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Trailer Snark (October 28, 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!

Inferno (Columbia Pictures) – Drama/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, disturbing images, some language, thematic elements and brief sensuality
Tag Line: The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons were just the beginning
Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones
Plot: When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Rob: I enjoy Dan Brown’s books, but I’m not sold on this one.  Something seems off with Hanks’ acting in the trailer, and normally I think he’s quite good.  Then again, it has almost no competition this week and features the lovely Felicity Jones aka Jyn Erso….
Jessica: I read a bunch of Dan Brown’s books awhile back and they are entertaining, though formulaic, and Tom Hanks is the worst casting (as much as I adore him) for this role. Not to mention I find these movies to be dull and I agree, something is just off! Pass.
Jim: I like Dan Brown’s books, but I thought the movie version of Davinci Code was glum and plodding. It made me wish for the “funny” Tom Hanks. This looks like more of the same.
Chris: Never a fan of this series to be honest.  Both The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons left me cold in spite of the popularity of the books and the star power on screen. 

Gimme Danger (Magnolia Pictures) – Documentary
Rated R for drug content and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton
Plot: An in-depth look at the legendary punk band, The Stooges.
Running Time: 108 minutes

Chris:  Iggy Pop doesn’t need to wear a Halloween mask.
Rob: The Stooges have a sound that stands out in musical history, and I’ll definitely watch this….just not on the big screen.
Jessica: Love The Stooges, but I don’t do documentaries in the theater!
Jim: Wow. Not one, but two documentaries this week featuring bands I know pretty much nothing about. Maybe here’s my chance. For those who’re into them, enjoy! They both look good.

Oasis: Supersonic (A24) – Documentary
Rated R for pervasive language and some drug material
Tag Line: None
Starring: Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher
Plot: An in-depth look at the life and music of Manchester-based rock band, Oasis.
Running Time: 122 minutes

Jim: See my previous comment.
Chris: No wonder on that cinematic wall for me.
Rob: Although this one holds less appeal than Gimme Danger for me, it’s another flick I would stream. 
Jessica: I HATE OASIS.

Tickets Purchased:  None….that’s right.  No one on the team is inspired by this week’s lineup.  We’ll all be taking our popcorn bowls to the couch for a weekend of scary Halloween fare, and saving our money for next week perhaps?

We'll just be chilling on the couch with a good movie.
We’ll just be chilling on the couch with a good movie.
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The Female Perspective: The Walking Dead – Here’s Negan!

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! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

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


We waited for season 7 and we were not disappointed...Well most of us anyway.
We waited for season 7 and we were not disappointed…Well most of us anyway.

This post isn’t so much about feminism in The Walking Dead because I have touched on that before, but more it’s about me being a total nerd for this show and I wanted to chat a bit about the Season 7 premiere that happened last Sunday and the reaction thus far.

Do you watch The Walking Dead? Did you see it yet? No? Then stop reading, there be SPOILERS AHEAD! Why are you reading a blog instead of watching the show? Yeesh, go, go now!

Okay. Onward and upward.

If you watch the show then you  know that season 6 left us all in a quandary. We had just met Negan (if you didn’t read the comics you had been hearing about him ad naseum for quite a while I assume) and I can say that for me, I had a hard time remember to breathe the entire episode as we waited the big reveal and what it meant for our hearty band of survivors.

If you read the comics, then you know that someone is about to die, and Negan is going to be the one who does it. With Lucille, his vampire bat.

I started watching Walking Dead before I read the comics and I instantly loved the show and very quickly thereafter began to devour the comics as well. I am now currently caught up with the comics but won’t spoil those here.  Sufficed it to say, Negan is still alive and kicking and he is still a very, very, VERY bad man. Can you be a man when you’re a horrible monster in a world of horrible monsters?

Many people knew that someone was about to die, we didn’t know who and season 6 was not about to end telling us who dies, they left us all wondering, as the screen went black and the horrific crunching of bat on head echoed all around us. We waited and we guessed and we worried, and finally, we know. It wasn’t just one character, it was two. TWO! Walking Dead you’re getting greedy now.

Winner of best facial hair on "The Walking Dead" has to be Abraham.
Winner of best facial hair on “The Walking Dead” has to be Abraham.

It was a brutal episode, first Abraham got killed, but not before he got in one last, “Such my b—s” as he collapsed. It was a death worthy of the character and it was sad to see. It was actually really grotesque, but this is a show full of grotesque imagery, I mean, for pete’s sake, the dead and decaying are walking around la-dee-dah like. It’s pretty gross.

What came next was a surprise and a pretty good shock, Daryl gets a good, solid punch in on Negan’s handsome face and voila! We have our second death of the evening, Glenn. Poor Glenn, he got it via Lucille in the comics so he’s who I had my money on to be murdered on the episode. I admit to jumping and yelling when it happened. I admit to crying a tear or two when he finally cries out to Maggie and tells her he’ll find her.

Ugh.

