Legend of Tarzan ($6.4M/$115.8M), Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates ($4.4M/$40.3M), Hillary’s America ($3.7M), and The Infiltrator ($3.2M/$12.2M).  Let’s check out this week’s new cinematic fare!

Jason Bourne (Universal) – Action/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language
Tag Line:  You know his name.
Starring:  Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles
Plot: The most dangerous former operative of the CIA is drawn out of hiding to uncover hidden truths about his past.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Jessica: I tried really hard to care about the Bourne movies but I just don’t so I’ll be skipping this one.
Ken: Love this franchise. Smart, cool and action packed, Bourne is the American Bond.
Chris: The talented Mr. Bourne runs wild again.  I like the films, though this has never been one of my favorite series.  Think I will wait for the small screen.

Bad Moms (STX Entertainment) – Comedy
Rated R for sexual material, full frontal nudity, language throughout, and drug and alcohol content.
Tag Line: Party like a mother.
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate
Plot: When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Chris:  OK, that was amusing.
Jessica: I saw a trailer for this awhile back and thought it looked hysterical. Not being a mom, but knowing quite a few, I think this will really resonate. Not to mention, it looks pretty dang funny.
Ken: Moms I’d Like to Watch

Nerve (Lionsgate) – Crime/Mystery
Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving dangerous and risky behavior, some sexual content, language, drug content, drinking and nudity-all involving teens
Tag Line: Are you a watcher or a player?
Starring:  Emma Roberts, Dave Franco
Plot: A high school senior finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of “watchers.”
Running Time: 96 minutes

Ken: How much cash do we win if we sit through this steaming pile of hot garbage?
Chris:  I remember watching this movie when it was good and it was named The Game with Michael Douglas.
Jessica: Nope. All set with this boring millennial BS.

Equity (Broad Street Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout
Tag Line: On Wall Street, not all players are created equal.
Starring: Anna Gun, Jame Purefoy
Plot: Senior investment banker Naomi Bishop is threatened by a financial scandal and must untangle a web of corruption.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jessica: You know, a movie about money and banking sounds tiresome to me, but the star power (I love Anna G from “Breaking Bad”) makes it seem pretty interesting. I’d watch this at home for sure. Not to mention, I love the idea of women really stepping into their power (shocking as a feminist).
Ken: This movie is like my checking account. It gives me almost no interest.
Chris: Screamed TV movie to me, so that is how I will see this one.

Indignation (Roadside Attractions) – Drama
Rated R for sexual content and some language
Tag Line: Based on the novel by Phillip Roth
Starring: Sarah Gadon, Logan Lerman
Plot: In 1951, Marcus, a working-class Jewish student from New Jersey, attends a small Ohio college, where he struggles with sexual repression and cultural disaffection, amid the ongoing Korean War.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Chris:  Ding Ding Ding….looks like a winner folks!
Jessica: Intriguing. Interesting. Home viewing.
Ken: Very effective trailer. Enough to get you interested but not enough to give away the game. Well done, I may catch this at home.

Tallulah (Netflix) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Ellen Page, Zachary Quinto, Uzo Aduba
Plot: Desperate to be rid of her toddler, a dissatisfied Beverly Hills housewife hires a stranger to babysit and ends up getting much more than she bargained for.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Ken: I’m really digging the premise and Ellen Page is one of my favorites.
Chris:  Really not feeling this one.  I still think you rock, Netflix!
Jessica: I adore Ellen Page AND Alison Janney so I will be watching this for sure.

Tickets Purchased:  One for Bad Moms (Jessica), One for Jason Bourne ( Ken), and One for Indignation (Chris)

"My boy is better than those awful mothers!"
“My boy is better than those awful mothers!”
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The Female Perspective: My Fave Comic Con Trailers!

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


Like many, I was not at San Diego Comic Con last week, but like many, I got to enjoy the trailers and videos that came out of it with nerdy abandon. Today I thought I’d go over some of my favorites in case you haven’t seen them and to find out what other people enjoyed.

American Gods

Unknown

I read the Neil Gaiman book a year or so ago and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t overly ecstatic about it. That being said, I was curious when I heard that Starz was developing a TV show based on the book. It’s a fascinating premise so I thought, well holy heck, this might be a cool TV show!

If you haven’t read the book, here’s a short synopsis:

The central premise of the novel is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them (a form of thoughtform). Immigrants to the United States brought with them spirits and gods. The power of these mythological beings has diminished as people’s beliefs wane. New gods have arisen, reflecting America’s obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and drugs, among other things. ~Wikipedia

The trailer released at SDCC did NOT disappoint. Besides this being an amazing cast, I think it having a home on Starz is the perfect place for it. Not to mention, the guy playing Shadow, who I adored on The 100, is perfect casting for the quiet felon who is thrust back into the world after this best friend and his wife are both killed in a car accident.

Watch the trailer HERE.

