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Comic Pick of the Week September 11th 2013

Great Stories would like to first observe the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01.  The victims, families, and all people both in America and around the world who felt the effect of that chilling day are close to our hearts this and every day.  God Bless You All!

 

And now……

 

Great Stories Selects……

 

Mighty Avengers #1 (Marvel)

 

 

 

 

 

Spinning off of the current major storyline in the Marvel Universe (Infinity), the new Mighty Avengers assemble and it is quite an interesting team with not the most usual suspects that the average comic reader might guess.  Leading the team is Luke Cage, who recently gave up his gig leading the Thunderbolts in his last team book.  The Superior Spider-Man adds some gravitas, but after that you have White Tiger, Spectrum, and Power Man (as well as some mysterious figure not identified).  Not the biggest names in the annals of Marvel history, but ones that could very well make for a very interesting book and infinite (pun intended) storyline possibilities.  For now, however, Infinity rages on and this team is contending with Thanos’ henchmen, The Marauders somewhere in deep space and far away from the rest of us human-types.

 

So, hop on board with writer Al Ewing and artists Greg Land and Jay Leisten for the newest Avengers venture and what could prove to be one of the most intriguing teams assembled in some time.

 

Mighty Avengers #1 is on sale everywhere with multiple covers for you collectors!


Great Stories are everywhere!

 

Chris (for the Great Stories team)

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Fresh Popped Corn: September 2013 Movie Trailers

Great Stories’ new column for our movie trailer preview series is here.  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.


September 6th

The first week of the month boasts only one big release along with a bunch of moves in more limited release.  Riddick is the third installment of the Vin Diesel series that started with Pitch Black so many years ago.  The trailer looks to be a cross between the first two pictures in the series (with a focus on both the action and horror genres).  Touchy Feely is an independent starring Ellen Page about a masseuse who is suddenly averted to human touch causing havoc in her marriage and career.  Adore stars Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as two moms who tread down a dangerous path through growing love affairs with each other’s sons.  Hell Baby is an off-beat comedy/horror flick about an expecting couple who move into a cursed home, starring Rob Curddry and Leslie Bibb.  Il Futuro is a foreign film starring Rutger Hauer as a fading film star who is romanced by a young woman who may have more then good intents.  Bounty Killer is a mindless actioner that takes place in a world whose governments have all been replaced by corporations who wage wars of profit.  Kristanna Loken and Matthew Marsden star.  Its a fairly bleak week at the box office as the summer movie season goes through its death throes.  In spite of not enjoying the Chronicles of Riddick, we are hoping that with the help of Diesel’s co-star Karl Urban (Judge Dredd), this franchise can get back on track.  Check out the trailer below.

 

 

 

September 13th

After a week of over the top gory sci fi action, what do we have to look forward to?  A slew of films are on the docket.  The Family stars Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer as recently witness protected heads of a crime family who find that while their identities have changed, the lifestyle is not so far behind them…a dark comedy for sure with some good star power.  Insidious 2 continues the march towards the Halloween horror season.  Informant is a documentary look at a man whose radical leanings find him in lockstep with a group of domestic terrorists but working with the FBI after a seeming crisis of conscience.  Jayne Mansfield’s Car stars Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, and Billy Bob Thornton star in a movie about two very different families whose union is fraught with struggle following the death of one familiy’s matriarch.  And While We Were There stars Kate Bosworth as a woman in an unhappy marriage who begins to fall for the advances of a younger man.  We are hoping The Informant is playing somewhere close by because the documentary looks absolutely compelling.  Failing that, Jayne Mansfield’s Car has an outstanding cast and looks like a very entertaining night out at the theaters.  Check out both trailers below!

