25 February 2015

TMNT #43

Originally written for Flickering Myth.

If you're not all caught up yet, check out my review for TMNT #42! There might be minor spoiler for the issues if you you're not up to date!

“Attack on Technodrome” Part 3! A major battle on Burnow Island unfolds! Will the Turtles be able to help Fugitoid to deactivate the Technodrome before it’s too late? Meanwhile, Splinter and the Mutanimals go up against Karai and the Foot!"

Issue 43 of TMNT is the perfect example of why this series is so good. The world that Tom Waltz and Co. have created is so well crafted that even when an issue contains only a handful of pages featuring the turtles you don't feel short changed at all. It would be easier to list who isn't involved in this issue, and in lesser hands it could easily become a big old pile of ooze. Instead we're presented with page after page of interesting situations between characters that illicit a range of emotions.

We're still in the thick of the battle on Burnow Island, and this issue provides a turning point for them. This could be their 'darkest before the dawn' moment, but it could never be plain sailing for them could it? I did find myself rooting for a certain ninja who names his soldiers after appendages, if you get my drift. He is an evil so and so, but the chap he's fighting is an ugly piece of work. I've clearly come down on one side of a fight that I've been eagerly anticipating since issue 37, and it doesn't disappoint.

Cory Smith has picked up the baton from Mateus Santolouco for work on this arc, and he's running with it. Fantastic looking layouts that connect well with each other makes it easy to follow the various threads. One panel in particular, featuring an expression from Shredder, is so well done that I might make it my Twitter profile pic. Smith has nailed Mikey's face this month too, with some great expressions. There's some great sound effect work too, particularly the 'BRAKK' of machine gun fire. It all pops thanks to Ronda Pattison's smart choice of colours. They really do work well together.

The clue is in the title for this arc, and it's not letting us down with the amount of guns, swords, and punches on display. Most importantly it's all serving a great story, one which easily maintains interest through its smaller plots whilst ramping up the danger and introducing several moments that leave me with baited breath for next month.

I want the TMNT and their allies to win, but I don't want this story to end. It's too exciting!


TMNT Tidbits! Watch out for spoilers.
  • The look on Shredder's face when he loses half of his sword. Shock! Great colours on that panel.
  • Donnie isn't looking too hot right now is he? 
  • Splinter appears to be attempting to sew doubt in Karai's mind. Reminds me of the current Nickelodeon series.
  • Slash vs Hun! Should be a good one. I hope it gets some time next month.
  • Hob is a git isn't he? Hardly surprising him leaving Splinter, but his reasoning is particularly badly timed for my liking.
  • Good to see Bludgeon getting some dialogue. I like his straightforward, don't back down attitude. He's a loyal man/shark/thing. 
  • I would love to punch Stockman in the face. He always has something going on doesn't he? Slimey little toad.

If you enjoyed this why don't you check out my other reviews and pass it on :)

I also have interviews with TMNT artists Ross Campbell and Mateus Santolouco!

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20 February 2015

Taken 3 (2015) in 100 Words

Director - Olivier Megaton
Cast - Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell and Leland Orser

If you liked Taken, with its decent cast, memorable phrases, and how it showed that Bryan Mills is the man....then you probably won’t like Taken 3.

18 February 2015

Star Wars Rebels - Rebel Response

To read my previous reviews, look for "Star Wars Rebels" in Areas of Interest on the right hand column!

I finally know how many episodes we have left. One.

With everything we have going on in Rebels it's going to have to be a very busy one to tie it all up. I'm dreading a cliffhanger. Don't do it Disney!

My biggest takeaway from this week's serving of Star Wars is that we finally get to see the Inquisitor inquire. Though all of the Imperial agents wither under Tarkin's glare the Sith-lite is currently the most useful to him, and probably the only one anywhere near confident enough in their position to match him in conversation. Their questioning of Kanan takes a couple of interesting turns, both narratively and visually.

The increase in the stakes continues this week, and it leads to the crew of the Ghost making tough decisions. With his master's whereabouts unknown what will Ezra do? Fortunately Kanan has taught him well, even if they have both doubted themselves greatly at times this season.

Once again the episode is full of references to the original films, with several scenes and lines of dialogue directly influenced by the future stories. There are some cool designs too. I've not become bored of exclaiming 'that's just like so and so!' in this series, and long may it continue.

The seriousness is met with a measure of humour. Just enough to bring some levity to proceedings. From my experience kids can generally take on-board more mature ideas and complicated stories than we give them credit for, so it's pleasing to see the script balancing the more adult aspects against the need to sell toys and do cool stuff.

Speaking of selling toys, the designers seem to be making good use of ships from the original trilogy and the Clone Wars. The designs they add in further bridge the gap and will no doubt make for some good models. It's always good to see more interesting ideas though.

Tarkin has stated that he knows how to win a war. Will we see how far he is prepared to in the final episode? On one hand I hope he doesn't as I've come to care for Lothal and the Rebels; but it would be great if the writers had the courage to go with it.

I don't want this series to end. At least season 2 is already confirmed.

If you like what you see have a look down the right hand side for links to my other posts. You might also want to check out the Super Duper Stuff Facebook page where I share all my posts along with many other things I think are Super Duper!

17 February 2015

Stretch (2014) in 100 Words

Director - Joe Carnahan
Cast - Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms, Jessica Alba and James Badge Dale

Warning bells rung when I realised that even with a Hollywood cast Stretch was a VOD release. With a director of decent pedigree and an amusing trailer I wondered what prevented it hitting cinemas.