Justice League

images

Okay, this look pretty cool. I was a bit hesitant on the new Flash since I love the TV kid so much, but there appears there is some humor to break up the darkness. More than anything, I cannot possibly get enough of seeing a posse of superhero’s all together, there is something so amazing about it that I honestly will watch anything just to get my fix of that. Maybe it’s wish-fulfillment, where are our superhero’s?

Check out the trailer HERE.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

fantastic_beasts_and_where_to_find_them

I love me some Harry Potter magic, and really, magic in general. Not to mention the vast void of emptiness left in my life since the final book and movie were released so you can imagine my joy about seeing this trailer. The first trailer left me feeling a bit cold, but this one looks awesome. Plus, that familiar Harry Potter music brings back all the feels.

Check out the trailer HERE.

Doctor Strange

DrS

Holy smokes, I can’t even … This look so flipping amazing I can’t even! Here, watch the trailer and tell me this doesn’t fill you with all the feels when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Check out the trailer HERE.

Now, I know virtually nothing about Dr. Strange, but I can tell you two things with certainty.

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch can do no wrong. I don’t care. He’s awesome.
  2. Magic and mind-twisting magic. Dude. MAGIC.

This is one of those trailers that gets you all goose-pimply and excited for the movie to come, but as excited as I am to see Doctor Strange I am even more excited for the next on my list of SDCC wonders. Can you guess what it is? Or who?

WONDER WOMAN

Wonder_Woman_(2017_film)

I am one of the people who thought that Superman V. Batman: Dawn of Justice was a good movie. Not great, not perfect, but really good. Having just watched the “Ultimate Edition” I realize that it’s even better than I remembered it and one of my favorite parts is the introduction of Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman. Seeing Wonder Woman on the big screen like this, tall, proud and powerful, makes me feel all weepy. Add to that being able to finally see the trailer for her movie and I was a total mess.

For years, those in power in the movie world said that a woman-centered stand-alone film wouldn’t do good in the theater so they avoided it like the plague. Now, to see it actually happening is almost overwhelming. Will Wonder Woman outdo her male counterparts? Hard to say, but from the looks of the trailer, it looks like she is going to kick some serious butt and do it in wonderfully awesome fashion.

Also, the line, “What I do is not up to you.” BOOM! That’s my Wonder Woman!

Wonder woman was obviously my favorite of the trailers, I can’t lie. Not to mention, the poster is phenomenal, “Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.” AAAAAAHHHHH!! They are doing so right by this I cannot imagine it will go wrong (my fingers and toes are crossed anyway).

A few honorable mentions in terms of fun videos that came our way are below. These aren’t high profile movie trailers, but they are a bit of fun.

Honorable Mentions:

Rick Grimes tries to Glitter Bomb Daryl and becomes the dread pirate Glitter Beard!

Superman goes undercover!

There you have it folks, some of my fave videos from SDCC 2016. Did you have different ones? Show them to me in the comments and let me know what YOU think of the upcoming slew of movies and TV coming our way!

 

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 7/27/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web where all we ask is that you let us crank it your way. There’s no better way to ride out a heat wave than staying indoors with the AC turned up to 11. I’m not one who watches a lot of TV, but I spent a good amount of time last week binge watching Netflix’s Stranger Things. I’m 5 episodes in and totally hooked. The plot is like something straight out of an 80’s Stephen King movie with matching setting and musical score. Nothing is done as parody, everything about it feels real and honest. The acting, the cinematography, the costuming and stage design all feel absolutely genuine and it is awesome. It’s an homage to my childhood. The writers scored big points with me for the X-Men 134 reference (the first issue to the classic Dark Phoenix saga). If you dig 80’s style horror then you need to head over to the ‘Flix and get your fix.

That’s what I’m watching. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

DII4

The Top of the Pile: Divinity II #4

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Harsine
Cover Art: Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

What it is: DIVINITY vs. DIVINITY! Myshka’s plot to re-engineer the globe in Russia’s favor is all but complete. Will Abram Adams – the god-like being now called Divinity – stand against his former comrade?

Why we love it: Valiant’s Divinity is better than 90% of the capes and tights books from the big two. Time shifting, reality bending and some of the finest artwork in comics make Divinty one the most captivating new superheroes on the stands.

 

F3

The Mainstream one: The Flash #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Cover Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: ‘LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE’ Chapter Three: In issue #3, dozens of innocent people mysteriously gain super-speed! But not all are heroic, and it’ll take everything The Flash and August have to harness the lightning before Black Hole does.

Why we like it: If you’ve been keeping up with the Flash like me, this is the issue we’ve been waiting for. The arrival of Goodspeed.

 

O19

The Indie One: Outcast #19

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Paul Azaceta

What it is: Answers are given and secrets are revealed, as the start of a new story arc finds Kyle and Sidney having a conversation that will change EVERYTHING. Kyle has never been in more danger.

Why we like it: Demons, cults and exorcisms abound in Robert Kirkman’s other horror comic with a TV show, Outcast. This series has been a slow burn and things really started smoldering in the last arc with Kyle beginning to learn the true nature of his ability.