 

 

 

 

 

September 20th

The official end of summer only two days away, the kids are back at school, and James Gandolfini returns before our eyes larger than life on the big screen as the object of affection for one woman (Julianne Dreyfuss) and the object of disdain for another (Catherine Keener).  Will the women’s shared friendship allow for the success of romance in Enough SaidThanks for Sharing is a Mark Ruffalo/Gwyneth Paltrow drama comedy about recovering sex addicts, Battle of the Year will attempt to dance its way to the top of the box office as a team dance competition draws competition from all over the world.  The Colony sees Lawrence Fishburne and Bill Paxton lead a group of post-global warming apocalypse survivors against the threat of starving cannibals.  Haute Cuisine portrays the life of the woman who became chef for French President Francois Mitterand.  A Single Shot with William H Macy and Sam Rockwell relive events that look strangely familiar to the great movie A Simple Plan.  COG sees a young intellectual integrate into what he views as a lowest common denominator culture but begins to find respect for those around him and their values.  Prisoners looks like a grab you by the throat kidnap thriller starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhall, and Terrence Howard.  Meanwhile, Chris Hemsworth puts down a different type of hammer (sorry for my obligatory Thor joke) to lock horns on the race track against his arch-nemsis (Daniel Bruhl) in Rush.  Lastly, Stephen Dorff plays an Israeli fighter pilot who is shot down over Beirut and strikes an unlikely alliance with a Lebanese youth to escape his captors and return home safely in Zaytoun.  It is the last entry for this week that has our attention.  Zaytoun looks like a winner.

 

 

 

September 27th

As we inch our way to October and the beautiful fall foliage (for those of you lucky enough to live in a similar climate!), kids all around the world will be looking for Italian food to fall from the sky with the release of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2Inequality for All is a documentary that follows Carter and Clinton Administration official Robert Reich as he advocates his brand of economics for America.  The relationship of real life pen pals Johnny Dark and actor/playwrite Sam Shepard is explored in the documentary Shepard & DarkAs I Lay Dying has James Franco take on William Faulkner’s classic novel of a family that is seeking to honor the wishes of their dying mother.  Secret Lives of Dorks features cameos by Jennifer Tilly and Jim Belushi as a high school geek seeks his dream girl.  Through the Never features a Metallica roadie running a simple errand that takes him on a very unexpected and dangerous journey.  We Are What We Are looks to be a frightening movie-going experience as two young girls are brought into some very unorthodox family traditions after the death of their mother.  Baggage Claim features Paula Patton in a mad rush to find romance when her one remaining sibling is engaged to be married and she determines to not be the only sibling without.  And finally, Don Jon has Joseph Gordon Levitt discover the meaning of a real relationship and love in spite of his more shallow pursuits and hobbies.  It’s a huge lineup of films, but we are going the classic literature route with the theatrical presentation of As I Lay Dying.  Don Jon, We Are What We Are, and Prisoners al looks like solid entries as well.  But check out the trailer that rose above this good list for us.

 

 

 

What are you most looking forward to seeing this month at the movies?  Great Stories would like to know!

 

Chris (for the Great Stories team)

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Comic Pick of the Week for September 5 2013

Great Stories Selects…..

 

The New DC World Event

 

Kneel before———–you must know this guy, right?

 

 

 

 Zod takes over the pages of Action Comics

 

Every title in the DC Universe gets a major shakeup as the villains become the stars and their own covers.  The New 52, DC’s most recent re-launch, throws us this latest twist in a nice neat package of standard and alternative covers that are sure to tempt the collector in you.  Some books are harder to find than others, but we will let you feast your eyes on just a handful of the titles that were released this week for your enjoyment.  Now, don’t waste any more time and rush out to find out just how out their minds DC’s creative teams really are these days.

 

Black Mantra makes Aquaman finally cool?

 

Solomon Grundy is a scary dude in Earth 2

 

 

Harley Quinn is not Batman’s ideal date in Detective Comics

 

 

All of these title and more rogue gallery mayhem are out in stores now from DC!


Great Stories are everywhere!!!

 

Chris (for the Great Stories team)

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Comic Pick of the Week for August 28th 2013

Great Stories Selects…..


Locke & Key Alpha (IDW)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill, is an accomplished writer on his own.  With the novels “NOS4A2”,  “Heart-Shaped Box” and “Horns”, as well as the short story collection “20th Century Ghosts”, he is carving out his own little spot in the halls of horror-themed fiction.  Having read both his short story collection and first novel, I can say with certainty that his gift for spinning a yarn is a hereditary boon.  Locke & Key, however, may be his most impressive work to date.  The graphic novel might be his most impressive work of them all, however.  Telling the story of a mysterious house in a small Massachusetts hamlet that hold some amazing secrets for a family that has been afflicted with serious tragedy.  We don’t want to spoil this series for you, and even though the current issue of Locke & Key is our pick of the week, readers should really do themselves a favor and pick up the graphic novel releases with a story that originated in February of 2008.  The first collection, available in hard cover and paperback, is entitled “Welcome to Lovecraft”.  “Head Games”, “Crown of Shadows”, “Keys to the Kingdom”, and “Clockworks” all followed as the formal collections to the monthly comic series.  We cannot recommend this series highly enough.  Along with “Morning Glories”, this may be the best long-running independent comic series on the market today.  And once you get caught up on all of that reading, pick up the story in “Locke & Key Alpha #1”.

