Thursday, May 28, 2015

San Andreas
Releases May 29th, 2015
1 hr 54 mins
Rated PG-13
Action/Adventure, Drama


Director: Brad Peyton
Writer: Carlton Cuse

Dwayne Johnson as Chief Ray Gaines
Carla Gugino as Emma, Ray's ex-wife
Alexandra Daddario as Blake Gaines, Ray's estranged daughter
Paul Giamatti as Lawrence
Ioan Gruffudd as Daniel Riddick
Archie Panjabi as Serena
Hugo Johnstone-Burt as Ben
Art Parkinson as Ollie
Colton Haynes as Joby
Todd Williams as Marcus Crowlings
Matt Gerald as Harrison
Will Yun Lee as Dr. Kim Chung
Kylie Minogue as Susan Riddick

Review by Stephen M.

Director Brad Peyton reunites with actor Dwayne Johnson on the earth shaking film San Andreas.  As with most natural disaster films, what we are really attracted to are the special effects in seeing our cities reduced to rubble.  While the film doesn't disappoint in this aspect, the shoddy acting and uninteresting characters married to an all too predictable plot makes this film less enjoyable than you would hope.

Dwayne Johnson plays Chief Ray Gaines who is a pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter rescue team.  The filmmakers attempt to give him different layers of character from his anguish in dealing with the loss of a daughter in the past to his wife separating from him.  As well we get glimpses of Dwayne's charismatic personality here and there which you would think make for an interesting character but for the most part is just a one dimensional character.  This can be said the same for most of the other main characters as well including Carla Gugino who plays Emma, Ray's ex-wife.  Why is her character smiling while talking about the past death of one of their daughters?

Besides the characters, there are just too many things you can nitpick from the intelligence insulting opening scene, to the fact that Ray can just fly off with his work's helicopter alone to fly across cities to rescue his family and only his family during a natural disaster.  Or how about the fact with the other boats having a head start, Ray happens to steal the fastest boat that outraces them as the tsunami comes?

Despite these things, there are some bright sides to the film, besides the aforementioned destruction.  With the PG-13 rating, there is a lack of gore and on screen deaths but rather more implied.  Making the film more family friendly are the good performances but the "kids" of the film led by Alexandra Daddario who plays Ray's daughter Blake.  Showing that she is just more than a pretty face, her interaction with the brothers (Hugo Johnstone-Burt as Ben, and Art Parkinson as Ollie) she meet adds some levity to the film.  I also enjoyed the limited performance by Paul Giamatti as Lawrence, a professor at Cal Tech who along with his colleague can predict earthquakes.

With lowered expectations, San Andreas can be a fun action flick to enjoy this summer.  But for a more enjoyable natural disaster film, watch either The Day After Tomorrow or 2012.  Watch it safely on the East Coast though, where while there are fault lines, a San Andreas's type event is less likely to happen to disturb your viewing pleasure.  The film is rated a bit higher than I would normally only because of my love of natural disaster films.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Continuing the crossover trend in comic books, solicited for July we get Archie vs. Sharknado and Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War!  The Archie crossover is a one shot while the Star Trek/Green Lantern is a six issue limited series.  Star Trek's crossover with DC is not new as they have done so before a year or so ago with the Legion of Super-Heroes.  Archie meanwhile has had a bevy of crossovers including recently with the movie franchise Predator still in stores currently.

STAR TREK/GREEN LANTERN: THE SPECTRUM WAR is six-part monthly mini-series and will be written by veteran Star Trek comic writer Mike Johnson with interior art by Angel Hernandez (INFINITE CRISIS: FIGHT FOR THE MULTIVERSE, ARROW). 

ARCHIE vs SHARKNADO, written by SHARKNADO trilogy director Anthony C. Ferrante with art by Archie legend Dan Parent, the “shark-tacular” extra-sized 48-page issue serves as a nice appetizer to SHARKNADO 3, which debuts on Syfy the same day the book is released in comic shops and digitally: Wednesday, July 22.

