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Showing posts from January, 2007

New Releases 1/30 - 2/02

Sorry, but I've been busy moving to my home in New Berlin, WI, so I haven't been updating, which means no Manga Monday until next week. I should resume my normal posting patterns shortly this week. But in the meantime, here are this week's entertainment release highlights...

DVD Releases (Tues, 1/30)
The Big Valley: Season Two, Volume 1
Catch a Fire
Dallas: Season 6
Farce of the Penguins
Flyboys
I Dream of Jeannie: Season 3
Lucky Louie: Season 1
Open Season

Previous Week:
IMDb Top DVD Rental: Employee of the Month
Billboard Top DVD Sales: Crank

Music Releases (Tues, 1/30)
Celtic Woman - A New Journey
Harry Connick Jr. - Oh, My Nola
Katharine McPhee - Katharine McPhee
Madonna - The Confessions Tour
Norah Jones - Not Too Late

Previous Week:
Billboard Top 200 #1: Daughtry - Daughtry

Comic Releases (Wed, 1/31)
Astonishing X-Men (Volume 3): Torn
Beasts HC
Defenders: Indefensible TP
Doom Patrol (Volume 5): Magic Bus
Essential Ghost Rider (Volume 2)
Ion (Volume 1): The Torchbearer
Iron Man: Extremis TP
Ms.…

New Releases 1/23 - 1/26

The week's entertainment release highlights...

DVD Releases (Tues, 1/23)
Avatar: Book Two, Volume One
The Guardian
The Invincible Iron Man
Jesus Camp
Monsters and Madmen: Criterion Collection
The Puffy Chair
Sanjuro: Criterion Collection
Saw 3
Sherrybaby
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Yojimbo: Criterion Collection

Previous Week:
IMDb Top DVD Rental: Crank
Billboard Top DVD Sales: Snakes On a Plane

Music Releases (Tues, 1/23)
2007 Grammy Nominees
Gipsy Kings - Pasajero
John Mellancamp - Freedom's Road
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - 10 Days Out (Blues From the Backroads)
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away

Previous Week:
Billboard Top 200 #1: Dreamgirls O.S.T.

Comic Releases (Wed, 1/24)
Civil War: The Return
Claws: Wolverine and Black Cat HC
Drips
Lucifer (Volume 11): Evensong
Marvel Masterworks: Warlock (Volume 1)
Showcase Presents: The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups (Vol. 1)
Silent War #1 (of 6)
Tanpenshu (Volume 1)
X-Factor: Life and Death Matters HC

Theatrical Releases (Fri, 1/26)
Blood and Chocolate
Catch and Release
E…

Manga Monday 23

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Mail (Volume 1)
Housui Yamazaki
Mail is a new manga series from Dark Horse, one that sports the original Japanese cover in all its Nintendo-ish glory. It's strange how the Japanese sometimes put English on their covers to make them seem hip, when we, in turn, try to emulate the Japanese designs much of the time. But anyways, this book is packaged in an eye-catching recycled paper cover, which is why I picked this baby up in the first place. A brief flip-through and I was sold. The art by Yamazaki is really very nice, something the cover doesn't really give any indication of, though it is a great design. This title is basically a series of short stories, all that eventually involve mysterious private detective Reiji Akiba, who has a unique device to aid him in putting troubled spirits to rest, a sanctified gun named Kagutsuchi. This is a horror manga title and as such, it really does succeed in containing chilling little moments, though the overall concept is really silly and sup…

Strongarm #1

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Steve Horton & David Ahn

This is an advance review for Strongarm #1 from Image Comics, which hits comic stores in late February.

Strongarm is obviously a heavily manga-influenced title about twin brothers and the different paths they've taken in life. One brother works with a resistance movement while the other is a delivery boy who's going nowhere. This story takes place in a future where flying cars are the norm and all of the typical manga conventions are in place to make an already bland story that much more uninteresting. The book immediately opens with an action sequence where our loser brother is battling a hulking man with cybernetic arms. When the underdog gets lucky and kills his assailant, the arms begin to move and graft onto him, and unfortunately, he's unable to control the power he now wields. It seems that his position in life has now been inadvertently altered, for better or worse. If there was something, anything, to like about this issue, I could…

In Passing...Superman to newuniversal

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I'm finally caught up on my comics from the last two weeks, so I've got a bit of ground to cover today...

