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Category Archives: 2015

Lost Generations: The Films of Wim Wenders

German director Wim Wenders captures the miasma of a lost generation in Kings of the Road

Quick. Name Kurt Cobain’s favourite movie. Fight Club? BZZT! He was long gone by the time Fincher’s slacker opus came out. QuadropheniaThe Elephant Man? No doubt they’d have been right up his alley. But actually, Cobain’s on record that his favourite film is a little art-house flick called Paris, Texas, from the German director Wim Wenders. An intriguing film about an amnesiac Harry Dean Stanton slowly reconnecting with his family, Biff Bam Pop’s Daniel Reed will be looking at that one in an upcoming piece, and Andy Burns will be writing about Wenders’s sci-fi opus Until the End of the World. We’re taking a good look at the acclaimed German director, as TIFF mounts its retrospective On the Road: The Films of Wenders.

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A few of Andy Burns’ favourite things in 2015

So long, 2015!

It was a good year for pop culture lovers like you and I, and to see it out, I thought I’d share a list of a few of my favourite things. Keep in mind – this isn’t a ‘best of”. What I consider ‘the best’ is likely different than what you do. This is my faves, pure and simple. Feel free to chime in with yours in the comments!

Favourite Album – AC/DC, Rock or Bust: To be fair, I wouldn’t have anticipated putting an AC/DC album at the top of any list, but this is far and away my favourite album of 2015. I listen to it weekly. It’s short (less than 35 minutes) and full of killer riff after killer riff. All killer, no filler, as they say. Had Rock or Bust followed the 1980 release of Back in Black, I think it would have been hailed another masterpiece of cock n balls rock n roll. Which it actually is,

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Review: DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE (Part 2)

DKTMR 2 coverWith all the action surrounding the holiday season, you can forgive me for not actually reading last week’s release of Dark Knight III: The Master Race #2 until last night. Yes, I was anxious to read it. I loved the first issue – our review of which you can find here. I just wasn’t able to get to it sooner. Chalk it up to life’s obligations.

Which is a fitting obligation, I suppose, as that is also Batman’s pre-eminent responsibility: fighting crime. Until his bitter end.

Which, we’re told in last month’s issue, already happened.

Bruce Wayne is dead. Carrie Kelly is now wearing the cowl and cape. Superman and Wonder Woman have a super-powered (and willful) teenage daughter. And there’s a rising threat.

Follow me after the jump for a brief review of Dark Knight III: The Master Race #2 and to discover some answer to last month’s oft-asked questions!

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Image Giant-Sized Artist’s Proof Edition: Wytches #1 On The Wednesday Run

Giant sized wytches 1It’s the eve before New Year’s Eve, and we’ve got one, final Wednesday Run to go on before the turn of the calendar.

Now, I know there’s lots to do today: some of you are working, most of you are still cleaning out the refrigerator of left over foods, and some of you are in the midst of making plans for tomorrow night.

But there’s always time to head over to your local comic book shop and take a gander at new comic books on the shelves.

Today, take a look at the Image Giant-Sized Artist’s Proof Edition: Wytches #1.

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Stop Motion Animation Retrospective: Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Fantastic Planet

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The TIFF Bell Lightbox’s stop motion animation retrospective continues this extended holiday weekend with several more impressive titles. Of particular note are screenings of the two 1970s European classics, Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Fantastic Planet (La Planète Sauvage).

Both films pose numerous questions about existence in two completely different tones. Life of Brian, as with all of Monty Python’s greatest works, looks at the world satirically. It is laugh-out-loud hilarious in its absurdities – an elite comedy in which the actors deliver jokes with tremendous control. The jokes are structured so well that they feel as if they appear out of nowhere. All of a sudden, each line becomes funnier than the next. The characters fidget oddly, contort their faces, hold their gazes for a split second too long, and speak with bizarre cadences tones or impediments. Then, at the utmost perfect time, the punch line is dropped and a laughing fit ensues. The Python guys are so good at telling jokes that the plot line is almost unnecessary to the film’s enjoyment. Life of Brian becomes a competition of witty jokester one-ups-man-ship from the opening credits all the way to the closing song.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Gift Cards & Certificates

Gift certificateSo. I know that there is more than one of you out there in this very predicament:

It’s the eve of the holiday season and you’re out of gift ideas and, more importantly, you’re out of time. Not so, my friend. Not so. There are still plenty of items that you can easily pick up before you head out to your Mom and Dad’s, your in-laws, or your cousin’s best friend’s roommate’s house later this evening or tomorrow for the annual holiday festivities.

The items in the list to follow won’t make you look like you just slapped something together in haste or re-gifted auntie’s old gloves given to you with much love last year.

It’s not too late. You are not alone. Take a deep breath. Get your bearings. And follow me after the jump for some great (and quick) gift ideas!

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Comic Book Collections Part 3

We’ve been through these comic book collection lists twice already this month, but there’s more. Oh, how there’s so much more!

You can read through Part 1, which mentioned a host of great, affordable comic books for the loved ones in your life. Part 2 continued to showcase great works of sequential art – but these were ones that were slightly more expensive.

This 3rd and final installment mentions the monetary apex of some of the greatest comic book works that were released throughout the year. Yes, they’re expensive. But yes, a loved one should have them in their collection. (Also, self-love is not at all shunned here!)

I know! Times a-tickin’ and the shopping window is a-closin’’! Let’s get to it right after the jump!

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Throwback To BATMAN ’66 MEETS THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E #1 On The Wednesday Run

Batman 66 and UNCLE 1 coverIt’s the final Wednesday before Christmas and the rest of the holiday season hits, and that means one final run to your local comic book store to pick up new (and/or old) comics to read over the upcoming vacation days. And DC Comics has put a nice throwback treat in our stockings this year!

Who here remembers the 1960’s?

I don’t. But I certainly remember two of the most popular television shows that the 1960’s spawned: Batman (starring Adam West and Burt Ward) and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.! Today, you can finally get them together in a world-spanning crossover series the likes of which has never been seen before!

Follow me after the jump for all of the action, mystery and mayhem that is Batman ’66 Meets the Man From U.N.C.L.E. #1!

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Bloodborne

Playing Bloodborne is like smashing your head against a wall, a very gory, slimy wall, again and again and again and again. It’s hard. You cry out like a Canadian curler on the ice screaming to the heavens, “HARRRRRRRRRRD.” Fighting a Bloodborne boss is your own private Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise learning by dying over and over, you as Tom in a blood-slicked waistcoat, axe in hand, repeatedly crushed and beaten and mauled. But sooner or later, mostly later, the patterns click, strategies emerge, and at last you vanquish the horrific beast before you, gouts of blood splaying through the air. When it happens, the feeling is pure ELATION. The sheer dopamine rush of joy when you pound that fucker out of existence is immense, a wave of happiness bigger than Kanye’s ego suffusing your entire being. And then it’s onto the next and the gruelling hunt begins anew. Exclusive to the PS4, Bloodborne is one of the best games of the year. But for the horror-loving gamer on your Christmas list, is it all masochism?

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Hip-Hop Reissues

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While most of today’s commercial music is being sold in digital formats, hard copy music hasn’t totally died. We’re seeing many of the great albums of yesteryear getting deluxe re-issues across all genres and platforms. Vinyl especially is seeing a steady rise in popularity among the younger, millennial generations. Now, trendy multi-national boutiques like Urban Outfitters are dedicating whole sections of their stores to the sale of pressed wax.

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