 

T1

The #1 One: Titans #1 (Cover B)

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Brett Booth
Cover Art: Mike Choi

What it is: ‘REMEMBER THE TITANS’ Chapter One After an old ally returns to the team, the Titans set their sights on a dangerous enemy with the power to change reality itself! But the Titans have never faced a threat this massive before, and with so much on the line, will they be able to stand united as a team? Or will their past mistakes be their undoing?

Why we like it: Wally West and the Titans are looking like they will be key players in explaining how the DC Universe was re-birthed. And it all starts here. Well technically it started back in the DC Universe Rebirth one-shot and then in Titans’ Rebirth #1. But check out Wally West’s new costume! Cover B is the one that you want.

 

DC937

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #937 (Cover B)

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art and Cover Art: Alvaro Martinez

What it is: ‘RISE OF THE BATMEN’ Chapter Four: Batman’s found his way into the heart of the Colony, the mysterious new organization cutting its way through Gotham City! Unfortunately, now that he’s in he may find there’s no way out!

Why we like it: If you don’t appreciate this cover then you must either hate Batman or you hate America. We know that nobody hates Batman. You don’t hate America, do you?

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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Trailer Snark (July 22, 2016 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 Secret Life of Pets remained at the top of the box office for a second straight week with $50.5M to add to its $203M domestic total.  That makes it five straight wins for animated movies (Finding Dory was the champ for three weeks before the current champ’s run).  Ghostbusters debuted in second with $46M.  The Legend of Tarzan was third with $11.3M to add to its $103M total.  The aforementioned Finding Dory was fourth with $11M and an astounding $445.5M overall, while fifth place belonged to Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates ($7.5M/$31.3M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows: The Purge: Election Year ($6/$71M), Central Intelligence ($5.3M/$117.5M), The Infiltrator ($5.2M/$6.7M), The BFG ($3.7M/$45.3M), and Independence Day: Resurgence ($3.4M/$98.5M).  Let’s take a look at this weekend’s new releases….

Star Trek: Beyond (Paramount) – Sci-Fi/Adventure
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban
Plot: The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Chris: Abrams made me a fan of the franchise.  I know he is not involved in this outing, but momentum is a strong attractant, and I am looking forward to seeing where they are bringing this story.
Jessica: I really have enjoyed these “new” Star Trek movies but not having JJ Abrams on board this one makes me very leery of it. The trailer also does nothing for me. I’ll watch this, but at home. I don’t believe I’ll make the trip to the theater.
Ken: I’ve really enjoyed Abram’s reboot of the classic Trek, and I probably have it in me to see one more. I’d really like it if they did a movie reboot based on the Next Generation crew.

Ice Age: Collision Course (20th Century Fox) – Family/Animation
Rated PG for mild rude humor and some action/peril
Tag Line: One small step.  One giant mess.
Starring: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
Plot: Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world.
Running Time: 94 minutes

Ken: Never got into this franchise, won’t be starting now. I’d rather watch 2 hours of the squirrel trying to get the acorn.
Chris: Amusing for a small screen outing.  The acorn may be the best inanimate supporting actor in a movie ever.
Jessica: Nope. Haven’t seen any of these and never will.

Lights Out (Warner Bros) – Horror
Rated PG-13 for terror throughout, violence including disturbing images, some thematic material and brief drug content
Tag Line: You were right to be afraid of the dark.
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello
Plot: When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie.
Running Time: 81 minutes

Jessica: Looks fun! I love an inventive horror flick!
Ken: Like I need another reason to be scared of the dark. That did look genuinely creepy and I’ll probably catch it at home. Where I can watch with all the lights on.
Chris: Creepy as heck!  YES!

Absolutely Fabulous (Fox Searchlight) – Comedy
Rated R for language including sexual references, and some drug use
Tag Line: It’s a huge great bloody movie, sweetie!
Starring: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley
Plot: After attracting both media and police attention for accidentally knocking Kate Moss into the River Thames, Edina and Patsy hide out in the south of France.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Chris: RUN AWAY!
Jessica: Oh gosh, this show always cracked me up, though I wasn’t a die-hard fan when it was on. I’d watch this at home. These ladies still look fabulous and funny.
Ken: Absolutely not.

Don’t Think Twice (The Film Arcade) – Comedy/Drama
Rated R for language and some drug use
Tag Line:  The spotlight’s not on everyone.
Starring: Keegan Michael-Key, Gillian Jacobs
Plot: When a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group – all best friends – start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Ken: Looks hugely charming but only a little funny. Renter, maybe.
Chris: Appealing little story of struggling artists trying to get their break.  Another small screen viewer.
Jessica: A lot of heart in this one, it’s not a theater viewer, but I would rent it or redox it or Amazon it, whatever the zillion options are today for home viewing.