It’s a brutal episode. Not only do we see characters we love get butchered in front of our faces, we see some pretty gnarly zombie death as well. But besides all of that is the emotional toll the show took. We watch as Negan beats Rick down emotionally, brutally, gleefully. After so many years with these characters, it’s hard to see someone as strong, as capable, as kind of cuckoo-pants crazy, as Rick get beaten down to the point of weeping and begging.

I say it again, it was a brutal episode.

Sadness...RIP Glenn Rhee.
Sadness…RIP Glenn Rhee.

So why am I so surprised that people are mad? We live in an age where people can accept gratuitous sex and foul language as par for the course, but violence on a show known for being gory and violent shocks us. People cry out, “My kids were watching!” And I ask, “What the heck were you doing let kids watch this show?” People cry out, “It’s too much,” and I ask, “So why doesn’t the violence on the news get you this upset? Why are half naked women okay, but violence is not?”

To me it’s a mark of a show doing something right. If people have such a strong and emotional reaction that they vow to stop watching the show, then the writers, the actors, everyone is doing something right. It means it’s effecting people (either positively or negatively) and that is what any entertainer wants to do. As a writer, I would LOVE to effect people with my words so much so that they have an emotional reaction so strong as to be angry, sad, happy, etc.

Is the show too violent? I don’t think so, not in the context of everything else that surrounds us. Not to mention the show is on at 9 AND has multiple warnings about violent content. They’ve done their job in warning people, if parents are letting their kids watch the show and the kids have nightmares, that’s on them. I’m sorry, but it’s true. It’s not AMC or The Walking Dead’s responsibility to censor itself because parents don’t make good decisions. I also think that if you don’t read the comics, then this weekends premier was probably a shocker for you, I get that. For those of us who have seen it, we know that Negan is horrible, violent and sadistic. We know what he does. If it was a surprise how violent things got and you are angry, that’s okay, but take a breather and think about the show you’re watching. It’s a show where the dead walk. Where people have been killing each other, sometimes there’s cannibals, always there’s death, and you’re surprised it got violent?

I do agree though that it was still brutal. And brilliant. That was some of the finest TV I’ve seen in awhile. Not because it was violent, but for the quiet moments after the violence was past us. When Rick and Negan are having alone time, when Rick is going through what’s just happened again and again. When we see the look on Daryl’s face when Glenn is killed. It’s those little moments that make it brilliant. The violence is just wrapped into that, it’s the catalyst for those little moments of true brilliance.

I personally cannot wait to see where Season 7 goes. If it’s anything like the comic book, we are in for quite the horrifically brutal treat.

Oh Negan...
Oh Negan…

What did you think of the premier? Too violent? Are you going to keep watching the show?
Yes or no?
Why or why not?
Sound off in the comments!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/26/2016

Happy Halloween comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The comic book world mourns the loss of Steve Dillon this week. Dillon was co-creator and artist on the seminal Vertigo series Preacher and is known for his work on Hellblazer and Punisher. His uncanny ability to capture expression and lead the reader’s eye placed Dillon among the great visual storytellers of our generation. He was one of the good guys, in a world with way too many of the bad.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

S39

The Top of the Pile: Saga #39

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples

What it is: ‘THE WAR FOR PHANG,’ Part Three New allies join the battle, but so do deadly new enemies.

Why we love it: Early on in Saga, Hazel made the observation that in war there is always collateral damage. Acceptable losses. The War for Phang took one of my favorite characters last issue and this one really stung. Things had been going too well for Alana, Marko and Hazel for too long and tragedy was inevitable.

 

V12

The Mainstream one: Vision #12

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Mike Del Mundo

What it is: A while ago, a robot created a family. And all was good. For a while. Then came the murders. The lies. The betrayals. The battles fought. The battles lost. The family lost. And now, at the end, Vision stands alone. He must decide how he will go on, if he will go on, if he can go on. And that decision will shape the Marvel Universe for quite a while. The epic, stunning conclusion to the most highly praised series of the year. Simply put, this is the issue everyone will be talking about.

Why we like it: King’s macabre Vision comes to a conclusion this week and all’s that is left to do is sweep up the ashes. Vision has been devastating, haunting and most surprisingly, incredibly human. I’m sad to see it wrap after only 12 issues, but considering how radically different in tone and story Vision is from other Marvel titles I’m truly thankful that we got this series at all.

 

StE2

The Indie One: Seven to Eternity #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: Now face to face with the God of Whispers, enslaver of worlds, all that stands between Adam Osidis and his heart’s every desire is one simple compromise, to bend the knee.

Why we like it: Looks like Remender and Opena have another hit on their hands. I had high expectations for the story since it was a Remender comic, but I was absolutely floored by Opena’s artwork. Issue #1 was awesome and all 4 covers are selling above cover price. I’m expecting lots of interest in issue #2.

 

SH1

The #1 One: Spookhouse #1

Publisher: Albatross
Words and Art: Eric Powell

What it is: Eric Powell presents the first issue of an all new anthology series of scary camp fire tales for kids!

Why we like it: Eric Powell lend’s his unique style to a collection of stories from his independent label about the things that go bump in the night. I’m expecting some good fun and a Halloween scare.