 

 

 

Great Stories are everywhere!

 

 

Chris (for the Great Stories Team)

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Comic Pick of the Week for August 21 2013

Great Stories Selects

 

Conan the Barbarian #19 (Dark Horse)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conan the Barbarian #19 begins a new story arc called Black Stones from the team of Brian Wood (writer) and Paul Azaceta (art).  We have been following Dark Horse’s Conan run since the start and have really enjoyed the re-telling of the classic saga.  The previous eighteen issues explored Conan’s early travels with a focus on his seafaring mercenary days that saw him at once battle a pirate queen, only to join her crew and become her lover.  Belit, as she is so named, saves Conan from captivity later on in the series and even joins him for an arduous journey back to Conan’s homeland where tragedy greets them both.  The Black Stones story arc finds the deadly pair rejoining their crew on the Tigress and heading back to open waters and the hunt for more merchant vessels to plunder.  But they get more than they bargain for in the form of their latest quarry…something that could very well lead to their undoing once and for all!

 

Fans of epic fantasy should know the Conan brand very well.  From the imagination of author Robert E. Howard, the intellectual property has spawned three movies, the Red Sonja spin-off movie, many comic runs, tons of merchandise, and a recently rumored new movie trilogy!

 

You can find Conan the Barbarian #19 in comic stores everywhere today.

 

Great Stories are everywhere!

 

Chris (for the Great Stories team)

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Comic Pick for August 14th 2013

Great Stories Selects……

 

 

 

 

 

Writer Jonathan Hickman (Avengers, Fantastic Four) teams with artist Nick Dragotta (Captain America: Forever Allies) to bring you a very original look at a Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse story.  The series began five issues ago with a look at the American Civil War and a look at what 2064 looks like for the now ‘Seven Nations of America”.  America is fractured and lost.  Even the President is not safe from the coming judgement and the unfolding story is both compelling and feels unique.  What more can one ask for as a reader?  Nick’s art portrays the desolate landscapes that inspire the despair of a world teetering on the edge of extinction, and serve as the playground for the very different but wholly dangerous horsemen.

 

In a week that sees Marvel role out its latest epic cross-title arc, “Infinity”, we are still more excited for this issue of East of West as the pick of the litter.  Fans of Westerns and Futuristic Sci Fi will enjoy this title, and for those of you who like to wait for trade paperback collections, one should not be too far behind as the first arc starts to wrap up this month.


Great Stories are everywhere!

 

Chris (for the Great Stories team)

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Comic Pick for August 7th 2013

Great Stories selects…..


George R. R. Martin’s Skin Trade #2 (Avatar)

 

 

Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s critically acclaimed novella of the same name, Skin Trade is a story of a detective that is brought in to investigate a rash of murders that share the same odd connection.  Her best friend, meanwhile, seems to know something that he is not at liberty to share, and a very powerful family is harboring some secrets of their own.  The writer of the epic Game of Thrones series delves into werewolf lore to great result.  Daniel Abraham adapts the novella to graphic novel form with Mike Wolfer (Lady Death, Gravel) handling the art.  Daniel is no stranger to the world of George R.R. Martin, as he writes the Game of Thrones graphic novel adaptations as well.  And the pencils provided by Mike Wolfer are the perfect compliment to Abraham’s re-telling of the source material.  The mystery provided in issue #1 is enough to have us excited to pick up the #2 in stores today.

Skin Trade #2 was released today, but you can still find the first issue (released last month) in comic shops everywhere.

Great Stories are everywhere!

Chris (for the Great Stories Team)

 

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Fresh Popped Corn: August 2013 Movie Trailers

Great Stories’ new column for our movie trailer preview series is here.  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.

 

August 2nd

August brings with it the final month of the summer blockbusters, though admittedly the movies with much less fanfare.  But we have the box office gold Denzel Washington starring alongside Mark Wahlberg in the crime actioner 2 Guns, which sees the two star as undercover specialists from different government outfits trying to bring down the same drug syndicate with no trust for one another the whole way.  Also being released is Lindsay Lohan’s return to the big screen in The Canyons, which looks somewhat intriguing.  The Smurfs 2 rolls into theaters, for those of you who love tiny blue talking things.  Christina Ricci, Brendan Gleason, and Katy Perry lend their voices to the cast.  Cockneys v Zombies is a British import looking to gag it up with the tired zombie trend.  Europa Report looks like a pretty intense sci-fi excursion to one of Jupiter’s moons for a group of brave astronauts.  And The Spectaclur Now features a tale of unlikely love between the shallow charismatic boy who is the life of the party and the “nice” girl, starring Sutter Keely and Shailene Woodley.  At the risk of being unimaginatively predictable, Great Stories is hopping on the Denzel train, and thinking that 2 Guns is a good dose of fun for this Friday night!  Check out the trailer below.

 

 

August 9th

The second week of August features a Wednesday release of Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters for this franchise’s second outing.  Matt Damon and the makers of District 9 want to make a political statement with Elysium, about a man who desperately needs to get the medical attention offered on a space station where the well to do have excaped to following the decay of Earth, where the less fortunate still languish.  We’re the Millers is an adult comedy featuring Jennifer Aniston as a stripper and Ed Helms as a small time dealer who along with two younger counterparts pose as a family to bring a large shipment of contraband into the country.  Planes is the heir apparent to the wildly successful Cars series from Disney, sure to capture the hearts of young children everywhere and pick clean their parents wallets through a mass merchandising campaign.  In a World stars Lake Bell as the daughter of a famous voice over artist who tries to defy the male dominated industry by earning a shot at being the voice for the ad campaign of a new blockbuster trilogy.  Lovelace is Amanda Seyfried portraying the first famous adult actress and how a small town girl from a religious family went on to create such controversy, notoriety, and the consequences those decision wrought.  Prince Avalalanche is a low budge buddy comedy about two guys (Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch) whose job it is to lay traffic lines on new road in remote parts of America.  You’ll find us trying to adopt a kid for a day as our excuse to see Disney’s latest Planes.  Here is the trailer below!

 

 

August 16th

This particular week is stacking up to be our hardest decision yet.  First up, there is Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of the brilliant visionary Apple creator in the movie JobsKick Ass 2 promises to do exactly that in theaters and in spite of Jim Carrey’s disavowal of the movie due to its excessive gun violence, he looks simply great in his role as Captain Stars and Stripes, vigilante extraordinaire.  One of our favorites, Forrest Whitaker, portrays Lee Daniels-The Butler, a White House butler who served eight administrations, in what appears to be a very cool historical drama piece which also stars Oprah Winfrey and John Cusack.  Paranoia tells the tail of a promising young tech head (Liam Hemsworth) who gets hired by billionaire Gary Oldman to work undercover against his competition (Harrison Ford) and steal the secrets to a new technology promised to be the next big thing.  Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is the tail of an outlaw (Casey Affleck) who falls in love with a young woman (Rooney Mara) and how they run afoul of a local lawman played by Ben Foster.  Austenland stars the wonderful Keri Russell and Stiffler’s Mom…we kid we kid….Jennifer Coolidge as women obsessed with the world of Jane Austen, and how Russel’s life might be changed by meeting her fantasy English regent.  Lee Daniels does not seem the expected summer fare, but looks like a great choice for history buffs like us.  If not for nothing else, after his truly scary role in The Last King of Scotland, this role may wipe Mr. Whitaker’s face from our nightmares.  Check out the trailer here:

 

 

August 23rd

A new franchise for the teens is set to launch with The Mortal Instruments:  City of Bones, which follows the story of a young girl who discovers she is a descendant of a breed of half-angel Shadowhunters, sworn to protect humanity from demons on earth.  Lily Collins is cast in the lead role.  The World’s End features the Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz team regroup in their hometown for the pub crawl of the ages.  Little do they know, their lovely home town has been taken over by robots posing as the residents and it is up to these unlikely heroes to set things right.  You’re Next is a freaky home invasion movie that is sure to make your date hug you close.  Drinking Buddies is a comedy starring Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Jake Johnson, and Olivia Wilde has a pair of couples who may be in the wrong relationships, and that may mean the end of their friendships. Short Term 12 is an indie that features a foster care supervisor who cares for troubled teams while also reconciling her own past.  Frozen Ground stars Nicholas Cage on the hunt for a serial killer played by John Cusack.  Vanessa Hudgens is the young woman who escapes his clutches and triggers the hunt.  Sad to say, but I am not sure Cage has made a good film in the last decade.  As a fan of both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, it would be hard to not go with The World’s End.  Here is the trailer below for your enjoyment!

 

 

 

 

August 30th

The last week in August features Closed Circuit, a terrorist/political thriller with London as the backdrop and starring Erica Bana, Rebecca Hall, and Julia Stiles.  The Lifeguard stars Kristen Bell as a young woman reporter/former valedictorian who decides that she needs to hit life’s reset button and moves back to her hometown to be a lifeguard at the local public pool.  Getaway is a action flick with Ethan Hawke as former race car driver whose wife is kidnapped.  At the mercy of a voice (Jon Voight) who provides him instruction, Hawke attempts to save his wife.  Selena Gomez is along for the ride as a young criminal who stumbles into the plot.  Brian De Palma returns to his highly successful erotic thriller motifs (see Dressed to Kill and Basic Instinct) with Passion, which stars Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams as two powerful business women in a deadly power struggle.  With the summer riding out in style, we’ll jump in the backseat of Getaway and go out having a little intense fun while we are at it.  Here is the trailer.

 

 

Thanks for checking into our movie picks for August, and please let us know what you are most looking forward to seeing at the cineplex!

 

Chris (for the Great Stories Team)

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Comic Pick for July 31st 2013

Great Stories selects……..


House of Gold & Bones #4 (Dark Horse)

 

 

 

 

 

 

House of Gold and Bones is a four issue series that is a companion to Stone Sour’s concept album of the same title, which makes for intriguing source material.  The comic is written by Corey Taylor (singer for Stone Sour/Slipknot) with art from Richard Clark, whose work has been featured in the Incredible Hulk and King Conan.  The story follows the journey of a young man who awakes to find himself in a strange land and hunted by a mob and meeting odd yet familiar characters along the way as he attempts to understand the threat he faces and return to his home.

 

 

 

 

 

 House of Gold and Bones #1-3

 

 

Aside from being the primary lyricist for both Stone Sour and Slipknot, Taylor also has penned two autobiographical books (Seven Deadly Sins, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven) that have given insight to his youth and life as a rock star and sometime ghost buster).  House of Gold and Bones, however, is the first foray of his into the non-musical presentation of his creative being.

 

Though the fourth issue just hit stores today, you can find the other three issues in your local comic shops.  Certainly a must-have for fans of Stone Sour, but the comic may serve as a way for non-metal fans to be introduced to an interesting story and become interested in the musical presentation that serves as its natural counterpart.  With a sequel to House of Gold and Bones to be released commercially this year, you can bet we will have another Dark Horse mini series to follow in due time.

 

See you next Wednesday for another pick of the week!

 

Chris (& the Great Stories Team)

 

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Comic Pick of the Week for July 24th 2013

Great Stories selects……

 

Lazarus #2 (Image)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Rucka, the man behind the best Punisher title run in over two decades is back with a new series for Image Comics.  This one features a society in which “families” control all of the food and resources.  The feudal society is highly dependent on what appear to be genetically altered protectors whose skills make them highly effective killers and resistant to death.  Forever is one of those protectors, and we find her facing some serious questions about her role in this life, after dispatching a threat to the family’s property and dealing with an internal betrayal.

 

Michael Lark provides the art, which provides the reader clear set pieces making the action easy to follow and enjoy.

 

The first issue sold out last month and Image is releasing a second printing of it today along with the second issue as seen above.  So, you need not worry about missing a beat if you did not get in on the fun last month.

 

 

 

 

Lazarus #1 (Second Printing) and Lazarus #2 are in stores today!

 

 

Great Stories are Everywhere!

Chris