Archive for April, 2013


GI Joe banner

Half animated film come to life, half martial arts movie, in G.I. Joe: Retaliation look for one of the best action sequences ever to hit the big screen.  Darker and more grounded in the realities of today’s terrorism themed movies as opposed to the days of action war pictures centered on the Cold War, the sequel to G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is only slightly less fun than the first live-action look at the action figure-turned-animated show and comic book-turned-action figure again franchise.  Whereas Rise of Cobra was steeped in toy references and faithful action figure costume re-creations, Retaliation has a plot that could have been pulled from the 1980s animated series.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

After a disaster caused by a conspiracy between Zartan and the evil shadow organization called Cobra wipes out literally every active G.I. Joe but three, it’s up to new top ranking officer Roadblock, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to lead the charge to unravel the conspiracy and save the world.  He’s joined in a superbly created, fast-thinking survival maneuver by Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), who must then find their way out of a deep water well.  Despite being developed characters from G.I. Joe incarnations past, Flint comes off a bit like Hawkeye in The Avengers and Lady Jaye as the token female Joe in an era you’d think would be long past relying on jokes about women in the service.  Still, they both make the best of it and the trio, along with Duke (Channing Tatum), the squad leader of the Joes in Rise of Cobra, they share some good chemistry and laugh out loud moments in the film.  If there is any fault in Retaliation it is why the producers thought the plot required eliminating such a pantheon of other great Joe characters who were featured in Rise of Cobra, like Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), Baroness (Sierra Miller), Ripcord (Marlon Wayans), Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), or General Hawk (Dennis Quaid).  It’s also a bit disappointing Bruce Willis’s General Joe Colton didn’t have a few more scenes.  Willis, transitioning from action role to the wise general role, steals every scene and a partnership with Dwayne Johnson in another film, G.I. Joe or not, would be a fun thing to see.

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Artie with dagger

When we last left Warehouse 13 at the end of Season 3, Saul Rubinek’s Artie had turned evil, resulting from a psychotic episode caused by an astrolabe.  He killed Leena (Genelle Williams) and was attempting to use a dagger to open a jar holding the deadly Chinese Orchid–the deadliest artifact in Warehouse 8–a poisonous flower that would unleash an epidemic that could wipe out half the population of Earth.  Claudia stabbed Artie, attempting to remove the spell that changed him.

James Marsters on Warehouse 13

At the beginning of Season 4 the “sweating sickness” is moving across Europe.  Pete’s mom Jane Lattimer (Kate Mulgrew) sets Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) and undead Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore) on a journey into Artie’s labyrinthine Warehouse-world brain, using an artifact owned by Sigmund Freud.  Lindsay Wagner’s Dr. Vanessa Calder appears to them and warns them to leave.  Elsewhere James Masters plays a professor named Sutton, an expert on the Count of St. Germaine–who is supposed to help Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) save the world after they first visit the elegant home of antique collector Charlotte (Polly Walker).

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Episode VII poster

If you have any doubt Patton Oswalt (Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Starsky & Hutch, The King of Queens, Dollhouse, Community, Caprica, Burn Notice) is a genius, or comedian, or improv performer, good actor, or all-around cool guy, this week should remove that doubt.  borg.com writer Jason McClain is a fan of Parks and Recreation and has championed the series at borg.com here before.  To advertise Oswalt’s guest appearance on the show last night NBC released this completely improvised scene of Oswalt performing a filibuster before the show’s city council.  It illustrates a lot about how this guy’s brain works and that he’s solidly a genre fan like the rest of us.  

Parks and Rec logo

So check out Oswalt’s vision for the next Star Wars movie (a cool Boba Fett opener!), tying in the Marvel Universe (Moon Knight!  Wolverine’s clone daughter X-23!  Hercules!) and some good ideas you could actually see J.J. Abrams taking seriously (um, minus the Chewbacca one, that is), as well as a good recall of tidbits of Star Wars and Marvel trivia. 

The background extras really had their work cut out for them by keeping straight faces, although you can see five young guys in the back that are totally engaged in Oswalt’s story almost ready to crack.

Bravo!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Journey from Krypton

Remember when summer movies were just plain fun?  No need for dark and dreary, just adventure and excitement?  No need for deep and poignant emotion, but an excuse to escape the heaviness of real-world problems for two hours?  Only one of the new preview releases seems to have that escapist romp vibe, and that film is The Lone Ranger.  Nothing serious there–just a goofy Western throwback with just a bit pulled from the classic original.  And Johnny Depp doing the kind of crazy characterization that earned him an Oscar nomination in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.  Who cares if they don’t have futuristic special effects and instead rely on a good old-fashioned train chase scene for their action and adventure?  To us it just looks like fun.  Check out this fun and action-packed new trailer for The Lone Ranger:

But you can’t have just one trailer and call it a trailer park so we have three more you may or may not want to check out.  Next up is the new longer preview for Man of Steel.  Man of Steel is starting to crystallize as a film that has a strange casting problem.  First, the lead, Henry Cavill, doesn’t seem to carry the mantle of Superman from any previews yet released–the zip, pizzazz, charisma, kindness and power of Christopher Reeve will forever be the comparison for anyone daring to fill the shoes of Clark Kent and his caped alter ego.  A chin dimple doesn’t make Superman.  Continue reading

Grimm 1 cover photo

Following the further exploits of Portland detective Nick Burkhart, his partner Hank Griffin, Blutbad werewolf pal Monroe, and girlfriend Juliette, Dynamite Comics has released some teasers and cover art for its new ongoing monthly series Grimm, to be released in May.  The story is written by show writers David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, with final script by Marc Gaffen and Kyle McVey.  Jose Malaga will serve as series artist.  Alex Ross is back again with a cool incentive cover.

The TV series is filmed in Portland, and often you get glimpses of nearby surroundings, but because so much happens with the Wesen of the week in the woods, we think they could show some more of the beautiful and lush area where the series takes place.  Having lived in the Pacific Northwest for several years we have our own list of haunts we think Nick & Co. should visit on future cases in both the TV series and new comic book series.  How about considering these locations, Grimm creators?

The Saturday Market. This weekend fixture is surrounded by classic architecture and brick we think we have spotted before, but how about having Nick run in pursuit through a crowd of shoppers buying homemade soaps and incense, or grab a gyro from a street vendor?

Fleet Week on the Waterfront. It’s about the “port” in Portland, the Willamette Riverfront hosts giant naval vessels each year in a grand show of seapower–a great stage for an episode of Grimm.

Grimm cover alternate Alex Ross sketch

Original art cover sketch by Alex Ross.

Columbia River Gorge.  One of the most beautiful places on Earth and we’ve yet to see Nick and Monroe drive down the Gorge to track the scent of some “creature from the Columbia River”.

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Dream Thief banner

We hinted here just ten days ago that we thought Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood’s Dream Thief is the next big thing–the next must-read on your comic book pull list.  Now, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics we can release a preview of the first six pages of Issue #1!  

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XFiless10_01_cvrRI

Much like Joss Whedon continued Buffy the Vampire Slayer in graphic novel form where the TV series left off, The X-Files creator Chris Carter will return to oversee the continued exploits of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in a new comic book series from IDW Publishing.  Fans of The X-Files will see the nine series and two movies move forward with The X-Files: Season 10 coming June 19, 2013.

The_X-Files_Season_10_1 cover A

IDW has signed writers Joe Harris, who we raved about here in his Great Pacific series, and Comeback (which we also raved about here) artist Michael Walsh and colorist Jordie Bellaire to document the next phase of The X-Files, with alternate covers to Issue #1 by Dave Johnson, Joe Corroney, and Carlos Valenzuela, as well as photo covers featuring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

