Archive for February, 2013


GIJOE_IDW Publishing cover B

Well-timed to get G.I. Joe fans psyched for the release next month of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the big screen sequel to 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, IDW Publishing teams up with Hasbro tomorrow to begin a new G.I. Joe monthly comic book series.  And we’ve got a high-res 9-page preview right here for borg.com readers.

Although this isn’t billed as a tie-in comic book series, Issue #1 begins with all the right players: G.I. Joe leader Joe Colton (who we’ll see played by Bruce Willis in the forthcoming movie), team leader Captain Duke Hauser (played in the movie series by Channing Tatum), the no-nonsense Roadblock (played in the movie by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), and a classic favorite surprise villain.   Regardless of whether or not there is overlap with the movie, writer Fred Van Lente and artist Steve Kurth give fans just what you’d hope for, a modern, something-for-everyone entry point to the world of Joe, whether or not your initial encounter with G.I. Joe was via the 12-inch Action Men in the 1960s, the Adventure Team in the 1970s, the small-sized action figures in the 1980s, or the various animated series and comic books series over the past 50 years.

GIJoe Issue 1 IDW Publishing alternate cover

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Bets of Both Worlds Fathom Events banner

Finally, the best of Star Trek: The Next Generation is not only coming to Blu-Ray, but an episode worthy of seeing it on the big screen is on its way to a movie theater near you.  Fathom Events announced this weekend its next great one-night genre film event will be April 25, 2013.  In light of the April 2013 release of Season Three of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-Ray, Fathom Events will be presenting a feature-length screening of the remastered two-part “The Best of Both Worlds” story arc featuring the first appearance of Patrick Stewart as Locutus. The April 25 screening at 7 p.m. local time will also include a “making of” feature as part of the screening.

“Best of Both Worlds, Part 1” is universally acknowledged as one of the best cliffhanger episodes in TV history, and it’s in the top 10 of most Trek fans’ “Best of” lists.  It also features the two scenes with the best delivery of lines by both Jonathan Frakes as acting Captain Will Riker “Mr. Worf… Fire” and by Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf with his comment about Captain Picard’s abduction “He IS a borg.”

Best of Both Worlds poster

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Syfy Channel Book of Sci-Fi cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

If you think you’ve watched all the science fiction movies worth watching, odds are there’s something out there you’ve missed.  You’ve probably seen the modern blockbusters from Star Wars to Terminator and maybe the older classics, like The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original) and Forbidden Planet, and every sci-fi flick that has landed in theaters since your eyes first opened to the amazing genre as a kid.  But are you sure you’ve seen everything?

The Syfy Channel has teamed up with Universe Publishing to release a giant book of 100 years of sci-fi movies and TV, from A Trip to the Moon to Hugo, in The Science Fiction Universe… and Beyond: Syfy Channel Book of Sci-Fi And although the Syfy Channel continues to look outside the boundaries of Syfy for new TV dramas and reality series, this 256-page, full-color, coffee table hardcover is out to remind everyone why we like the Syfy Channel in the first place.  And better yet, when you’ve run out of the obvious to watch on TV or stream on Netflix, you can use the book as a guide to catch up on the obscure and the overlooked.

RoboCop with Ronny Cox

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McQueen The Blob

Cancel your weekend plans. Hulu.com is letting anyone in the U.S. watch their Criterion Collection of films now through Monday, February 18 at this linkFree.  I’ve just watched the first 20 minutes of Akira Kurasawa’s Seven Samurai for the umpteenth time.  The only limitation is how many movies you can watch in the next 72 hours.

The selection includes all the big Criterion films you would expect.  You can watch Kurasawa’s Hidden Fortress, which along with Seven Samurai, were two of George Lucas’s major influences for Star Wars.  There’s also Kurasawa’s Rashomon, Sanjuro, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood, Stray Dog, Scandal, Drunken Angel… The list goes on.  And if classic Japanese Samurai films aren’t your thing, you might try what we at borg.com listed as the number one Western of all time in our top 10 list back in 2011–John Ford’s 1939 classic Stagecoach.  Or try something totally different, Steve McQueen in The Blob?  Or a comedy–Walter Matthau in Hopscotch?

