Latest Entries »

grand_tour    Mars Tour NASA

Our all-time favorite retro poster art can be found in the classic Art Deco Works Progress Administration posters issued in the 1930s-1940s and discussed previously at borg.com here and here.  NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has just released fourteen posters that look to the designs of the past to create a vision of our future that might inspire young scientists to make that future happen.  As said by to NASA:

Imagination is our window into the future.  At NASA/JPL we strive to be bold in advancing the edge of possibility so that someday, with the help of new generations of innovators and explorers, these visions of the future can become a reality.  As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.

NASA travelogue poster set

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory commissioned Seattle design firm Invisible Creature for a 2016 “Visions Of The Future” calendar that will be given to NASA staff, scientists, engineers, and government officials.  In conjunction with this release JPL released beautiful, high quality digital copies of each month’s artwork for free download, for anyone to use as wallpaper or to print as full-sized posters.

View full article »

Spectre Blu-ray

Review by C.J. Bunce

For every new Bond actor there is a handful of films that are forgettable. SPECTRE is not one of those Bond movies.  In fact SPECTRE is on the heels of being as good a James Bond formula piece as Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale.  After re-watching it on Blu-ray, now available this week, it may just be better.

So why is SPECTRE a cut above the rest?

It has the most elaborate, exciting, and best choreographed action scene opener of any Bond film.  Ever.  We begin with Bond and his attractive companion Estrella, played by Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman, at the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City.  A single-take shot parade walk.  Bond is in pursuit of an assassin, for a reason yet to be disclosed to the viewer.  Bond in a skeleton suit is still unmistakably Daniel Craig’s Bond.  We get an inadvertently blown-up building.  A foot chase through a parade culminating in a hand to hand fight in a helicopter over the crowded festival.  Want exciting?  This scene has it all.

James Bond Day of the Dead

Gone is the tired, old, worn-out Bond emphasized in the plot of Skyfall.  Gone is the disheartened Bond of Quantum of Solace.  This is Bond as he is supposed to be–confident, cocky, and calm, solving a puzzle and seeking some revenge for all that has happened to him, and revealed to us since Casino Royale.  And physically Craig could still out-match all prior Bond actors at any age.

SPECTRE’s main “Bond Girl” is a well-developed character this time around.  French actress Léa Seydoux’s Dr. Swann is compelling and interesting, closer to Eva Green’s engaging Vesper Lynd than any Bond film actress since.  But equally appealing is Italian actress Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra, a character widowed by Bond, who Bond actually rescues in an almost uncharacteristic act.  Did Bond make sure she was safe because he failed to do so in a similar encounter in Casino Royale with Caterina Murino’s Solange?

View full article »

Thompson 1 What the Cat Dragged In

One of the best world-building series and some of our favorite comic book characters are making a brief return to Dark Horse Comics this May.  Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s fantastic Beasts of Burden will make an appearance at your local comic book store in the one-shot story Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In.

When curiosity gets the best of Burden Hill’s cats (and one reluctant raccoon), sleeping demons are awakened and black magic is unleashed on the town of Burden Hill.

This is the same series that garnered Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Publication for Teens.  Dorkin and Thompson first introduced their animal sleuths in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings and made regular appearances throughout the “Dark Horse Book of” series, earning them Eisners for Best Short Story and Best Painter.  In 2009 the beasts of Burden Hill received their own miniseries, Animal Rites, and in 2010, they met up with Hellboy.  And Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers won the Best Single Issue Eisner in 2015.  Sarah Dyer joins the creative team for this latest story.

What the Cat Dragged In

We here at borg.com will brag up the Beasts of Burden series whenever we can.  It’s simply among the best writing and artwork that comic books have to offer.  Do yourself a favor and check out what we had to say here about the past stories in the series.

View full article »

Old Man Logan 2016 1

Now in its second issue, Old Man Logan, Marvel’s newest X-Men monthly, tells a familiar story told previously by Mark Millar and Brian Bendis.  But it’s a visually compelling jump-on point to a future world story of one of the Marvel universe’s most popular superheroes.  Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Wolverine: Old Man Logan first told the story of a disturbing dystopian Marvel future where the villains have won and Wolverine must take on the gang that is the last legacy of Bruce Banner’s Hulk.

Last year’s Secret Wars, written by Brian Bendis, re-introduced Logan aka Wolverine as an old man 50 years in the future.  On the heels of the success of the now Academy Award-nominated, big screen return of the similar post-apocalypse Mad Max: Fury Road, there’s little doubt the story will be appealing to modern readers.  Fans of Hugh Jackman’s take on Logan will also hear the same voice in this grizzeled and even more put-upon version of the character.