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Mr Selfridge promo

PBS’s Masterpiece Classic is now playing a period television drama mini-series about Harry Gordon Selfridge and his London department store Selfridge & Co.  It was produced by ITV Studios for ITV and PBS and is much longer than your typical British mini-series, where you’re often lucky to see three episodes (such as the brilliant but too short series Zen).  You’ll see plenty of comparisons to Downton Abbey from reviewers but they are all wrong.  Where Downton is steeped in the dramatic of a restricted age, Mr. Selfridge is a rollercoaster of movement and progress.  Led by Jeremy Piven here totally in his element as a forward-thinking business man with ideas to spare and never enough money to accomplish everything he wants to do, this BBC mini-series is a chronicle of progress in a place everyone knows well–the department store.  Ever wonder why the perfume counter is at the front of Macy’s and JC Penney’s?  Why make-up is sold with perfume but gloves with hats and belts?  Things that now seem trivial once had real meaning because of social mores of a bygone era.

Mr Selfridge Jeremy Piven

Jeremy Piven gets to play a character we love to see him play.  He’s flourishing in a world that seems like the Macy’s of Miracle on 34th Street to modern audiences but his department store goes back decades farther into the past.  Lucky for viewers and Piven, Selfridge was an American, so no need to trip over feigned British accents. Piven gets to be a showman with arms wide open to every customer and every prospective vendor, partner, investor, and even an ambitious show girl.

Piven never disappoints, and shines in the varied roles he takes.  Early in his career that meant a variety of smarmy types, but he’s grown on us, and his trying-too-hard characters often end up endearing instead of loathed.  Piven snuck up on us bit by bit in small roles in Lucas and a pile of John Cusack films: Bob Roberts, Elvis Stories, Floundering, One Crazy Summer, Say Anything…, The Grifters, Grosse Pointe Blank, Serendipity, and Runaway Jury.  But it wasn’t until Judgment Night, where Piven’s smarmy and cocky Ray Cochran tries to use his negotiation skill to save (unsuccessfully) a group of friends who take a wrong turn, that viewers really took note of this actor.  Then the Drake University-trained actor starred in PCU, and got to do his own Animal House film with a twist on Tim Matheson’s Eric Stratton–a classic cult favorite today.

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Winters finds the big WWith the passing Thursday and public announcement yesterday of classic movie and TV comedian Jonathan Winters, we thought we’d post a few clips of some our favorite bits of his unique humor. In countless interviews Robin Williams counted Winters as his comedic inspiration, both men at the top of the world of improvisation.  Born in Dayton, Ohio in 1925, Winters went on to serve in the Marines in World War II.  His first TV appearance was on Chance of a Lifetime in 1954, and his 15-minute variety show The Jonathan Winters Show on October 23, 1956, sponsored by Tums for RCA on the NBC network included the first color video ever to appear on television.  That’s right, it was Jonathan Winters who brought color to the TV-viewing world. 

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Every generation who watched TV encountered Winters in some way.  He led the second generation of modern American comedic actors, following The Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy.  He was known by some as the Hefty garbage man and by others for his recurring bit as Maude Frickert.  Like many comedians in his and later generations, he released many comedy albums on LPs.  In 1961 Winters first entered the world of sci-fi TV in The Twilight Zone episode “A Game of Pool” with Jack Klugman.  He appeared in more than 50 movies and guest starred and starred on many TV shows in his 60 years as an actor, including repeated appearances in every major variety and talk show over the years. 

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2 Guns poster

It looks like a buddy cop movie, and has a ring of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon movies.  2 Guns features two of Hollywood’s best actors–Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.  And the first trailer reveals some chemistry especially through the humor in the banter between the two. 

Washington plays a DEA agent and Wahlberg plays a Naval Intelligence Officer.  Each are sent to investigate the other.  But who is behind this?  When the older DEA agent slips up the Naval Officer shoots and wounds the agent, sending them both after each other ultimately to realize they are merely pawns in a mob game.

Has Washington ever played a bad part?  He was great in The Mighty Quinn, Glory, Much Ado About Nothing, The Pelican Brief, Philadelphia, Crimson Tide, Fallen, The Manchurian Candidate, Inside Man, The Taking of Pelham 123, and Unstoppable. 

Wahlberg and Washington in 2 Guns Continue reading