 

WW17

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wayward #17

Publisher: Image
Words: Jim Zub
Art: Steve Cummings
Cover art: Sana Takeda

What it is: Back in Japan, the aftermath of the battle and the treacherous road ahead.

Why we like it: You may recognize Sana Takeda’s art from her work on Image’s Monstress. She definitely draws inspiration from manga, but I feel like her use of colors and patterns make her style distinct. I would love to see her work on more titles.

 

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

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Trailer Snark (October 21, 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!

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Paramount) – Action/Adventure
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic elements
Tag Line: Never give in, Never give up, Never go back
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders
Plot: Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Jessica: I saw the first one they did and really enjoyed it. I’ve also read a bunch of the Jack Reacher books, including this one, and love the stories. I think even though Cruise looks NOTHING like how Jack Reacher is described in the books, he did a fantastic job and I’m excited for this one.
Chris:  Feeling some Rick Astley love in that tag line.  This movie never gonna give you up.  Never gonna let you down.  Never gonna run around and hurt you.  Yeah!

Ouija: Origin of Evil (Universal) – Horror/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, terror and thematic elements
Tag Line: No telling what you’ll see.
Starring: Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson
Plot: In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by a merciless spirit, the family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.
Running Time: 99 minutes

Chris: While I like the throwback sixties vibe, this looks like your standard run of the mill horror outing.  Better saved for a Netflix stream.
Jessica: Pass. When the trailer makes it seem cheesy and lame, that usually means the movie is going to be cheesy and lame. Plus, haven’t there been like twelve BILLION Ouija board movies already? Enough already! Next thing you know there will be a zombie vampire movie about using Ouija boards that turn into magical turnips or something.

Keeping Up with the Joneses (Fox) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, action/violence and brief strong language
Tag Line: Meet the Joneses.
Starring: Zach Galafianakis, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot
Plot: A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Jessica: When I saw Gal Gadot and Hamm and Zack and Isla I was partially sold. When he yelled into his tie microphone I laughed out loud. This looks like a fun, stupidly funny action comedy. love it.
Chris: I am with Jess on this one.  Laughter is good medicine in times such as these.  Bring on the silliness!

Boo! A Madea Halloween (Lionsgate) – Comedy/Horror
Rated PG-13 for drug use and references, suggestive content, language, some horror images and thematic material
Tag Line: Witch, please.
Starring: Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis
Plot: Madea winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Chris: While I was mildly amused by the trailer, I am not sure if this will be the film to break my streak of not watching Tyler Perry movies.
Jessica: You can’t PAY me to even WATCH this BS trailer. P A S S.

American Pastoral (Lionsgate) – Crime/Drama
Rated R for some strong sexual material, language and brief violent images
Tag Line: A radically ordinary story.
Starring: Ewan MacGregor, Jennifer Connelly
Plot: In 1968, a hardworking man, who’s been a staple in his quaint community for years, watches his seemingly perfect middle class life fall apart as his daughter’s new radical political affiliation threatens to destroy their family.
Running Time: 126 minutes

Jessica: I have no idea what this is about but I am intrigued.
Chris:  Probably the shortest Trailer Snark trailer we have had.  That said, directorial debut of Ewan MacGregor.  It will be worth seeing if he is every bit the director as he is the actor.  Count me in!

31 (Saban Films) – Horror/Thriller
Rated R for strong bloody horror violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use
Tag Line: Welcome to Hell
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Meg Foster, Richard Brake
Plot: Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.
Running Time: 102 minutes

Chris:  I was not a fan of Zombie’s last film, Lords of Salem.  I wonder if he can rebound with this one?  The subject matter is certainly timely with America’s clown problem.
Jessica: I’ll watch anything Zombie makes so I’m in on this one!

I’m Not Ashamed (Pure-flix) – Biography/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic material, teen drinking and smoking, disturbing violent content and some suggestive situations
Tag Line: Her faith would touch the world.
Starring: Masey McLain, Ben Davies
Plot: Based on the inspiring and powerful true story and journal entries of Rachel Joy Scott- the first student killed in the Columbine high school shooting in 1999.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Jessica: I honestly don’t know that I am ready for any film dealing with school shootings, especially in the current climate we’re in, but I give them credit for focusing on one of the slain, rather than the killers.
Chris: Tears welled up with this trailer.  I will definitely be seeing this one.

Moonlight (A24) – Drama
Rated R for some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language throughout
Tag Line:  This is the story of a lifetime.
Starring: Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp
Plot: A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
Running Time: 110 minutes
Chris:  Personal journey movie fraught with tragedy.  Will be a good small screen viewer, I think.
Jessica: Another one where the trailer tells us very little, but the little it tells me is that it’s dealing with a man trying to find himself in a culture that does not fully accept who he is. Looks powerful.

Tickets Purchased: Two for Keeping Up with the Joneses

You'd never know that beneath the smiles lay a desperate pit of envy and distrust...but all for our utter amusement.
You’d never know that beneath the smiles lay a desperate pit of envy and distrust…but all for our utter amusement.
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The Female Perspective: Horrific Halloween Entertainment Part II

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! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

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


Welcome to Part II of my Halloween Movies extravaganza!!! Okay, maybe a two-part blog is not quite an extravaganza, but how often does one get to use that word? Not very often! So yeah, it’s an EXTRAVAGANZA! I say.

If you missed Part I, check it out here!

Onwards and upwards my wayward readers!

I realized I left a few classic Halloween treats off my original list, and some of that is on purpose as I was trying to pick slightly lesser known flicks to highlight, rather than the usual Friday the 13th or Halloween or even Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I love all of those films dearly, but they are tried and true Halloween fare. Let’s see what else we can find. This weeks list is a bit of old, a bit of new, and a lot of fun! To start things off we will go with an old favorite of many.

The Exorcist

the-exorcist-movie-poster

I’ll admit that The Exorcist is not a favorite of mine, it tends to make me a bit sleepy (though not as sleepy as when I try to watch The Shining, I have never gotten through that one), but it has some iconic moments in it that cannot be overlooked. Pea soup will never be the same for many folks, and little girls in nightgowns who can do a full 180 with their heads are in serious need of some chiropractic help!

This was a film steeped in superstition and many deemed it “cursed” before it was even released.

The film experienced a troubled production; even in the beginning, several prestigious film directors including Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Penn turned it down. Incidents, such as the toddler son of one of the main actors being hit by a motorbike and hospitalized, attracted claims that the set was ‘cursed’. The complex special effects used as well as the nature of the film locations also presented severe challenges. The film’s notable psychological themes include the nature of faith in the midst of doubt as well as the boundaries of maternal love as a mother has to do whatever she can to save her child. –Wikipedia

Obviously, those rumors really only helped the movie as it’s a cult classic now and was a huge success in 1973 when it was released. If you’ve never seen it, I say check it out. But do so with the lights on and never alone. (Muhahahaha).

Also, there’s a new TV series based on the film/book and I am VERY curious to see that. Has anyone watched it? Good/bad/ugly? Let me know!

House of 1000 Corpses

House_of_1000_Corpses_poster

When this gem of a horror flick came out in 2003 I totally missed it. I didn’t see it for a few years after, but I know that the first time I saw it I was scared silly. One of Rob Zombie’s finest films (and his first), it’s about a serial killer cannibal family and their house of horrors. It gets REALLY weird about halfway through and when I say REALLY weird I mean it. But that REALLY weird is also totally delightful (if you’re sick like me that is, hehe).

The plot is fairly straightforward, it’s 1977 and a carload of kids are off searching of material for a book about offbeat roadside attractions. At one stop they meet Captain Spaulding and learn of the legend of Dr. Satan … Then bad stuff happens and there’s lots of screaming and blood and scares.

The second time I watched 1000 Corpses I was much less scared of it and more fascinated at the sick, twisted mind that created it. That and the fact that is stars some of the best in the horror biz today and you can’t go wrong. It’s a perfect Halloween treat…Or perhaps, trick?

The funny thing is the film was universally panned by critics, though eventually went on to make $16 million at the box office and spawn it’s AMAZING sequel, The Devil’s Rejects, which is, to me, Zombie’s finest work to date.

Night of the Creeps

MV5BNTQyMWNhYTQtMzgwYi00MTdhLTk1M2QtNDJmOWM1YjY4MDdhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_

Now, this one is technically a horror/comedy film, but it still fits the bill of being a great Halloween treat. It’s got all that wonderful 80’s cheese going for it and it attempts in its strange fashion to pay homage to the B movie genre.

 While the main plot of the film is related to zombies, the film also mixes in takes on slashers and alien invasion films. –Wikipedia

So basically it’s a mix of a everything and it’s wonderfully fun. Now I know some of you might be sick of zombies, but trust me, this is well worth checking out because it’s not just zombies (as stated above), it’s got some slasher film elements and some alien invasion elements as well. It’s definitely not your typical zombie film, it was a zombie film before the zombie invasion of this century. Not to mention it has gems like this:

Detective Cameron: I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here.
Sorority Sister: What’s the bad news?
Detective Cameron: They’re dead.

~IMDB

The Conjuring

Conjuring_poster

Now, I know this is a relatively new film, but I have to say that this one genuinely freaked me out. Not many films have (Poltergeist is the one that sticks with me more than any other horror film), and even after seeing it more than once, I STILL jump at certain scenes and often feel the heebie-jeebies after watching it, and while watching it actually.

If you don’t already know, The Conjuring is a “true story” about a family that is possessed by evil spirits.

Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting. Their reports inspired The Amityville Horror.[4] The Warrens come to the assistance of the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who are experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971. –Wikipedia

It’s not even the fact that I live in Rhode Island, or that it’s supposedly based on true events, it’s just such a well done movie that you can’t help but be frightened at times. The filming, tone, etc are all really well done. This movie freaked me the heck out and I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t get a chill or two down their spines while watching it. I have not checked out the sequel as of yet, but I did see Annabelle and it wasn’t quite as freaky-deaky as The Conjuring. I think this may be one-time magic in terms of the story, filming and actors. We shall see. If you’ve seen The Conjuring 2, let me know what you think!

Well that’s it for Part II of my Horrific Halloween Entertainment! Let me know what I may have missed and what scares you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/19/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that cranks great, even late. It’s Super Mega Fest week and I’m actually super mega disappointed. I guess it’s technically a comic con, but asides from Jim Steranko and Joe St. Pierre, the guests I’m looking forward to seeing are actors or professional “wrestlers”. Come say hi if you’re going. I’ll be there on Saturday likely standing in Steranko’s line for most of the day.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

BH4

The Top of the Pile: Black Hammer #4

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormston

What it is: In the forties, Abraham Slam faced such menaces as the psychedelic Florist and the eldritch Cthu-Lou without breaking a sweat. But keeping the heroes of Black Hammer Farm from each other’s throats when his girlfriend comes to dinner proves far more perilous! Meanwhile, the Black Hammer’s daughter uncovers new clues to the exiled heroes’ disappearance!

Why we love it: Lemire’s doing some fine super-hero work over at Marvel, but he really shines when he’s writing indies where he’s allowed to be a bit more weird, a bit more intimate with his characters. The writing is near perfect and I think Ormston is purposely emulating Lemire’s art style, which you will either love or hate. I personally dig it and this series has my attention.

 

DK36 BK36a

The Mainstream One: Dark Knight III: Master Race #6

Publisher: DC
Words: Frank Miller
Art: Adam Kubert

What it is: Is Gotham City ready for a new Batgirl?!

Why we like it: Honestly it’s been so long since issue #5 that I’ve forgotten why I like this. I think Superman showed up and some stuff happened. Slow week from the Big 2. But there are a couple of amazing variant covers by Jim Lee and Greg Tocchini.

 

MD24

The Indie One: Manifest Destiny #24

Publisher: Image
Words: Chris Dingess
Art: Mathew Roberts

What it is: ‘SASQUATCH,’ Conclusion Lewis & Clark make a deal in order for their crew to survive, as their encounter with the mighty Sasquatch has far-reaching consequences.

Why we like it: On a slow week for indies, Manifest Destiny steps up and delivers the conclusion to the Sasquatch arc. Last issue was probably the most horrifying issue of MD since #1 and I hope that whatever these consequences are, they set this series back on track. The main story line got slowed down pretty hard with the extensive flashback sequences, so this Squatch excursion better have a good payoff.

 

CCHaCE1

The #1 One: Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye (Sienkiewicz variant)

Publisher: Young Animals
Words: Gerard Way
Art: Michael Avon Oeming

What it is: Cave Carson has done it all: survived countless adventures below the Earth’s surface, met the love of his life, and gotten a cybernetic eye…somehow. After he and his wife, Eileen, sent their only daughter Chloe off to college, Cave was ready to become just another mundane member of the surface world. That is, until Eileen got sick. Newly widowed, Cave tries to piece his life back together when a knock on the door of his secret underground lab pulls him back into a past that he and Eileen thought they had left buried deep within the Earth. Adding to his troubles, Cave must determine if his recent hallucinations and visions are the work of his mind or his mysterious cybernetic eye. (Spoiler: It’s the eye.) Written by Gerard Way (DOOM PATROL, Umbrella Academy) and Jon Rivera (Heartbreak), and illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming (Powers), this is an absurdist action-adventure story unlike any other!

Why we like it: DC’s Young Animals imprint promised some really off beat comics with high end production, and so far it has delivered the goods. Doom Patrol and Shade the Changing Girl were both beautiful and completely off the wall and Cave Carson sounds equally as insane. If you’ve been looking for something to spice up your Wednesday night, check out these Young Animals.

 

DS13

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Doctor Strange #13

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Chris: Bachalo
Cover art: Chris Bachalo

What it is: “BLOOD IN THE AETHER” STARTS NOW! Doctor Strange is on the brink of death, his magic nearly depleted. Sensing the Sorcerer Supreme at his weakest, his greatest foes will return from the shadows, ready to strike. Behold the return Doctor Strange’s classic rogues gallery starting with…BARON MORDO!

Why we like it: There was a lot of competition for the cover spot this week, but the more I look at this Dr. Strange cover the more terrifying it becomes. Amazing composition.

 

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

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Trailer Snark (October 14, 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!

The Accountant (Warner Bros) – Action/Crime/Drama
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout
Tag Line:  Calculate your choices.
Starring:  Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick
Plot: As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.
Running Time: 128 minutes

Jessica: Oh I’m 100% into this one. Great cast, interesting premise. Looks like a fun and possibly violent romp.
Jim: Looks solid and gripping. A good Affleck here, I’m in.
Chris: After checking my balances, I have determined that the assets outweigh the liabilities and I will be glad to exercise my options for this movie.

Kevin Hart:  What Now? (Universal) – Documentary/Comedy
Rated R for some sexual material, and language throughout
Tag Line: The comedy event of the year.
Starring:  Kevin Hart, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle
Plot: Comedian Kevin Hart performs in front of a crowd of 50,000 people at Philadelphia’s outdoor venue, Lincoln Financial Field.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Chris:  I’ll watch it on Netflix for sure.  KH brings the comedy for me.
Jessica: Don’t care. He’s annoying as hell and this movie looks like a waste of money.
Jim: Irritating and in-your-face.

Max Steel (Open Road Films) – Action/Adventure
Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi action violence
Tag Line: Unleash your power.
Starring: Ben Winchell, Josh Brener
Plot: The adventures of teenager Max McGrath and his alien companion, Steel, who must harness and combine their tremendous new powers to evolve into the turbo-charged superhero Max Steel.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Jim: Looks like spare parts from half a dozen superhero movies put in a blender. Dull, dull, dull.
Chris:  Disinterest to the Max.
Jessica: My boyfriend got really excited about this one, though I can’t say the same. It looks a bit cheesy to me and not really something I care too much about seeing in the theater.

Certain Women (IFC Films) – Drama
Rated R for some language
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams
Plot: The lives of three women intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing a trail.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Jessica: I’m all for a movie about independent women, but does it have to star Kristen Stewart? She is about as interesting as a paper sack, actually, I’d rather watch the paper sack. I honestly got bored watching the trailer. Pass on this one.
Jim: It’s amazing how  often a quiet trailer full of people talking can make a movie look interesting.
Chris: ACK!  Kristen Stewart alert!  WARNING! WARNING!  Jessica and I may have to start a support group. 

Priceless (Roadside Attractions) – Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving human trafficking, and some violence
Tag Line: You’re priceless.
Starring: Joel Smallbone, David Koechner
Plot: A widower who loses custody of his daughter finds himself unable to hold down a job. He agrees to drive a truck across the country, no questions asked. But when he discovers what he is delivering, he is faced with a life-changing choice.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Chris: Might be a descent rental.  Its the guy from For King and Country!
Jessica: Ugh. This went down a remarkably cheesy trailer path for such a story. Pass.
Jim: Meh.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Accountant (Jessica and Chris) and One for Certain Women (Jim)

I'm Batma....ahem, at your service for all your accounting needs!
I’m Batma….ahem, at your service for all your accounting needs!

 

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The Female Perspective: Horrific Halloween Entertainment

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


First off I want to say this post will be less about feminism and more about the fun of the month of October and all the movies you can watch and scare yourself silly (or laugh yourself silly). I need something fun to write and hopefully you need something fun to read that has nothing to do with movements or politics or any of the current nonsense in the world. Maybe that’s burying my head in the sand, but I’ll bury it for the hour or so it takes to write this up and then continue to slog through all the insanity being spouted in the media.

That being said, let’s talk Halloween movies, do you have a favorite that you watch every October? Are you looking for a few new offerings to add to your already stellar collection of frightening fare? Here are some of my favorites! They may not be terrifying, but they are a lot of fun.

Tried and True Tales

Trick ‘r’ Treat

Trick_r_treat

One of my favorite go-to Halloween movies has to be Trick ‘r’ Treat. If you haven’t seen this treasure you should totally watch it this year. It’s a 2007 American-Canadian horror anthology film written and directed by Michael Dougherty. The stories are all a bit creepy, a big icky, and very clever. They all take place in a small fictional town in Ohio.

One common element that ties the stories together is the presence of Sam, a mysterious child trick-or-treater wearing shabby orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head, that makes an appearance in all the stories whenever someone breaks Halloween traditions. – Wikipedia 

Trick ‘r’ Treat has gotten quite the cult following and finally, in 2013, it was announced that a sequel would one day come our way, fingers crossed!

The Descent

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A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators. ~IMDB

This 2005 horror gem scared the pants off of me when I first saw it. I have a thing about being underground, and trapped, and squeezed into teeny, tiny spaces while being hunted by blood thirsty creatures that can see in the dark.  So yeah, this one hit my buttons in a lot of ways. It took me awhile to re-watch it, but when I did I wasn’t quite as scared, but totally enamored of this all-girl tale of horror underneath the ground. Great visuals, nice jump scares and plenty of tension make this a must watch Halloween flick!

Poltergeist

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No, I am not talking about the remake. When I listen Poltergeist on a list of movies, I am talking about the 1982 original and I am also making sure that all the lights are on and it’s totally daylight. Ever since I saw this as a kid, it has scared me to death. As a 37 year old woman, it still scares the holy bejesus out of me. I realize the effects are outdated but damn if when that guy’s face peels off if I don’t get totally grossed out. Something about being attacked in your own home by demonic forces really terrifies me. It also doesn’t help that there’s an attack clown, I am 90% certain that the reason I hate clowns is because of this movie.

There’s one more thing. A terrible presence is in there with her. So much rage, so much betrayal, I’ve never sensed anything like it. I don’t know what hovers over this house, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and take your daughter away from you. It keeps Carol Anne very close to it and away from the spectral light. It LIES to her, it tells her things only a child could understand. It has been using her to restrain the others. To her, it simply IS another child. To us, it is the BEAST. Now, let’s go get your daughter. ~IMDB

Yeah, I get all chills and fear when I think, talk or read about this movie. It’s the one that really triggers my childhood fears, but that’s also what makes it so amazing, all these years later.

*Also, looking up a picture to put in this blog scared the holy Hell out of me. I hate this movie, why am I talking about it?

Are You In The Mood For Something Italian?

Now onto something completely different! A few years ago my friend introduced me to the Italian genre of horror films. These movies aren’t so much scary as they are amazingly funny, goofy, and just plain gross. Not to mention they are completely the antithesis of my feminist ideals, but I can suspend that a bit to watch a movie.

Zombie 

zombie

Directed by Lucio Fulci, Zombie was one of the first Italian horror films I ever saw, and I have to say, it is probably my favorite. 

A zombie is found aboard a boat off the New York coast which belongs to do a famous scientist. Peter West, a journalist, travels to the Antilles with Ann, the daughter of the scientist. On the way, they meet with with Brian, a ethnologist, and Susan. When they arrive at Matul Island, they find Dr. Menard, and discover a terrifying disease which is turning the islanders into horrifying zombies which devour human flesh and seem indestructible. ~IMDB

That’s it, a nice, simple premise but what’s amazing about pretty much all of the Italian films I’ve seen, the dubbing, the dialogue, all of it is totally ridiculous. The blood saturation is high and gruesome and some of the kills are just plain disgusting, but it’s worth a viewing if you are into horror films and just how ridiculous they can be.

Cat In The Brain

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I’ve only seen this gem once so my memory of it is a big foggy, but know that the first 5 minutes are probably the best thing ever, so ridiculous you just have to see it because mere words cannot do it justice.

Also directed by Fulci, this one stars our beloved director, Fulci himself, wondering if his work is finally making him mad and tries to get help, but unfortunately, things don’t quite work out for him like he hopes …

Dr. Lucio Fulci is a director of splatterfilms. He stages a gestapo-orgy like it was any other movie scene. But he is influenced by these things more than he likes. He is hunted by bloody visions day by day. Is Fulci still normal? He asks a psychatrist. He doesn’t know that the psychatrist has much bigger problems than Fulci himself. The psychatrist uses Fulci’s visions for brutal murders in real life. ~IMDB

The film is mostly incoherent madness, with a few laughs, a lot of blood and a whole lot of ridiculousness thrown in. It’s a good watch when you need something lighter than the usual Halloween fare, or even as the backdrop of a Halloween party. Its a great bit of cinematic, nonsense fun.

And Now, For Something Really Gross…

ICK.
ICK.

For my last film, I’m going to a dark place people, a creepy place, a place that I personally will probably never go again (but never say never). That’s right, I am talking about The Human Centipede. One of the most horrifying movies I think I’ve ever seen. Truly I watched it with a blanket over my face while I yelled at the TV. I felt disturbed by it for days afterward and even though I have since watched the 2, yes TWO, sequels (which were horrible, the 3rd one was unwatchable) I have to say that the original is still the best.

The first Human Centipede is a horror, torture film interspersed with a suspense that I normally love.

A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums. ~IMDB

It’s a pretty simple (and gruesome) idea, but the mad doctor, played to perfection by Dieter Laser, really makes this movie what it is. His madness is nearly unmatched and the scene where he describes his medical plan to his unsuspecting victims is probably the most terrifying part of the movie, not the grossest, that comes later, but it is truly horrific as he lays out his plan with total scientific glee.

There you have it folks, a few (but defiantly not all) of my favorite Halloween films, what are yours? Sound off in the comments and maybe I’ll talk about them in an upcoming blog!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/12/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that’s gonna crank ten thousand files, and then crank ten thousand more. I started watching Luke Cage on Netflix and sweet Christmas is it good. I’m only four episodes in and already sucked into its gritty, urban world of turf wars, political maneuvers, amazing live musical performances and good old-fashioned beat downs. Dig it!

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

DV25

The Top of the Pile: Darth Vader #25 (Christopher action figure variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Salvador Larroca

What it is: It has all built up to this! Vader’s trials against Cylo’s creations! His machinations against the Emperor! His covert missions with Doctor Aphra and her murderous droids! All comes to fruition in an oversized 40-page issue by the stellar team of Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca! You won’t want to miss this ending!

Why we love it: I love that Aphra is getting the action figure treatment for the final issue of Gillen and Larocca’s exceptional Darth Vader solo series, it is well deserved.  This series introduced a number of memorable, new characters into the Star Wars universe including the lovable murder bots BT-1 and 0-0-0. But the unquestionable star of the series has been the complex Dr. Aphra. We never hear about her character in episodes IV – VI, and I’m seriously worried that she’s not going to survive the series.

 

CC1

The Mainstream one: Clone Conspiracy #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Jim Cheung

What it is: “DEAD NO MORE”: The Jackal is back and has conquered death. The Amazing Spider-Man is outmatched by his classic enemy’s army. Does the wall-crawler stand a chance? SHOULD he stand in The Jackal’s way if he’s found the key to eternal life?

Why we like it: Long time Spider-scribe Dan Slott has been hyping this book hard, promising to make some major changes to the Peter Parker status quo. There are rumors that a major character or characters are coming back from the dead, and the series has one of the hottest artists in Gabriele Dell’Otto doing covers.

 

R1

The Indie One: Reborn #1 (Jock variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Mark Millar
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you-the good and the bad.

Why we like it: Two comic book titans joining forces to create one of the most highly anticipated Image titles of the year. This new Image #1 is being released with a bunch of variant covers done by high-profile artists John Cassaday, Jock, Frank Cho and Todd McFarlane.

M1

The #1 One: Mosaic #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Geoffrey Thorne
Art: Khary Randolph

What it is: Professional basketball player and world renowned celebrity, Morris Sackett, gains extraordinary abilities, at the grave cost of his own mortal body. Imbued with the ability to jump from person to person like a ghost, he controls the bodies and memories of those he inhabits. With his own body destroyed, the one-time superstar athlete must rely on others to survive. The saga of the newest Marvel Inhuman Mosaic begins here!

Why we like it: Marvel continues to diversify its roster with a new, black super hero. I read a preview which further explained the nature of Mosaic’s powers and I think that there is a ton of potential with this character. The guy literally has no body of his own and has to always be occupying a host body, which if you think about is both awesome and absolutely terrifying.

 

dc942

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #942

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Andy MacDonald
Cover art: Rafael Albuquerque

What it is: ‘NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN’ part six! The earth-shaking finale is here! Batman’s going one-on-one with Hugo Strange, the mastermind behind the beasts unleashed on Gotham?but the biggest and most dangerous of all the monsters was saved for last! What will the Bat-Family have to sacrifice to bring it down? And what’s the strange secret behind Hugo’s design?

Why we like it: So technically I’m buying this issue for the conclusion to the Night of the Monster Men crossover, which I have been loving, but this Albuquerque variant cover is too dynamic to not spotlight.

 

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

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Trailer Snark (October 7, 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!

The Birth of a Nation (Fox Searchlight Pictures) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some brief nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller
Plot: Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher in the antebellum South, orchestrates an uprising.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Chris: Emotionally stirring.  Any story that speaks to our natural God-given right for freedom sings to me.  It is in our DNA. 
Jim: Who can resist any trailer like this? There are a few genres I’d like to see put to bed, but anything with an anti-slavery message will never be included.
Jessica: Definitely a must watch in my house. Looks amazing.
Ken: I have conflicting views about this movie.  On one hand, I think this looks like a beautiful, deeply courageous and spiritual film about of a slave’s fight for humanity. On the other hand, and I know this won’t be a popular opinion, with the already abysmal state of race relations in this country today, I worry that the movie is framing violence and vengeance as a justifiable response to social injustice. Nat Turner’s rebellion murdered white men, women and children indiscriminately. Was the killing of innocents justified? Was the Dallas police shooter justified in his actions? How about Jihadists? I don’t think there are any easy answers here, which is why I can’t completely get behind this one with the rest of you.
Rob: Looks like a powerful film to say the least.  Would definitely watch on Netflix down the road.

The Girl on the Train (Universal Pictures) – Mystery/Thriller
Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and nudity
Tag Line: Based on the novel that shocked the world
Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson
Plot: A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Rob: Looks like a solid thriller.  Would rather read the book though.
Chris: Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good mystery.  It was true when I was a wee bit lad and fell in love with Mystery Incorporated, and remains true to this day.  Count me in.
Jim: A gripping book (better than the over-hyped Gone Girl, I thought) looks like it was made into a good move. Emily Blunt is a plus.
Jessica: I loved Gone Girl and while I haven’t read this book yet, I have heard a ton about it. It looks like a good movie too, I’m in!
Ken:  Looks thrilling. I’m on board.

Middle School:  The Worst Years of My Life (CBS Films) – Comedy
Rated PG for rude humor throughout, language and thematic elements
Tag Line: Rules aren’t for everyone.
Starring: Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Alexa Nisenson
Plot: Imaginative quiet teenager Rafe Katchadorian is tired of his middle school’s obsession with the rules at the expense of any and all creativity. Desperate to shake things up, Rafe and his best friends have come up with a plan: break every single rule in the school and let the students run wild.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Ken: Listen kid, if you think that middle school is bad, just wait until you get a job. Soul. Crush.
Jessica: I can’t even stand seeing the trailers on TV. BIG PASS on this one. Looks awful.
Chris: I found myself headbanging to the trailer with the old school Twisted Sister.  Actually looks mildly humorous and worth a “Home Alone” view.
Rob: Looks kinda funny, but certainly not something I’d go see in theaters.  I also agree that Twisted Sister rocks!
Jim: I second Chris on this (unless my daughter drags me to see it).

Tickets Purchased:  Four for The Girl on the Train (Jessica, Ken, Jim, and Chris) and Rob stays home to save his hard-earned dollars for the upcoming Rogue One!

The Girl on this Train Don't Know Deadpool!
The Girl on this Train Don’t Know Deadpool!