Old Man Logan 2 cover art 2016

In Old Man Logan Issues #1 and #2, we learn Logan’s past is the same past we’ve seen before–overrun by villains and a world without Wolverine to protect it, Logan is a farmer with a wife and kids, whose life is destroyed when the Hulk Gang kills his family.  But the twist is Logan finds himself back in future’s past, able to change the timeline and destroy all of those who one day will ruin his life.  This Logan is an Old West wanderer and drifter, an update to Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name and Unforgiven.

View full article »

Relativity

CBS is creating a new pay streaming service like Amazon Prime and Netflix in 2017, called CBS All Access, which will launch with a new Star Trek series to draw in monthly subscribers.  Although the details of the new series have not yet been disclosed, this week CBS announced it selected Hannibal series creator Bryan Fuller as the showrunner and co-creator alongside executive producer Alex Kurtzman, known well for the Star Trek reboot movies.

Fans of Star Trek new and old should be happy–Kurtzman’s eye should keep the Final Frontier fresh and new, and Fuller brings his own Star Trek street cred into the mix.  Not only did he work on some impressive series including Dead Like Me and the awesome but short-lived Wonderfalls among other series, he wrote two stories for Deep Space Nine and twenty for Star Trek Voyager, the series probably most loyal to Gene Roddenberry’s original vision of the future.  The Deep Space Nine episodes aren’t the most remarkable (“Empok Nor” and “The Darkness and the Light”), but his work on Star Trek Voyager shows a breadth of ideas and ability to navigate interesting corners of the Star Trek universe.  Fuller wrote the teleplays for some of the most fun, and memorable, episodes of the series.

Barge of the Dead Sto-vo-kor

Just take a look at the landmark time travel episode “Relativity,” possibly the best episode featuring Seven of Nine.  Temporal incursions, temporal psychosis, and temporal anomalies abound, with a cool timeship helmed by Captain Braxton, and even the on-screen death of Seven herself.  Fuller explored death and the afterlife in the episode “Mortal Coil,” a story where Neelix dies and is revived, yet all he expected in the afterlife does not occur, forcing him to reflect on his place in the universe.  Fuller explored the subject again in “Barge of the Dead,” this time letting B’Elanna Torres explore her own afterlife in Sto-vo-kor–the Klingon afterlife.  Here Fuller showed a side of the Klingons in a way we hadn’t seen since the Vulcan spiritual universe was explored in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. 

View full article »

Baloo and Mowgli

In case you missed the Super Bowl this past Sunday and haven’t caught up on the movie trailers that aired, we’ve stacked 15 of them up here at borg.com for your viewing pleasure.  Plus we’ve added The Lobster–a darkly wacky looking film that we can’t quite categorize yet.  Is it science fiction?  Fantasy?  You be the judge.  It may just be on that short list of quirky British comedies that manage to work (or not).  Plus it has Rachael Weisz and Ben Whishaw so that’s something.

Let’s start with what looks like the best of the bunch, a live-action reboot of The Jungle Book:

The Secret Life of Pets

X-Men Apocalypse

Jason Bourne

View full article »

prideprejudiceszombies

Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a classic story in possession of fans must be in want of retelling.  Likewise, that if that story is a novel, it should also thence be made into a film.  And if you can find a way to put zombies in, wins all around.

Thus, writer/director Burr Steers’ new Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, based on the eponymous 2005 novel “co-written” by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter) and Jane Austen.  Cleverly packaged to release in time for Valentine’s Day, the film is a sure winner for date night: costumes; romance; actors in various states of fetching undress; violence; girls with swords; shambling, oozing undead in fetching period costumes; and powerful women with estates and eyepatches.  And Matt Smith.  Need I say more, really?

As a version of Pride and Prejudice, PPZ is probably below average, and relies on the viewer’s familiarity with the story, since much of the film’s 108-minute runtime must be given over to worldbuilding and action sequences (although fans of the 1995 A&E adaptation will be rewarded with plenty of homages, especially with respect to Mr. Darcy).  Prideful Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James, Cinderella) and disdainful Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) have even less onscreen chemistry than Austen’s off-again, off-again lovers normally display–but they more than make up for it with their zombie-fighting prowess.  Lizzie’s intolerable-yet-lovable family is neither interesting enough nor loathsome enough to inspire much response from the viewer; thank goodness for the zombies to give us something to care about.

PPZ zombie

As a zombie film, it’s probably also less than what the average zombie flick fan is looking for.  There are the requisite scenes of shambling hordes, rotting flesh, and brain-eating, but it’s somewhat tame thanks to the PG-13 rating, and in comparison to so many other recent zombie properties.  In fact, it’s actually a credit to the filmmakers that they didn’t try to outdo the competition with their zombie horde, and instead showed a certain 19th century refinement and restraint in the presentation.

