Archive for July, 2021


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Two from Netflix, two from Disney+.  Fans of 1980s cartoons will get their fix this summer with four animated shows from some of the biggest genre franchises Phase IV of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues with the anthology series based on the classic comic What If…?  Star Wars expands into new animated territory with the anime Star Wars: Visions.  And both 1980s kid favorites Masters of the Universe and Transformers continue into their fourth decade with two Netflix series–Transformers: War for Cybertron already underway.

Check out trailers for each new show streaming this summer below.

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Leverage Redmption cast

Review by C.J. Bunce

The rich and powerful, they take what they want.  We steal it back for you.  Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys.  We provide… Leverage.

And the best pilot and reboot of the year goes to… Chris Downey, John Rogers, Dean Devlin, and Marc Roskin’s triumphant return of most of the Leverage Consulting & Associates team to the screen in the IMDb TV original series Leverage: Redemption In the intervening 8.5 years a lot has changed.  Now the business has expanded into Leverage International.  Beth Riesgraf’s Parker leads the way (but she has a psychologist to help now… a child psychologist).  Aldis Hodge’s Hardison has even better tech than he had a decade ago.  Christian Kane’s hitter supreme Eliot has expanded his business, too.  But somehow Timothy Hutton’s mastermind Nathan Ford has died, and Gina Bellman’s Sophie Devereaux–who was about to tie the knot with Ford at the end of the five-season series in December 2012–hasn’t been able to move forward.  That’s where the new series, which feels exactly like a new season, picks up.

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Narragansett 2021 box

Discovery′s annual Shark Week programming is back beginning this Sunday.  From July 11 to July 18 look for your annual fix of shark-centered features.  Shark Week is television’s longest running summer TV event.  That means Narragansett is back with new summer promotions, cans, and tie-ins incorporating artist Roger Kastel′s famous movie poster for Steven Spielberg’s Jaws.  Not only is Narragansett one of America’s oldest beer companies (they turned 21 in 1911), Jaws made its beer famous again in 1975 when Robert Shaw′s character Quint downs a can and crunches it to look tough in front of Richard Dreyfuss′s character Hooper.  Hooper created the funniest moment of the film, who dueled Quint in his own way by crushing his Styrofoam cup.

Shark Week 2021 schedule

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tomorrow-war

Review by C.J. Bunce

Chris Pratt movies are a thing now just like Tom Cruise movies and Mark Wahlberg movies.  The latest Chris Pratt movie is The Tomorrow War, which just arrived this past weekend on Amazon Prime.  It’s every bit a vehicle for Pratt and could star nobody else.  Like the Jurassic World movies, Passengers, and even The Magnificent Seven remake, Pratt is a unique casting decision but evidently studio execs keep going for his “aw, shucks” brand of characters.  In The Tomorrow War, Pratt plays a biology teacher dad turned rescuer of mankind named Dan Forester.  Forester is nearly impossible to distinguish from Pratt’s dinosaur confronting character in Jurassic World.  Pratt plays that bit of a dope you can’t imagine actually doing any of the things his character encounters, so you may need to be a Pratt fan or simply be grateful it’s a free action movie and not mind you’re getting what you paid for.  Either way, there are worse direct-to-TV movies out there, but as the alien invasion genre goes, don’t expect to count The Tomorrow War high on your list.

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GA 80 9 GA 80 7

Review by C.J. Bunce

I’ve been a fan of the DC Comics character Green Arrow and his partner in fighting crime Black Canary for four decades, but the Robin Hood-inspired superhero with bow and arrow has been around for twice that long.  This month he gets the red carpet treatment in a tribute anthology issue, the Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular The anthology provides 12 stories reflecting creators known for their Green Arrow work like Mike Grell, Phil Hester, Ande Parks, and Jeff Lemire, plus stories by new writers and artists in the style of the character as published in the decades since 1941, when Oliver Queen first saw newsstands.  Some things are missing, like no story featuring the artwork of Neal Adams, whose art was synonymous with Green Arrow and Green Lantern for so long (although he drew a variant cover for this issue) or Jim Aparo, Rick Hoberg, Scott McDaniel, Cliff Chiang, Jock, or Freddie Williams II from later points on the Green Arrow timeline.  There are no stories by Judd Winick, Brad Meltzer, or Kevin Smith, and creators Mort Weisinger and George Papp are of course long gone, as is Denny O’Neil, who does get a tribute story.  But there is plenty Green Arrow fun for fans to love–nice homages, especially to the Golden Age incarnation of Green Arrow and Speedy, and two stories that will take readers right back to their favorite eras of Green Arrow.

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Barbarella0303121LCohenVirg  Barbarella0101071incen10Musabekov

Review by C.J. Bunce

After an earlier, year-long reboot series, a holiday special, and a great mash-up with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Dejah Thoris, space vixen Barbarella gets a new monthly series at Dynamite Entertainment beginning this month.  Following writers Mike Carey, Jean-Marc Lofficier, and Leah Williams, the future of the cult sci-fi icon in the new series Barbarella is in the hands of Portuguese-American sci-fi writer Sarah Hoyt in her first comic book series with artwork supplied by Madibek Musabekov.  The big news comic book collectors will want to be aware of is a variant cover by Brian Bolland, his first for Dynamite.  Despite the prior, more adult-themed incarnations of Barbarella, the monthly series is targeted at teen+ audiences, and the racy bits are only suggestive.  But that doesn’t stop Musabekov from creating some daring–and goofy–futurist artwork, and a host of cover artists stepping up to give sci-fi fans something for everyone.

Check out covers for the first three issues of the new Barbarella series below.

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Philosophy_of_Venom cover

Titan Comics is running a 12 Days of Venom event, and for its fifth day today at borg we’re revealing an exclusive look inside the new book The Philosophy of VenomSimilar in concept to The Philosophy of Spider-Man (featured here last November), The Philosophy of Venom takes a look back at those phrases and ideas from your favorite symbiote that define one of the biggest anti-heroes in comics today.
 

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Two years ago here at borg, we talked about Hasbro′s turn at offering its classic games in mash-up form, with Monopoly, Clue, Taboo, Scrabble, and Speak Out colliding with former Milton Bradley games Candy Land, Connect 4, Guess Who?, Jenga, and Twister.  Hasbro’s next line of classic games takes your favorite board games outside.  They’re in the form of beach towel backpacks that transform into a giant board to stretch out on the beach or at a park, at last giving you something to do when you’re enjoying this summer.  We tried out Beach Towel Backpack Clue and found lots of reasons why this could be your new version of choice (check out our review below), Connect 4, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, and a new take on one you’ve probably seen in a giant towel version before: Twister.

Even better, we found them for less than $15.

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Tom Petty banner

Review by C.J. Bunce

Tom Petty passed away three years ago, but as with many great singer/songwriters–and other writers for that matter–he left behind recordings that never made it to an album or single release.  Four new songs by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and an extended edition of a previously released song make it to the airwaves and earphones this weekend in a re-release of another lesser known Petty album.  Originally released on the soundtrack for the forgettable 1996 movie She’s the One, the songs–forming the band’s ninth studio recording–far surpassed the typical song soundtrack, and the album may have fared better on the music charts had it been just another Petty/Heartbreaker album.  Still, it was certified gold, and songs “Walls” and “Climb that Hill” made it high up the charts.  Some of the songs made the She’s the One soundtrack because they were cut from the hit Wildflowers album–originally intended as a double album.  In this weekend’s 25th anniversary release, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Angel Dream, a “remixed, remastered, and reimagined” album with newly released songs, the complete music experience is delivered like it ideally would have been in 1996.  The digital/disc/LP/vinyl release trims off the Wildflowers songs (which were added to last year’s Wildflowers boxed set) and the result is the next best thing to a new Tom Petty album.  And it seems the band held one song back that is now timed exactly right for this blazing hot summer across the country.

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hardcover newsstand

Review by C.J. Bunce

Generations of comic book readers have loved the star-spangled superhero and actor Chris Evans made him popular for yet another generation in the 21st century.  Created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in March 1941, Steve Rogers and his alter ego Captain America are being celebrated this month in a new decade-by-decade chronology of the influence and impact of the character in Titan Magazines’ Captain America: The First 80 Years, a look at the characters, creators, and multiple incarnations of Cap in the comics.  It’s being released in three editions, one via newsstands, one via comic shops, and a hardcover version you can pick up here at Amazon and brick and mortar bookstores.  Enjoy a preview for borg readers below.

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