Hillary’s America:  The Secret History of the Democratic Party – Documentary
Rated PG-13 for some violence, thematic elements and smoking
Tag Line: None
Starring: Dinesh D’Souza, Jonah Goldberg
Plot: Documentarian Dinesh D’Souza analyzes the history of the Democratic Party and what he thinks are Hillary Clinton’s true motivations.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jessica: Why is the “secret” history of the Democratic party dubbed “Hilary’s America”? I get what he’s trying to accomplish, but I shy away from such biased films. I much prefer something balanced that talks about both sides since both sides are deeply, deeply fractured.
Ken: This year’s Presidential election can be summed up thusly, “would you like your turd sandwich cold or toasted?” I have no love for Hillary, but this made me want to puke.
Chris: A bit too theatrical for my taste.  Just give me the facts, Dragnet-style.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Star Trek Beyond (Ken and Chris) and Jessica stays home to enjoy the Director’s Cut of Superman v Batman.

...because we just had to
…because we just had to
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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 7/20/2016

Greetings fellow freaks and geeks and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that understands that with great crank there must also come great responsibility. Tragedy followed bloody tragedy and the seemingly endless pattern of violence and hate continued to spread last week. The world sure feels like a dangerous place right now and people are scared. Stay safe wherever you are, read something engaging and learn something new. The most effective weapon against ignorance is knowledge.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

MD21

The Top of the Pile: Manifest Destiny #21

Publisher: Image
Words: Chris Dingess
Art: Matthew Roberts

What it is: ‘SASQUATCH,’ Part Three Don’t bother shooting. Just run.

Why we love it: Manifest Destiny’s American frontier hides many horrors for our intrepid band of explorers, the likes of which have never been seen by the civilized world. This week Lewis and Clark and company come face to foot with the undisputed king of cryptozoology, Sasquatch.

 

BM3

The Mainstream One: Batman #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I AM GOTHAM’ Chapter Three: Batman and Gotham strike out together to get to the bottom of the mysterious attacks against the city. Could this novel and headstrong new hero be everything Gotham City needs…at the cost of the Dark Knight?

Why we like it: Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Snyder’s epic New 52 run, especially those early Court of Owl issues, but Tom King’s Batman has been just good, not great. Still we’re only two issues in and Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the old saying goes. I had high hopes for this relaunch and I still have hope that this series will find its footing sooner or later. Hopefully sooner, rather than later.

 

OOL1

The Indie One: Once Our Land

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words and Art: Peter Ricq

What it isAn amazing debut comic from a visionary new creator! Once Our Land is a post-apocalyptic tale set in 1830s Germany. It is the tale of two survivors, Ingrid and Fritz, as they battle each day against mysterious invaders that have surfaced and wiped out everything they once knew. A fantasy, sci-fi, period, and action story rolled into one epic package, Once Our Land is destined to be an all-ages classic!

Why we like it: The art looks gorgeous and while the book appears to be geared towards younger readers, the writer was heavily influenced by the monsters of H.P. Lovecraft. I’m really looking forward to reading this on Wednesday. 

 

SG1

The #1 One: Snot Girl #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Art: Leslie Hung

What it is: WHO IS LOTTIE PERSON? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? Enter a world of snot, blood, and tears in this new ongoing series from New York Times Best Seller Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim) and dazzling newcomer Leslie Hung!

Why we like it: I haven’t read Scott Pilgrim nor have i seen the movie. I didn’t even realize this was the same writer until just now. I read a preview for Snot Girl in ImagePlus magazine and found it oddly charming, Digging Snot Girl for the manga-inspired artwork and the sheer weirdness factor.

 

DV23SQ21

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Darth Vader #23 and Start Wars #21

Publisher: Marvel
Cover Artists: John Tyler Christopher and David Aja

Why we like them: Here’s a duo of fantastic Star Wars related covers. The Darth Vader action figure variant features our favorite kill-droid, the murderous and always hilarious BT-1. David Aja continues his recent domination of Ones I’m Buying for the Cover with a variant which needs to be on a poster or at very least a t-shirt. I couldn’t pick between the two, so you’re getting both. You are welcome.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Female Perspective: Frank Cho and Wonder Woman

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


So last week there was a flurry of stories regarding artist Frank Cho and his variant Wonder Woman covers. Seeing as a lot of the articles dealt with people being aghast at the amount of skin Cho was drawing and his departure from DC Comics because they did not like his covers (he quit the job) I became curious. Was this another case of women being drawn as fodder for drooling men?

Nope.

The few covers that Cho did do are actually quite stunning. They are well-executed and I have to say, awesome. I am neither offended by the amount of skin or the poses Wonder Woman is in. I am confused as to why there is even a story.

The fact is, Cho acted like a petulant child, posting this online:

All the problem lies with Greg Rucka.

EVERYONE loves my Wonder Woman covers and wants me to stay. Greg Rucka is the ONLY one who has any problem with covers. Greg Rucka has been trying to alter and censor my artwork since day one.