View full article »

Arnold Mobile Strike

Unless you’re watching the Super Bowl to actually see the game today, you can find all the commercials online today, freeing up your schedule to watch Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XII.  It’s hard to believe we’ve been watching this too-darned-cute puppy outing for twelve years now.  Catch it throughout the day today on Animal Planet.  Get more information, including how the event is helping animals, at the Animal Planet website here.

Many of the ads from today’s game have been released already, so take a peek at a handful of them below.

As with past years, commercials airing during the Super Bowl featuring dogs seem to be the winners, although Kevin Hart has a pretty funny entry in his Hyundai ad, and we could watch Arnold Schwarzenegger Mobile Strike ads all day long.  Snickers is doing their thing again, this time with Willem Dafoe, and look for Christopher Walken in a car ad.  Also come back later for expanded movie trailers from what is previewed below, including one from the fifth Jason Bourne movie.

Puppy Bowl XII

Enjoy your chicken wings, and don’t forget your Tums, Rolaids, Gaviscon, etc.

View full article »

Apollo 14

I have been lucky enough to meet three Apollo astronauts and one of those was Edgar Mitchell (pictured above, right), who passed away this week in Florida at age 85.  Forty-five years ago–February 5, 1971, he landed on the Moon.  I met him at Planet Comicon in 2004 and quickly learned he was not an ordinary convention guest by any definition.  Sure, all astronauts seem to walk and talk like daredevils, and he was only the sixth of twelve men to walk on the Moon’s surface.  But Dr. Mitchell also came away from his Moonwalk with a universal view of life different than any other astronaut before or since, and left NASA to spend the rest of his life exploring the strange and the paranormal.  For Mitchell, it was not a question of aliens having visited Earth, the question was “where did they come from?”

Ed Mitchell was born near Roswell, New Mexico.  A member of Boy Scouts and DeMolay, he completed flight training in Hutchinson, Kansas, and went on to fly Douglas A3 Skywarriors in Okinawa, serving aboard both the USS Bon Homme Richard and the USS Ticonderoga.  He earned a degree in industrial management before joining the U.S. Navy, and after taking his basic training in San Diego, he earned an aeronautical engineering degree and then a doctorate of science in aeronautics and astronautics.

Edgar Mitchell Apollo 14

He was selected to be an astronaut in 1966, and was the backup Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 10, and then the actual Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 14.  A month before I was born, in February 1971, he spent two days with Alan Shepard, the first American in space, sharing the longest time humans ever have walked on the surface of the moon.  It’s the journey well-known for Shepard hitting a golf ball across the lunar surface.  On his way back to Earth, Dr. Mitchell had an epiphany of sorts.  He sensed a greater, universal consciousness and a connection.  He retired the next year and spent his life exploring the consciousness and paranormal phenomena.  He frequently spoke of his beliefs in extra-sensory perception, of a government cover-up of alien life, that an alien craft did crash at Roswell, and that the Cold War was in part prevented by extra-terrestrials–our experiments in atomic weapons drew alien visitors to Earth.

View full article »

James-Bond-SPECTRE-The-Complete-Comic-Strip-Collection

Daniel Craig’s modern James Bond inspired by classic comic strip versions of Bond?

According to the foreword in James Bond: Spectre – The Complete Comic Strip Collection by John Logan, screenwriter for Gladiator, Star Trek Nemesis, The Last Samurai, The Aviator, Skyfall, and the latest James Bond film, SPECTRE, it’s the original Bond from Ian Fleming’s novels–the Bond before anyone viewed him as Sean Connery, and the same Bond revealed in the British comic book strips–that guided the writers to form Craig’s Bond in the last two movie installments.

After reading the comic strip adaptations of Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, and The Spy Who Loved Me, it’s easy to see it.  This less superheroic and more human, worn down, aging Bond is the Bond of the modern films.  Titan Books’ James Bond: Spectre – The Complete Comic Strip Collection, is now available in a deluxe hardcover edition, pulling from the rich archive of Bond strips those stories that dig into the origins of SPECTRE, that evil organization that Blofeld manipulated so well, and that was the focus of last year’s blockbuster.

Bond comic

You’ll find digitally remastered, original black and white versions of the iconic 1960s cartoon strips in an edition similar to the Flash Gordon series reviewed here previously at borg.com–a size that is ideal for reading these old comic strips easily, cover to cover.  Each story is based on Fleming’s novels, selected from the 52 comic strips that appeared between 1958 and 1983 syndicated in British newspapers.  The illustrations of the strip were rendered by John McLusky who would illustrate thirteen James Bond comic strips along with writer Henry Gammidge until 1966.

View full article »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 786 other followers

%d bloggers like this: