Thursday, February 28, 2013

Last night I got to catch a screening for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone courtesy of Warner Brothers. I've actually never heard of the film before I got the invitation, so I watched the trailer on Youtube.  The main plot is that of an aging magician and his partner having to reignite their passion for what they do when challenged by a new magician.

The cast for the movie is star studded with Steve Carell as the magician Burt Wonderstone and Steve Buscemi as his partner Anton Marvelton.  Their young rival is Jim Carrey playing the role of Steve Grey.  To round up the cast, the beautiful Olivia Wilde plays the magician's assistant.  All four plays their role superbly. Jim Carrey's character Steve Grey is the type of magician that is similar to Crisis Angel where his acts can often be harmful to the body.  This was the typical Jim Carrey role when he was younger and I can't imagine another playing the role as perfect.  I am big fans of both Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi and they also don't disappoint.  There were at least three moments in the movie where I laughed so hard I thought I was gonna passed out!

Not that the movie is without its flaws.  For one thing I would've changed was the title.  Sure it's unique but it's not something that's easily remembered given it's length.  Perhaps that's the new norm now for Steve Carell's movie given his recent "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World."  Another flaw is that for all its big laughs, there are a few moments that are just flat.  For example, Burt and Anton's peers scene at the bar. The deliveries and dialogue by actors Michael Herbig and Jay Mohr are forgettable.  As well, more because of Steve Carell's character being relatively stand offish and dull.  There are scenes with his character that you wish can just past by quicker.  And finally, James Gandolfini as a casino owner just seems off.  His character bordered on the goofy side which is hard to picture him as I still remember the powerful imposing Tony Soprano.

Given everything that I mentioned though, go see the movie!  It's out March 15th and is the best comedy I've seen in a long while.

(image source:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

All signings and appearances are in New York City.  Some may require purchases.  Please check the "Details" link for more information.

March 4th - Musician Gregg Allman will be signing his book "My Cross to Bear" at B&N 555 Fifth Avenue - Details

March 5th - New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin will be signing his book "Earn the Right to Win: How Success in Any Field Starts With Superior Preparation" at B&N 555 Fifth Avenue - Details

March 5th - Muscian Marcus Canty performing and signing his new CD "This is Marcus Canty" at J&R 23rd Park Row - Details

March 5th - Singer, Dancer, and Actress Rita Moreno will be signing her new memoir "Rita Moreno" at B&N 150 E 86th Street - Details

March 8th - Irish band The Tossers performing and signing their new CD "The Emerald City" at J&R 23rd Park Row - Details

March 11th - Former College Basketball Coach Bobby Knight signing his book "The Power of Negative Thinking" at Book Revue Huntington, NY - Details

March 11th - Muscian Devon Allman performing and signing his new CD "Turqoise" at J&R 23rd Park Row - Details

March 12th - Actress Jessica Alba signing her book "The Honest Life" at Book Revue Huntington, NY - Details

March 21st - Writer & Comedian Demetri Martin will be signing his new book "Point Your Face at This: Drawings" at B&N 33 E 17th Street - Details

March 25th - Musician Alice Smith will be performing tracks from her new CD "She" at B&N 33 E 17th Street - Details

March 26th Author Caroline Kennedy will be signing her book "Poems to Learn by Heart" at B&N 33 E 17th Street - Details

March 27th - Radio Personality Robin Quivers will be signing her book "The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life" at B&N 33 E 17th Street - Details

March 29th - Artist Becy Cloonan to discuss the graphic novel "Demo" with the Midtown Comics Book Club at Midtown Down 64 Fulton Street - Details

(image sources:;;

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Most of my friends that are into Facebook or App games are currently playing Candy Crush Saga.  The game by is available on Facebook, Android and iOS.  The game is your basic puzzle game where you must match candies to either clear the screen of jelly, set a certain amount of score or bring down to the bottom of the screen ingredients.  While free to download and play, the game charges quite a lot for extras such as power ups and extra lives.  The game at times are very frustrating, and probably purposely designed to do so, so that you would be tempted to buy the in-game items.  The game as of today is ranked 6th both on Google Play and iTunes.

Most of the complaints I've heard of the game is of these purchasable in-game items.  The minimum of these items are $0.99 for extra lives or moves.  But I've seen some items go for as much as $39.99.  With the limitation in place of a total of five lives at any time and the lives regenerating at one life per 30 minutes, you quickly run out of lives.  You can get free lives from your friends that play the game via a Facebook request.  But the power-ups are not available via this manner.

Personally, I've yet to buy an in-game item, never have, and don't ever plan to.  The most frustrating level I've faced thus far is Level 65 which took me about a week to complete.  In a lot of the levels you're limited by moves and often at times you really need to be LUCKY to have certain candy in place or drop to get those free power-ups necessary to clear a stage.

Here are some tips that I've come up with that may help you:

  • When your lives are full at five, do not accept an additional life from a friend yet.  It can't go any higher than five!  Instead, wait til your life goes down again and then go back and accept in your messages.
  • In later stages (around lvl 80 - 100) where ingredients are required to drop through the suction, there are some levels with dead spots where the item cannot drop anymore.  In those levels always tried to keep the ingredient in the same column where the suction is.
  • In stages where there are chocolate that spreads like a virus.  Try to avoid breaking blocks that set them free until you've accumulated a few free power-ups that will help you clear them faster once the chocolate is free.
  • What is common in most of these games, is that always try to work from the bottom up.  The reason is that you can often set up chain reactions where moves are precious.
  • Except for timer stages which are infrequent, take your time!  Take into consideration how each move can prepare your next move.
Overall, I have to say I enjoy this game as frustrating as it may be sometimes.  I'm currently on level 104 which took me approximately two to three weeks to get to.

Do you play this game?  Any tips that I haven't mentioned that you can share?

(image source:; screenshot from iPhone)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I always tell my friends that are hooked on the AMC TV series Walking Dead to be sure to check out the comic book.  While some of the story arcs are overall the same, there's a lot that is different and to enjoy from the series that inspired the TV series.

Today I will be talking about issues #105 - 107 of the Walking Dead, with issue #107 just out earlier this month in February.  Just to give a brief recap of what's been going on leading up to issue #105, Rick and company are part of this community and has made friends with another community of survivors as well.  Turns out though that the other community is under the thumb of a warlord by the name of Negan.  Negan rules with a small army and a baseball bat he likes to call Lucille.  Glenn, one of my favorite character in the whole series meets Lucille tragically.  Carl feeling that his father is not doing enough to stand up to Negan, sneaks into Negan's base and is able to kill a few of Negan's men before being captured.  And that now leads us to ...

Issue #105 really gives us a glimpse of who Negan is as well as those in his community.  They all bow down to him as if he was an emperor.  And with five wives, he may very well be.  We also see another side of Negan in this issue as well in issue #107.  And that is a man who lives by a certain code that when respected means an easier life for you.  Case in point for issue #105, when he finds out that one of his wives cheats on him.  You would fully expect Lucille to hit the side of her head.  Instead the male adulterer gets a scalding reminder of what it means to disrespect Negan.  I really love the pace of this issue and the character development of Negan.  From this issue you can't help but start to like him.  Did I just say that?

As interesting as issue #105 was, #106 is one of those bridging issues between a great #105 and a good #107.  The best part of this issue would probably be the amazing two page spread by artist Charlie Adlard of Rick, Michonne, Andrea and Nicholas fighting off a zombie horde.  As mentioned before Carl is in the hands of Negan.  When Negan and Rick meets up at the end of issue #106, they were essentially looking for one another.  The issue ends with the great line by Negan, "I can't fucking wait until you see what I've done to your little boy!" to Rick.  It's definitely a great cliffhanger and you would expect the worst considering the cover of issue #107.

On the cover of issue #107 we see Carl's hat in a pile of rubble, so we can only assume the worst.  To be honest I've never been a fan of Carl.  Both on the TV series and the comic book.  Were he to have died in this issue, I wouldn't have missed him.  But Negan smartly plays with Rick's emotions leading to a nice head butt.  Negan admits to the poor choice of words and we see that Carl is fine after all.  Negan goes on to make his speech about being a reasonable man.  Which to my point earlier, this is a character I'm starting to like so hopefully he's around as an antagonist for another dozen issues.  But in the end of #107, Rick's spy Jesus, tells Rick that he's ready to meet Ezekiel.  This is a nice cliffhanger to issue #107 as your mind starts to churn as to who exactly is Ezekiel and how can he help with the problem of Negan and his Saviors?

This arc has been a great read thus far and has really been on all cylinders since the lull of Rick and gang joining their current community.  If you were to just start reading the book today and don't want to start with issue #1, I would say begin around issue #100 which will give you a good background as to their current situation up to what you've read today in this post.

Have you been reading Walking Dead?  What do you think of the recent issues?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let me first say I am a huge fan of Amazing Spider-Man #700 and the issues that led up to it.  I thought that the change was a good and interesting twist to a relatively stale title as of late.  In case you haven't read about it, there are going to be spoilers galore on that issue as well Superior Spider-Man #1-3.

So just a brief recap, in case you didn't read #700, Peter Parker is dead.  Or is he?  Doctor Octopus is a weak old man dying of old age.  A nemesis of Spider-Man ever since his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #3, he can be considered as an egotistic genius utilizing the robotic (Octopus) arms that he had invented.  A mad scientist that he is, he develops a plan to escape death by switching the minds of himself and Peter Parker.  In the final pages of Amazing Spider-Man we witness the death of Doctor Octopus with Peter Parker's mind still in the body.  Doctor Octopus meanwhile experiences all the memories of what it means that with great power comes great responsibility of Peter Parker.  So a new super hero is born?

That's exactly what we see in issue #1 of Superior Spider-Man.  Doctor Octopus still in Peter Parker's body strives to be a better version of the former owner of that body.  From trying to court Mary Jane to developing new gadgets for Horizon Labs.  And as Spider-Man, or rather the "Superior" Spider-Man takes on the latest version of the Sinister Six.  It is quite a ho hum start to the new series til the final pages when we see what is a ghost of Peter Parker, or conscious you might say that actually disappoints me.

Why does it disappoints me?  After all, heroes never stay dead do they?  But to have him show up so soon, without more buildup is what disappoints me.  Knowing full well that if his ghost or conscious is there, then a return to status quo can't be too far behind.  Which leads us to issue #2.

As much as issue #1 was learning more about the new Peter, issue #2's focus is on Peter's relationship with Mary Jane.  He constantly tries to impress her and get what he could never get as Doctor Octopus.  At least not without paying or threatening death!  But in the end he learns what Peter has long realize, that for their love, they must be apart.  The scene where Doctor Octopus comes to that revelation is the best scene to date of this short lived series.  As far as the real Peter Parker in issue #2?  He spends most of the issue providing back seat comments which only the readers knows.  There is a separation between Doctor Octopus psyche and Peter Parker's conscious apparently.  It's amusing to see how frustrated Peter gets when Doctor Octopus pursues Mary Jane.  But the amusement gets old really fast.

In issue #3 of Superior Spider-Man, we get a glimpse of Doctor Octopus old relationships with the Vulture (Adrian Toomes) as well as his father as a child.  Both are pretty interesting, especially in his relationship with the Vulture.  In the Vulture we see that he generally had a friend whereas the other villains he could never relate to.  He tries to help his friend in the present but is attacked naturally due to him being Spider-Man now.  At the end of issue #3 we see that Peter's ex policewoman Carlie has finally figured out what she's been suspecting all along.

Overall, I enjoy the series thus far.  There's a lot of promises.  My only gripe as I've said before is that I thought they should have held back on the real Peter Parker til later on in the series.  The interior artwork on the book is done by Ryan Stegman does a more than adequate job.   I especially like his drawings of the Vulture's henchmen kids.  What I am hoping for now in the next few issues is that Carlie stays alive.  I really like her character.  That Peter stays dead a little longer.  Captain America was dead for over a year.  And that we see the "Superior" Spider-Man take on more classic villains like the Green Goblin!

Have you read Superior Spider-Man?  What are your thoughts on this series?

(image sources:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Today I'm listing the five top cons to Geek out at in New York City in 2013.  In no particular order:

SpringFestNY March 16-17, 2013
Billed as the largest college-run anime convention in New York/Tri-state area.  I've never been, but hey it's in Brooklyn!

Big Apple Ponycon March 23-24, 2013
A convention in Brooklyn dedicated to My Little Pony?  Voice actress Tara Strong as well as Artist/Writer Katie Cook and Artist Andy Price will be there.

Mike Carbo's New York Comic Book Marketplace April 13, 2013
Didn't he retired from the Convention scene?  Well he's back and George Perez will be there!

Wizard World New York City Experience June 28-30, 2013
The come back for Wizard World in New York City?  They've promised a big show and already announced guests Stan Lee and actor Patrick Stewart as the headliners.

and much further down the line...

New York Comic Con October 10-13, 2013
In just a few years it quickly took over as the number one comic book convention in New York City rivaling that of San Diego's.  Or at least getting there.  There's an Anime Convention in there too!

What conventions do you usually geek out at?

(image source: GeekwithMak)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

All signings and appearances are in New York City.  Some may require purchases.  Please check the "Details" link for more information.

February 11th - Former baseball player Mike Piazza signs his new book at B&N Fifth Avenue - Details

February 13th - Author Nicholas Sparks on Safe Haven at B&N Fifth Avenue - Details

February 15th - Maroon 5's Adam Levine appearing for his fragrance launch at Macy's 34th Street - Details

February 19th - Ivanka Trump appearing for her fragrance launch at Macy's 34th Street -  Details

February 22nd - Meet Editor Jim Salicrup as the Midtown Comics Book Club goes over Amazing Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt at Midtown Downtown - Details

February 23rd - Meet Writer Neil Gaiman and Illustrator Adax Rex signs their new children book Chu's Day at Book of Wonder 18th Street - Details

(image sources: &,,20290120_20647689_21241360,00.html)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Part two of Season Three is finally upon us as episode 9, The Suicide King airs this Sunday on AMC.  Here's a recap of the last episode, in case you've forgotten.  Spoilers galore if you haven't seen the last episode!

Merle and his brother Daryl are reunited at last but in a fight to the death courtesy of the Governor.  Michonne leads Rick and friends on a somewhat successful rescue of Maggie and Glenn.  I say somewhat, as Daryl is captured and they suffer the loss of T-Dog.  Over at the prison, we were introduced to new characters including a favorite in the comic book Tyreese.  Now that you're caught up, here are some of my predictions for the second half of the season.

This is of course all speculation, and the TV series haven't really followed the comic book to the letter.  So I am not revealing anything that was actually in the comic book.  For example, I think both Merle and Daryl do not survive the rest of season 3.  I think Merle bites the dust on Sunday, and Daryl shortly after.  I think Andrea after seeing the Governor for what he actually is tries to escape with Daryl and that's when Daryl dies sacrificing himself so she escapes.  I guess we'll see if I am right soon!

More spoilers, this time from the comic book.  From the comic book, the Governor is eventually killed by one of his own people.  But in the comic book it's the result of Lori being killed by gun fire that it happens.  Of course, Lori is already dead, so things will play out a little differently.  Also in the comic book, Rick loses his arm to the Governor.  I don't see them doing this yet, even if at all.  If they're going to have Rick lose a limb, I predict it would be another season due to another villain other than the Governor.

End of spoilers.

Are you a Walking Dead fan?  Do you read the comic book?

(image source:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I finally got a chance to see Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters tonight.  I had previously had screening passes to see this.  But the screening was on one of those 20 degrees F nights in New York this winter so I passed. The movie is an interesting twist on the classic story of Hansel and Gretel coming upon a cottage made out of candy that has a witch as its owner.  Be warned there are spoilers in the next paragraph!

Like the classic tale, these Hansel and Gretel also defeated the witch by cooking her in the oven.  But this story continues afterwards of when they've grown up.  You see, they've used their experience from the first witch to become witch hunters, and they're quite successful at it too.  Hansel is played by relatively new action star Jeremy Renner (Avengers, The Bourne Legacy) while Gretel was played by Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans).  I really enjoyed both of their characters and wish there were a bit more character dialogue from them and character development.  I guess the good thing about the movie is that there were a lot of action scenes.  The weapons they used was very cool, and the period pieces and costumes was nice as well.  The only other issue I would have with the movie is the faith of the white witch.  If the box office does well I hope they will make a sequel.  They've definitely left it open where it can be a franchise movie with several sequels.  As with most 3D movies, was it really necessary to be in 3D?  Probably not, but some of the scenes they definitely made good use of it.

Have you seen Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters yet?  What did you think?

(image source:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Escape from Planet Earth is not until Valentine's Day 2/14.  But if you're a follower of my blog and in New York you can watch it this Saturday 2/10.  The movie is a 3D animation film starring the voices of Rob Corddry, Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba and Sarah Jessica Parker among others.  What space movie of course would be complete without William Shatner, so yes he's in it too.  To enter, just be a follower and comment below your favorite Brendan Fraser or Jessica Alba movie.

Just a reminder I am still giving away a pair of passes to see Identity Thief for 2/7.  You can enter that here.

(image source:

If the above picture creeps you out, than I am insulted. I thought it captured my good side! LOL  The picture above was created by AMC's new Walking Dead app, aptly named Dead Yourself.  In the app, you take a forward facing picture yourself and then dead yourself.  You have the options of changing your eyes, mouth, and adding special effects such as a cage or changing the lighting.  There's quite a number of options to choose from.  Once your photo is completed it'll be saved to your camera roll as well you have the option of putting it on Facebook, Twitter, The Walking Dead gallery or e-mailing it to friends.

In the below right pic of my lovely wife, you see that the app is not without flaws.  If you notice in the eye area it blends in with the bars of the cell.  As well her face size doesn't fit well with the mouth area of this option.  Overall, I would still recommend it to everyone.  It's still a fun way to pass some time creating dead versions of yourself!

(image source 3rd pic:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What a pleasant surprise last night taking the train home.  Along Ditmas Avenue all the way to Avenue N on the F train line I saw a sight I've never seen before.  The letters "LTE" on my iPhone 5 screen!  Now I have purchased my iPhone pretty much when it first was released which was several months ago.  When I first used it, I was dismayed to learn that Sprint had not rolled out 4G LTE to New York City.  Instead of defaulting to 4G, instead I have had 3G data service on my phone since.  For those of you who have used 3G and 4G there is a HUGE difference.  Every month I would search for news of when Sprint would start offering 4G LTE in New York City.  The forums had mentioned that 4G LTE was available in some parts of the Bronx since December.  But no news on the other parts of New York City.  The best I could find was that it should be available possibly by March which wasn't very reassuring!  I was seriously pondering whether or not to cancel my contract with Sprint despite still being early in the contract.

Do you have a 4G LTE phone?  Hopefully you have 4G LTE service!  Hopefully, they'll have it around my area of work soon.

(image source:

Monday, February 4, 2013

I actually was able to catch a screening of Identity Thief tonight and it was hilarious.  I'm giving away my passes for this Thursday 7pm (Must arrive by 6pm) at Kips Bay Theater in New York City.  The movie stars Jason Batemen and Melissa McCarthy.

In the movie, Jason Bateman's character Sandy is a victim of identity theft by Melissa McCarthy's character. My wife whose been a victim of identity theft knows it's no laughing matter.  You wish all identity thefts can end the way it did in this movie, but unfortunately not.

If you'll like to enter the giveaway for tickets just be a follower and comment below what's your favorite TV show or movie of Jason Bateman.  A winner will be randomly selected Thurs 2/7 10am.

Good luck!

(image source:

If you're a fan of Nicholas Sparks, author of such books like the Notebook, A Walk to Remember and The Lucky One, you're in luck.  I have one pair of screening passes to give out tomorrow at Noon to his later book turned film, Safe Haven.  The movie is not officially out until 2/14/13 but the screening is 2/5/13 at 7pm (must arrive by 6pm) at Kips Bay Theater in New York City.  If you're interested in this giveaway, just follow me and comment below which is your favorite Nicholas Sparks book.

From Wikipedia:
Safe Haven is a 2013 American romantic thriller film starring Julianne Hough,Josh Duhamel and Cobie Smulders.

The arrival of a mysterious young woman named Katie in the small American town of Southport, North Carolina, raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet unassuming, Katie is determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into reluctant relationships. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts her from her past. Eventually, though, Katie realizes that a choice must be made between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards, and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

Good luck!

(image source:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic comic book was released by IDW earlier this year after a few delays.  Since then issue #1 has seen at least one reprint and is scheduled for another.  The comic book is based on the hit cartoon revival on The Hub.  The series is not only followed by little girls by but Bronies which is what older male fans calls themselves.

My daughter is a huge fan of the series and I've followed along with her as she watches.  We've collected the comic book together and read it to her.  The book I would say uses words much more difficult than my daughter's reading level so their audience is a bit different than that of the cartoon.  It tries to capture the comedy and character of the six manes but I don't think it's on spot.  Still if you're a fan of the cartoon, I would recommend that you check out the comic book.  The first story arc which is still going on right now features the return of Queen Chrysalis.

Currently I'm selling on eBay, 6 rare variant copies of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #1.  The variants are Dynamic Forces and features a hand sketched and colored Pony by artist Brian Milligan.  Since no two images are the same each are a unique 1/1 rarity.  If you'll like to check them out here are the links:

The auctions are ending on February 6th. Good luck!

(From Dynamic Forces website) 

I've always wanted to start something like this ever since I've parted ways with as a writer.  Now with a lot of bloggers leaving Luuux unfortunately, I've decided to expand as well.  I will still be blogging on Luuux  but as the title of my site implies, GeekwithMak will focus more on the geekier side of things such as Movies, Comic Books, Toys, Video Games, Tech and other fun geek related posts.  My posts on Luuux will focus more on the other "universes" such as my travels, food, etc.  On GeekwithMak, besides fun stories or reviews to share I plan to do a lot of giveaways.  I have screening passes to give away for New York City readers as well in the next few days I will have a giveaway for the Godfather Blu Ray Collection (Coppola Restoration)!

Anyway, thank you all for reading and hopefully following my site.  I really do appreciate your views, comments and such!