Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven

Releases September 23rd 2016

Toy Review: Zoomer Chimp

2016 Holiday Toy of the Year?

Giveaway: The Swan Princess

Ends September 24th 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016


The Magnificent Seven
Releases  September 23rd, 2016
2 hrs 13 mins
Rated PG-13
Action, Adventure, Western

Trailer:


Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Roger Bimbaum, Todd Black (based on screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto, Richard Wenk)
Based on Seven Samurai by  Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni

Cast:
Denzel Washington as Sam Chisolm, a bounty hunter, the leader of the Seven
Chris Pratt as Josh Farraday, a gambler with a fondness for explosives
Ethan Hawke as Goodnight Robicheaux, a sharpshooter
Vincent D'Onofrio as Jack Horne, a tracker
Byung-hun Lee as Billy Rocks, an assassin
Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Vasquez, a Mexican outlaw
Martin Sensmeier as Red Harvest, a Comanche warrior
Peter Sarsgaard as Bartholomew Bogue, a corrupt industrialist
Haley Bennett as Emma Cullen, a young woman who hires the Seven
Matt Bomer as Matthew Cullen, Emma's husband who gets killed by Bogue

Plot:
"Seven gunslingers join forces in order to protect a small town from a mining tycoon (Peter Sarsgaard) and his goons, who plan to seize the residents' land by force. The seven-man army is led by a mysterious bounty hunter (Denzel Washington), and also includes a sharp-witted gambler (Chris Pratt), a troubled ex-Civil War soldier (Ethan Hawke), a mountain man (Vincent D'Onofrio), an expert knife thrower (Byung-hun Lee), an outlaw (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and a Comanche warrior (Martin Sensmeier). "

Review by Stephen M.

The Magnificent Seven which is a remake of the 1960's film of the same name based off of the Japanese film, Seven Samurai (1954) is a good action film that will entertain you but not Oscar worthy by a long shot.  A star studded cast led by Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, they play gunslingers joined by five others all with their own quirks and skills to defeat a mining tycoon threatening a small town.  Unfortunately with such a large cast, and a big focus on action scenes which isn't a bad thing, character development and bonding of characters are minimized.


Denzel is great as the badass bounty hunter Sam Chisolm.  Chris Pratt is predictable as the humorous John Farraday.  Ethan Hawke and Haley Bennett are the performance stealers for me.  Vincent D'Onofrio who plays Kingpin on Netflix's Daredevil is unrecognizable as Jack Horne showing his depth as an actor as well the great make up artists and costumer designers for the film.  Peter Sarsgaard as the villain Bartholomew Bogue would be my only negative, who does everything a great villain should do (killing helpless innocent people) but his mannerism and delivery of lines is just unconvincing to me and a bit cartoonish.


Overall, I would recommend the film especially if you enjoy westerns or if you like action films with shootouts.  The film is a bit predictable in its plot, for example with the two Indians toward the end.  But the pacing is good for an action film, and the performances overall while not amazing is good enough given the straight forward shoot from the hip story line and dialogue the actors and actresses are given.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, September 12, 2016


We were super excited when we were selected to review the Zoomer Chimp by Spin Master through BzzAgent.  I first came across the toy at Toy Fair 2016 and was super impress by the amount of features it offers.  I was only briefly familiar with the "Zoomer" line, with the Chimp its most technologically advance and lifelike one to date.  The others previously offered by Spin Master being the Kitty, Dog and Dino.



Zoomer Chimp which is indicated as for ages 5+ runs on rechargeable batteries which you can plug with a USB cable to a PC to charge or if you have a USB outlet on the wall.  Upon first showing it to my ten old daughter her initial reaction was “those are some creepy black eyes!”  But once I had it unpacked and charged she was more than excited to try it out as well when I started monkeying around with it.  The amount of articulation and facial expressions that can become animated is a dream of every kid that has ever own a GI Joe and Transformers toy that wished their figures would come alive before them.  This generation of kids with the Zoomer line are truly blessed thanks to Spin Master.



The Zoomer Chimp offers numerous modes including “tricks” and “voice command” which the latter was my favorite.  There are also “Guard mode” and others which is indicated by the color of the light up eyes of the Chimp.  Initially, I found the learning curve a bit steep despite a small booklet of instructions and even a link to an instructional YouTube video.  But it really takes a hands on playing around with the little Chimp to get to know it and even then it can be a bit unpredictable.  It is advertised as knowing over 100+ tricks!  I like to think of it as a little playful kid with attitude!



