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Trailer Snark (April 28, 2017 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 Circle (STX Entertainment) – Drama/Sc-Fi/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for a sexual situation, brief strong language and some thematic elements including drug use
Tag Line: Knowing is good. Knowing everything is better.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson
Plot: A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover a nefarious agenda that will affect the lives of her friends, family and that of humanity.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Jim: It’s obvious that Emma Watson’s going to have the best post-Potter career out of the three leads from that franchise. This looks pretty gripping, kind of a Firm for the 21st century. And with the ever-reliable Tom Hanks on board, count me in!
Chris: George Orwell’s influence is ever so felt here.  Tom Hanks is watching you!

How To Be A Latin Lover (Pantelion Films) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for crude humor, sexual references and gestures, and for brief nudity
Tag Line: The seduction begins April 28
Starring: Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek
Plot: Finding himself dumped after 25 years of marriage, a man who made a career of seducing rich older women must move in with his estranged sister, where he begins to learn the value of family.
Running Time:  115 minutes

Chris: The shoe polish in the pool gag made me chuckle, but the creepy Michael Cera appearance is enough to kill it for me.
Jim: The studio must hate this movie, ‘cuz I don’t think anyone could make a trailer any worse than this.

Sleight (BH Tilt) – Action/Drama/Sci-Fi
Rated R for language throughout, drug content and some violence
Tag Line: You can change the cards you’re dealt.
Starring: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel
Plot: A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing, and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped, and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Jim: Ho hum.
Chris:  This will be a good rental on a rainy night, but the comparisons to Chronicle don’t exactly move me.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Circle (Jim and Chris)



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Cards and Counters: Welcome

Welcome to the first of many adventures with Cards and Counters. Your one stop for all things nerdy and fun!

Here we will be diving into the many worlds of all Table Top Games that are old, ongoing or new/releasing soon. Whether you are a veteran, new player or have no idea what I’m ranting about; you will find that this is your local source for game stories, news and more.

Personally, I get hyped about any strategy game like Magic the Gathering and Pokémon while at the same time any role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons Libary(just to name a few).  I have always been into comics and everything related to comics. But for the past 5 years or so I have been deeply into D&D and many TCG’s. The card game addiction for me started with Magic, but has grown and reached many others. I am always willing to try anything new to me and I am open to suggestions. Also, I am not above playing the good old fashion family game night board games (Monopoly, Risk, etc…). There have been many nights that I’ve spent playing monopoly until 4am. But those stories are for another time.

As of right now I’m invested in playing Pokémon and I play every Tuesday night at my local comic shop. And of course there is Friday Night Magic basically anywhere they sell booster packs. As for D&D, I am part of a game with a bunch a work buddies with a campaign that has gone on now for about 2 years. Granted, I don’t always make it to every game. But I play with great group of guys and one very patient DM.

No matter what game I am playing or where I play, the best part about table top games is the communities of players, imagination and competitiveness. I can’t count how new people I have met playing card games around New England by either traveling to locales other than my own or at conventions and tournaments. I have met some folks that live a couple hours away in different directions but they have became my closest friends all because we got to bond over doing what we love.

When you immerse yourself into one of these games you’re really jumping into a new diverse community of people that you easily become friends with and then later start to feel like family.

If you like to meet new people and like being competitive, just jump down to my local Great Stories Inc in Uxbridge, MA and find a table top game that suits you. It’s a great, reliable place. And someone is always there that is friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. Go see their gaming schedule and join us. Ask me questions, leave comments here and let’s start a conversation about strategy games. I am here to help in any way I can.  I’ll meet up and introduce myself and one of the many games that I love to play. Or if you have a game to introduce to me to, please do! Table Top games are here for fun, to escape to other worlds and to find new friends that you can just nerd out with!

Till the next adventure….             Roll for 20’s


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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 4/26/201

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’m looking forward to. It’s kind of a light week, but there’s still some good stuff to nerd out to. Here’s what I’m reading this week.


The Top of the Pile: Flash #21

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Howard Porter

What it is: “THE BUTTON” part two! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party-and it’s not who anyone suspects! It’s a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!

Why we love it: The premiere issue of The Button story line began in Batman #21 and while it was chock full of Batman getting his Batt-butt womped all over the cave, it came up short in the answers/clues department. All signs are still pointing at Dr. Manhattan as the architect, but he has yet to grace us with his giant, electric-blue, um, visage. Maybe this issue?



The Mainstream One: X-Men Gold #1 (Granov variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Marc Guggenheim
Art: Ardian Syaf

What it is: BACK TO BASICS! An all-new BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL MUTANTS is rampaging through New York City! And there are some surprising familiar faces in their ranks… Can the X-MEN subdue their foes and former friends?

Why we like it: X-Men Gold #1 received a lot of press when it came out, but unfortunately it was for some cryptic religious messages hidden in the background and not for being an engaging relaunch for the Uncanny X-Men team. I’m digging the Gold team and will be back for issue #2. Really hoping to score the sweet Adi Granov incentive variant but I think that cover will be long gone by the time I make my post-work LCS run.



The Indie One: There’s Nothing There #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Patrick Kindlon
Art: Maria Llovet

What it is: Celebrity-socialite Reno Selleti doesn’t believe in very much beyond Instagram comments, hipster drugs, and the flash of paparazzi cameras, so when a friend invites her to an EYES WIDE SHUT-type party she goes along mostly for the lulz. But the joke doesn’t feel as funny when she realizes it’s an actual occult ritual, and suddenly she’s seeing things… Horrifying apparitions trying to warn her. ‘RUN.’ Like Darren Aronofsky remaking DRAG ME TO HELL, There’s Nothing There is a stylish & hallucinatory thriller about losing yourself in the bright lights and finding yourself at rock bottom.

Why we like it: Patrick Kindlon co-created Black Mask’s breakthrough hit series, We Can Never Go Home, which was my favorite mini from 2016. Although I’m not completely sold by the synopsis, I am interested to see what Kindlon can do with occult’s high society.



The #1 One: Ben Reilly Scarlet Spider #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Peter David
Art: Mark Bagley

What it is: One of the most controversial characters in comics has returned – and the controversy has only BEGUN! In the aftermath of THE CLONE CONSPIRACY, Ben has a new take on life and he’s not the same Scarlet Spider he was before. Come witness what will be the most talked about comic of the year!

Why we like it: Spider-Gwen called. She wants her hoodie back.



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Suicide Squad #16

Publisher: DC
Words: Rob Williams
Art: Tony Daniel
Cover Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: ‘EARTHLINGS ON FIRE’ part one! Amanda Waller is used to getting what she wants-but this time, what Waller wants is something only Lex Luthor has. Striking a deal won’t be easy-or cheap! It’s a war on two fronts as Waller leads a smoldering charm offensive in Luthor’s penthouse while her Suicide Squad tries to open the most heavily guarded safe in all of Lexcorp.

Why we like it: Amazing swipe of the iconic Alex Ross cover to 1999’s Batman: Harley Quinn. This is a 1:1 regular price variant, but some of the Rebirth Cover B’s have been under-ordered, and this one could be hard to spot out in the wild. Definitely grab it if you see it, as I can see this cover being sought after by Harley fans.


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

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I Was Among my People at Star Wars Celebration Orlando

Last week I was in Star Wars heaven. Four lovely days of everyone around me knowing exactly what I’m talking about when I mention names like Hondo Ohnaka, Cad Bane, Rae Sloane, and Momaw Nadon. Everywhere I looked, my eyes landed on a Star Wars shirt. They were like finger prints—I don’t think I saw the same one twice. Entire families were cosplaying Star Wars characters.

People just like me teared up when George Lucas arrived on stage, and when Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd spoke at length about her mom’s connection with her character Princess Leia Organa and most of all her connection with the fans. But most of all when John Williams appeared behind a curtain to conduct the Orlando Philharmonic into renditions of Princess Leia’s Theme, The Main Theme, and The Imperial March.


Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 ran from Thursday 4/13 to Sunday 4/16, and had nearly done me in by Friday afternoon. The folks at ReedPop and Lucasfilm give the fans so many panels they’re going to want to attend the only way to attend every one is to pull a Darth Maul and cut yourself in half so you can be at more than one at a time. I quickly learned that attending every one was impossible considering I had to, you know, eat and sleep. Much to my chagrin I had to skip out on the Lucasfilm Publishers Roundtable so I could actually eat lunch. For a lover of Star Wars lit that pained me. During that panel was announced a new Captain Phasma novel written by Delilah Dawson releasing this September along with a Phasma mini-comic series written by Kelly Thompson with art by Mark Checchetto. A novel called Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Grey (if you haven’t read her other Star Wars books Lost Stars and Bloodline you should) and Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu are set to release later this year.


My only regret of this Celebration was not meeting as many people as I would’ve liked. My excuse is it was my first con and I really wanted to hit up as many panels as I could. Next time I want to make more of an effort to say hi to more people. I was lucky enough to make a couple new friends while waiting in those endlessly long lines! Oh yeah, before I forget, I cannot emphasize how pleasant everyone was. Star Wars fans are literally the best. Everyone was is such good spirits—not a frown, whiny kid, or attitude to be found. That was so nice to experience.

Since 2015, there has been a Celebration yearly, except it was already announced that this is the last until 2019. I’m sure Disney/Lucasfilm have their reasons, and I’m sure the Star Wars themed park at Disney which is scheduled to open in 2019 is one of them. I can’t wait!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 4/19/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff that I will be checking out. Here’s what I’m reading this week.


The Top of the Pile: Secret Empire #0

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Daniel Acuna

What it is: What if your greatest ally was secretly your greatest enemy? What if the most trustworthy, stalwart hero history has ever known has been planning in secret a massive betrayal? That time is now. And you won’t be ready for…SECRET EMPIRE! Before the premier comic launch of 2017, superstar creators Nick Spencer and Daniel Acuña toss the every hero of the Marvel Universe into a fiery crucible as Captain America’s master plan is cast into action with April’s SECRET EMPIRE #0!

The Marvel Universe is under siege from within! Captain America, secretly a true believer in the cause of Hydra, has turned his back on the Super Hero community. Using the trust and respect he has gained over the years he has ascended to a position where he can enacts Hydra’s ideals. The death of Jack Flag, the trial of Maria Hill, the second Civil War, the alien Chitauri Queen. All of the dominoes of Captain America’s plan have been laid out – and it will take only the slightest push to set them into action!

“Wherever you find favor within the Marvel Universe, SECRET EMPIRE is a story for you,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “When the world’s most respected and trusted super hero, Captain America, assumes ultimate power and goes bad, it serves as a rallying cry for all the heroes. Avengers, X-Men, Guardians, Inhumans and street-level heroes unite to fight for the fate – and soul – of the Marvel Universe.”

Now, the Avengers, the Champions, the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men and more will be tested. As Hydra’s grip tightens around the Marvel Universe, the heroes stand at the precipice of an unprecedented challenge. How will they Marvel Universe cope with this shattering betrayal by the most trusted among them? The secret is out this April in SECRET EMPIRE #0!

Why we love it: Marvel’s latest super-awesome-mega-event Secret Empire officially kicks off this week with two books, Captain America Steve Rogers #16 and Secret Empire #0. I sat on the sidelines for Civil War II but I’m into Secret Empire. It features the Cap’n front and center, the Mark Brooks covers are insane and Marvel has hinted at no more events for 18 months.


The Mainstream One: Batman #21

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Jason Fabok

What it is: “THE BUTTON” part one! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party-and it’s not who anyone suspects! It’s a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!

Why we like it: Speaking of events, do we all remember when DC Rebirth totally mind-boned us by showing the iconic Watchman smiley face button embedded in the Batcave walls? A year after and we’re getting more questions and then later, hopefully, some satisfactory answers. There’s been a lot of heavy hinting at Dr Manhattan being the watchmaker behind the curtain, but it’s almost too obvious at this point.


The Indie One: God Country #4

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: Emmett Quinlan goes to Hell.

Why we like it: God Country hasn’t slowed down for one second. Emmett and the God of Blades descend into Hell on a rescue mission and nobody comes back from Hell a winner. Shaw’s artwork is a wonderful compliment to Cates’ script, conveying the frenzied action of clashing Gods and capturing emotion in the personal moments.


The #1 One: Redneck #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE The Bowmans are VAMPIRES who have quietly run the local barbecue joint in their small town for years, living off cow’s blood. Their peaceful coexistence ends as generations of hate, fear, and bad blood bubble to the surface–making it impossible to separate man from monster! Critically acclaimed writer DONNY CATES (GOD COUNTRY) and artist LISANDRO ESTHERREN serve up the tale of a DIFFERENT kind of family just trying to get by, deep in the heart of Texas.

Why we like it:  Making a rare second appearance on this week’s list, Donny Cates is riding God Country’s wave of popularity and launching another Southern-fried fantasy comic with this week’s Redneck #1. This book is already sold-out all over the place, with lots of readers loading up on multiple copies in hopes that the new series replicates God Country’s success on the secondary market.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Cover Art: Gerardo Sandoval

What it is: ‘NUFF SAID!

Why we like it: Just in case it isn’t apparent from the cover or the laughably inadequate synopsis, Eddie Brock returns as Venom this week. Quick, everyone hide your brains.


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

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Trailer Snark (April 14, 2017 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 Fate of the Furious (Universal) – Action/Crime/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language
Tag Line:  The ride isn’t over.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Kurt Russell, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham
Plot: When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
Running Time: 136 minutes

Chris: If you ask my kids, this is the best series to have ever been created.  It’s descent enough cinema.
Jim: I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve only seen the first in the series (and liked it). I’ll have to catch up. This has an amazing cast and plenty of action, worth a look.

Spark: A Space Tail (Open Road Films) – Animation/Adventure
Rated PG for some action and rude humor
Tag Line:  None
Starring: Jessica Biel, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Stewart, Hillary Swank
Plot: Spark, a teenage monkey and his friends, Chunk and Vix, are on a mission to regain Planet Bana – a kingdom overtaken by the evil overlord Zhong.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Jim: Where? Not under me to get me to see this cheap-looking kid flick.
Chris: Did anyone else see the nod to StarBlazers?  That was pretty cool….not cool enough though.

The Lost City of Z (Amazon) – Action/Adventure/Biography
Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, brief strong language and some nudity
Tag Line: In 1925, Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon in search of a myth. What he discovered became legendary.
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattison, Sienna Miller
Plot: A true-life drama, centering on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Chris: Now, here is some real Indiana Jones style stuff going on.  I like it!
Jim: Blessedly short and to the point,  a trailer that actually makes me want to see the movie.

A Quiet Passion (Music Box Films) – Biography/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images and brief suggestive material
Tag Line: None
Starring: Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle
Plot: The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.
Running Time: 125 minutes

Jim: One of those movies that looks tasteful and well-acted and will probably win an award somewhere. But there will always be a part of me that screams “No!” at the prospect of seeing a movie where people sit around in immaculate drawing rooms.
Chris: Finely cut trailer, but I have zero interest, as I am clearly not the target audience.

Tickets Purchased: Two for The Lost City of Z (Jim and Chris) and One for The Fate of the Furious (Jessica)


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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 4/12/2017

Hey yo comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day, and on Tuesday I spotlight some of the titles that I will be checking out at my LCS. Here’s what I’m reading on a surprisingly Marvel heavy week.


The Top of the Pile: Old Man Logan #21

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Felipe Andrade

What it is: THE EPIC ‘PAST LIVES’ SAGA BEGINS HERE! AN INSTANT CLASSIC FOR THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED SERIES! Follow LOGAN through the ages – in the 1800s as a young mutant, to his first encounter with the HULK, to his stint with the X-MEN as WOLVERINE – it’s all here! OLD MAN LOGAN is accidentally sent spiraling through his own past, forced to relive some of his most tragic and intense moments. Will he be able to free himself from these living memories? And will he ever return to the WASTELANDS and the young baby Hulk he left behind? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Jeff Lemire’s contract with Marvel is coming up and that means some of my favorite current Marvel series will be concluding or more likely relaunching after this year’s Secret Empire event. Old Man Logan may have been my favorite title that Lemire wrote for Marvel, so I’m bummed to see this one go. But thankfully we’ll get one last epic saga before the old man takes a bow and Marvel (hopefully) brings back Wolverine classic.




The Mainstream One: Deadpool Vs Punisher #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Fred Van Lente
Art: Pere Perez

What it is: Frank Castle has an unstoppable will – a powerful drive to punish those who do wrong, rooted in the tragic killing of his family. Wade Wilson has an unstoppable mouth – an unthinking knack for annoying everyone around him, rooted in thinking he’s funny. Both men, however, are among the deadliest on the planet. When they find themselves in disagreement over the criminal known as The Bank, they’re in for one of the most brutal fights of their lives! Can Frank kill Wade over and over without ever dying once himself? Or will Wade bug him until he welcomes death?

Why we like it:  It seems like every time Deadpool teams-up with another hero, the results are hysterical. This is clearly no team-up, as denoted by the “Vs” in Deadpool Vs Punisher, but judging by the cover I’m expecting healthy doses of jokes and violence.


The Indie One: Seven to Eternity #5 (Albuquerque variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: NEW STORY ARC! Adam Osidis and the Mosak come to a crossroads. The choices they make here will echo throughout the lands of Zhal for all eternity.

Why we like it: Seven to Eternity is one of those books that remind us why a publisher like Image is essential to the industry. It’s a story that wouldn’t and probably couldn’t be told by the capes and underwear crowd. Remender’s writing is top-form and Opena’s richly detailed art fully brings this dystopic fantasy to life.



The #1 One: Rose #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Meredith Finch
Art: Ig Guara

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE A classic fantasy tale about a girl trying to restore balance to a broken world. Rose must connect with her Khat-Thorne-to become the Guardian the world needs. But things aren’t easy for Rose and Thorne, the powerful sorcerous Drucilla has many powerful and demonic allies-all of them focused on stopping one scared little girl who’s desperately trying to stay alive and do what’s right. Written by MEREDITH FINCH (Wonder Woman, Little Mermaid), and drawn by fan-favorite artist IG GUARA (Batman: Arkham Knight, Blue Beetle, The Ravagers).

Why we like it: The synopsis reminds me of the episode of Bob’s Burgers when Louis writes a Game of Thrones-esque story that centers around her Aunt Gail and her cat dragons. I like the creative team and Image has been on a roll recently, so I’ll give this one a browse at the stands.


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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spiderman #26 (Cover A and/or Resurrxion variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Innomen
Cover Art: Alex Ross and Kris Anka

What it is: ‘THE OSBORN IDENTITY’ CONTINUES! Silver Sable comes back into Spider-Man’s life – but isn’t she DEAD?! Norman Osborn has worked his way into a position of power in Symkaria, and any incursion by Spider-Man will be seen as an act of war. Will Spider-Man risk international infamy to take down his most dangerous foe?

Why we like it: Not one, but two smoking-hot covers for this week’s ASM. With rumors of Silver Sable heading to the silver screen, I’m grabbing the regular Alex Ross cover for sure. And Storm’s one of my favorite X-Men of all time, so I’ll grab the Ressurrxtion variant if I can get it for a reasonable price.


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

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Trailer Snark (April 7, 2017 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!

Smurfs: The Lost Village (Columbia) – Family/Animation
Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Tag Line:  A whole new world awaits.
Starring: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Mandy Patinkin
Plot: In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Chris: It’s funny how smurfy everything is when a new smurfy trailer hits the smurfinet.
Jim: They came about 10-15 years too late for me (kind of like Transformers), so they don’t mean much to me. All I see is an annoying trailer.

Going in Style (Warner Bros) – Comedy/Crime
Rated PG-13 for drug content, language and some suggestive material
Tag Line:  You’re never too old to get even.
Starring:  Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine
Plot: Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Jim: This is actually a remake —the original had George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. You just can’t go wrong with Caine, Freeman, and Arkin.
Chris: I really wanted this one to have that crotchety charm that I felt way back in the day when I saw Grumpy Old Men for the first time.  Sadly, no.
Jessica: I love all these guys and this looks like a fun romp. I’d be into this in a heartbeat. I need some levity!

The Case for Christ (Pure Flixx) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking
Tag Line: None
Starring: Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway
Plot: An investigative journalist and self-proclaimed atheist sets out to disprove the existence of God after his wife becomes a Christian.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Jessica: The trailer was powerful enough that I have to now buy the book. It sounds like a really fascinating story. Faith is such a private, powerful and intangible thing that how do you go from having none to proving it should exist? I would certainly check this out.
Jim: Thought-provoking and powerful.
Chris: An atheist reporter has a come to Jesus life-changing moment.  Sounds like the story of Saul.  I am interested.

Colossal (Neon) – Action/Comedy/Sci-Fi
Rated R for language
Tag Line: There’s a monster in all of us.
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis
Plot: A woman discovers that severe catastrophic events are somehow connected to the mental breakdown from which she’s suffering.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Chris: Mildly amusing premise.  I was waiting for the giant monster to pull of some “Thriller” poses.
Jessica: Oh this just looks like a lot of fun. I enjoy Hathaway and this looks like a crazy story, something I also enjoy. Plus it’s a giant monster! You know I love me some giant monsters!
Jim: A funny, fantastic premise, and I love Anne Hathaway! Me too, bring on dem giant monsters!

Alive and Kicking (Magnolia Pictures) – Documentary/Musical
Not Rated
Tag Line:  Happiness is a few steps away
Starring: Hilary Alexander, Evita Arce
Plot: Alive and Kicking gives the audience an intimate, insider’s view into the culture of the current swing dance world while shedding light on issues facing modern society.
Running Time:88 minutes

Jim: I love dancing (even though I’m hopeless), I love swing music, and I love WATCHING swing dancing. This looks like a lot of fun!
Chris: I just don’t dig dance themed movies…..must be that white boy in me?
Jessica: This looks like a fun look at something I love doing, dancing! I’d watch this at home.

Gifted (Fox Searchlight) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Chris Evans, Lindsay Duncan, McKenna Grace
Plot: Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Jessica: This likes like a sweet story that I’d watch at home and cry about it. I love me some Chris Evans, and it’s nice to see him as someone other than the Captain. Also Octavia Spencer is great. Maybe it’s a story that’s been told a bunch, but it looks sweet, even if it does talk about math (which to all those reading, I am currently studying and don’t like it).
Jim: Oft-told tale, but at least it looks well made.
Chris: Magic Eight Ball says I will likely see this.  Not really a math joke for the gifted, but at least I worked a number in there.

Their Finest (EuropaCorp USA) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated R for some language and a scene of sexuality
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin
Plot: A British film crew attempts to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg.
Running Time: 117 minutes

Chris:  I love war movies, but sometimes the stories of those people who work behind the scenes and not on the front lines can prove just as compelling.
Jessica: I love me a good British film plus a war film, yep I’m into this one. Good actors, good story (about writing, yay!) and telling a story worth telling. Another heartwarming film, lovely.
Jim: Bill Nighy’s always worth watching, possible rental.

The Void (Screen Media) – Horror
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Ellen Wong, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh
Plot: Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Jim: Another rehashing of The Thing. No thanks, I’ll just put in the ’51 and ’82 versions.
Chris: Drawing comparisons to one of the greatest horror movies of all time (John Carpenter’s The Thing) is certainly going to grab my attention.
Jessica: Oh sure it looks a lot like “The Thing”, but I don’t care. Looks like it is well-acted and nice and gory. My kind of film!

Tickets Purchased: Two for Colossal (Jessica and Jim) and One for The Void (Chris)


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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 4/5/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Tuesday I spotlight some of the new comics coming out on Wednesday that I will be checking out. Speaking of checking out, if you’re near Marlboro, MA this weekend then you’ll want to check out Super Megafest. They assembled a nice lineup of creators this year. Better go Saturday if you want to meet legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.



The Top of the Pile: Batman #20

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I am Bane’ finale! In this epic climax, there is no going back. No more tricks, no more allies. Just Batman. And Bane. When the final blood spills nothing will ever be the same for the Dark Knight.

Why we love it: There’s a theory among certain circles of Batfans that all the greatest Bat-villains represent specific mental disorders: Joker is insanity, Catwoman is kleptomania, Two Face is multiple personality disorder, Riddler is an autistic (maybe on the spectrum?), etc.etc. But Bane. He’s a sane man, relatively speaking. A psychopath at worst and at best megalomania, but the same could be said of anyone in the Batman universe, Batman included. And that is why Bane is Batman’s greatest foe. He’s Batman’s equal. Batman’s dark reflection. I know it, and Tom King knows it. And if you’re reading this comic, then you know it too.


The Mainstream One: Superman#20

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason

What it is: ‘Superman black’ part one! A ‘Superman Reborn Aftermath’ tie-in! As the smoke clears the Kents are faced with leaving Hamilton to go back to Metropolis, but someone or something doesn’t want them to leave! Batman and Robin discover something is mysteriously wrong with the son of Superman-he’s losing his powers!

Why we like it: It’s been a long time since Superman has been a regular on my pull list. Superman has always been the central character in the DC universe and Superman Reborn gave us a huge piece of the Rebirth puzzle. Looking forward to having big blue back in the regular rotation.


The Indie One: Rock Candy Mountain #1

Publisher: Image
Words and art: Kyle Starks

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE Eisner-nominated comic creator, KYLE STARKS (SEXCASTLE), would like to invite you to enter the magical world of hobos. The world’s toughest hobo is searching through post-World War II America for the mythological Rock Candy Mountain, and he’s going to have to fight his way to get there. Lots of hobo fights. So many hobo fights. A new action-comedy series full of high action, epic stakes, magic, friendships, trains, punching, kicking, joking, a ton of hobo nonsense, and the Literal Devil. Yeah. The Literal Devil.

Why we like it: When I was a young child, I wanted to grow up to be either an astronaut or a hobo. I haven’t achieved either throughout my career, although my fascination with both has never left.


The #1 One: X-Men Gold #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Marc Guggenheim
Art: Ardian Syaf

What it is: FROM THE ASHES OF INHUMANS VS X-MEN, AN ALL-NEW TEAM OF X-MEN RISES! Xavier’s dream comes full circle as KITTY PRYDE takes the reins and assembles a squad of the most iconic X-Men to fight at her side. STORM. COLOSSUS. NIGHTCRAWLER. OLD MAN LOGAN. PRESTIGE. They are X-MEN GOLD! And they’re on a mission to be Earth’s finest heroes, even when that means defending those who hate and fear them. Brought to you by an all-star creative team of Marc Guggenheim (X-MEN, S.H.I.E.L.D., television’s Arrow) and Ardian Syaf (BATGIRL, SUPERMAN/BATMAN, BRIGHTEST DAY), a new beginning for the strangest heroes of all starts here!

Why we like it: X-Men wasn’t my first introduction into comics, but it was my first love. And like all first loves, the X-Men will always hold a very special place in my heart and on my pull list. The lineup is a partial-revamp of the All-New All-Different team that debuted in Giant Size X-Men #1 and turned the series from one Marvel’s lowest selling titles to the most recognizable superhero team of the 90’s.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain America Steve Rogers #15

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Javier Pina
Cover Art: Gabriele Dell’Otto

What it is: Only one man can lead Hydra into a new age of dominance and superiority! The Red Skull believes that he is that man! But Captain America thinks otherwise! It’s a no-holds-barred final throwdown that you will not believe!

Why we like it: Who doesn’t love a beautiful cover of Captain America punching the world’s second most recognizable nazi in the face? Nazis I suppose, but we don’t care about them around here.


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