Greg Rucka thought my Wonder Woman #3 cover was vulgar and showed too much skin, and has been spearheading censorship, which is baffling since my Wonder Woman image is on model and shows the same amount of skin as the interior art, and it’s a VARIANT COVER and he should have no editorial control over it. (But he does. WTF?!!!)
I tried to play nice, not rock the boat and do my best on the covers, but Greg’s weird political agenda against me and my art has made that job impossible. Wonder Woman was the ONLY reason I came over to DC Comics.

To DC’s credit, especially [Art Director] Mark Chiarello, they have been very accommodating. But they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

I just wanted to be left alone and do my Wonder Woman variant covers in peace. But Greg Rucka is in a hostile power trip and causing unnecessary friction over variant covers.

ComicsBeat.com

Sure, Cho isn’t really taking the “high road” here, but whatever. What really annoys me is that DC hired him, knowing exactly what kind of artwork Cho is famous for (click here, but be warned NSFW) so why the heck are they hiring someone who has a website called Apes and Babes and who is KNOWN for drawing naked ladies in sexy positions?

The mindset of these comic companies baffles me. In 2014, Marvel had a similar issue, only they actually published a variant cover of Spiderwoman that was fairly insulting to women, spiders and anyone who has any respect for women. In this case, Cho’s covers are actually pretty awesome and in keeping with the characters spirit.

It’s a difficult thing in this world today, toeing the line between being “too” sensitive and being sensitive “enough”. I have to go with my own thoughts and feelings on these things, but as a feminist, as a woman, I see nothing wrong with Cho’s covers. I may not care for him as an artist (or as a human being), but his artwork here is pretty great. What I have to wonder is if DC was simply looking for some press (which they got) or if Cho just wanted out of the deal that he signed because he was frustrated with the team at DC, (or, Cho wanted some press) or these guys are really just children in disguise, and none of them know what they’re doing. My bet is on that last one.

There’s another aspect to this story though, is it inappropriate for the creative in charge of the story to want to have some control over how his/her story is packaged? Is it wrong that Greg Rucka didn’t like what Cho was doing and kicked up a fuss? That’s a tricky one. As an author, I would be aghast if someone took my character Katrina (from my book The Last Daughter of Lilith) and drew her as a sexpot wearing heels and a miniskirt (or something worse than that) because she is a simple character who wears simple clothing. I wouldn’t want that to happen either and would kick up a big ole fuss about it. In this case though, I’m not sure what is going on since (as you can see below), these covers are pretty cool, and not at all insulting to the source material.

Original Art.
Original Art.
Finished piece.
Finished piece.

While the cropping is different, ending at the knee, everything else is the same. There is no extra cleavage, no under skirt shot. I feel like I am missing some piece of a puzzle and these guys at DC are holding the piece I need to complete the puzzle over their heads going, “Nope, not gonna give it to you!”

Let’s look at one more.

Original Art.
Original Art.
Finished piece.
Finished piece.

Yep, I still don’t see it, do you? Am I missing something? If so, please enlighten me!

Tell me what YOU think about all this? Do you see the problem? Do you think there’s no problem and everyone in comics is coco-NUTS? Sound off in the comments!

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Trailer Snark (July 15, 2016 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: Finding Dory was finally dethroned and it took another family-friendly animated film to do it!  The Secret Life of Pets took in $103.1M in its opening weekend.  In second place was The Legend of Tarzan with another $20.6M to add to its $81.4M total.  The aforementioned Finding Dory came in third doing great business at $20.3M and an astounding $422.5M total domestic.  Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates debuted in fourth with $16.6M.  Rounding out the top five was The Purge: Election Year ($11.7M/$58.1M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows: Central Intelligence ($8.1M/$108.3M), Independence Day: Resurgence ($7.7M/$91.4M), The BFG ($7.6M/$38.7M), The Shallows ($4.8M/$45.8M), and Sultan ($2.2M/$3.2M).  Here are this week’s new entries…..

Ghostbusters (Columbia) – Sci-Fi/Comedy
Rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some crude humor
Tag Line: Who You Gonna Call?
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon
Plot: Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Jessica: I LOVE the originals (yes, even the sequel so hush) but I also adore Paul Feige and this crew of ladies so I am really excited about this movie. Even after hearing it’s not perfect but a lot of fun, I’m still excited. Plus, Thor as their secretary???? Yes please!
Chris: Don’t tell my wife (she is hating on the relaunch), but I think this looks like a big bucket of buttered popcorn fun to me!

The Infiltrator (Broad Green) – Crime/Biography
Rated R for strong violence, language throughout, some sexual content and drug material
Tag Line: The true story of one man against the biggest drug cartel in history
Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo
Plot: A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Chris: A look into the story of the people responsible for taking down one of the biggest criminal creeps in our lifetime?  Love this type of film!
Jessica: I would watch Bryan Cranston narrate stereo instructions in a dramatic fashion. He is just awesome and this looks fantastic.