Which are you looking forward to read?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We are excited to give away ONE winner a pair of reserved seats to AMC Empire 25's first IMAX 3D screening of Jurassic World n in NYC on Thurs June 11h.   These are great near center seats, no waiting in line in the Prime theater with stadium seats that recline!  See it first before your friends!

Good luck and thank you for following us and reading our posts!

Contest begins Midnight ET tonight and ends June 3rd, 2015 Midnight ET.  Please one entry per person!  If you enter more than once other than tweeting (which you can do once per day), you will be disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Releases May 22nd, 2015
2 hr 10 mins
Rated PG
Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy


Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird

George Clooney as Frank Walker
Thomas Robinson portrays a young Frank
Hugh Laurie as David Nix
Britt Robertson as Casey Newton
Raffey Cassidy as Athena
Tim McGraw as Eddie Newton
Kathryn Hahn as Ursula
Keegan-Michael Key as Hugo
Chris Baur as Frank's dad
Pierce Gagnon as Nate Newton
Matthew Maccaull as Dave Clark
Judy Greer as Jenny Newton
Garry Chalk as Jail Desk Jockey

Review by Stephen M.

Disney's Tomorrowland is a nice infomercial for Walt's dream of a Utopian future and his theme parks that reflects this.  Despite a rather slow pace for an adventure film, and a plot that is not quite all there, it is unfortunately, the best family film out or coming out.  The film led by veterans George Clooney as Frank Walker and Hugh Laurie as David Nix, are overshadowed by their younger female counterparts.

The story starts off with Frank Walker telling a story about his childhood where he comes to discover Tomorrowland.  Besides his story we also gets his fellow videographer's side, which is Casey Newton played by Britt Robertson.  Frank's story is cuter with less robot beheading, and flirtation between young kids.  But it is Casey's story that brings all the action and fills up most of the movie.  Casey receives a pin left to her unknowingly by Athena that gives her a glimpse into the other dimension as it used to be every time she touches it with her bare hands.  Casey driven to journey to Tomorrowland is connected to Frank by Athena.  Both actresses as I have said really were outstanding in their roles relative to the men of the film.  Another bright spot of the film is the futuristic technology shown in the film which to me was not featured enough.  From the cool construction robots to the Jetsons type flying vehicles, to the weaponry the ever smiling robots employ.

While there is a lot to like in the film, the Tomorrowland that Casey visits and subsequently revisits sure does look a lot like the Tomorrowland of Disney World.  From the jetpack rides, to the bath tub rocket ship, you can just visualize the potential of a future new ride at Disney World or Epcot.  From the product placement of Coca Cola (despite their relationship coming to an end in July) to Disney's It's a Small World Ride, the entire film has a familiar Disney feel to it.  Which if you are a fan of Disney, it isn't necessarily a bad thing.  What sets the film back for me is the slow pacing in the beginning, with a long build up to Tomorrowland to only find it quite not what you expect.

Overall, I would recommend the film but as a matinee.  The trailer showing the action scenes is quite misleading as the film for the most part is quite lacking.  There is more of an emphasis on relationships between several characters such as Carey, Frank and Athena.  The humor and action scenes that are there are great for teenagers and adults but may not be suitable for younger children despite its PG rating.  Jokes such as "powering down" may fly over the heads of younger kids as well as the fighting scenes in the collectibles shop and Frank's home may be too intense for them.  For a film that talks about the potential and future of mankind, it unfortunately fails to overwhelm me, but still makes for a good lazy morning watch on the big screen.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Most of the major television channels here in New York City offer free summer concerts as part of their morning show.  Here are this year's line up, except for FOX which has yet to release theirs.

Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series:
May 22 – Jessie J  (#JessieJOnGMA)
May 29 – Ed Sheeran (#EdSheeranGMA)
June 5 – Florence + the Machine (#FlorenceGMA)
June 12 – Jason Derulo (#DeruloGMA)
June 19 – Adam Lambert (#AdamLambertGMA)
June 26 – Dierks Bentley (#DierksBentleyGMA)
July 3 – Mika (#MikaGMA)
July 10 – Walk the Moon (#WalkTheMoonGMA)
July 17 - TBD
July 24 – Nicki Minaj (#NickiGMA)
July 31 – Hozier (#HozierGMA)
August 7 – Luke Bryan (#LukeBryanOnGMA)
August 14 – TBD
August 21 – 5 Seconds of Summer (#5SOSonGMA)
August 28 – TBD
September 4 – Florida Georgia Line (#FGLonGMA)

How to attend:
All other concerts are free and open to the public and will take place live during "Good Morning America," Fridays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET. 

Viewers interested in joining "GMA" in Central Park are encouraged to arrive at Rumsey Playfield via the 72nd street entrance on Fifth Avenue at 6:00am when the park opens to the public. 


NBC "Today" Show Summer Concert Series:
May 22: Meghan Trainor
May 29: Pitbull (*In Orlando)
June 5: Charli XCX
June 12: Fall Out Boy
June 15 (*Monday): James Taylor
June 19: Nate Ruess
June 23: Janelle Monae and Wondaland
June 26: Imagine Dragons
July 3: Flo Rida
July 10: Carly Rae Jepsen
July 17: Alan Jackson
July 31: Jason Aldean
August TBD: Jennifer Lopez
August 12: Lunch Money Lewis
September 4: Brad Paisley

How to attend:
Fans looking to see the concerts in person should go to 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza by 6am ET for the best spots.  Viewing is provided on a first-come, first-served basis outside Today's window-on-the-world studio. 


CBS: The Early Summer Concert Series:
May 24 The Backstreet Boys
May 25 Jewel
June 9 Christina Aguilera
July 2 Alicia Keys
July 16 Sting
July 23 Enrique Iglesias
July 30 Cyndi Lauper
August 13 Train
August 20 David Gray
August 26 Sheryl Crow
September 3 Usher

How to attend:
For tickets, go to and click on "The Early Show" logo. Please note that ticket listings will be posted two to three weeks before the concert date.


FOX: All American Summer Concert Series:
May 22 - Jerrod Niemann
May 29 - O.A.R. 
June 5 - Lifehouse
June 12 - Billy Currington
June 19 - TBD
June 26 - TBD
July 3 - Lee Greenwood
July 10 - Bret Michaels
July 17 - Kelsea Ballerini
July 24 - Blues Traveler
July 31 - Scotty McCreery
August 7 - KC & The Sunshine Band
August 14 - Alice Cooper
August 21 - Night Ranger
August 28 - Blue Oyster Cult

How to attend:
Join us every Friday from 6 - 9 am ET for free music and free Famous Dave's BBQ.  1211 Avenue of Americas on the Corner of 48th Street and 6th Avenue.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2
Releases May 15th, 2015
1 hr 55 mins
Rated PG-13


Director: Elizabeth Banks
Writer: Kay Cannon

Anna Kendrick as Beca Mitchell
Rebel Wilson as Patricia "Fat Amy"
Brittany Snow as Chloe Beale
Ester Dean as Cynthia-Rose Adams
Alexis Knapp as Stacie Conrad
Hana Mae Lee as Lilly Onakurama
Kelley Jakle as Jessica
Shelley Regner as Ashley
Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Junk-Hardon
Chrissie Fit as Florencia "Flo" Fuentes
Skylar Astin as Jesse Swanson
Adam DeVine as Bumper Allen
Ben Platt as Benjamin "Benji" Applebaum
Anna Camp as Aubrey Posen
Flula Borg as Pieter Krämer
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Kommissar
Katey Sagal as Katherine Junk
Keegan-Michael Key as Beca's boss
Elizabeth Banks as Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberg
John Michael Higgins as John Smith
David Cross as the Riff-Off Host

Review by Stephen M.

The Bellas are back once again in Pitch Perfect 2 with more raunchiness, and aca-awesome singing.  But in comparison to the first film, it just fails to capture the "magic" or perhaps it's just because the original set the bar so high.  The sequel is not without its faults but has enough of what you love in the original to be singing praises for it.

The movie starts off with most of the girls we remember now as seniors including Beca (Anna Kendricks) and Patricia "Fat Amy" (Rebel Wilson).  When the latter has a freakish accident exposing more than Barack Obama or anyone would want to see, the Bellas are banned from U.S. competitions.  Thank goodness for timely loopholes and international competitions.  Also new is Emily Junk-Hardon, daughter of a former Bella, Katherine (Katey Sagal).  Having most of the original cast back in one form or another is smart.  Adding fresh blood to the girls was also a good idea.  The plot has an interesting premise, but just poor execution at times.  We have a more balanced screen time for the rest of the girls this time with even a joke for the 8th and 9th singer of the Bellas which was probably my favorite.

However, repetitive jokes, forced acting (yes, I am looking at you Anna) and musical numbers with less "magic" makes this one inferior.  The friendly rivalry between the Bellas and Treblemakers made for great laughs and fun in the first film which is lost between the girls and their German rivals Das Sound Machine.  Newcomer Emily was uninteresting as a character as was her "original" hit Flashlight.  The normally funny MadTV alum Keegan-Michael Key falls flat as Beca's boss.

Overall, I would still recommend the film as long as you go in with lowered expectations.  As well if you have not seen the first one before, I would recommend that you watch it first.  As a lot of stuff are not explained as far as relationships and quirky personalities as the first one does.  Given the type of jokes, this movie is not recommended for children, even if it contains cheery music throughout.  Even if that music comes in the form of current NFL players, which was an excellent cameo.


Galaxy Comics Inc
6823 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 921-1236

Visited Galaxy Comics for the first time today.  Located on 5th Ave in Brooklyn, they actually have two shops in Brooklyn, the other being in Park Slopes.  The cashier told me he took over from the previous owner back in 2004.   Interestingly 1/4 of the shop is taken up by drinks and snacks and Pop Vinyl figures.  New comics in the center shelfs and graphic novels against one wall and action figures against the other.  They also carry trading cards where the cashier is.

While their selection of new comics, and back issues were unimpressive, they do have a large inventory of action figures and graphic novels.  They had some manga but not a very large selection.  Their prices are fairly standard with no signs indicating of any frequent buyer discounts.  They did have a shelf of 50% off graphic novels, mostly older novels but contains some pretty good reading like Marvel's Exiles.

I did pick up a 100 pack of magazine bags, that were $5.00 even, which would have costed me $8.99 + tax at the larger comic book store in Manhattan.  I will be checking out the store again when I have a chance and you should too.  Especially if you're into action figures and fair priced comic supplies.  The comic shop is 1 block east of the R train station Bay Ridge Avenue and adjacent to a movie theater that offers $10.00 admission for all movies even 3D.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road
Releases May 15th, 2015
2 hrs 0 mins
Rated R


Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nico Lathouris

Tom Hardy as "Mad" Max Rockatansky
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa
Nicholas Hoult as Nux
Hugh Keays-Byrne as King Immortan Joe
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as The Splendid Angharad
Riley Keough as Capable
Zoë Kravitz as Toast the Knowing
Abbey Lee as The Dag
Courtney Eaton as Cheedo the Fragile
Megan Gale as Valkyrie
Josh Helman as Slit
Nathan Jones as Prince Rictus Erectus
John Howard as The People Eater
Richard Carter as the Bullet Farmer
iOTA as Coma-Doof Warrior
Angus Sampson as the Organic Mechanic
Jennifer Hagan as Miss Giddy
Melissa Jaffer
Gillian Jones
Joy Smithers

Review by Stephen M.

If you are looking for an insane adrenaline pumping action film, Mad Max: Fury Road provides that in bunches with a visually stunning depiction of an apocalyptic world where oil and water is a scarcity.  Most of that action unfortunately comes from an insanely long car chase that takes up about 80% of the film.  Which if you think about it, with oil and water as a scarcity, that does not really add up as the chase spans at least two full days and a night.

Besides the action scenes which you will love, and there is plenty of it, there are the colorful characters and wonderful cast that brings these characters to life.  This, despite the lack of dialogue from the main character aside from Max's long narrative in the beginning.  He is a man of little words, just trying to survive as is everyone else in the movie.  Charlize Theron's character Imperator Furiosa is a bit chattier as the lead female protagonist.  The intensity she brings to the screen is immense, taking it up a notch with some simple black oil smeared on her forehead.

As I have said before, the movie's car chase soon is very long.  So much that during each fade out you would hope for some type of conclusion.  The action as well while good is a bit on the repetitive side.  In addition there really is not much of any twists to the story, it being fairly straight forward to the point of making it dull in that sense.  The only thing keeping you going is the hope for something new and in grander fashion as far as action and costume design and make up.

Overall, I would still highly recommend the film if only because of the action scenes in the beginning and middle.  The choreography for the motorbike attacks as well all the others takes such precision and planning that you will be in awe of what they have done.  The comic book like characters of Max's world makes for a wonderful playground to play in and should sprout further sequels.  However the film is not for the squeamish, as they are a few scenes that will have you utterly disgusted.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

One of the hottest Kickstarter projects going on right now is by Archie Comics as they look to fund the next chapter in Archie and gang's printed life.  We have been given glimpses lately of their new look as created by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples.  The funds raised would not only fund the lead book Archies, but also three additional titles, Jughead, Betty & Veronica and Life with Kevin.

With 75 years of history and counting, they are pushing the David vs Goliath angle in hoping to raise funds.  What makes any Kickstarter project successful usually depends on the rewards that are offered.  Among the cool unique rewards, include all the variant covers (22 issues in total) of Archies #1 as well as being drawn as a character into one of the future stories!

The project today (5/12) has raised $30K of the $350K they would like to raise with 28 days to go.  I grew up on Archie along with my sisters, where Archie was the only type of comic books they would read.  If they did not meet these goals, would they cease to function?  Probably not, but we would probably see a lot less of the gang in Riverdale in printed format.

If you would like to check it out, you can do so here:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Time Lapse
Releases May 15th, 2015
1 hr 44 mins
Not Rated


Director: Bradley D. King
Writer: Bradley D. King, BP Cooper

Danielle Panabaker as Callie
Matt O'Leary as Finn
George Finn as Jasper
Amin Joseph as Big Joe
Jason Spisak as Ivan
David Figlioli as Marcus
Sharon Maughan as Dr. Heidecker
Judith Drake as Mrs. Anderson

Review by Stephen M.

There is something to be said about woman, money and time seer cameras that always come between good buddies.  When three friends happened upon such a camera owned by their missing neighbor, the story of Time Lapse starts to get interesting.  The camera takes one pic a day from across the street from the neighbor's home into their living room.  The pic shows them tomorrow's evening happenings at 8pm, today.

Of the three friends, two are a couple, Callie (Danielle Panabaker) and Finn (Matt O'Leary), who has their relationship droughts mostly due to Finn's inability to connect to Callie due to his creative block as a painter.  And then there is Jasper (George Finn) who has a serious gambling and drug problem that just screams "antagonist" of the story.  All three main principals are played well by their respective actors.  I especially enjoyed Jasper's bookie Ivan played by Jason Spisak.  His speech along with his mannerisms as he talks about how he used to have his enforcer Marcus's job really brings a fear to you for Jasper and his friends.  I also love the simplicity of the idea of the camera that creates such interesting angst throughout the film.  Of course, having such interesting characters, each with their own unique dimensions that both compliments and clashes making for great drama.

As interesting and dynamic as the characters are, and as much as the filmmaker tries to inject twists and turns throughout the film, the story suffers at times from a plodding pace and predictability.  As well, and by no fault of its own but rather more with these tricky time manipulation movies is confusion that comes from when the filmmaker tries to explain the science behind the photos and how the photos can change.  As long as you do not over think the ending then your enjoyment level goes up.

Overall, I would recommend catching this film if you can.  It will be out in limited release this coming weekend after hitting various film festivals over the past year.   The movie has the vibe of a Twilight Zone episode to it, which of course is a compliment.  But like a Twilight Zone episode, the story could have been told in a slightly shorter time frame and still have the same eerie and drama filled impact.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Armadillo Gold Rush
Released May 7th, 2015
Rated 9+
Arcade Puzzler
Seller: AppAbove Games LLC
Platform: Requires iOS 4.3 or later, compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
Price: $2.99


Review by Stephen M.

Armadillo Gold Rush released by AppAbove Games LLC this week is a port over of a bestselling puzzle game.  The graphics may look a bit dated as expected, but playing the game for over a week it isn't hard to see why it is so popular.  Navigating an armadillo through a series of levels to collect coins with various obstacles in his path sounds simple enough.  But the ingenuity of the levels and the challenges they present as you must solve each level gets harder and harder making the game, no cake walk.

From spikes coming up from the ground, to water and lava, snakes and scorpions, there's no shortage of ways to make an angel out of your armadillo.  And yes, according to the game makers, all armadillos do go to heaven.  Some of the levels are quite huge, and as far as replay value, you can always try to best your time and score.  And that's a little over 70 levels for you to do that.  If you are looking for a little help, they have a peek mode, though the time keeps running as you are able to scroll around the screen with armadillo and obstacles frozen.

I would recommend this game if you like arcade puzzle games.  As I have said before, the only thing that might you give you pause is the dated graphics and sound.  The graphics are reminiscence of a Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis.  So perhaps if you are an old school gamer than this might be a gem for you.  The game play itself is definitely gold and will have the squirrel in your brain running at full speed.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Hot Pursuit
Released May 8th 2015
1 hr 27 mins
Rated PG-13
Action/Adventure, Comedy


Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: David Feeney, John Quaintance

Reese Witherspoon as Officer Cooper
Sofía Vergara as Daniella Riva
Jim Gaffigan as Red
Robert Kazinsky as Randy
Joaquín Cosio as Vicente Cortez
Vincent Laresca as Felipe Riva
Michael Mosley as Det. Dixon
John Carroll Lynch as Captain Emmett
Matthew Del Negro as Det. Hauser
Richard T. Jones as Det. Jackson
Evaluna Montaner as Teresa Cortez
Mike Birbiglia as Steve
Michael Ray Escamilla as Angel
Benny Nieves as Jesus
David Jensen as Wayne
Jodi Lyn Brockton as Dealer
Leslie Quezada as Dancer #3
Chelsea Avina as Quinceañera Girl #1

Review by Stephen M.

Hot Pursuit hits a speed bump in every aspect of the film, from plot, to acting and even lesbian make out scenes.  The movie has a few good laughs which would not warrant spending your hard earned money this weekend.  Reese Witherspoon plays Officer Cooper, who is as adept as being a police officer as Barney Fife.  She is brought on to escort the wife of a witness, Daniella (Sofia Vergara) who will testify against a cartel leader.

When you think of great comedic duos like Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello, Witherspoon and Vergara will never be part of that conversation.  The pair lacked chemistry with either intentional or unintentional over acting on both parts.  So much to the point that what is on the screen is not funny enough to laugh with them or even at them.  The movie is not without its funny parts but they are far and few in between.  And it is not due to a lack of trying.  They pull every slapstick, stereotype and even Justin Bieber joke they can possibly dig up.  Unfortunately the execution by the two ladies and predictable and boorish plot makes this film one that should have headed straight to video.

The only good thing about the film is that the likelihood of a sequel is nil.  If you were told that a movie with Sofia Vergara undressing in one scene and making it out with Reese Witherspoon in another scene would be a dud, you probably would not believe it.  The highlight of the film for me is not the two previous mentioned scenes but rather Detective Jackson and Officer Cooper meeting and talking about pulling a "Cooper."

Overall, I would recommend waiting for this on Netflix or Redbox if you really want to see this.  It is just not worth paying even matinee for, unless you are really a big fan of the two.  And even then you should go in with low expectations.  I actually enjoyed the beginning of the film when it was just between Witherspoon's character and Detective Jackson played by Richard T. Jones.  If they had made the movie about those two than between Reese and Sofia, I don't assume but rather know I would have enjoyed it more.