All-Star Superman #6
Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely

This series is, quite honestly, hit or miss for me. I do appreciate how Morrison and Quitely are able to consistently put out self-contained issues, and the art is always great, but I find some of the issues just plain bland. This issue was a cool idea, but I certainly wasn't blown away by the concept or the interaction of the characters or anything. It was just kind of there. But no matter what with Morrison's stories, there are always cool moments. In this issue, Superman and Krypto playing together with a tree was a great sequence. C

Civil War #6 (of 7)
Mark Millar & Steve McNiven

A few neat ideas are thrown into this issue of Marvel's huge crossover event as Cap's team attempts to level the playing field. Nothing particularly shocking occurs here like seems to have happened with every other issue of …

New Releases 1/16 - 1/19

The week's entertainment release highlights...

DVD Releases (Tues, 1/16)
Doctor Who: Season 2
Employee of the Month
Gridiron Gang
King of Queens: Season 7
The Protector
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Previous Week:
IMDb Top DVD Rental: Little Miss Sunshine
Billboard Top DVD Sales: Jackass: Number Two

Music Releases (Tues, 1/16)
America - Here & Now
Diana Ross - I Love You
Roxette - A Collection of Roxette Hits: Their Twenty Greatest Songs
Stacie Orrico - Beautiful Awakening

Previous Week:
Billboard Top 200 #1: Dreamgirls O.S.T.

Comic Releases (Wed, 1/17)
Batman Year One Hundred TP
Bone (Volume 5): Rock Jaw, Master of the Eastern Border Color Edition
Essential X-Factor (Volume 2)
Marvel Visionaries: John Buscema
Mike Carey's One-Sided Bargains
Storm Premiere HC
Superman: Emperor Joker TP
Testament (Volume 2): West of Eden
Tezuka's Buddha (Volume 5): Deer Park SC

Last Month:
Diamond Top 300 Comics #1: Justice League of America #4
Diamond Top 100 Graphic Novels #1: Fables (Volume 8): Wolves

Manga Monday 22

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It's Manga Monday and today I have three mini-reviews for your viewing enjoyment!

Dragon Head (Volume 5) Minetaro Mochizuki
This is the best installment of Mochizuki's Dragon Head since its debut. I was getting a tad bored with the series to be honest, so I was really delighted to see it turn that corner and really get me excited again. This is really great survivalist horror that shows the madness left in wake of a disaster of unknown origins. Although this issue does show what occurred above surface through someone's perspective, which was really neat to behold, it didn't go too far into the realm of revealing too much. It's all still very vague and open as to the cause of the world's present state, and the hows and whys of how it got that way. And this is the first time you get those two words whispered: Dragon Head. It was really chilling when those words finally appeared in the book and I'm on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what's ahead. A+

Emm…

Thunderbolts #110

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Warren Ellis & Mike Deodato Jr.

Spinning out of Marvel's huge Civil War crossover event comes the much-anticipated relaunch of the Thunderbolts. The Thunderbolts, of course, originally appeared as "yet another superhero team," but shocked readers when, by the end of the first issue, the team was revealed to be made up entirely of villains. There were a lot of C-rate villains involved, like Songbird who used to be known as The Screaming Mimi. This new team of Thunderbolts consists of more A-List villains. Kind of the supervillain version of the New Avengers, if you will. We have Venom, Bullseye, Songbird, Moonstone, Green Goblin and a few obscure names: Penance and Swordsman. An ecclectic group that's sure to play off of each other marvelously under Ellis' pen. I never really read Thunderbolts before this to be honest, so I don't know much of the history of the group, but all of that's thrown out the window here for the most part with Civil War&#…

My Favorite Music of 2006

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2006 was a pretty lackluster year in terms of music, with few big releases and little innovation. There were some little nuggets of greatness in there however. I plan to get more into music in 2007, listening to new releases as they come into the music/DVD department I work in, since I feel sort of obligated to expand my knowledge anyway. But the following are the best CDs of 2006 in my little world.

1. Sunlight Searchparty - Val Emmich
Following up his major label debut Slow Down Kid, Val Emmich returns to a small indy label for his ambitious Sunlight Searchparty, where he takes his particular philosophy on music and realizes it. Emmich believes that anything can be done with studio magic, but music should hold mistakes and feel vaguely unpolished. An interesting idea. So before he went into the studio with his band this past summer, they practiced like crazy to create something quite extraordinary. With every song done in one take, the finished product is surprisingly professional. Th…

New Releases 1/09 - 1/12

I'm back from my mini-vacation with this week's new release highlights...

DVD Releases (Tues, 1/09)
Extras: Season One
The Illusionist
The Night Listener
Spongebob Squarepants: Season Four, Volume Two

Previous Week:
IMDb Top DVD Rental: The Devil Wears Prada
Billboard Top DVD Sales: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Music Releases (Tues, 1/09)
Ty Herndon - Right About Now
Mario - Go!
Yo-Yo Ma - Appasionato

Previous Week:
Billboard Top 200 #1: Omarion - 21

Comic Releases (Wed, 1/10)
Champions Classic (Volume 2)
New Mutants Classic (Volume 2)
Showcase Presents: Justice League of America (Volume 2)
Superman/Batman vs. Aliens/Predators #1 (of 2)
Thunderbolts #110

Theatrical Releases (Fri, 1/12)
Alpha Dog
Arthur and the Invisibles
Notes on a Scandal
The Painted Veil
Pan's Labyrinth
Primeval
Stomp the Yard

Previous Week #1: Night At the Museum

New Releases 1/02 - 1/05

And here are this week's entertainment releases... Better late than never...

DVD Releases (Tuesday, 1/02)
The Covenant
Martin: Season One
Snakes On A Plane

Previous Week:
IMDb Top DVD Rental: The Devil Wears Prada
Billboard Top DVD Sales: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
My Barnes & Noble #1 Sales: Little Miss Sunshine

CD Releases (Tuesday, 1/02)
Carly Simon - Into White

Previous Week:
Billboard Top 200 #1: Nas - Hip Hop Is Dead
My Barnes & Noble #1: Josh Groban - Awake

Comic Releases (Wednesday, 1/03, Some locations: Thursday 1/04)
The Comics Journal #280
Death Note (Volume 9)
Jack Staff (Volume 3): Echoes of Tomorrow
La Corda D'Oro (Volume 2)
Manhunter (Volume 2): Trial By Fire
Ultimate X-Men (Volume 15): Magical

Theatrical Releases (Friday, 1/05)
Children of Men
Code Name: The Cleaner
Freedom Writers
Happily N'Ever After
Perfume - The Story of a Murderer

Previous Week #1: Night At the Museum

That's it until next week. I'm going out of town this weekend, visiting family …

Manga Monday 21

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Fruits Basket (Volume 1)
Natsuki Takaya

The insanely popular Fruits Basket is a really cute shoujo manga. It's about an orphaned girl who moves into a house with a few boys who happen to be possessed by spirits of the zodiac. And every time someone of the opposite sex hugs them, they turn into their cute zodiac animals. Thus hilarity ensues. I'm not a huge fan of Takaya's art on the series, but it gets the job done and when she does "cute," she does "cute" well. Not hard to see why girls love the book. If anything, Takaya's a really good storyteller. I was really impressed with how she was able to introduce her audience to such mysterious characters and slowly peel back the layers to show us their true natures. A-
The Drifting Classroom (Volume 3)
Kazuo Umezu
Screaming, stabbings, misunderstandings that go way way too far...The Drifting Classroom's got it all in complete over-the-top fashion. The horror title from Kazuo Umezu isn't as horrifying …

Up Ahead

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It's a brand new year and there's plenty coming up to be excited about in the world of comics...

* Joss Whedon's Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (Season Eight in comic form) .
* Joss Whedon taking over Runaways .
* Translation of Osama Tezuka's Apollo's Song from Vertical . * Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's concluding arc of Astonishing X-Men . * The Luna Brothers' conclusion of Girls . * The second volume of James Kochalka's American Elf . * The CompleteLittle Orphan Annie . * Athena Voltaire: The Legend of Mu-King, a new mini-series featuring the webcomic adventuress . * Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's new Spider-Woman series . * Bendis' new Avengers books . Plus more of what I'm reading right now is a good thing!