Cafe Society (Lionsgate) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some violence, a drug reference, suggestive material and smoking
Tag Line: Anyone who is anyone will be seen at Café Society.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carrell, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively
Plot: Set in the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars. After returning to New York he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Jessica: 1. I STRONGLY DISLIKE Woody Allen and refuse to watch his movies. 2. I STRONGLY DISLIKE Kristen Stewart and often avoid her movies if I can. So yeah, BIG pass on this bore-fest for me. Even with a stellar cast I’m all sorts of set with never seeing it.
Chris:  I think Jessica summed up my thoughts quite nicely here.

Equals (A24) – Drama/Romance/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, sensuality, partial nudity and disturbing images
Tag Line: Find your equal.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart
Plot: In an emotionless utopia, two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Chris: Aside from the boring trailer, it is Kristen Stewart AGAIN!  Can’t stay far enough away.
Jessica: ANOTHER KRISTEN STEWART MOVIE!?!?!? I am trying to resist swearing. I didn’t even make it through the trailer. I’m almost 100% certain this has been done before (and better). PASS PASS PASS.

Undrafted (Vertical Entertainment) – Comedy/Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line: Twelve guys loved a game.  It didn’t love them back.
Starring:  James Belushi, Tyler Hoechlin, Joseph Mazzello
Plot: When twelve ragtag teammates set out to play what should be a meaningless summer intramural baseball game, it ends up becoming the most important game of their lives.
Running Time: 90 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4c56soXrNs
Chris:  Low rent fodder that should be going straight to DVD.
Jessica: Surprisingly cute looking. I’d watch this at home. It looks funny but with a heart (yep, I went with the cliche).

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Ghostbusters!

What do you want to see in the new Ghostbusters film?  Definitely the ghost of Bob Ross for me please!
What do you want to see in the new Ghostbusters film? Definitely the ghost of Bob Ross for me please!
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The Female Perspective: Book Review Time!

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


If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know I’ve been watching Game of Thrones and I also just began the task of re-reading the books. Before I began reading that series, I finished re-reading (what can I say, it’s been a re-read kind of summer) one of my favorite Stephen King books, 11/22/63.

11-22-63

I wanted to re-read it because I had watched the Hulu TV series made from the book and while I liked the show quite a bit at first, as I got deeper and deeper into the book I realized that I the show really wasn’t that good. In fact, when compared to the book, I got seriously bummed out about what was left out.

Now, before I get into things you should know there are spoilers afoot and that also, I quite certainly realize that they can’t put everything into an adaptation. I just have to wonder at the choices made is all and why they would leave out some of  (what I think) are the best parts of the book in order to make a multi-part TV “event”.

The Beginning

In the beginning we get a moment with Jake Epping where he tells us;

I have never been what you’d call a crying man … I wish I had been emotionally blocked, after all. Because everything that followed–every terrible thing–flowed from those tears. ~Stephen King 11/22/63

Epping is a teacher and he reads a theme one of his students rights, an older man named Harry who is off, a little slow, a little different. It’s because his father, in a drunken rage, killed his family with a hammer and while not killing Harry, he whacked him in the head and gave him some brain damage. This moment, this small, few pages of talking, is what sets into action the events that unfold in 11/22/63 and while that’s touched upon in the TV series, it’s not given the importance it should have gotten.

I also think that James Franco was bad casting, but that’s a different blog post.

Regardless of casting, what unfolds in the first portion of the book is that Jake is told by his buddy Al that there is a time traveling portal in a closet at his restaurant and Al needs Jake to do something for him, something big, something world changing.

Al wants Jake to go back in time and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Why can’t Al do it himself? Well, because Al has cancer and he’s dying. When you go through the portal you continue to age even though in the current world (at that 2011) only 2 minutes pass by, years can pass by for our intrepid time travelers and Al is simply too sick to carry out the mission. When you step through the portal you are in 1960 and it have to then wait potentially 3 years to take care of business. After some hemming and hawing, Jake finally decides to give it a try, but first he has to know the rules of time travel.

Before Al dies, he gives him as much info as he can, he even has a notebook full of notes about Lee Harvey Oswald’s movements up until that fateful day in 1963.  But Jake wants to test this theory of what happens when you change time, Jake wants to see if he can not only save Kennedy, but maybe he can help his student too.  Maybe he can prevent the death of that mans family and his brain damage and give him a real chance at life (or so he thinks).

The thing about this portal is that every time you go through, it resets itself. So if you change things in 1960, go back to 2011 and then go back to 1960, everything resets itself, so you have to be sure you have things right or you’ll be doing them over and over again, like a twisted version of Groundhog Day. This happens to Jake as he screws up his first attempt at preventing the murder of Harry’s family, has to go back through the portal and do it all over again (but this time, he does it quicker), but not after putting a phone call through to Harry to see what happened to him and discovers it’s not such a good future for Harry after all.

card-1963

The Repercussions of Time Travel

We all think about it, or at least, I have anyway. What would happen if you changed one event in a persons life? How would things turn out? Would they still find their way to that point in time? Would they have a better life? Would the world around them be the same? In 11/22/63 we get Stephen King’s answers to those questions. What Jake discovers is that changing an element of a person’s life has a profound effect on them, but it’s not always a good thing. If Harry is never injured, he ends up at Vietnam and he ends up dead. But that doesn’t stop Jake because he thinks, if Kennedy lives, maybe there is no Vietnam for Harry to die in. Maybe he can prevent Harry’s premature death if he keeps Kennedy alive!

It’s a mind twister of a book because Jake is constantly faced with the idea that time is obdurate and that it does not like to be changed. We see that a little bit on the TV show, but not to the extent we see it in the book. Jake also ignores the advice of his friend Al who tells him not to get involved in the lives of the people in the “Land of Ago”, he ends up falling in love with a woman, making friends, establishing a life. Which of course turns out to be a big mistake. This is a Stephen King novel after all, while we don’t see the death toll rise like in a George R.R. Martin book, King doesn’t always do perfect happy endings.

For Jake Epping, his life in the 1960s slowly becomes more real to him than his life in 2011. He says, near the end of the book, after everything has gone to Hell and he has to make a choice he doesn’t want to make,

I should also tell you that I  no longer think of 2011 as the present. Philip Nolan was the Man Without a Country; I am the Man Without a Time Frame. I suspect I always will be. Even if 2011 is still there, I will be a visiting stranger.  ~Stephen King

My Thoughts

I’ve already said that 11/22/63 is one of my favorite Stephen King books, right after The Stand and Eyes of the Dragon. The reason why I love it so much is that it isn’t a typical King book. It’s not horror, it’s more of a sci-fi adventure. It’s a love story. More than anything else, it’s a toe dipped in reality, the “what-if” scenario that so many of us wonder about.

What if Kennedy had lived?

I won’t tell you what King’s answer to that question is, but it’s a hum-dinger, that’s for sure. The quick reveal of 2011 post-Kennedy Alive was a shocker to me and it is a reminder that these things happen for a reason. If presented with the opportunity to change a moment in history, would you, and more importantly should you even try to change it? Who are we to play at being God? Who are we to mess with the strings of the Universe? It’s an amazingly thought-provoking book and a great summer read. If you like history mixed in with fiction, then 11/22/63 is a great choice.

Also, read the book before you watch the show if you can. It’s so much richer and more interesting. Besides that, I am seriously bummed out that they really lessen the impact Harry’s life had on Jake. For pete’s sake, Harry is the entire reason Jake goes back! Harry is the reason Jake gives up years of his life to try and stop Kennedy’s assassination. And yet, Harry is barely a footnote in the show. To me, that was an opportunity lost to really showcase the acting Franco can do and how poignant the story really is.


Pick up your copy of 11/22/63 online or borrow one from your local library!

What do you think? Would you change the past if you could? Why or why not? What would you change? Sound off in the comments!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 7/13/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another installment of the Crank File, the only place on the net that is extremely late to pick up their father from the airport. Sorry, no time for love Dr. Jones.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

V9

The top of the Pile: Vision #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Cover Art: Mike Del Mundo

What it is: Every family has its share of secrets – skeletons in the closet, kept hidden from the world at large. For the Visions, those secrets are real, actual skeletons. The thing about secrets is they always have a cost, and one of the Visions is going to pay with their life.

Why we love it: You look at that cover and can’t help but think, “well, that can’t be good…” We know that the story will not end well for Vision and his synthezoid family, but the real tragedy is that it ends with issue 12. It’s too bad Tom King is doing an exclusive with DC, because I could have read his Vision run for volumes and volumes. We’re only half-way through the year but I’m calling it, Vision is the best comic of 2016.

 

F2

The Mainstream One: The Flash #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Cover Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: In issue #2, The Flash trains novice speedster August Heart to help protect the people of Central City from the Black Hole, a new breed of rogue with a deadly agenda for the Fastest Men Alive.

Why we like it: There’s a new Flash in Central City and he’s buds with the old Flash. I think Flash has been the best book to come out of DC Rebirth so far.

 

H1

The Indie One: Horizon #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Brandon Thomas
Art: Juan Gedeon
Cover Art: Jason Howard

What it is: Zhia Malen thought she’d fought her very last war, until she learned her planet was targeted for occupation by a desperate world called Earth. The people of Earth will be told that her arrival on their planet means invasion; these are lies, this is retaliation. Skybound’s newest original series by BRANDON THOMAS (The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury), JUAN GEDEON (Ghost Racers), and FRANK MARTIN (EAST OF WEST) will show you that survival isn’t just a human instinct.

Why we like it: Because the preview pages look awesome. http://www.comicbookresources.com/prev_img.php?pid=33755&pg=1

 

NSM1

The #1 One: New Super-man #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Gene Luen Yang
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic

What it is: An impulsive act of heroism thrusts an arrogant young man into the limelight of Shanghai as China begins to form its own Justice League of powerful heroes. Rising from the ashes of The Final Days of Superman, award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and on-the-rise art star Victor Bogdanovic introduce readers to Kong Kenan-the New Super-Man! When the world needed a new hero, China made him!

