Category Archives: 2016
And teenage sleuths!
But these aren’t the teenage sleuths you thought you knew.
No, we all remember reading the investigative exploits of amateur detectives Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys during our formative, pre-pubescent years. If you’re at all into the mystery and noir genre today, these three characters probably play a significant role in the development of that interest. You know, along with Scooby Doo.
But Nancy Drew and bothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, were never ones for light and rollicking comedy. Their adventures often took them into the worlds of dark, shadowy and dastardly villains, and often around the world to far-flung locales.
Today sees their return with the release of Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1, a new series featuring these beloved, time-honoured characters, in a take that’s completely twenty-first century… but still totally noir!
The Canadian Western has to be the smallest of film genres. Philip Borsos’ The Grey Fox (1982) pretty much begins and ends the genre. It’s small because Canadians don’t really think we had a western frontier, in the same way America did. That’s not entirely true, but misses a larger point, that really almost all of Canada is frontier. Still. And most of that frontier isn’t west. It’s north. Inuk director Zacharias Kunuk corrects that oversight with an arctic reimagining of John Ford’s classic western The Searchers (1956). Spare and evocative, Kunuk’s Maliglutit brings the Western to the snowbound north with arresting results.
This is in no way a definitive best of list, since I didn’t see nearly as many films as so many others did in 2016. Instead, I’m running down (in no specific order) the five films that made an impact on me as I watched them. The ones that left me thinking about them when the final credits rolled. I have no doubt many will disagree with at least one of the films on my list…so let’s kick off with it, shall we?
1) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice The Ultimate Cut – the haters gonna hate hate hate, and there was certainly so much to take issue with when Zack Snyder’s finished cut of the first big screen meeting between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel was released back in March. An incoherent script was the biggest problem, though many had issues with the dark tone of the film as well. While the lalter was a decision that will forever be up for debate, the former is corrected ten-fold with the Ultimate Cut, a three hour version of Batman v Superman that fleshes out character motivations, introduced new characters and gives Henry Cavill so much more to do. Snyder delivers epic filmmaking with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s my superhero film of the year.
2) Captain America: Civil War – the Russo Brothers directed this third Captain America film that is in so many ways vastly superior to last year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. They manage multiple characters and gleefully introduces Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (not to mention Chadwick Bosman’s Black Panther). While the ending feels somewhat anticlimactic to me, this is still dramatic filmmaking that manages to tell a contained story while still pushing the MCU to its next big event (in this case, the upcoming Infinity War film).
3) La La Land – you can read my review from last week over here, but I don’t mind repeating myself by telling you what a beautiful film this is. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are brilliant as young lovers in this outstanding musical that feels contemporary while still pulling on nostalgic heartstrings as well. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen.
4) Hell or High Water – I walked out of this film last summer knowing I’d seen one of my favourites of the year. Chris Pine and Ben Foster are outstanding as brothers determined to pull off a heist and screw over the banks that that had played hard and fast with the 99%. Jeff Bridges is the small town cop who is chasing after them. What I thought going in was a Western wound up being a crime film set in the West, and that’s a very different thing. Here’s hoping Hell or High Water and its leads aren’t forgotten at Oscar time.
5) Blood Father – amazingly, I watched this Mel Gibson film on December 30th, allowing it to make my list just in time. In Blood Father, Gibson plays an ex-con on parole who is forced back to his old ways when his missing daughter calls for help. Gibson is fantastic in the role, a reminder of what a chameleon-like actor he is. This is a sensible crime film filled with believable characters and some heavy scenes of violence. It’s by far my favourite action movie of 2016.
You just got into town.
You’ve been procrastinating.
You completely forgot. (Really?)
You just don’t know what to get.
Look, It’s December 24th. It’s finally here: Christmas gift giving.
And. You. Are. Out. Of. Time.
But fear not! It’s not quite DEFCON 1 – just yet! Biff Bam Pop! has got you covered on all of your last-second gift-giving needs!
For right now, you need to give the gift of Gift Cards!
You can find the first part of our trilogy of lists here, which showcases a number of more affordable trade paperback collections.
Last week, the second installment focused on hardcover collections, although slightly more expensive. You can find that list right here.
Today, we’re getting into the crème-de-la-crème of comic book collections. Save these for someone you really care for…or for even someone like yourself! Who wouldn’t want these tomes wrapped up?
With only a few days to go before Christmas, and without further ado, here is the final installment of our list of comic book collections for the 201 6holiday season!
Sure, Marvel had been knocking it out of the park, both critically and monetarily, with their series of interconnected film franchises. I mean… Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Avengers… how could you second-guess the brain trust that was making those kinds of studio decisions?
But Guardians of the Galaxy?
A gun-toting raccoon and a giant walking, somewhat talking, tree? In space?
Admittedly, I thought it would be a hot mess, singlehandedly signaling the demise of the superhero film franchise.
Boy, was I wrong.
Boy, was that an awesome film.
Boy, I can’t wait for the sequel next year!
To tide us over until then, today, Marvel Comics launches two new monthly series’ starring the coolest characters from the Guardians franchise: Gamora #1 and Star-Lord #1.
It’s the best kind of comic book reading, believe me.
Now, you might be getting comics given to you as gifts. (Maybe there’s one or two from this list or this list.) But you might still want to pick up something to read that signifies the season. Something featuring the greatest superheroes and villains the world has ever known.
Lucky for you, both DC Comics and Marvel Comics are publishing their own holiday specials today… you might want to consider getting in on the zany, wintry, heroic fun!
Follow me after the jump for the low down on the DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 and the Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix-Up #1!
Last week, we highlighted a number of trade paperback comic book collections, perfect gifts for friends and loved ones (or yourself) this holiday season.
If you haven’t already, you can check out that particular list right here.
But maybe you want to kick it up a notch this month.
Maybe you’ve got a special someone that really only likes hardcover books on the bookshelf. Or maybe you’re looking to find something that carries a slightly higher budget than softcover collections.
No worries. This week, we’ve got your back.
Here’s the second installment of our Holiday Gift Guide: Comic Book Collections!
You may not know much about the writer, or the artist, or their oeuvre of work, but the write up for the release ticks off all of the boxes that make you itch.
Ah! Comic books! Is there nothing you can’t do?
Today sees the release of not just any comic book – but the original graphic novel called One Week In The Library!
(More in-depth information can be found after the jump!)
Merry Christmas! Look, if you’re one of the high class tastemakers that visits BBP regularly, you’ve likely got friends and family who are fans of the single greatest musical to hit the stage since Webber decided to put dancers in cat suits. And by that, I mean Hamilton: an American Musical.
But once they’ve stepped across the threshold of artistic genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical about the founding father without a father, what the heck are you going to get them?
Hold onto your tricorn, friends, because after the jump, we delve into the perfect gift list for the Hamilhead in your life.