Category Archives: 2014

Beautifully Drawn Boy: The Thrilling, Wrenching Journey of Boy and the World

When you’re young, very young, the world is bright and bold, a riot of colour and creatures and moments tumbling one to the next. Boy and the World, a newly released animated feature from Brazilian director Alê Abreu, captures that vibrant fleeting spirit magnificently. From its opening moments, the film is a superb experiment in marrying image and soundtrack, a lovely kaleidoscopic zooming outward as a jaunty flute melody builds. We’re plunged into the world of Boy, our nameless protagonist playing in the pastoral rainbow-scape of rural Brazil. His journey from there to the big city brims with revelatory moments, dragging in its wake a stinging indictment of global capitalism.

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Courage Above All Things: Interview with Toa Fraser and The Dead Lands’ Warrior Saga

Savage and beautiful, Toa Fraser’s The Dead Lands (2014) is a gripping warrior’s tale. A tribal chief’s young son finds himself the only survivor of a massacre, and vows vengeance. But to have any hope of repaying the grim blood debt, he must enlist the help of a mad warrior, feared by all. So begins a remarkable Maori action epic, featuring the little known art of mau rakau, a Maori martial art based in part on the brutal wielding of a serrated paddle called a patu. Kind of like a nasty ping pong paddle, properly wielded it can slit your throat or bash your brains right the fuck out. I was fortunate to be able to interview director Fraser, from a safe distance. Let’s leap into the fray, after the jump.

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An Imitation of The Imitation Game


A disclaimer: I’m a proud Cumbercollective member. Let that color the review as you will.

The Imitation Game is the new biopic picture about Alan Turing: legendary mathematician, oddball and the codebreaker of WWII. If you’re wondering about whether you’ve heard about his ideas before – you have. The sequence in Blade Runner, where Deckard is trying to determine if Rachel is a replicant, is based on Turing’s writing about Artificial Intelligence. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, I don’t want to know you.  More about The Imitation Game after the jump.

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Top 5 Albums Of 2014 As Chosen By JP Fallavollita

Leonard CohenIn a year that might well be remembered for one of the worlds largest bands giving their album away for free – much to the chagrin of many music listeners, there’s was plenty of great music to get excited about.

Albums from Ryan Adams, U2, Taylor Swift, Beck, Foo Fighters and many others made the rounds on airwaves, speakers and ear buds in 2014. Still, some albums, some songs were more resilient, more beautiful, catchier and more…”top” than the others,

That’s what this list is for.

A list showcasing the Top 5 albums I heard this year, like I write every year. Here were the albums I played relentlessly. Are any of your favourites on it?

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There’s No Blocking This S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 On The Wednesday Run

SHIELDIt’s New Year’s Eve and you’re so festively hardcore, I know that the first thing you want to do today is head over to a comic book shop to buy comics.

Actually, it makes sense.

What better way to nurse the inevitable hangover or bout of lazyitis that will hit tomorrow than to sat in bed, or on a couch, with a cup of hot coffee and the first issue of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. series within arm’s reach?

That’s right! Today sees the release of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1!

Follow me after the jump, and I’ll tell you why you need to make an afternoon pit stop on your way to the evening’s festivities!

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Saturday At The Movies: Birdman (2014)

birdmanposter1If you don’t know much about Hollywood and acting, this is the movie to go see. It will give you a glimpse into what goes on when you start on any type of commercial or artistic venture.

Birdman stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts and relative unknown, Andrea Riseborough. All are excellent. All “act” in this movie. All have deep passions that are portrayed on screen. All have subtle and effecting moments. More arresting than the performances, however, is the commentary on the nature of film, theater, art and commercialism.

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Massive Finish For The Massive #30 On The Wednesday Run

Massive 30I know. I know. You’ve got other things on your mind right now than making a run to your local comic book shop. Here’s shopping, there’s cooking, there’s getting showered and ready for a dinner party tonight.

But maybe…just maybe…you’ve got a few extra minutes to pick up some comic books for yourself!

If that’s the case, I’ve got a pick for you…The Massive #30.

Follow me after the jump and I’ll tell you – really quickly ‘cos I know you have things to do – why it’s a great pick!

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Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gift Cards & Certificates

gift cardSo. You’re a procrastinator.

Oh boy.

It’s December 24th. Christmas Eve. And you still have to get your shopping done. I know, I know. You’re heads swimming right now. Maybe you’ve done some work and have jotted a list of gifts down to aid you in your shopping mall adventure today. But maybe you haven’t done that yet either.

Either way, we’ve got your back with easy, quick ideas for holiday gifts. Follow me after the jump for the 411 on the easiest of easies…the gift card!

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Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Fantasy Knives and Swords


During my lifetime, I have found that there is one gift for my fellow male gender that almost always hits the mark… weapons!  My fascination with weaponry got started when I was about 13 years old.  My father had returned from a business trip to the Philippines and had brought home a butterfly knife for both me and my younger brother.  We grew up on a ranch with strict rules about weapons so we understood that these knives were not toys, but rather symbols of our coming of age as men.  Over the years I’ve added several more knives and a few swords to my collection, my wife being the catalyst for most of those acquisitions.

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Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Comic Book Compilations Part 2

Mind MGMT Vol 1There are so many great comic book compilations available this holiday season, you’re sure to find something of interest for a friend or loved one (or yourself). The only thing you have going against you right now is time.

Still, it’s not too late to grab something and wrap it up before the holidays!

Here then, is the second installment of our great comic book compilation list. You can find the first one, published yesterday, right here. Of course, we have other comic recommendations for the holiday season here and here as well as more pricey picks here and here.

Follow me after the jump for some fantastic suggestions!

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