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Archive for October, 2012


Once upon a time and a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, everyone lived happily ever after.  And while they were all so happy they didn’t realize they were being slowly assimilated by the evil Empire.

You might have missed it in light of coverage of Sandy today, but the big industry news is George Lucas finally is letting Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic, Skywalker Sound–the whole shebang–go, for the paltry sum of $4 billion–the same price Disney paid for Marvel Comics in 2009.  Yep, $4,000,000,000.  You can just hear that THX sound logo make a giant flushing sound.  Heck, I bet that was Lucas’s profit last year in action figure sales alone.  What’s he thinking?  The man whose kids I (OK, my parents) put through college through the purchase of ten thousand action figures, several hundred comic books, every book, soundtrack, poster, drinking glass, key ring, Halloween costume, spaceship, Hallmark ornament, giant inflatable landspeeder, talking Yoda, remote control R2-D2, and even more action figures, is calling it quits?  Say it ain’t so.   And he is selling it to who?  Disney???? Continue reading

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Three weeks ago borg.com posted the first preview for the fifth entry in the Bruce Willis as John McClane action movie franchise: A Good Day to Die Hard.  Frankly it wasn’t all that exciting.  Sure–it included a nice montage of action sequences, but what do Die Hard fans really want?  We think they want Bruce Willis being that guy from Moonlighting.  Bruce Willis being that barefoot cop in the Nakatomi building running across glass, trying to save his wife from Alan Rickman.  Bruce Willis as modern urban cowboy with his Yippi Ki Yay bit.  Basically, Bruce Willis being Bruce Willis.  Someone must have heard our wishes as the new trailer for A Good Day to Die Hard makes pretty clear that Die Hard 5 is set to be better than Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard, a pretty forgettable entry in the John McClane arsenal of big budget blockbusters.

Check out the new trailer:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Elisa Cameron, aka Ghost, has been a character in the Dark Horse universe since 1993.  She has appeared in various limited series from time to time and thanks to the ongoing anthology series Dark Horse Presents, she has gained popularity over time, including being ranked 15th last year in the Comic Buyers Guide “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list.  Her character and storyline have bounced around a little over the course of several writers and artists in the past 20 years, but now with Kelly Sue DeConnick, who appears to be the first woman to write the character of Ghost, we now get into the head of this character like never before. Issue 1 of the new limited series released last week plunges into this character’s long backstory and her current crisis.

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That’s right, Halloween is here again and for many that means tracking down spooky movies on Netflix, cable, or in the theaters.  Last year the four borg.com writers posted each of their top favorites.  Luckily new films that fit the genre continue to be made, like The Woman in Black (you remember, Harry Potter and The Woman in Black?) reviewed here earlier this year, but there was also Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows, John Cusack in The Raven, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, and a new Paranormal Activity in theaters.  The original Halloween has already been re-broadcast this season at least twice on cable TV, but fans in select cities can see it in the theater at special anniversary screenings. There are plenty of opportunities to get your fix of dark, spooky, creepy, or just plain scary movies.  And next year we can look to films like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which sure sounds like it should have been a Halloween release.

Tonight, the BBC is releasing the new three-hour BBC mini-series (shown all at once) The Secret of Crickley Hall, which looks to have that great creepy vibe from Watcher in the Woods and The Woman in Black.  All I needed to see was David Warner in the trailer to click record on the DVR.  Here is a preview:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Re-think all you know about Flash Gordon.  Volume One of the eagerly awaited library edition of the original Flash Gordon color newspaper comic strip, Flash Gordon: On the Planet Mongo: The Complete Flash Gordon Library (Vol. 1), is now available and it will cause you to second guess what you think you know about science fiction and fantasy in its infancy.  And question just how innovative George Lucas actually was with the Star Wars series.

Rarely can you so precisely identify the source of “the modern.”  In science fiction film it is Georges Méliès’s 1902 French movie A Trip to the Moon, from 1902.  For science fiction novels you much reach back further to its Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein all the way back in 1818.  For the intersecting genre of “science fiction-fantasy”–our key focus at borg.com–you must turn to January 1934 and a detail-oriented artist with an eye toward realism named Alex Raymond, and his new character, Flash Gordon.  Whether or not you are a fan like I am of the 1980 movie Flash Gordon with Timothy Dalton and a host of other cult favorite actors and an excellent soundtrack by Queen, or Alex Ross’s Dynamite Comics series Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist, or even a fan of the old black and white Buster Crabbe TV serials, you should check out the original source material.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Depending on your background Alexander Nevsky may mean something different to you.  To the people of Russia he is the greatest Russian of all time, according to a poll conducted there of 50 million votes counted in 2008.  For classic film fans, Alexander Nevsky is Sergei Eisenstein’s grand propaganda film from 1938, created to inspire Russians in the event of war with Germany.  To connoisseurs of classical music, Alexander Nevsky, as both film score and modified for full orchestral piece, is one of Sergei Prokofiev’s greatest works.  Now, British writer Ben McCool and Mexican artist Mario Guevara bring all of the above to graphic novel form in Nevsky: A Hero of the People, courtesy of IDW Publishing and the current owners of the rights to the epic film.

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Last month ABC released its order for a pilot for a new Avengers spinoff TV series called S.H.I.E.L.D., beased on the classic Marvel Comics secret military/law enforcement agency created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965.  The acronym originally stood for Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division, which later changed to Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate and currently the Marvel film universe uses the acronym to mean Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.  Whatever it stands for, it means the return of Joss Whedon to TV, after his successful series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and less successful but popular Firefly and Dollhouse. 

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Is it me, or does Tony Stark have more supersuits than any other superhero?  Robert Downey, Jr. returns next spring with the fourth movie featuring Iron Man, Iron Man 3, with the new Iron Man armor we previewed here this past summer from Comic-Con in San Diego. 

You wouldn’t think you could go wrong with Downey playing Stark in another movie, but all you have to do is think back and remember Iron Man 2, possibly the weakest of the Avengers films so far.  Yet the first Iron Man and The Avengers were brilliant.  Why can’t they just stop everything and work on The Avengers 2?  Check out the first trailer released hours ago for Iron Man 3:

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When I think of good British sci-fi B-movies, one film comes to mind: the 1985 alien vampire sci-fi horror flick Lifeforce.  Now I can add last year’s alien invasion film Attack the Block.  You can rent, stream or stumble upon the random cable TV B-movie and you may never find one you can make it all the way through.  Sometimes bad is bad.  Then you begin watching something like Attack the Block and you find your head spinning saying to yourself “hey, this isn’t half bad–is anyone else seeing this?”  Not since the bizarre but engrossing Lifeforce have I seen a British sci-fi B-movie that, despite making me wonder how anyone ever got this film made, it forced me to watch the movie straight-through.  I had to see where this tale was going and where it would all end because there was something compelling about this crazy show.  Think of it as John Carpenter’s original Attack on Precinct 13 meets E.T., if E.T. didn’t have good intentions and Elliot wasn’t a nice little kid.  Guilty pleasure?  That probably is the right description.  And it is a bit of what I had hoped Cowboys and Aliens would be, but this is much better than that big budget effort.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Whether you’re a fan of the original novel, Orson Welles’ radio drama, or any of the film adaptations, you’ll be hard-pressed finding anyone who isn’t familiar with H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, in which giant tripod Martian invaders take over on Earth.  What if H.G. Wells wrote War of the Worlds as a cautionary tale, based on facts known only to him and a few other government insiders?  Author Kevin J. Anderson asked this question and many more in his 2006 novel Martian War, re-released this month in a trade paperback edition.

Anderson ponders several “what ifs”–What if the Moon and Mars were as Wells and his contemporaries had predicted in the 19th century, with roaming animals, birds and vegetation and advanced lifeforms?  What if the Invisible Man was a real inventor, Doctor Moreau an actual twisted scientist, and they teamed with a young Wells, his would-be wife Jane, and real-life contemporary English biologist Thomas Huxley and astronomer Percival Lowell?  It all sounds like another take on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and to an extent it is.  Martian War is also every bit in the same genre as Guy Adams’ 2012 release, Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Doctor Moreau, reviewed here this summer.

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