Quantum of Solace

Yowza. Grant, you rule.

I realize that I haven’t commented yet on the title to the next Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. That’s partly because I’m behind on my posting in general, but mostly because what can I say? It’s a Fleming title and Hooray for that.

I also like that the movie is a direct sequel to Casino Royale in a way that most Bond movie’s aren’t to each other. According to one of the big shots at this press conference, Quantum of Solace picks up about an hour after Casino Royale. We’re assured that it’s not “just a revenge movie” though and I believe them.

After Casino Royale came out I fantasized about how cool it would be if they just went back and remade the rest of Fleming’s novels in the order he wrote them. How cool would it be to have a new, serious Live and Let Die follow Casino Royale without Sheriff J.W. Pepper and Rosie Carver, but with a Strangways and Quarrel who would later appear played by the same actors in a Dr. No remake? Imagine Bill Duke or Michael Clarke Duncan as Mr. Big. Or Chow Yun-Fat as Doctor No. I get chills.

The Live and Let Die novel was also a direct sequel to Casino Royale and it was also “not just a revenge tale.” But it certainly had that element to it since Bond’s enthusiasm for the case shot up dramatically once he learned that Mr. Big was associated with the same guys Vesper had worked for. I’m confident that Quantum of Solace will be able to maintain that same balance between Bond’s lust for revenge and an interesting spy story.

Incidently, if you’re curious about what exactly the phrase “quantum of solace” means or has to do with the story, the excellent Double O Section blog has the answer.

The Awesome List: Monsters, Chun-Li, Pirate’s Cove, Neozoic, Strangeways, Torchwood comics, and more

Kraken!Museums are Cool

When I go to WizardWorld Chicago, I usually stick pretty close to the convention center out in the ‘burbs. This year though, I may have to venture into the city.

I’ve been to the Field Museum before and the dinosaurs are reason enough, not to mention that it was the site of much mauling in the movie version of The Relic, but the Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids exhibit will be there all summer long, so it’ll be an especially good time to go. And in addition to the girly creatures in the title? Krakens.

(Thanks to SFScope — who also reviewed the exhibit when it was in New York — for the heads up.)

Kristin!And starring Kristin Kreuk as Chun-Li

I don’t know how I missed this before.

I stopped caring about Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang a long, long time ago. But casting her as Chun-Li in a new Street Fighter movie? That’s the way to get me to go see a new Street Fighter movie.

The Pirate’s Cove

Rob Ossian, self-proclaimed Pirate King of The Pirate’s Cove, doesn’t look as much like a pirate as he seems to think he does, but he runs a mean, extremely useful website full of pirate biographies, music, books, movies, weapons galleries, timelines, historical documents, and nautical info. He’s even got a sailing simulator! Very, very cool site.

Neozoic #4Thank God for Red 5

Seriously. Atomic Robo and Neozoic are drugs for an illness I didn’t even know I had: Lackofawesometosis.

Coming April 30: Neozoic #4

Written by Paul Ens; Art by J. Korim; Colors by Jessie Lam

The walls of Monanti city are smashed, and the lives of millions are trampled beneath the feet of relentless dinosaurs. The Predator Defense League tries to stem the tide. The King finds his family kidnapped. But is Lilli to blame?

When both father and mentor turn their backs on her, the emotional show-down turns deadly.

32 pages, $2.95


Strangeways was one of the casualties of Speakeasy’s demise and one of the few titles that didn’t immediately find a new home elsewhere. That’s not a comment on it’s quality though, because I read the first issue and it promised to be one of the best titles Speakeasy produced. It’s high-concept (werewolves in the Wild West) is actually outdone by it’s execution, at least in the first issue. It’s probably the coolest, scariest werewolf story I’ve ever read.

Rather than shop the mini-series around elsewhere though, creator Matt Maxwell decided to hold onto it until it was done and release it as a complete graphic novel. And guess what’s all done and ready to read?

You can check out the first chapter in the link above and find out more about the book here.

Torchwood comicsTorchwood comics

I gave up on Torchwood not too far into the series. It was bleaker than both Doctor Who from whence it came and The X-Files whom it seemed to try so hard to be. All that darkness needs some humor to offset it and I just wasn’t finding it.

That said, it’s still pretty cool that Torchwood: The Official Magazine is doing a series of exclusive comic strips based on the show.

Speaking of The X-Files

JJ Abrams’ shot at the concept will co-star Denethor from The Lord of the Rings.

Free Giant Monster!

Thanks no doubt to Cloverfield, Boom! released the collected edition of Steve Niles’ Giant Monster mini-series this month.

What’s better, you can read it for free. You’ll still want to buy it because it’s cool, but now you can check it out for yourself first.

North WorldGross Pointe Blank with talking bears

I have this love/hate thing going on with webcomics. There are some really awesome ones, but I don’t have time to keep up with them. Take North World, for example, which is a fantasy epic set in a world pretty much like our own except for the demons, giant eagles, and other mythical creatures in need of killing. I need to read a book like that.

Fortunately, the good webcomics eventually find their way into print and that’s the case with North Wood, the first volume of which will come out in March from Oni.

The Terragoth Chronicles

The story description sounds generic and flowery, but from what I can see of the art, The Terragoth Chronicles should at least be pretty to look at. Unfortunately, most of the art is tiny and I couldn’t find any story pages on the site so I can’t judge how well it’ll be executed, but yeah… pretty.

The Awesome List: Cool comics

Marvel and DC for April

Marvel and DC have both released information about their April comics. Here’s the stuff I found interesting:

Amazing Spider-Man #555

I’m not a Spider-Man fan and I can take or leave Wolverine, but dang those guys they’re fighting look cool.

Hulk vs. Hercules: When Titans Clash

Looks like a continuation of the current “Incredible Herc” storyline currently in The Incredible Hulk comic, but even if it wasn’t I’d be into it. Looks like a glorious smash party.

Mighty Avengers #12

I really don’t care much about the Secret Invasion of Skrulls, but I do care about “WHERE THE HELL HAS NICK FURY BEEN??”

Secret Invasion #1

That said, I’ll give this a flip through and see if it’s interesting.

Detective Comics #843

You can’t tell it from the cover, but this issue features Zatanna and that’s always a draw. Especially Paul Dini-written Zatanna.

Tangent: Superman’s Reign #2

I’ve never been a Green Lantern fan, but I love the design of the Tangent version. I’m not afraid to admit that it’s the big ass lantern-on-a-stick. I’m tempted to give this issue a try even though it’s part of a storyline/event that I care absolutely nothing about.

New Guardians of the Galaxy

I’ve really enjoyed Marvel’s Annihilation: Conquest mini-series, so I’m glad they’re going to keep going with the same characters when it’s done. I mean, any comic with a talking space-raccoon is a good comic.

But you know how you could make that comic better? Call it Guardians of the Galaxy and put an alien with a giant fin on his head in it. We’re halfway there; I just need to know where the petition I need to sign is to include Yondu.

(I realize that not even Rocket Raccoon is a done deal for the series, but a man has to dream.)

Zenescope? Yes, Zenescope.

I haven’t been a big fan of Zenescope’s comics so far, but they’ve got some upcoming projects that sound really cool. One is Dan Wickline’s ongoing Sinbad series.

The other is Ken Haeser and Buz Hasson’s The Living Corpse. It’s not as natural a draw for me as Dan or Sinbad comics in general, but the preview makes it look like fun.

Other comics I’m looking forward to

I forgot to mention it here at the time, but my Blog@ post last week was the Top 10 independent adventure comics I’m looking forward to this year.

Vacancy (2007)

At last, a good horror movie. After the last couple, I was starting to despair.

Vacancy got on my To Watch list for two reasons. Kate Beckinsale was one. The other was that I heard some good things. But you never know if you should trust other people’s tastes, so I didn’t want to get too excited. Fortunately, my friends were right on.

I don’t know if I’m gonna buy Vacancy, because frankly it’s kind of hard to watch. It opens with Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson as a married couple on a road trip, but they’re picking on each other. Once they get lost and start having car trouble though, the snide comments and dirty looks soon escalate to outright name calling and the presentation of middle fingers. These guys hate each other and the actors are so convincing at it that it’s uncomfortable to be around them.

When their car finally dies on them and they get stuck overnight in a little motel in the middle of nowhere, things get really nasty. After being frightened half to death by some unseen pranksters who won’t stop knocking loudly on the doors, Luke starts looking for something to help him unwind and get to sleep. He finds a stash of unmarked video tapes and pops one in the VCR. He and Kate are horrified enough that it’s apparently a real, live snuff film, but even more disturbing is that it was apparently filmed in the very room they’re staying in.

By this time, I’m just about ready to turn the movie off because the tension’s so high. I’m already on edge from Kate and Luke’s bickering, then the knocking starts and its scary as hell because a) Kate and Luke did nothing to instigate it and b) you can just imagine it happening to you, but then you get the snuff films and they’re so raw and convincing that you’re freaking screaming at the TV set for Luke and Kate to get out NOW! but they don’t and oh crap now they’re dead.

Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I was that freaked out by a movie. I honestly had to remind myself that it was just a film and, fortunately, it was about that time that director Nimr√≥d Antal let up on the tension so I could breathe. And then he kept doing that for the rest of the movie. Tension. Release. Tension. Release. Oh crap they’re dead. Oh good they’re not. Oh crap yes they are.

Actually, I may buy it anyway just so I can show people what real, scary horror is supposed to look like.

Five out of five dings on the counter bell.

Rise: Blood Hunter (2007)

I can’t trust Lucy Liu anymore. I gave her a pass on Ecks vs. Sever because that also starred Antonio Banderas who’s another of my favorites, so I figured that sometimes good people can make bad movies and I decided to forget about it and move on. But now…

I’m sorry, Lucy. I love you, but I don’t trust your judgment in films. If it’s any consolation, I feel the same way about Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh.

This isn’t really a review because I didn’t even finish Rise: Blood Hunter. Lucy’s good in it, but the movie started to lose me about the time that she’s kidnapped and raped by a couple of vampires (James D’Arcy and Carla Gugino). I forced myself to sit through it (it’s not especially graphic, even in the unrated version, but it’s not pleasant or even necessary either), but I gave up once Lucy picks up a hitchiker and kills him for his blood.

What I saw along the way was a lot of T&A and even more blood. I don’t mind nudity, but this wasn’t even attractive nudity. It was skanky nudity and that gets old fast. I don’t mind movie gore either, but an excess of it is usually an indication that the movie-makers are trying to distract us from the lack of something else, and that’s definitely the case here.

As far as I could tell after about half-an-hour, the plot’s a pretty simple revenge deal with Michael Chiklis thrown in as a good-hearted cop who’s investigating a series of bloody deaths. I think I might have gotten to like Chiklis had I kept with it, but I was so disappointed in Lucy’s murdering the innocent hitchiker that I didn’t care. And it’s not like she just suddenly went blood-crazy and attacked him because she wasn’t in control. She stopped and picked him up, questioned him to make sure he didn’t have any dependents, then drove him into an empty park and sliced his throat open with a cross-shaped weapon specially designed for the job.

So, I gave it thirty minutes and all I could see was a movie about a bunch of unlikable people killing each other. Who cares?

One out of five dead hookers.