The summer movie season is in full swing and our next entry is Baz Lurman’s The Great Gatsby. This is a supposedly unfilmable novella. Other productions have been somewhat cursed. Even the Robert Redford version fell flat. In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Baz stated box office sales were of no concern. The truly artistic director saw this as a challenge to his creative yen and that was satisfied just by making the movie. This attitude prepares you a bit for what you will see on the screen. The love and reverence for which Baz holds Fitzgerald’s actual words is obvious. Not only do they literally float across the screen in some places, we see Nick Carraway’s narration literally rips quotes from the book.
I did not have high hopes for this Michael Bay film. I don’t have high hopes for any Michael Bay film. He’s a fine tent pole, summer blockbuster director but the previews of this movie suggested this was something with a little more finesse – not a lot but a little. Boy, were my socks blow off!
I went into the theater with low expectations for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. After my disappointing romp with James Franco, I needed something lighter to cleanse the palette. I love Steve Carell and he’s been called the nicest man in Hollywood, so I thought I would give him a chance with this Burt Wonderstone movie. It has Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin, as well as Olivia Wilde as the love interest and Jim Carrey as an insane magician. How bad could it be?
It turned out to be a lovely, little, knee slapper with some definite laugh-out-loud moments and a hint of black humor that kept it from tipping over into corny territory.
Check out the trailer and then read my review after the jump!
The Adventures of Aero-Girl is a find on Kickstarter. They have only 9 days left and they are almost to their goal!
With art and quotes like these – how can you go wrong?
“THE ADVENTURES OF AERO-GIRL is a wish come true for comics fans tired of the gloomy, self-important sturm und drang clogging the comic shop shelves. Just read a few pages and the jaded skin built up by years of event crossovers will melt away before you know it.” – Phil Hester, FIREBREATHER, GREEN ARROW, THE WRETCH
“I’ve been really impressed by what I’ve seen so far of AERO-GIRL, and can’t wait to see more!” – Chris Roberson, iZOMBIE, EDISON REX, MASKS
“As a book that can be enjoyed by readers of any age, THE ADVENTURES OF AERO-GIRL is the type of comic that the industry needs now more than ever.” – Dirk Manning, WRITE OR WRONG: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CREATING COMICS
DeWayne Feenstra and his unlikely band of creators are debuting a great little project called Aero-Girl. This golden age miniseries follows a spunky teen girl protagonist, Jacqueline. We get some deep emotion here when we see how she deals with the death of her superhero father.
The character design and color palate are fresh and inviting – essential to an all ages book. This project is attempting to open the world of comic story telling to a new generation and, boy, do we need it. The New 52 numbers are starting to slide back into the downward trend the industry has experienced for years and this reporter is fully convinced that it’s projects like these – on Kickstarter – that will be the lifeblood of the industry to come. They are almost to their goal on this project so show some love and get someone new into comics with this great starter miniseries. You can see more finished pages on their Kickstarter page.
Here’s what DeWayne has to say about his project:
Emily McGuiness: There can never be enough all-ages material out there to draw new readers to comics. What do you hope kids will take away from your Aero-Girl story?
DeWayne Feenstra: I find that teens are stronger than we give them credit for and in these miniseries we will see Jacqueline go from the bottom of her despair and guilt to being more confident than she ever was before. I work in at high schools and I’m always amazed by the reactions of the students to things. There will be times they lose their minds over something I find inconsequential and a moment later they handle something that I as a 33 year-old cannot process. I want the kids (and adults) to see that no matter how hard life is and how unfair things can feel that they will get thru it and being stronger for it.
Another aspect of Jacqueline’s journey is dealing with the unexpected things that life throws at us. Jacqueline has been trying every day under the assumption that one day she would be getting these awesome powers and be a bonafide “super” hero, and in an instant it is all lost to her. Everyone has at one moment, or the other had a picture of how we thought are lives would go. More times than not those pictures have had to change as time went on. For Jacqueline, this happens in a flash. She has to take a good long look at herself and decide if the old Sider-Man adage of “With great power comes great responsibility” is true or will she find that in the great responsibility that befalls her, she will find her greatest strength.
Emily McGuiness: You want to make Aero-Girl an ongoing collection of miniseries – with the goal to release two 4 issue miniseries a year. This tells us what your overall goal is, but what are your pledges going to in the mean time? Artists? Merchandise? World domination plan?
DeWayne Feenstra: 80% of the Kickstarter goal is going to production of the book. This will cover all 22 colored pages, the cover and the cost of lettering the book in both languages. The rest will be going to cover Amazon & Kickstarter fees, the purchase of the backer rewards and their shipping costs. If my estimates on anything is off, I’ll be covering that out of my own pocket. Anything we make past our goal is going to the production of the next issue.
Emily McGuiness: What draws you to the Golden-Age-type story telling? Why that era?
DeWayne Feenstra: I’m a fan of fun comics. Do not get me wrong, I dig a lot of what’s going in the big 2 right now, but it a lot of what is on the shelf is not something kids can get into. I know a big mantra we comic fans have is “Comics are not just for kids!” because we want our medium to be respected, but I feel that we forget that comics should not be not for kids either. There is a huge generation gap forming in comic fandom, and I think putting out quality “fun” books that parents can share with their kids. Golden Age books are fun books, and they were the birth of the kid sidekick. There was a period where it seemed that every hero had a plucky kid fighting beside them. These kids were ciphers for young readers to attach to and imagine themselves in colored outfits fighting along side their favorite heroes. I want my book to have that sense of wonderment those old issues of Batman and Captain America have and to have kids put themselves in Jacqueline’s shoes.
Emily McGuiness: Can you reveal you plans for the cameo and speaking role rewards? How will these characters figure into Aero-Girl’s adventures?
DeWayne Feenstra: The walk-on roles are pretty flexible. There are scenes where Aero-Girl and Battle Jack are interacting with citizens, and it would be easy to put in backer in those spots. These spots would work with either adults or children, so if you want to surprise your child and put them in a book, this is the perfect opportunity! The bigger role (which has already been snatched up) is the role of Jacqueline’s gymnastics coach. Gymnastics is a big part of her life, and the coach makes an appearance in both issues 1 and 3. Beyond this first book, the coach will be making appearances in future stories, sort of like a reoccurring guest star on a TV show.
DeWayne and his teams puts on a great show here. Stop on by The Adventures Aero-Girl project. With art and story like this, you won’t regret it!
Taking on the daunting task of living up to an immortalized legend of a film is no easy task. However, Disney is the one to do it if every there was a studio that could. They took on The Wizard of Oz with the same flair they approached the very successful Pirates of the Caribean movies. The result? OZ: The Great and Powerful – a gluttony of visuals and effects that quickly turns into a stomach ache only a quarter of the way through the movie. There’s not much of a plot to speak of, but I will summarize after the jump. And be warned – there will be spoilers!
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It’s not often you get to reach back in time and touch a part of your childhood. But that’s exactly what Tim Seeley, Steve Seeley, and Michael Moreci want you to rediscover with Mini Comics Included!
Remember when your action figures came with cool comics inside? No? Don’t worry. You can show the next generation how it used to be and get your pulp comic fix!
We asked Michael Moreci, of Hoax Hunters fame, to do a miniterview and tell us what we want to know!
Emily McGuiness: It seems like your project is as much about nostalgia as cool comics. What were your childhood inspirations/stories that fueled this project?
Michael Moreci: I have so many inspirations when it comes to this project. He-Man, to no one’s surprise, is a big one. Also, of course, (Jack) Kirby. The Omega Family is equal parts weird 80s cartoons (like Thundaar) and Kirby Fantastic Four. I can go on and on about Kirby (who can’t?) but what always sticks with me is his incredible blend of imagination and heart. It’s a wonderful–and rare–combination. Kirby always preserved the impact of his stories with families, relationships, and everything that goes with it. No matter what craziness was going on in his worlds, there was always the fundamental dynamics of people, brothers in combat, fathers and sons, you name it. That’s a big part, to me, why people go back to Kirby again and again. The man had a terrific humanity.
That’s really important to me as well, as a storyteller. The human aspect is critical–I can’t stand reading stories that leave me cold.
Getting back on track, the central point of Mini Comics Included is fun, plain and simple. We’re having fun, these are stories we love, and we want readers to have fun as well.
Identity Thief – the new comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman. The previews put this one over the top, showing off McCarthy and her delightful banter. But once again, clever trailer editing has shown us all of the best parts of this far-fetched comedy and left the rest of the movie as filler.
Check out the trailer and then read my review after the jump!