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Five Days of Friday the 13th Part One: His Name Was Jason

 

His Name Was Jason, The official Great Stories Friday the 13TH Blog.
A quick history of the Story and the Author

By: Tom Vanner

We all know the story of the little boy who had drowned at Camp Crystal Lake in 1957 at the age of 11 years old. This 5 day blog will take you through the story of Jason and give a quick review of each movie along with some opinions and my point of view of the series, leading up to this year’s Friday, October 13th.

The Vanner family

First a little about myself, I know just what you wanted to read…DEAL WITH IT! I’m an EMT (Cardiac) and Fire Fighter , and father of a 2 year old boy. I have an obsession with Halloween, a love of October and an infatuation with “The Friday the 13th” main character, Jason Voorhees. I’m a Metallica fanatic, a Huge Boston Bruins fan and when I get the chance I like stopping a few pucks here and there. I also enjoy long walks on the beach, spending time in the woods, sometimes from a ground stand. Sorry to say ladies, this dude is taken. I am the type of person who doesn’t watch much on the “educational” level on T.V anymore since most of my shows were discontinued. Yep, still mad about it History channel. I am also the type of person that sits and watches the entire animated recreation of the “Titanic” sinking.

I saw my first horror flick when I was about 2 in a half. I couldn’t sleep one night, so my mom brought me into her bedroom and put on a movie that looked innocent enough, a movie about a boy and his “good guy doll”. Well, she fell asleep and later woke up to the doll killing everyone. I was watching intently so she left it on (which explains a lot). After that “Friday the 13th” was a short time away for me to be introduced to it. I was approximately the age of 3 or 4 (I can proudly say my son beat me at the age of 1 1/2 half). Ever since I first saw the Jason movies I fell in love with the character. I loved everything about him, he was brutal, wore a hockey mask, was unstoppable, and was an all round creative killer. Sure the machete probably accounts for most kills, but he was rather resourceful with his kills. Even though “Friday the 13th” is not my favorite movie (“Forrest Gump” or “Nightmare before Christmas” receive that honor). Hell it’s not even my Favorite series (“Back to The Future” holds that title). However, Jason Voorhees is by far my favorite character of all time. I could not even tell you how many times I have been him for Halloween. I even went ahead and made my own costume of him to portray him for a local Haunted attraction in Cumberland, “13th World” (open Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of October, bring the kids) I have an unhealthy obsession with him and for that I feel some of you, maybe just one of you, probably the guy hiding in the back there (yeah I see you) can appreciate what I have to say. So here we go, welcome to the dark, scary and unconventional chasm I call my mind.

Pamela Voorhees: A dedicated mother?

It was June 13 1946, Elias and Pamela Voorhees welcomed into the world a bouncing baby boy they were to name Jason. If only it were that happy of a start. It’s unknown when exactly he split but, it is widely believed Elias had taken off on his young family before Jason was even born leaving him alone with his Mother. Pamela’s special boy was born disabled with sever head deformities and some cognitive impairment that would stunt his overall development mentally.

Pamela did all she could to properly raise her special boy and show him all the love she could. In 1957, Pamela was the cook at a local camp,” Camp Crystal Lake” where her son would also spend the summer.

Camp was a staple of every worthy childhood during summer!
Breaking into song by the fire.

The hope was for Jason to meet new friends and have an opportunity to be a regular kid. That fateful summer would soon become tragic as one night Jason, who had been out-casted early by the other children, had gone to the lake unattended and unsupervised by any of the camp counselors. He had drowned that night and his body was never recovered.

Unsupervised tragedy

Poor Pamela had lost her whole world that night as the people who were suppose to be watching and taking care of the kids were busy having sex, drinking, and doing drugs.

Caught doing things they should not do, while on duty.

The Camp was closed down and Pamela had never even gotten any closure on the loss of her son.

Camp Crystal Lake would later be nicknamed Camp Blood from the rumors of the deaths of anyone who entered the property. One June Day in 1979 the Camp was given the green light to be reopened….what comes next will be continued tomorrow.  🙂

Cursed camp?
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Blade Runner 2049 – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  Oct 6, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  2 hours 43 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  YES
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  9.1 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Blade Runner 2049:  “A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.”  This is the sequel to the 1982 film, Blade Runner.  At the time the original came out, it was not well received but has since come to be a cult classic.  There have been a few revisions to the original (The Directors Cut and The Final Cut), neither change the true narrative of the film.  We now have Blade Runners still working on “retiring” replicants in a world that hasn’t changed much.  Although you don’t need to have seen the original film to enjoy 2049, I highly encourage it because it will offer the viewer a better experience.

What works:  A very strong story that stands on its own without the backstory of the original movie.  Outstanding visual effects.  You are brought right back into the world of Blade Runner and you are never really pulled out of it throughout the film.  The soundtrack feels just like the original.  The IMAX experience is very fitting for the visual and sound effects and I’m certain that the huge scope of this world is enhanced with seeing it in IMAX.  With the advancement of special effects, the world if a far more believable place.  The movie isn’t fixated on the special effects, it really stands by the characters allowing the story to unfold and the effects take a backseat throughout most of the film.  The acting was excellent.  I cannot recall seeing Harrison Ford play a role this well in a very long time.  Ryan Gosling also is excellent although I this role isn’t such a stretch for him emotionally, but you’ll love him none the less.  For this guy, the beautiful women in the film were captivating.  Robin Wright (she just doesn’t age), Ana de Armas (those eyes pull you in) and Sylvia Hoeks (simply beautiful) all are excellent actors and provide outstanding performances.    Each have strong female characters to play and do so very convincingly.  Dave Bautista stretches his acting legs a bit and I believe that this is his best role yet.  Jarod Leto plays such a good villain and truly owns his character, although villain may not be the correct term to describe him.

What doesn’t work:  I worry that those who are not fans of the original or have not seen the original will feel the movie moves too slowly.  There are moments of action, but it is the story that builds up to the final act.  I wanted more screen time for Dave Bautista and Jarod Leto, it could be that some of their footage hit the cutting room floor due to the length of the film, but I enjoyed them so much I wanted more screen time.

Those who review the film have a hard time doing it without giving anything away.  The reason is that the plot may give away too much.  I too want the viewer to go into the theater and enjoy it so I’m only going to say that fans will get answers to questions they have pondered and debated.  Everyone who likes a quality scifi story will get just that.  This if the first time I’ve seen a special IMAX opening intro (you know, that IMAX surround sound promotion we see at the beginning of each movie) that was specific to Blade Runner 2049.  That really had me primed for the movie to begin.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give Blade Runner 2049 a 9.1.  It is worth seeing in IMAX and in any theater.  Be sure to grab a popcorn combo and use the restroom before the movie starts.  You won’t want to leave your seat at any point of the film.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Trailer Snark (October 6, 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, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Blade Runner 2049 (Columbia Pictures) – Sci-Fi/Thriller
Rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling
Plot: A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.
Running Time: 163 minutes

Wayne: This is going to be the #1 film this week. Looks amazing.
Rob F: Just seeing the trailer makes me want to go re-watch the original and be ready for this weekend.
Chris:  Honestly, I barely remember watching the original as a young kid.  I feel a bit sheepish in saying that my enthusiasm to see the sequel is not exactly high. 

My Little Pony: The Movie (Lionsgate) – Animation/Adventure
Rated PG for mild action
Tag Line: Discover a different breed of hero.
Starring: Emily Blunt, Kristen Chenoweth
Plot: A dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home.
Running Time: 99 minutes

Chris: Are they marketing this to the kids, or to the adult kids?  Very curious as to the demographic this one brings in due to the sizeable sub-culture this IP has created.  Not curious enough to grab myself a seat though.
Wayne: Going to pass on this one.
Rob F: Some people with certain screen savers may want to see this. When we saw the trailer for this film at Ninjago, my daughter said “That looks really bad”. Then again, so was Ninjago.

The Mountain Between Us (20th Century Fox) – Adventure/Drama
Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, peril, injury images, and brief strong language
Tag Line: What if your life depended on a stranger?
Starring: Idris Elba, Kate Winslet
Plot: Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Rob F: Looks like a cool survival story with two talented actors. I’d rent it for sure.
Chris: These types of films are right up my alley.  And the Gunslinger walked through the mountains….oh wait, wrong movie. Solid leads though, and a nice trailer have my attention.
Wayne: Looks inspiring, but I don’t think this is a movie people have been asking for. Going to pass.

The Florida Project (A24) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout, disturbing behavior, sexual references and some drug material.
Tag Line: Welcome to a magical kingdom.
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Brooklyn Prince
Plot: Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
Running Time: 115 minutes

Wayne: Looks depressing, however I’m going to catch this on Netflix. Looks like a good story.
Rob F: Gorgeous cinematography and what looks to be a meaningful story. Looks solid. Not a big screen film for me, but I’d watch it for sure.
Chris: Something about this trailer really captivated me, and stirred my emotions.  Bravo!

Walking Out (IFC Films) – Adventure/Drama/Mystery
Rated PG-13 for bloody injury images, some thematic elements and brief strong language
Tag Line: Survival runs in the blood.
Starring: Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Bill Pullman
Plot: An urban teenager journeys to Montana to hunt big game with his estranged father. Father and son struggle to connect, until a brutal encounter in the heart of the wilderness changes everything.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Chris: This is the best time of year for film.  Serious movies with real substance.  While totally unlike the last trailer, this one digs down into the bonds of family and relationship.  On top of that, my own Montana experience while incredible was also humbling.  So much wilderness and feeling so small and insignificant.  Makes for an awesome setting!
Wayne: Hmmm. I feel like we’ve seen this story, just not like this. I’ll check it out at some point.  
Rob F: Wow, another one that looks really good! Would absolutely watch this, and maybe even on the big screen.

Tickets Purchased: Two for Blade Runner 2049 (Rob and Wayne) and One for The Florida Project (Chris)

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – October 4, 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 I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman #32 (Coipel variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ finale! This is the finale everyone will be talking about for years to come! In BATMAN #24, we gave you the question; in BATMAN #32, you get the answer. As the Riddler and The Joker desperately fight for supremacy in Gotham City, Batman reveals how far he had to go to end the war. Now, knowing Batman’s greatest sin, Catwoman must make her decision: Will she marry Batman?

Why we love it: 8 issues in the making, everyone’s waiting on edge for Selina’s answer to Bruce’s proposal. I just can’t see her saying yes.  Even if she does I don’t expect their marriage will last. These are comics that we are talking about here after all. I’m really more interested in seeing how the War of Jokes and Riddles plays out. This story arc has been fantastic and is without a doubt the pinnacle of Tom King’s run on Batman thus far.

  The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #1 

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City. He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’ but ‘white knight’? Never. Until now… Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as ‘Jack,’ sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman! Superstar writer and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS, THE WAKE) presents a seven-issue miniseries of a twisted Gotham City with a massive cast of heroes and villains that, at its heart, is a tragic story of a hero and a villain: Batman and The Joker. But which is the hero-and which the villain?

Why we like it: Yes, you read that correct, the Joker must save Gotham from the Batman. Sean Murphy is one of my favorite comic creators. He’s a unique story teller and as an artist he’s like a man among boys. I haven’t seen much from Sean G since Tokyo Ghost concluded and I expect that he’s been pouring his heart into this twisted tale.

The Indie One: Extremity #7

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: NEW STORY ARC Thea and Rollo enter the Ancient Dark, where they are hunted by things that dare not live in the light above.

Why we like it: One of my favorite Image titles returns with a new arc. If you missed out on this one, the first 6 issues have been collected in trade paper back. I really can’t recommend this sci-fi, war drama enough. It’s got amazing art, multi-dimensional characters and stories that run you through the emotional gamut. Basically everything that makes for a great comic, Extremity delivers in spades.

  The #1 One: Slots #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Dan Panosian 

What it is: NEW SERIES You can say this about the life of Stanley Dance: he did it his way. Unfortunately, his way never took getting old into account. Now, the former boxer is on his last legs, looking for redemption…but he’ll settle for going down swinging. Roll the dice with superstar artist DAN PANOSIAN as he creates a bold and breathtaking vision of Las Vegas, where everything old can become new, and superstition influences how the chips fall.

Why we like it: Dan Panosian is undeniably an incredibly talented artist. It will be interesting to see how he fares as a writer. After leaving comics for years to work in video games and advertising, Panosian returns to Image with a hard-boiled, crime story that he calls “a labor of love.”

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1 (Hughes variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Marc Andreyko, Paul Dini
Art: Laura Braga
Cover Art: Adam Hughes

What it is: Free college tuition for all Riverdale residents?! That’s the plan-after the town drains the wetlands that lie between it and Gotham City and then builds a new campus. The only snag? A certain botany-obsessed super-villain. When Poison Ivy enlists her bestie, Harley, to kidnap both Veronica Lodge, daughter of Riverdale’s most important citizen, and her friend Betty, she’s counting on some assistance-and the mayhem that ensues will probably work as well! DC Comics and Archie are proud to present the adventure of a lifetime for all these best pals. Their hijinks are brought to you by the real-life team-up of Paul Dini (HARLEY QUINN) and Marc Andreyko (WONDER WOMAN ’77), with art by Laura Braga (DC BOMBSHELLS)!

Why we like it: It’s no secret that I love me some Adam Hughes covers. It’s a regular price variant so you should be able to snag this beauty in the wild pretty easily on Wednesday. The fact that Paul Dini is co-writing this series is just icing on the cheesecake.

 

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

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The Least Likelies: Of Dice & Men (Episode I)

First, a word from Chris Mills (Great Stories Founder):

A few years ago, back before Great Stories Comics and Games came to be a modest brick and mortar operation in Uxbridge, MA. we were simply a tiny start-up online entity that would run the local comic con circuits.  It was through these shows that we met some very amazing people who we now call friends.  Some of these friends of ours conspired with us to concoct a story project that would follow an unlikely (or should we say least likely) band of friends as they trekked through their small town of Great Woods, MA in search of fun amidst the drudgery of their real world lives.

We began to put it to video in the summer of 2015 under the direction of a high school friend of mine who was an expert in video production, and with the assistance of a then high school senior who had dabbled in some amateur director work with the hopes of broadening her skills in the field and a possible future in the business!  Like so many projects whose participants are brimming with enthusiasm, we churned out raw production work for the better part of four episodes before the reality of life and career change sought to derail the creative plans.  For my part, I had a 3-5 year plan in place to open a brick and mortar that suddenly became a one year plan, which took much of my time and energy.  Our producer found his career demanding more and more of his time, and he and his wife were blessed with a baby.  Our student director headed for college, and suddenly everything just ground to a halt.

These past 18 months, I have been haunted by the prospects of working to get this limited body of work out to the public, and give our friends the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of their labor.  And we leave open the door to continuing this story beyond what we have already filmed.  There is a fair amount of material story-boarded even now, and I have a fondness for the characters that you will soon see before you on screen.  What you will find in these videos is decidedly amateur film-making, but it was fun to do, and I hope that shows.  And if you see some value in this little project, and enough of you like it, perhaps we will revisit the story in the future if all the stars align.  I’d like to thank all of the people who have been a part of the production so far: Torb Zwirner, Arik Zwirner, Jen Kruh, Chris Doherty, Tylor Hamel, Mike Mitchell, Brian O’Dwyer, Jake Toback, Jason Ravitz, Marjorie Ravitz, Melanie Ravitz, Darth Maul, Melissa Mills, Stan Lynch, Lee Johnson, and Skip Shea.  I am thankful for you all.

Now, onto our very first episode, where you get to meet some of our central characters, and discover who are The Least Likelies!

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American Made – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  Sept 29, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  1 hour 55 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  8.0 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

American Made:  “A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.”  The movie is based on a true story, one that is amazing to see unfold.

What works:  A strong cast.  The feel of the 80’s is well done with plenty of pop culture references.  Those who have seen the Netflix show “Narcos” will enjoy this movie.  It tells a side of the narcotics/gun running story not covered in depth in the tv series.  The acting is well done and I really enjoyed Tom Cruise’s performance.  Let’s face it, Cruise in a plane (or jet) is his comfort zone (pun intended).  You pull for every one of the characters knowing that someone is going to lose.

What doesn’t work:  There isn’t anything I didn’t care for in the film.  Very entertaining.

The movie sticks to its main characters and doesn’t get sidetracked with other subplots.  Government illegal actions and the tension and action of being a CIA agent (or not) keeps the viewer engaged.  Without giving away the ending, it was well done.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give American Made an 8.0.  It is worth seeing in the theater and a popcorn combo.  If you haven’t watched Narcos on Netflix, give it a watch.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle – A Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  Sept 22, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  2 hour 21 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.8 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Kingsman:  The Golden Circle –  “When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.”  What do you get when you cross James Bond and Richie Rich?  You get the Kingsman.

What works:  A very good cast.  The movie jumps right into the action and keeps moving at a decent pace.  This has the feel of a 007 film with the attractive woman and the classy dressed men drinking martini’s.  I think many will agree, this is a sexy movie that gives you some humor and action wrapped up with some laughable moments.  The movie is rated R for language, adult situations, and violence which actually make the movie a bit more enjoyable for the adult.

What doesn’t work:  The movie feels a tad long, but it did need some time to wrap things up.  Our evil villain feels more like a character out of a Austin Powers movie, but it offers some laughs.

Overall, I enjoyed Kingsman 2 more than the original.  It is definitely entertaining with its tongue and cheek approach to the 007 spy genre.  If you don’t take the movie seriously and just go with the flow (which I think was my issue with the first film), you’ll enjoy this movie.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give Kingman: The Golden Circle a 7.8.  It is worth seeing in the theater and a popcorn combo.  This is movie theater fun done right.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Trailer Snark (September 29, 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, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

American Made (Universal) – Action/Biography/Comedy
Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: The CIA. The White House. Pablo Escobar. One Man Played Them All.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright
Plot: A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.
Running Time: 115 minutes

Tylor: Another Tommy Cruise action film that tries to season cliche story telling with bit comedy. Seems like a “wait for stream” kind of film.
Jim: another action hero job for Dorian Gray….I mean, Tom Cruise. Rental.
Chris: Apparently, I have a higher tolerance for Couch-hopping Cruise than my counterparts.  This one looks like a great time at the theater!

Flatliners (Columbia Pictures) – Drama/Sci-Fi/Horror
Rated PG – 13 for violence and terror, sexual content, language, thematic material, and some drug references
Tag Line: You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Died
Starring: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, Kiefer Sutherland
Plot: Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience – giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife.
Running Time: 108 minutes

Chris: Did this really need to be remade?  I don’t think so. Predicting the box office returns to be DOA, too.
Tylor: Mad science + temporary death experience creates pseudo-spiritual awakening until chaos ensues from unforeseen recourse. Its ‘Lazarus Effect’ with some run time dedicated to the “happier side” of playing with death.
Jim: The original Julia Roberts/Kiefer Sutherland head flick was an Ok thriller. This doesn’t seem different enough to warrant a viewing from me.

Super Dark Times (The Orchard) – Drama/Thriller
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, Elizabeth Cappucino
Plot: Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jim: Interested. Starts out looking like another ET knockoff, but turns darker.
Chris: A tale of morality and mortality.  Looks absolutely haunting, and one that I will be checking out for sure.
Tylor: A young man fails to keep it together after a terrible incident. Now his world and his psyche begins to crumble. I’m actually interested in seeing how this story unfolds.

A Question of Faith (Pure Flix) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements
Tag Line: Divided by loss. United by faith.
Starring: Richard T Jones, Kim Fields, C. Thomas Howell
Plot: When tragedy strikes three families, their destiny forces them on a converging path to discover God’s love, grace and mercy as the challenges of their fate could also resurrect their beliefs.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Tylor: It follows the same narrative style as most christian movies these days. One problems that several different families deal with in different ways, but there only one true solution. Not always the best films, but generally touching with a nice lesson.
Jim: Looks well-made and worthwhile, but still not enough to get me into a theater.
Chris: I’ll save this one for my Tuesday community group.

Lucky (Magnolia Pictures) – Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston
Plot: The spiritual journey of a ninety-year-old atheist.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Chris: Looks quite off-beat in a good way.  The one-liner in the doctor’s office had me belly-laughing.  I am sold.
Tylor: I personally enjoy these “extraordinary life of” style movies. Mix in some wholesome humor and its got my attention for an hour and a half.
Jim: RIP great character actor Harry Dean Stanton—this looks like a nice sendoff for him.

Literally, Right Before Aaron (Screen Media Films) – Comedy/Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line:  Her wedding.  His funeral.
Starring: Cobie Smulders, Justin Long, Lea Thompson
Plot: A young man attends the wedding of his ex-girlfriend.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Jim: An enjoyable-looking rental.
Chris: I like Cobie better as Maria Hill.
Tylor: Another type-cast awkward Justin Long rom-com. I can’t so I don’t love him, but this is really more a “date night on the couch” movie.

Til Death Do Us (Novus Content) – Thriller
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving domestic abuse, violence, some sexuality and language
Tag Line: When your marriage vows could mean your life.
Starring: Taye Diggs, Annie Ilonzeh, Stephen Bishop
Plot: Michael and Madison Roland had planned to spend the rest of their lives together, until one day Michael’s controlling ways turned their perfect marriage. With the help of her best friend, Madison decides to get away. After adopting a new identity, she meets Alex Stone and learns to love again. All is well, until Michael discovers Madison’s whereabouts, and recreates the nightmare she once lived all over again.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Tylor: This narrative is so over done, I’m already calling it. Ex kills the new lover, but then gets killed by leading lady. Not unwatchable, but we definitely have seen it before.
Jim: In honor of Fatal Attraction’s 30th anniversary, its latest clone.
Chris: I am with Tylor and Jim on this one.  That said, I would not hesitate to pop this one some Friday night with my favorite comfort food.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Super Dark Times (Tylor and Chris) and One for Lucky (Jim)

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 27, 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 I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Action Comics #988

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Patrick Zircher

What it is: ‘THE OZ EFFECT’ part two! As Superman struggles with the ramifications of Mr. Oz’s identity, the mysterious figure’s origins and the long road to Superman’s doorstep finally reveal themselves.

Why we like it: If you haven’t read Action Comics #987 yet, they reveal Mr. Oz’s identity and it is bonkers. If you have read Action Comics #987 then you’re just as wtf as I me… You got some serious explaining to do Dan Jurgens. Another great looking lenticulared cover here.

 

The Mainstream One: Spider-Gwen #24

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Robbie Rodriguez
Art: Jason Latour

What it is: The aftermath of the PREDATORS storyline leaves Gwen in a VERY different place. * Matt Murdock’s plans all come home to roost, and when you plan like our good friend Murderdock does, you know that ain’t pretty. * WHAT IS THE NEXT EVOLUTIONARY STEP FOR SPIDER-GWEN?!

Why we love it: The hype’s been cooking on this one for a while. 3 years ago, Gwen Stacy came swinging back into our lives with new radioactive spider powers and it was love all over again. And this is the moment I’ve been waiting for since then. Spider-Gwen’s getting her own symbiote saga and that can only mean one thing, Gwenom.

The Indie One: Saga #47

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

What it is: Meet Ianthe, who has very big plans for The Will.

Why we like it: After an emotional arc with the heroes of our story, this issue will offer a nice change of pace catching up with one of my favorite secondary characters, the broken bounty hunter The Will. I am also very interested in meeting Mr. Crystal Face Fancy Pants over there.

 

The #1 One: Marvel Legacy one shot (Alex Ross variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Esad Ribic

What it is: EVERYTHING STARTS HERE! It begins at the dawn of the human race, and ends with a child’s prayer! In between, empires fall, mysteries brew, secrets are revealed, quests are undertaken and legends are forged! All leading up to the dramatic return you’ve been waiting for – and one you’ve been dreading! Jason Aaron (MIGHTY THOR) and Esad Ribic (SECRET WARS) usher in a new dawn – one whose rays will touch every corner of the Marvel Universe in the days to come! MARVEL LEGACY: It’s everything you’ve been longing for – and more! ONE-SHOT/Rated T+

Why we like it: Marvel is going to start phasing in legacy characters that have been missing from the Marvel continuity for a while and the come back starts here. They sort of spoil it on the cover (which is amazeballs), but I’m excited none the less. This is not an event book, it’s a one shot issue that Marvel is using to setup story lines for the coming year before they reboot the All-New All-Different universe in 2018. Ha, just kidding… hopefully.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Mighty Thor #23 (Venomized Villains variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Valerio Schiti
Cover Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: THOR AGAINST THOR! When the Ultimate Thor finally goes too far, Jane has no choice but to stop him. Can she quell the rage of the War Thor before he destroys the very realms he once hoped to save?

Why we like it: Things aren’t looking good for Jane Foster.  This venomized Hela cover however looks totally amazing. I think it’s currently a tie between Clayton Crain and Francesco Mattina for the best symbiote artist. Hela’s playing a central role in the upcoming Thor Ragnarok movie and she should be gaining some fans.

 

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

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Trailer Snark (September 22, 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, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (20th Century Fox) – Action/Adventure/Comedy
Rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material
Tag Line: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
Plot: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Rob F: I pledge my spear and sword to Prince Oberyn of House Martell. Pedro Pascal is a phenomenal actor and he isn’t even listed in the credits. Halle Berry isn’t half-bad either. Overall, this looks like an action-packed, fun romp through “The Secret Service” comic world created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Sign me up.
Wayne: Action packed with a killer cast. I hope this one lives up to the hype. The first one was surprisingly good and has set the bar high for the sequel. I’m buying this.
Chris: The very first time I read Mark Millar’s The Secret Service #1, I knew this Kingsman property was something special. The first movie only solidified that position. We may not get Samual L Jackson’s villainous lisp, but you know what we get is going to be good.
Jim: First one was a decent actioner, this one looks to be more of the same—rental. In the barrage of images laboring to get my attention, the coolest was of Colin Firth firing from his umbrella. 

The Lego Ninjago Movie (Warner Bros) – Animation/Action/Adventure
Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Tag Line: Find your inner piece.
Starring: Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Fred Armisen, Michael Pena
Plot: Six young ninjas Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya are tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. By night, they’re gifted warriors, using their skills and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy: high school.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Jim: More high octane humor from the Lego people, quips and gags whipping by faster than the human brain can process them. Rental.
Rob F: My six year old would never forgive me if I didn’t bring her to see this one. She’s been talking about it for months and is a huge fan of the toys and the seven seasons of the show. What’s not to love? Legos plus ninjas plus time with my youngest. Hard to beat that! It’s spinjitsu time!
Wayne: Who doesn’t like Lego’s? I don’t think this will be as successful as Lego Batman, but kids love this stuff and it has spilled over to adults with the Lego Movie. Ya, I’ll check it out. I’m buying this.
Chris: I previously doubted the Lego Batman movie based on the trailer, and was proven wrong. I am not going to doubt the creators again, but it won’t be on the big screen for me.

Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) – Biography/Comedy/Sports
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and partial nudity
Tag Line: He made a bet.  She made history.
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough
Plot: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Chris: It’s 40 Year Old Wash-up vs. Billy Jean Tennis Queen. Yeah, I am interested, but again it won’t be in the cineplex.
Jim: Now we’re cookin.’ Two great actors in a story worth constructing a movie around.
Rob F: Emma Stone vs. Steve Carell; Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs. Based on the true story of a fabled tennis match that took place in 1973 at the Houston Astrodome. It may still be the most viewed tennis match in history. The build up was intense and showcased emerging feminism and of course it’s counterpart. “I’m gonna put the show back in chauvinism.” ~Bobby Riggs. Looks entertaining, and would definitely watch at home, but not a big screen take for this moviegoer.
Wayne: I’m old enough to remember seeing this on Wide World of Sports. I’m not certain this movie will be overly successful, but the cast alone has me sold and I’m interested in the story of how this came together. I’m buying this.

Friend Request (Entertainment Studios) – Horror/Thriller
Rated R for horror violence, disturbing images, and language
Tag Line: Evil is trending.
Starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Mosely
Plot: A popular college student graciously accepts a social outcast’s online friend request, but soon finds herself fighting a demonic presence that wants to make her lonely by killing her closest friends.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Wayne: (yawn) Ya, not buying this. Moving on.
Chris: This is my genre, but this looks woefully bad. Deleting this Friend Request.
Jim: Laughable, but fascinating. It’s schlock, but might be worth looking at for the cheese factor alone.
Rob F: Paranormal unfriend request on Facebook. Meh. Not my genre.

Victoria & Abdul (Focus Features) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language
Tag Line: History’s most unlikely friendship.
Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal
Plot: Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Rob F: Judi Dench as Queen of England and Empress of India. Based on a true and what looks to be interesting story about an unlikely friendship and the evolving human condition. Not a big screen flick, but I’d enjoy it.
Wayne: This looks like a charming story, but not enough to pull me into a theater. I will check it out when it comes to Netflix. Going to sell this.
Chris: Long Live the Queen! Judi Dench is a fantastic actress, and this one could be one of those understated gems, humanizing the British royalty. But didn’t we just see virtually the same film just a few weeks back (The Viceroy’s something or other), except that one was in India.
Jim: And one for the Mahstahpiece Theatuh crowd—Dame Judi’s always worth watching, looks worthwhile.

Stronger (Lionsgate) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language throughout, some graphic injury images, and brief sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: Strength defines us.
Starring: Jake Gylenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson
Plot: Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Jim: Yeah, I tried to fight it, but it got me. I felt the lump forming in my throat about 15 seconds in.
Rob F: I can’t. I just can’t watch this. It’s too soon. When I do watch it, you can bet it will be in the privacy of my own home. #BostonStrong #FTerrorism
Wayne: This movie is primed to pull at your heart strings. I’m going to sell this though. The struggle is real for this person, but I’m just not compelled to see it in the theater.
Chris: My heart was just ripped from my chest with that trailer. Yeah, I am in.

Woodshock (A24) – Drama/Thriller
Rated R for drug use, language and a scene of violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Joe Cole
Plot: A woman falls deeper into paranoia after taking a deadly drug.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Chris: I love Kirsten Dunst, but this movie looks a bit too psychedelic for my taste. Cheech & Chong meets Cabin Fever weird.
Jim: Huh?
Rob F: Pass. Not even really sure what was happening in that trailer, but I think that was their goal.
Wayne: After seeing Mother!, I’m gun shy about going into a movie that I’m not certain what I’m going to get. This looks strange and familiar and I’m not willing to put my money on the line that I’m going to get a story worth seeing. I’m selling this.

Tickets Purchased: Two for Kingsman (Wayne and Chris), One for Ninjago (Rob), and One for Battle of the Sexes (Jim)