Posts

Showing posts from April, 2007

Music Review: The Story

Image
Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile's lastest CD release The Story was recorded almost completely live and boasts collaborations from the likes of The Indigo Girls. This was my first CD from the guitarist/songwriter. It's an in-store play at my Barnes & Noble and I liked what I heard, so I had to buy it. Brandi reminds me quite a bit of the sort of rock music you would hear coming from Melissa Etheridge, although it has a country edge to it that's more apparent in some songs than others, when it leans more toward a Bonnie Raitt sound. One thing is certain about Carlile in the end: she has a damn strong voice. Even when she sings softly, you can almost feel the power behind it. Unfortunately, there were too many of those ballads. I wish she'd showcased that voice a bit more than wasting it on so many slow numbers. She has such command over her art, and such confidence that I believe her to easily be one of the best vocalists working presently, but aside from a handful of g…

New Links

Check out the new sidebar links if you get the chance. One you may know, as Sean Collins used to blog on comics before getting a job at Wizard. His AttentionDeficitDisorderly Too Flat is now primarily a horror film blog. Critical Mass is a new blog from my articulate roommate Jordan that focuses on film and music reviews.

Manga Monday 31: Fushigi Yugi

Image
The Mysterious Play (Volume 1): Priestess
Yu Watase
This manga has been on my periphery for awhile now. With my manga pile receding, I took the opportunity to peruse the bookshelves at work and with a recent reminder of this title from Patrick, I picked this up on impulse. I follow Watase's Absolute Boyfriend in Shojo Beat monthly, and while I enjoy it, it's not quite at the level where I feel compelled to buy the volumes, let alone seek out other works from the creator. But comparatively, I like Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play much better. Absolute Boyfriend kind of hits the same note over and over and never really does anything all that interesting, and I also sometimes get confused with the characters, particularly the boys, who all seem to look the same with similar hairstyles. I don't have this problem with many manga, but Absolute Boyfriend is really a problem, especially when a third boy joins the storyline or the "other" love interest takes off his glasse…

Idiot's Quote of the Day (& It's not by GWB!)

"This week's historic massacre puts mindless mayhem movies like Hot Fuzz in perspective..."

- Scott Holleran (Box Office Mojo)

Samurai: Heaven and Earth

Image
Ron Marz & Luke Ross

Ron Marz, the former Crossgen creator, writes a samurai epic that's easily superior to his attempt at a samurai story on Crossgen's bland The Path. Collaborating with him on the Dark Horse five issue mini-series is Luke Ross, whose art reminds me quite a bit of Greg Land, without looking as stiff and photo-referenced, but much more natural; Very realistic and really just beautiful with scenes of cherry blossom trees and palaces. And credit has to be given to Jason Keith, whose work on the colors served to bring everything together in a great package. The battle scenes in this collection are pretty fantastic, and even though the protagonist and love interest are the boring iconic characters with little personality you'd expect them to be, there are some supporting characters that make the adventures of our hero worth it as he attempts to reunite with the one he loves. The Three Musketeers in particular are playful, fun characters with witty dialog…

Manga Monday 30

Image
Welcome to Manga Monday! This week, reviews of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Dragon Head!

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Volume 2)
Eiji Otsuka & Housui Yamazaki

The second installment of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service continues to follow a group of five (or perhaps six) individuals who collectively work to grant restless spirits their last wishes through their respective gifts, taking on these spirits as clients who are often able to pay through some means to make their interest worthwhile. This volume of the book is a little different than that of the first, with a story covering the entire book instead of working through self-contained chapters. As it is a single story, the focus falls on certain characters, while others are absent through nearly the entire story. But even if a favorite isn't highlighted this time around, this is an incredibly compelling story that really delves into the motivation of Ao Sasaki, the "leader" of the group if there is one. Y…

Inverloch (Volume 2)

Image
Sarah Ellerton

The second volume of Ellerton's Inverloch follows the young beast-like Da'kor, Acheron, as his quest for the long lost elf Kayn'dar is in full-swing. While this volume contains more action than the first, it's still mostly dialogue, as Acheron journeys south, following clues, and gaining traveling companions that seem to clash, but make for interesting dialogue nonetheless as the politics of the world slowly unfold through their various outlooks. Among Acheron's new friends are Lei-ella the mysterious Elven thief-catcher, Varden the thief, and Neirenn the mage, incorporating several key roles of a typical fantasy, but thus far, surpassing most in quality with its amazing art and really intriguing plot. This is a fine all-ages fantasy with an epic feel that's sure to appeal to fans of Bone, and is in the upper crust of genre comics being published presently, in a beautiful presentation from Seven Seas. A

Grindhouse

Image
One of my most highly anticipated films of the year has opened in all of its glory to a shabby fourth place at the box office, but on the bright side, it's one of the best reviewed movies of the year according to Rotten Tomato's counts, it seems to have longevity since it opened over a family weekend of Spring Break and the buzz is positive, and it's likely to make back its production budget, especially with talk of opening the movies separately overseas, and rereleasing them separately in the US as well to make up for some of its losses. Selling it off of the concept of the "Grindhouse" was foreign to a lot of people - that and using the directors' names to fan the fires was probably a mistake. This is America after all: Are We Done Yet was obviously a shoe-in for the top three, especially given its low rating of less than 10% critical approval and atrocious trailers. But enough of the disappointing financials; In the end what matters is the art - and Grindh…

Manga Monday 29

Image
Welcome to Manga Monday! This week, reviews of Alien Nine and Drifting Classroom!

Alien Nine (Volumes 2 & 3)
Hitoshi Tomizawa

The final two volumes of Alien Ninepick up where the first volume left off and continues to tell the story of a world being invaded by aliens, friendly and otherwise. It is a wacky manga that follows three girls who wear aliens as helmets to help them track down hostile entities at their school, and continues in the direction the last book took, into that of a darker tone that all but consumed these last two volumes. All three of the girls are changed by their roles, whether they're possessed by an alien who makes them act differently, or their body is mutated to reflect the bond with the creatures, the permanent changes the girls undergo all but wipe the "cuteness" from the book and leave things unsettling and kind of depressing. It's a great metaphor for the changes of adolescence and growing up, but the energy of the series overall was los…

Omega Flight #1 (of 5)

Image
Michael Avon Oeming & Scott Kolins

The new mini-series spun out of Civil War begins with a gathering of heroes. In New Avengers, in wake of House of M, Alpha Flight was slaughtered by a cosmic being. Now a new group of heroes must protect Canada. Omega Flight both makes fun of its several past incarnations and holds up the original team to a legendary status. The gathering of the next generation of Canadian heroes is a direct result of Civil War, and Canadian officials aren't happy with the US, watching its mess spill over their borders. They are forced to act quickly in coming up with a solution to control the superpowered criminals who are invading their country to escape registration and the government cells put into play to track down superheroes and villains alike. Indeed, some of the new members of Omega Flight are themselves superhumans who were once regarded as heroes, who have escaped registration to begin anew in Canada. Among these ranks are USAgent and Julie C…

TMNT

Image
You should see this movie. It's the best thing to come out of the franchise thus far.