Overall, I would highly recommend the toy for this holiday season.  While I did not have a chance to play with it extensively, the Zoomer Chimp appeared well made and capable to provide hours of entertainment to justify the $119.99 retail price.  I love how the instructions are written in a way that is friendly to children reminding us constantly not to play the Chimp on tabletops.  I love the realism of the facial movements as well as the body movements.  This is Rise of the Planet of the Apes meet Terminator in a Rated G entertainingly playful sort of way.  Kids under 5 will be frightened by the animated Chimp as my 1 ½ year old was, so the age recommendation is pretty right on target.

To order from Spin Master - https://www.spinmaster.com/product_detail.php?pid=p20744&bid=
To order from Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/zoomer-6027473-Zoomer-Chimp/dp/B019K8K75U

Rating: 4 Stars out of 5 Stars

We are excited to be giving away to one reader a DVD copy of The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!


The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today is out on DVD September 6 from Sony Home Entertainment!



In the brand new original animated film, Princess Alise is training to be the perfect royal but in her heart all she wants to do is sail the seven seas as a swashbuckling pirate! After setting sail, Princess Alise is shipwrecked and washes ashore on an island where she meets Lucas, a young boy who has been living there by herself. They have to work together to survive and get back to civilization!

Buy The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, PIrate Today! 
http://sonypictures.us/swan

Follow The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! 
https://www.facebook.com/swanprincessmovie




To enter the contest!:

1. Like and Follow us on both Facebook.com/Geekwithmak and Twitter.com/Geekwithmak
2. Retweet this contest on Twitter including @GeekwithMak and #TheSwanPrincess
3.  Take the “Are You A Princess Or A Pirate Quiz” and post their results in the comment section below including your full name and Twitter handle.


Quiz!



Contest ends 9/24/2016 Midnight ET.  Open to US and Canadian residents only.  Each household is only eligible to win The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! DVD via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  Good luck!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


This past weekend was the 2nd annual Flame Con convention held in downtown Brooklyn.  The convention which catered to the LGBTQ community had the feel of a Heroes Con with its focus on creators albeit with a bit of a queer twist.  This is the first year that I attended the convention and I was impressed by the organization and offering of the convention.  It was a full convention with programming, creators and a few exhibitors.  Missing are the gaudy massive booths by publishers like Marvel Comics, or Image Comics at the Comic Cons.  Instead, with a smaller crowd in the smaller event space that is the Marriott Hotel, you had an intimate scene of fans interacting with their favorite writers and artists while discovering new ones.

The negatives of the con was few but quite noticeable.  The first thing would be that this con while accepting of a community that is often disregarded or hated is inadvertently excluding a key demographics to comic books and that is children.  With vendors that sells art or books that is beyond racy, the convention definitely does not cater towards kids.  Second because of the event space being small, for popular panels such as Chris Claremont's Pride and the X-Men which we will talk about in a separate post there was a limited amount of space, in which only about 120 people got to attend.

Overall though, I highly enjoy the convention and would strongly suggest that you make plans to attend especially if you're a geek and part of or support the LGBTQ community.  Even if you don't, there is enough for the average geek of the heterosexual persuasion to enjoy.  Yes it is a small convention, but with the organization and sponsors that the convention has, I cannot fathom them not growing leaps and bounds in the coming years.  They are already planning for next years, hopefully you can be a part of it.  For more info, visit: flamecon.org

Enjoy our pics from the con, from the creators, to the cosplayers, to the panels.

James Tynion IV signing Detective Comics which he wrote...

A C Medina promoting signing his Elasticator comic published by Solar Comics...

Greg Pak adding his autograph to World War Hulk signed already by the late Michael Turner...

Amy Reeder in her Jimmy Olson cosplay showing off her Rhino sketch...

Phil Jiminez working on a Sunspot commission...

Some happy con goers winning passes for next year's con...

Chris Claremont signing old copies of Uncanny X-Men that he wrote...

Incredible Power Man cosplay...

Lynn Yoshii working on Black Cat...


The first North Star cosplay I can recall ever seeing...


Chris Claremont's Pride & the X-Men panel...


Cosplay contest...


Tana Ford showing off her Venom sketch...

The always stoic looking Kris Anka showing off his Mysterio sketch...


The playful Phil Jimenez showing off his Emma Frost, White Queen sketch...

Sophie Campbell showing off her wicked Raphael...

A beautiful cross gender cosplay of Magneto, master of magnetism...

Amazing Spider-Man jam piece thus far...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


We missed going over the covers for the first three weeks of Marvel Tsum Tsum's takeover.  So here's a look at every cover that has come out in the first three weeks!


Do you have a favorite cover? If so, which one?



Thursday, August 18, 2016


Marvel Tsum Tsum takeover of Marvel Comics continue in week 4 of August with a slow week of just three covers.  Release date is August 24th, a Wednesday as usual.  Deadpool Vol 5 #17, Extraordinary X-Men #13 and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #10.  This compared to last week's release of five variant covers, but fear not as more is still yet to come!

Deadpool Vol 5 #17 is by Javier Rodriguez, a Spanish comic book artist who has mainly been working on Spider-Woman as of late.  He broke into the business as a colorist, working on Batgirl: Year One, Daredevil and The Amazing Spider-Man,  You can check out more of his work here.




Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur #10 is by Joelle Jones, an amazing artist, she is well known for her Dark Horse series Lady Killer which recently begun a volume 2 series.  You can check out more of her work here.



Extraordinary X-Men #13 is by Dave Johnson who does it all with an incredible resume of both Marvel and DC comics along with other indie books.  Check out his work on 100 Bullets by Vertigo.  Check out his other artwork here.



Have you been collecting the Marvel Tsum Tsum covers?  Which has been your favorite thus far?

Train to Busan (부산행)
Released July 20th 2016 (South Korea), July 22nd 2016 (USA - Limited)
1 hr 58 mins
Not Rated
Action, Horror, Thriller

Trailer:


Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Writer: Park Joo-suk

Cast:
Gong Yoo as Seok-woo
Kim Su-an as Su-an
Jung Yu-mi as Seong-kyeong
Ma Dong-seok as Sang-hwa
Choi Woo-shik as Young-guk
Ahn So-hee as Jin-hee
Kim Eui-sung as Yong-suk
Choi Gwi-hwa as Homeless
Jung Suk-yong as Captain of KTX
Ye Soo-jung as In-gil
Park Myung-sin as Jong-gil
Jang Hyuk-jin as Ki-chul
Kim Chang-hwan as Kim Jin-mo
Shim Eun-kyung as runaway girl
Kim Yool-ho as Suit-man2

Plot:
While a zombie-virus breaks out in South Korea, a couple of passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Review by Stephen M.

Train to Busan follows a father and her young daughter on a high speed train to Busan during a zombie outbreak in South Korea.  Currently playing in New York City at IFC Center and AMC Empire 25, it is the best zombie film you will see released in 2016 thus far.  The film compares favorably to World War Z, and in my mind would have made a great companion piece to World War Z.  Besides the fast moving zombies, they share incredible character development stories, frantic paced action and at the edge of your feet suspense.



The father Seok-woo played by Gong Yoo along with the rest of the cast does an excellent job showing a range of emotions from bravery to fear.  The zombie cast with their awkward movements are just incredible to watch when they transform.  The CGI was good, not overly taxed and noticeable as it was in World War Z.  The only complaint is some of the campiness, what the heck moments that has seem to come from the zombie genre, despite who is tackling the subject.  Such as when the male leads go on a slug fest from train car to train car with zombies to get to a certain train car.  The writer and director must be a big fan of the film Old Boy.  Another interesting aspect of the film is how the filmmakers have woven the issue of different social classes at odds with each other from the elderly to the homeless to the fund manager and corporate leader all while trying to survive a zombie apocalypse!

Overall, I would highly recommend this film.  Rare is it that an Asian film is playing in a theater in New York City for more than a week let along, almost two months.  Only when the seats are filled and my screening was, does this happen.  If you're a fan of this genre (zombie, thriller, not so much horror with dashes of comedy), this is a must see film for you.  This film is like Flight 462 to Fear the Walking Dead, is to World War Z.  Watch it on the big screen while you can, you won't be disappointed.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars