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Comic Picks of the Week (July 16, 2014)

This week’s new releases bring us the death of a beloved comics icon; Archie Andrews.  He’s been with us since 1941 thanks to Vic Bloom and Bob Montana.  But alas, Life With Archie #36 brings the demise of everyone’s favorite small-town, soda-pop shop kid.

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You can often see it from a mile away, heck maybe even a million miles away on this one.

See what?  The comic character’s death and creative studio’s money-grab?  No.  Well, ok that too…  But in this case I was going for something more specific.

The predestined last words spoken by Archie himself.

 

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Yep….Nailed it!  Yes, without even opening the book, yours truly guessed not only what his last words would be, but that they would drift up between Betty and Veronica.  Ok, so it wasn’t that hard, but I briefly impressed myself.  I wasn’t going to pick this one up as I’m not really a huge Archie fan, but I couldn’t help myself since he’s been gracing comic pages for such a long time.  So, in the end (pun intended), I must acquiesce to the historic moment.

Uncanny X-Men #23 also hit the stands this week, along with Original Sin #6 (of 8), and Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir#3.  For OS6 I would recommend the Arthur Adams variant featuring none other than Moon Knight himself!

 

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On the mutant front, the story arc entitled “The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier” begins.  Wait!!!!  What!?!?!?  Professor X is dead?!?!!?  Yeah, that happened in AvX (see below) for those of you that missed it.  We might even see the new and angrier Dazzler make her debut.  One thing is for certain.  The Will being read will undoubtedly require the presence of one Mr. Scott Summers…

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Great stories are everywhere!

 

~Rob

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Comic Pick of the Week (July 9, 2014)

Great Stories selects…..

Coffin Hill #9 (Vertigo)

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As you may already know, we are big fans of this series here at Great Stories.  Ex-cop and former Coffin Hill troubled girl Eve is helping her former friend and current town sheriff Nate track down the killer known only as the Ice Fisher, while Nate’s mysterious brother show up in town (and he’s not alone!).  What does it all mean?  Well, go out and buy this book now, and got get caught up with all the back issues, because if you haven’t been following along, you have been missing out on a great story from writer Caitlin Kittredge and artist Inaki Miranda!

 

Great Stories are everywhere!

-Chris

 

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Fresh Popped Corn: July 2014 Movie Trailers

Once per month, we will be taking a look at movies released for the upcoming month, and telling our readers where we would be spending our movie dollars each week, based on the look of the trailers.  Links to the chosen trailers will be provided so you can see just what we are so excited about.  Movie release dates are subject to change.

 

July 2nd through July 4th
Hollywood got a jump on the Holiday weekend and celebrated America’s independence by releasing most of the new stuff to audiences on Wednesday of this week.  So, by the time you are reading this column, you may have even made it out to the theaters to see something new!  For the rest of us, however, who have not had similar experience, here is the line up!  Melissa McCarthy plays a down and out woman who is just having a terrible week including losing her job, car troubles, and more in the comedy TammyEarth to Echo takes the found footage approach for a Goonies/E.T. type of adventure for the whole family.  Eric Bana and Olivia Munn confront a malevolent force gripping New York City in Deliver Us From Evil.  And in limited release, Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo find a connection and creative inspiration in the ashes of her relationship to new found celebrity Adam Levine in the drama Begin Again.  In the aftermath of Transformers:  Age of Extinction walloping all of the competition last week, we are not sure if any of these releases will muster the ticket sales to overcome the Michael Bay juggernaut, but we do know that Earth to Echo looks like the perfect movie to take the whole family to this weekend.  Check out the trailer below.

 

July 11th
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters, as the sequel to the successful James Franco-fronted film.  Franco is not around for the follow-up but this movie is all about his ape counterpart Caesar (played by Andy Serkis).  Gary Oldman and Keri Russel are also on board.  Boyhood is an intriguing look at a young man who has been periodically filmed every year for the past twelve years and co-starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette.  The title really tells all you need to know about the theme of a time capsule look at life in developmental stages.  Quite a revolutionary concept if you ask us, from Director Richard Linklater!  A Long Way Down is the story of four strangers of varied backgrounds who meet on the roof of a building under some bad circumstances but develop a family/support group type relationship as they help each other overcome struggles.  The movie stars Pierce Brosnan, Imogen Poots, Sam Niel, and Rosamund Pike.  Land Ho! is a movie of two seniors who used to be brothers in law who attempt to rekindle a desire for life and adventure on a trip to Iceland done for laughs.  Rage is Nicholas Cage doing a Taken-esque style thriller as a man’s daughter is kidnapped from her home in brutal fashion leaving Cage to confront the Russian mob and get her back.  And So It Goes is a mature comedy starring Michael Douglas as an unlikeable successful realtor who is left in charge of his granddaughter.  Diane Keaton co-stars.  And finally, WWE Films presents Jason Momoa (of Game of Thrones fame) as writer, director, and star of a movie that follows a Native American man on the run after avenging his mother’s death in Road to Paloma.  For us, there are two very solid picks this week with decidedly different audiences.  Check out the trailers for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Boyhood below!

 

 

 

 

July 18th
Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal are a married couple who decide to spice up their intimacy by filming themselves and then deal with the consequences of it accidentally getting upload to the cloud in the comedy Sex Tape.  In far more family fare, Disney releases Planes: Fire and Rescue as the sequel to a movie that was originally supposed to go direct to DVD.  The Purge: Anarchy is another sequel targeting the 18-30 male crowd as another group of people look to survive the  chaos in an America that makes all crime legal for a 12 hour period every year.  In I, Origins a man of science (Michael Pitt) and a woman of faith are brought together by an attraction he does not quite understand and when he loses it, his quest begins to solve the unexplainable.  In Persecuted, an evangelical preacher is framed for a murder by forces attempting to bend his will politically and he is forced to undergo a campaign to clear his name, starring Dean Stockwell, James Remar, and Bruce Davison.  Wish I Was Here is a comedy starring Zach Braff and Kate Hudson.  A husband is forced to deal with his own identity and direction as circumstances cause him to have to begin homeschooling his children.  And finally, Alive Inside, is a documentary about the power of music in the elderly and infirm, and its ability to open passages to memory and experience.  For us, The Purge: Anarchy is looking like a pretty grim but choice in an otherwise underwhelming week.  Here is the trailer for your viewing pleasure (sic).

 

 

 

July 25th
The last week of July brings us The Rock starring as Hercules!  We know it is the second movie out this calendar year about the mythical character, but it appears to be the better of the two.  The Fluffy Movie is a stand-up comedy show by Gabriel Iglesias.  Lucy stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman being used to transport a mysterious weapon but turns the tables on the people who would use her as a pawn.  Happy Christmas, starring Anna Kendrick as an irresponsible young woman who goes to live with her brother and his family, and causing a bit if upheaval for all parties.  Magic in the Moonlight is a Woody Allen film starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone.  The romantic comedy tells the story of a man who is brought in to debunk a fortune teller’s abilities. Step Up: All In is the fifth movie in the dance-themed drama that brings together many of the previous installments characters.  A Most Wanted Man will be one of the last movies we see starring the recently departed Philip Seymour Hoffman, which follows the harrowing tale of a Chechen man in Germany who gets caught up in the war on terror.  Very Good Girls star Dakotah Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as virtuous friends whose relationships are challenged by romantic interests in a bit of a coming of age film.  We are all over the A Most Wanted Man this week, even though we are thoroughly intrigued by both Hercules and Lucy.

 

 

And that does it for the July movie line up.  Catch you next month!

The Great Stories Team

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Comic Pick of the Week (July 2, 2014)

This week our anticipation runs high for reading the new Guardians of the Galaxy spin-off…..

Legendary Starlord #1

 

As you may have seen in the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, the “legendary” aspect of the character may be a case of tongue firmly planted in cheek, but it is with that off-beat humor that belies the charm of the subject material.  Maybe it is just the news that J.J. Abrams is entering the ring to save the Star Wars franchise that has us chomping at the bit for some intergalactic fun, but Marvel may actually be experiencing an unexpected hit with this property and we are most interested in learning more about these characters before they hit the big screen in August.  Not to mention that this character has more appeal to us than that raccoon sidekick of his that also has a book debuting this week and also has the advantage of a huge buy from a certain vendor who shall remain nameless that granting it an automatic 100K in sales.  Let’s show everyone who the best Guardian of the Galaxy there is, and sing Stalord’s praises (peanut gallery: “who is Starlord?”) from one end of the milky way to the other!  Who is Starlord?  Ah, forget it.  😉

 

Great Stories are everywhere!

 

-Chris

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Comic Picks of the Week (June 25, 2014)

DC stands for Director’s Cut! This week we get a rare DC from DC (Comics); Harley Quinn #0.

The issue features a new cover by Amanda Conner,  artwork submitted from their talent search, and most importantly pages and written insight from nineteen different artists from the industry!!  It doesn’t get much better than that!  This is hands down the pick of the week!

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That’s not to say there aren’t other worthy titles to grab.  This week also showcases everyone’s favorite wookiee in Star Wars: Rebel Heist #3, the conclusion of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6, Amazing Spider-Man#3 featuring the return of one seriously grumpy Black Cat, and C.O.W.L. #2

 

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Great stories are everywhere! ~Rob

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Comic Pick of the Week (June 18, 2014)

Great Stories selects……   Winter World (IDW)

 

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The great Chuck Dixon brings us a tale of a future earth under a deep freeze and the people who have managed to brave the ice and survive.  This story follows two of these survivors in particular.  Scully protects Wynn as she searches for her parents, risking hypothermia, starvation, or some other unknown demise.  The environment is unsettling and well-drawn by Butch Guice.  And Dixon’s storytelling has been on display at Marvel, DC, and mmany other companies for decades.  Some of his finer work can be seen in the pages of Punisher from the early 90’s, Batman,  and more recently IDW’s G.I. Joe. With a title like Winter World, you could easily be horrified by thoughts of Kevin Costner and that Water World disaster, but we think this story (in spite of its name) has far more promise.  We missed the original graphic novel, on which this comic is based, but rest assured we are intrigued and just may have to splurge for the story whose origins date back to 1987.   Great Stories are everywhere! -Chris

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Comic Picks of the Week (June 11, 2014)

This week horror fans are in for a rare treat!  The Will Eisner Hall of Fame inductee, Richard Corben, and Dark Horse have teamed up to bring us two adaptations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe.  Morella and the Murders in the Rue Morgue is a one-shot you don’t want to miss!

Morella

Meanwhile, fans of the House of Ideas have plenty of releases to pick through.  Steampunk and Disney fans may want to check out Figment #1; a Marvel spin on an Epcot favorite.  The buildup to The Death of Wolverine continues in Wolverine #8 with Three Months to Die.  We also get one of my favorite books of the last couple years, All New X-Men #28 full of time-travelling mutants.  What is the next phase of the future’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants master plan?!!?

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Great stories are everywhere!

~Rob

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Fresh Popped Corn: June 2014 Movie Trailers

Once per month, we will be taking a look at movies released for the upcoming month, and telling our readers where we would be spending our movie dollars each week, based on the look of the trailers.  Links to the chosen trailers will be provided so you can see just what we are so excited about.  Movie release dates are subject to change.

 

June 6th

Tom Cruise looks to reverse his declining ticket sale trends with another sci fi action flick called The Edge of Tomorrow, also starring Emily Blunt.  Looks like a cross between Halo and Ground Hog Day to us, and a good friend of Great Stories who had the privilege of seeing it at a special showing said it was a great flick.  The Fault in Our Stars has Shailene Woodley and Angel Elgort as cancer survivors who strike up an unlikely and challenging romance after meeting in a support group.  The Moment stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Martin Henderson star in a psychological thriller or a photographer who becomes convinced she is guilty of the murder or her lover.  Jenny Slate is a stand-up comedian who goes through personal crisis (no, not losing the person who writes all her funny lines) in the movie Obvious Child.  In The Sacrament, the menace of a Jonestown-like cult is brought to life as a documentary team goes in search of one of the team’s family members.  Supermensch is an expose on legendary Hollywood manager Shep Gordon who has made stars in many musicians and actors.  Mike Myers directs and shows his search for happiness amidst a sea of celebrity.  And finally, Trust Me boasts Agent Coulson, er Clark Gregg, as a Hollywood agent struggling to make a name for himself and may have found his ticket with the next big thing.  The movie co-stars Amanda Peet and Sam Rockwell.  Our pick for the first week is with the horror thriller, The Sacrament.  Check out the trailer below.

 

June 13th

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have the comedy sequel 22 Jump Street headlining the second week of June.  A bit “meh” if you ask us since the first was not all that entertaining.  Come on Hollywood…stop remaking or rehashing old properties and give us more original material!  How to Train Your Dragon 2 will drive the kiddies and their parents to the theaters with the voice talents of Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, and Jonah Hill (that’s right….two films in one weekend for him!).  Ivory Tower is a documentary on the astronomical rise in the cost of education and mounting student loan debts.  Hellion stars Aaron Paul as a single dad whose family is spinning out of control.  I Am I is a drama finding a woman who attempts to re-connect with her ailing father, only to have him believe that she is his departed wife.  Lullaby stars Amy Adams and Garett Hedlund in a film about an estranged son who comes back to the family after his long-dying father decides to take himself off of life support…..OK, can we get off the downer already?  It’s summer for crying eye!  The Rover is a post-apocalyptic revenge flick starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattison.  And finally, Laurence Fishburn stars in a sci-fi thriller, The Signal,  about two MIT hackers who cross paths with a rival and uncover a sinister plot in the middle of the New Mexican desert.  OK, we are seriously at a loss this week folks.  If you have a kid, grab him/her and go see a nice family film even though we admit to not having seen the first movie.  BAD GREAT STORIES BLOGGERS ….BAD!  Guess we will be renting that one from Netflix before the 13th!

 

June 20th

Back on track this week with the release of the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons biopic, Jersey Boys (also a pretty popular broadway musical) with Clint Eastwood at the helm.  Think Like A Man Too has Kevin Hart drumming up laughs again with a pretty solid supporting cast as he and his cohorts hit Vegas to party it up and exchange nuptials.  In Third Person, Liam Neeson takes a break from kicking some butt to work through some psychological baggage as a writer who leaves his wife and re-connects with a lover in Paris while two other separate yet inter-connected plot lines weave themselves through (Crash-style).  James Franco, Mila Kunis, Maria Bello, Olivia Wilde, and Adrian Brody all star alongside in this drama.  A light week for sure, but we are looking forward to taking a trip back in time to see the rise of a pop sensation……take a look at the Jersey Boys trailer!

 

June 26th

We finish out the month of June strong with another huge blockbuster, as only Michael Bay can provide, in Transformers:  Age of Extinction.  This time, Shia LaBeouf gets traded for Mark Wahlberg, and the results look to be promising.  We say this after having absolutely despised part two of this series, but we’ll let bygones be bygones after part three put the Transformers series back in good standing.  Snowpiercer has Chris Evans fighting for his right of survival in a brave new world…..on a train housing the survivors of an ice age brought on by natural disaster flavor of the decade Global Warming.  It is based on a French graphic novel, which is something we always support…..yes, so many good stories to be had in the world of comics.  Keep ’em coming!  And nothing else to report for the last week of June, as these two potential blockbusters will be battling for supremacy.  And for this reason, we will give you both trailers and let you decide which is the best movie to see before we set foot over the mid-year point of 2014!

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Comic Pick of the Week (June 4, 2014)

Great Stories selects……

 

Black Widow #7 (Marvel)

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&

Punisher #6 (Marvel)

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Nathan Edmonson is doing a great job writing two of Marvel’s best street-level titles.  Each book boasts a remarkably different visual style, with Phil Noto’s painted art style making for beautifully elegant and dangerous panels within the pages of Natasha Romanov’s book.  It must be noted that there have been many attempts at bringing Black Widow’s solo book to a level of success as a non-limited series to varying degrees, but this is definitely a worthy attempt at making it stick.  In this particular yarn, Widow is working with a man she pulled out of the mob to help her identify targets of value for pay outside of her Avengers and SHIELD work.  Along comes a certain devil-horned hero to question her most recent actions and the redeemable nature of her work.

Switching gears to Punisher, we have the hunter becoming the hunted as Frank Castle attempts to disrupt a terror plot by an incredibly dangerous Mexican gang that has employed AIM to bring Los Angeles to it’s knees.  And they have brought in the heavy hitter (and Spider-Man foe), Electro, to do their dirty work.  Not only that, but the hired assassin Domino has also been sent by AIM to help achieve their goals.  And if things could not get any worse for Castle, the Howling Commandos are swooping in to take down our favorite vigilante.  How can he effectively punish with so many forces working against him?  Edmonson puts Frank’s back against the wall with the wonderful Mitch Gerads providing all the inglorious visual action!

 

Great Stories are everywhere!

 

-Chris (for the Great Stories team)

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Tube Watch (Week of May 29th, 2014)

The Great Stories team checks in again with you to tell you what we have been watching in the world of entertainment this past week!

 

We start with Jim, our resident aficiando of classic movie fare.  This week, The Tall T (1950’s western kidnap thriller starring Randolph Scott and Richard Boone) was his throwback selection of the week.  He also spent some being a very good and responsible father by introducing his daughter to the world of Indiana Jones with viewings of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom!  Father-Daughter time doesn’t get much better than that I suspect!  On the more recent front, he was pretty unenthusiastic with the allegedly true story of soldiers trying to save precious art from the German in WWII, The Monuments Men which starred Clooney and Damon.

 

Marcel enjoyed Godzilla with a friend at the movie theaters.  He also recommends The Legend of Hercules which just recently hit DVD/BluRay.  Also on the agenda was a viewing of The Nut Job, another recently released animated film, with his mom!  Both gave this one a thumbs up.

 

Melissa, aside from The Nut Job, ended up at the local theater with Chris to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, which could be the best X-Men movie made so far!  They also both took in the recently released Pompeii, and while the story was a bit ho-hum, the special effects were excellent in this Paul Anderson film.  She also suffered through the first episode of Game of Thrones Season One with Chris, deciding that this was not her type of entertainment.

 

Chris, on the other hand, enjoyed Game of Thrones quite a bit, and is looking forward towards his banishment from the bedroom to watch the rest of season one, which fellow blogger Rob was so gracious to lend to him.  On a solo note, Chris also watched Paranormal Activity:  The Marked Ones which will hopefully bring about the end of that played out franchise.  And reaching a little further back into the archives, Too Big To Fail, which was the HBO-produced drama about the sub-prime mortgage crisis starring James Woods and William Hurt.  Not a bad flick about a topic that truly affected just about everyone out there.

 

Rob, amidst his reading material and parenting responsibilities, was still faithful to the current season of Game of Thrones but also managed to sneak out to theaters to see the X-Men movie…..yes, he is a die-hard mutant fan!

 

What were you all watching this week?