Why we like it: I know some people are sour at the recent trend in comics of publishers re-racing their beloved, white characters.  Being of Chinese descent myself, let me say thank you DC. Thank you for bringing another Asian superhero into the DC universe, Cassandra Cain was getting lonely. And cheers for choosing an Asian American to write him.  Jiayou!

 

CW3

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Civil War II #3

Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: David Marquez
Cover Art: Phil Noto

What it is: Classified!

Why we like it: A potentially huge death is being teased for issue #3. We don’t know who eats the big enchilada, but based on this gorgeous cover by the always amazing Phil Noto, we can deduce that the killer was Hawkeye, in the face, with an arrow.

 

That’s all I got this week, geeks. Until next week, carpe comics!

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Trailer Snark (July 8th, 2016 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: Finding Dory took first place for the third week in a row!  The popular sequel made another $41.9M for a total domestic haul of $372.2M to date.  The next three spots were occupied by films making their debut.  The Legend of Tarzan was the runner-up with $38.1M, followed by The Purge:  Election Year at $30.8M and The BFG at $19.5M.  Independence Day 2 closed out the top five with another $16.5M to add to its $72.6M total.  The rest of the top ten was as follows:  Central Intelligence ($12.3M/$91.7M), The Shallows ($9M/$35.2M), Free State of Jones ($4.1M/$15.1M), The Conjuring 2 ($3.8M/$95.2M), and Now You See Me 2 ($2.9M/$58.6M).  Let’s take a look at this week’s new entries.

The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) – Family/Comedy
Rated PG for action and some rude humor
Tag Line: Ever wonder what your pets do when you’re not home?
Starring: Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell
Plot: A terrier named Max regularly invites his friends to hang out at his place while his owner is gone, but his quiet life is upended when said owner also takes in Duke, a stray mutt whom Max instantly dislikes.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Jessica: Looks cute, I’m not a huge fan of kids movies, but I’d probably watch this at home.
Chris: I am all over this one.  Haven’t been this excited by a kid’s film in ages.  Trailer had me in stitches.
Jim: Trailers for this have been shown at just about every kids movie since Christmastime—it’s still funny, definitely a go this weekend.
Ken: Adorable and hysterical. Any trailer that uses System of a Down is a winner in my book.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (20th Century Fox) – Comedy
Rated R for crude sexual content, language throughout, drug use and some graphic nudity
Tag Line: They needed hot dates. They got hot messes.
Starring: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza
Plot: Two brothers place an online ad to find dates for a wedding and the ad goes viral.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Ken: This movie looks dumb as…..
Jessica: Eh. This is one of those comedies that could be really good or being really, REALLY bad. Again, a home viewer (if that).
Chris: OK, maybe I am just inclined to amusement this week, but this looks like another laughfest.  Likely won’t be a theater view, but I’ll be looking for it on the small screen.
Jim: A good premise made to look crass and obnoxious.

Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street Media) – Drama
Rated R for language and brief graphic nudity
Tag Line: He Prepared Them For Everything Except The Outside World
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Steve Zahn
Plot: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Jim: Viggo seldom disappoints—this looks heartfelt and absorbing.
Ken: This screams counter culture and I love it. Probably won’t score big with the mainstream but I’ll definitely be checking this out.
Jessica: Okay, this one got me. I’ll admit to being sold when I saw Viggo’s name, I mean, you cannot go wrong with Lord Aragorn in anything. The trailer made me laugh and cry so to me that’s a good sign
Chris: Could it be three winners in a row?  Might be tough finding this limited release film in theaters, but this film about a man who attempts to raise his family off the grid only to have them forced back into society looks compelling and heartfelt.

Cell (Saban Films) – Horror/Thriller
Rated R for disturbing violent content, terror, brief sexuality and language
Tag Line: When everyone is connected, no one is safe.
Starring:  Samuel L Jackson, John Cusack
Plot: When a mysterious cell phone signal causes apocalyptic chaos, an artist is determined to reunite with his young son in New England.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Chris: I love Stephen King and will watch any adaptation of his novels.  This one took a long time to land a distributor, which is a concern.
Jim: I’m a Stephen King fan, so I should be looking forward to this. The book was good— one would hope for a Carrie or Shawshank Redemption. This looks too much like a run of the mill zombie flick though, so  I might end up disappointed.
Ken: The premise is terrible but the execution looks tremendous. Pop culture is already overly saturated with zombies, do we really need one more?
Jessica: This is one of my all-time least favorite Stephen King books (and I love King) so I am less than excited about this one. It might be a home watch if I’m forced to see it.

Tickets Purchased:  Three for The Secret Life of Pets (Ken, Jim, and Chris) and One for Captain Fantastic (Jessica)

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