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Comic Shop Talk: May the Comics Be With You 8/23/17

Comic Shop Talk is a video blog dedicated to Comics, and pop culture talk including movies, television, books, and more.  Ken Lee is the author of our long-running comic blog The Crank File, Rob Goyer is our Cards and Counters game blog author, Tylor Hamel appears in many in-store livestreams and works at Great Stories Comics & Gaming, Wayne Demers is author of our very own The Dope Sheet movie blog, and Chris Mills is the owner of Great Stories. 

Wayne Demers filled in for Rob Goyer in our latest episode.  We’ll be welcoming Rob’s return next month, but rest assured you will be seeing our resident movie expert again soon!


0:00 – 47:11  We begin our comic talk with Marvel and the story so far with their Secret Empire storyline, before taking a departure into the brand new Astonishing X-Men series, and then delving into the entire lineup of Star Wars comics that are out on shelves.

47:12 – 57:28  We discuss DC’s Dark Days: The Casting plus Batman Beyond and Mister Miracle.

57:29 – 1:16:20 Our indie talk includes Dynamite Entertainment’s Atari comic adaptations, 70’s style horror comics, Robotech, Freeway Fighter, and Crosswind.

1:16:21  After the conclusion of our comic talk, we have Wayne lead a discussion on some of the films from this summer he has reviewed on The Dope Sheet, Chris talks The Dark Tower, and Tylor gives his thoughts on both the trailers for Gotham and The Defenders.


-The Great Stories Team

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The Dark Tower – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  Aug. 4, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  1 hours 35 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  5.8 out of 10

A non-spoiler review.

What you need to know about The Dark Tower:  The movie is based a series of books by Steven King.  Although I have not read the books, I am aware that they are very lengthy reads and there is a lot of material to draw from to develop a story for the big screen.

The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.”

What works:  Very little.  Idris Elba plays the “Roland,” the gun slinger.  His character is the only character that was developed enough that I cared about his journey.  Those who like Steven King will be happy with the hidden eggs that pop up in the background of the film.  If you aren’t familiar with King’s work, you won’t care if you miss them.  Yup, that is it.  Kudos to the advertising team that created the posters and trailers.  They did their jobs of getting my interest and seeing the film.

What doesn’t work:  Every character, other than Roland, lacks enough substance that we just don’t really care about them.  Not the mother, step dad, Jake the hero of the film, or any other character has enough known about them that we care.  The movie felt like a B film from the 80’s with its brushing through the story to move to the action or conflict scenes.  This is one of Matthew McConaughey’s most lack luster performances and I can only attribute it to the lack of material he had to work with.

Not that Steven King films do well, but this one had a lot of hope as the books are lengthy and well-liked by his fans.  This movie, however, appears to have brushed upon the characters like a checklist to ensure they touched on them.  Those who have read the books, I’d like to hear from you because the film continues to put you in one situation and then another and then another without providing the viewer enough time to get a feeling of what the significance is of each location.

By the end of the film, I felt relieved it was over and honestly didn’t care one bit about anything that had happened.  There were opportunities for the movie to rise to the occasion and entertain us, but it couldn’t get its feet under itself to make the leap.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give The Dark Tower an 5.8.  The movie isn’t worth concessions.

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Trailer Snark (August 4, 2017 Theatrical Releases)

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!

The Dark Tower (Columbia Pictures) – Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for thematic material including sequences of gun violence and action.
Tag Line: There are other worlds than these.
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McCaunaughey, Katheryn Winnick
Plot: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Chris: Being a King fan, I feel a bit sheepish in saying that the epic work of his literary career is among my least favorite of his creative endeavors. That said, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are awesome which make this one worth checking out.
Jim: I’m a King fan, but for some reason I’ve never had any interest in reading the Dark Tower books. Despite the great cast, this looks like a pretty blah and routine actioner/thriller/whatever.

Detroit (Annapurna Distribution) – Drama/Crime/History
Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language
Tag Line: It’s time we knew.
Starring: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith
Plot: Amidst the chaos of the Detroit Rebellion, with the city under curfew and as the Michigan National Guard patrolled the streets, three young African American men were murdered at the Algiers Motel.
Running Time: 143 minutes

Jim: Looks like another winner from the red-hot Kathryn Bigelow. A great example of how a trailer can effectively sell a movie.
Chris: Intensity! Based on a true story, and definitely makes me want to know more. I’ll be checking it out.

Check out The Dope Sheet Movie review here!

Wind River (The Weinstein Company) – Action/Crime/Mystery
Rated R for strong violence, a rape, disturbing images, and language
Tag line: Nothing is harder to track than the truth.
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Kelsey Asbille
Plot: An FBI agent teams with a town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Chris: Two Avengers reunited. Love the setting for this murder mystery, with the feeling of isolation leading to greater danger. I am in.
Jim: A pretty lackluster trailer (and come on, not even touting the names of the actors—they’re two of the Avengers, man!) Pass.

Tickets Purchased:  One for The Dark Tower (Chris) and one for Detroit (Jim)