Hidden Fortress

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Stuck On Star Trek Cover Joe Corroney

Back in December I tracked down and discussed here ten retro toys you could still buy as gifts for the holidays.  In that list I included Colorforms–those reusable, thin plastic stickers that you could use to re-create scenes on a cardboard backdrop. As a kid I went crazy for these–I had every Colorforms set from Star Trek to Peanuts, The Fonz, Marvel Superheroes, Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo, Evel Knievel, and an awesome oversized set called Castle Dracula where you could house all of the classic Universal Studios monsters under one roof.  The Star Trek Colorforms playset came with a backdrop of the bridge of the original Enterprise and white, yellow, blue, and red colored stickers featuring crew, hand weapons and aliens.  It was a popular set and provided hours of fun.

Stuck on Star Trek bridge background

Colorforms still exists but doesn’t license a lot of movie and TV properties, but I recently saw in a toy store playsets for young kids with Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora the Explorer, and Spongebob Clearly with all the high-tech toy options for kids these days it’s the littler kids that are the Colorforms target consumer.

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Young Romance one-shot cover

DC Comics went retro for Valentine’s Day this year releasing the first issue of the classic Young Romance comic book title in literally decades, a title that started its own sub-genre more than sixty years ago.  For the new DC Comics New 52 that means six stories in an anthology of young love for the 21st century, superhero-style.  So this adds Young Romance to other long-lost classic titles recently resurrected for the New 52, including All Star Western, Mystery in Space, G.I. Combat and Worlds Finest.  Maybe it’s time for DC Comics to keep those trademarks in order?  No matter, the February 2013 issue of Young Romance does what it needs to, featuring personal glimpses of key characters Catwoman, Batgirl, Aquaman and Mera, Apollo and Midnighter, Nightwing, and Superman and Wonder Woman.

Catwoman and Batman in Young Romance

Young Romance features work by a slate of top DC Comics creators.  The best of these is Ann Nocenti and Emanuela Lupacchino’s look at Catwoman’s first encounter with Batman in “Think it Through,” and Cecil Castellucci and Inaki Miranda’s Victorian ghost story tale of Aquaman and Mera in “The Lighthouse.”  Ray Fawkes and Julius Gopez offer a great looking Batgirl story with “Dreamer.”  “Seoul Brothers” features a story out of the Stormwatch series featuring Apollo and Midnighter written by Peter Milligan with art by Simon Bisley.  The Dick Grayson story “Another Saturday Night” was written by Kyle Higgins with art by Sanford Greene, and the Superman/Wonder Woman story “Truth or Dare” was written by Andy Diggle with art by Robson Rocha.

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Katana 1 cover

First appearing in DC Comics in 1983, the character of Katana, formerly a member of Batman’s Outsiders, was rejuvenated as a member of the Birds of Prey in the New 52 last year, replacing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl as the third team member.  If you haven’t seen her before, what you need to know is that Katana’s real name is Tatsu and she has been busy seeking vengeance against the Yakuza for killing her husband.  With her trusty Soultaker sword by her side she’s a force to be reckoned with, and she will be featured as a newer breed of superhero in the new Justice League of America beginning next week with Justice League of America Issue #1 (not to be confused with the Justice League series).  But if you want to get an early look at Katana, you can pick up Issue #1 today of her own new monthly series.  We at borg.com previewed Issue #1 this week and think this series will be an interesting and unique addition to the New 52 line-up.

Katana original art A

Written by Ann Nocenti with art by Alex Sanchez, the story is packed with the spirit of ancient Eastern influences, swordplay and mysticism.  Nocenti counts herself a fan of Akira Kurasawa and Katana’s story will be familiar to fans of his films.  Artist Alex Sanchez has created a modern yet ancient-inspired fictional setting in his Japantown, part of San Francisco.  DC Comics has shared with borg.com some original art pages from Katana, Issue #1 reprinted here.

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Knepper as Grimm in CW Network Cult series

Review by C.J. Bunce

What hidden evil lurks in the hearts of TV producers?  There must be something going around in Hollywood about cults and serial killers.  That is, cults made up of serial killers.  Last month we reviewed the pilot of The Following, starring Kevin Bacon as a has-been detective tracking down a recently escaped serial killer.  It’s four episodes in and so far, so good.  Starting Tuesday on the CW Network another new cult themed series debuts, titled Cult.  We at borg.com previewed the pilot and found both of these new series have enough differences, and enough going for them, to watch and keep watching them both.

CW’s Cult offers enough layers of creative theatrics that you’ll want to check it out just to see how the producers introduce a series-within-a-series.  That’s right–Cult is two shows in one.  The series centers on a fictional Warner Bros. production of a TV show called “Cult,” featuring an actor named Roger Reeves (Robert Knepper) who in turn is playing the character of Billy Grimm, a charismatic, religious, rural cult leader.   The fictional “Cult” also stars an actress named Marti Gerritsen (played in real life by Alona Tal) as LAPD detective Kelly Collins.   Formerly close to Grimm, Collins is trying to learn what happened to her sister and her sister’s son, somehow taken under the influence of Grimm’s cult.  Genre fans will instantly recognize Knepper from Heroes, Prison Break, and SGU Stargate Universe, as well as his guest roles on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager, and Alona Tal as Veronica’s best pal Meg on Veronica Mars, Jo Harville from Supernatural, and notable guest roles on Monk and Leverage. 

Alona Tal in CW Network Cult series

This series-within-the-series is a quick-paced mystery with a horror twist and altogether pretty fun stuff.  Tal is tough and determined and Knepper brings in just the right amount of creepiness.  And he acts differently when seen outside the series as actor Roger Reeves.  In fact, we hope the producers break out of form at some point to show complete episodes of the inside show.  At times the show-within-the-show looks like it could quickly suck in viewers more than the main plot.  It even includes a bizarre and creepy catch-phrase likely to stick around in genre culture.

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Rupert Grint in Into the White

Harry Potter fans were happy to see Daniel Radcliffe break away from his successful wizard role and into his first major adult dramatic role in the creepy The Woman in Black one year ago.  It was a fun film that we reviewed here.  Now we finally get to see Rupert Grint, the actor who played Potter’s pal Ron Weasley, on the other side of the color spectrum in his first adult dramatic role in the World War II film Into the White.

Into the White poster

Norwegian Director Petter Næss has created a WWII film “inspired by a true story” and not based in an epic battle, but between two opposing airplane crews that shoot each other down over Grotli shortly after the beginning of the war.  Three Germans, played by Florian Lukas (Goodbye, Lenin!), David Kross (War Horse), and Stig Henrik Hoff (The Thing (2011)), and two Brits, played by Lachlan Nieboer (Downton Abbey, Torchwood) and Grint are stranded in the snow-covered mountains of Norway.  They find a cabin and must learn to deal with each other and survive the elements.  Less of a typical war movie and more of a struggle between opposite ideologies, this looks like you’ll find some battles over tensions and claustrophobia among the airmen.

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Firefly logo

Firefly was a unique television series and that can be demonstrated many ways, including simply by looking at the new companion volume to the series, Firefly: A Celebration.  Appropriately marketed as “a big damn book” its 544 pages recount in full color the most complete review of an entire series ever created in a single volume.  Not only is it rare for a movie or TV series to have such a series bible, it’s unthinkable that one would be created for a series that was cancelled after only 14 episodes.  But as sci-fi’s universally pronounced “most unfairly cancelled” sci-fi series, it makes sense that the show’s creators went the extra mile to put something like this together for its large, loyal fan base.

Firefly A Celebration book

Presented in a foil-stamped, leather-effect hardcover binding, the new edition collects three previously released volumes Firefly: The Official Companion books (Volume One, Volume Two and Firefly: Still Flying).  So if you already have those you don’t need this one.  But if you don’t, then you’re in for a treat.  Firefly: A Celebration celebrates the 10th anniversary of Firefly, and includes an enormous amount of material in texts and photos in addition to a pocket in the back cover with nine full color prints of cast members and a replica prop piece of Alliance paper money from the show.

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