Sunday, September 21, 2008

One Month of Comics (Part Three)

Here we are, the final bit of my old comics. Now, to get enough money to buy more before another month or two goes by.

Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #39: Wow, this is great stuff. A 'Nuff Said kind of thing. No dialogue at all, just images to tell the story. It's perfect. Much better than many other attempts I have seen. You start with humor, move on to action, and move back to humor. Also, the Mini Marvels page at the end was hilarious. Great play on words with that, and a really funny final panel.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #42: In this issue, we meet Puma. As with any comic, especially a Spider-man comic, there is a misunderstanding which leads to a fight. Added to the mix is Black Cat, doing her thing. A pretty straightforward issue. Nothing special.

Marvel Adventures Hulk #14: Same plot of any other issue of this series. Banner wants a cure of his Hulk problem. This time the idea is to siphon off the gamma radiation to an alternate dimension. There is a run in with the janitor at the lab, who happens to have the name of the Leader's original identity. Then they Hulk, Rick, and Monkey are tossed into another dimension, where they fight Psycho-Man. As usual, Rick manages to find the solution while channeling the Hulk toward a constructive goal.

Marvel Adventures Avengers #27: A two story issue. Story #1 has the Avengers at the fair. Thanks to a mishap, everyone is shrunk down to ant size (except Ant-Man). A whole bunch of stuff happens, mostly involving a pig in the run. It is all quite fun and cute. Hulk especially is awesome. Very silly and child-like, trying to get a hug from the pig. Great stuff. The other story has Iron Man and Captain America. It takes place at the same time as the first story, but in New York. Alien invasion thwarted by size. Cell phone spam scam run by The Enforcers. Great final panel. Plus, Iron Man and Captain America being friends and having a good time.

Marvel Adventures Superheroes #2: Ok, wow, this issue was just insane. This series appears to be much more unusual and funny than the standard Marvel Adventures stuff. All of the all-ages books have a degree of humor to them, but this is Hulk is totally the star of the series so far. I love his love of animals. Great stuff.

New Universal: Conqueror: I did not like this. The other one-shot telling the history of this universe was great. This one, not so much. It seems less than historic. It is also confusing as hell, and the art isn't doing much for me. A weak offering.

Runaways #1: So, finally, Joss is gone. Maybe that means this thing will be on time. The new team of Terry Moore (who I have been meaning to read) and Humberto Ramos (whose art I cannot stand). So, this wasn't too bad of a start. New place to live. New addition to the team. New challenges (job and angry possible relatives). The art is still horrible. Anyhow, the story was decent enough of a beginning that I will come back for more. Hopefully the art doesn't drive me away.

Eternals #3: Well, the art is nice, even though I have no idea what the hell is going on. This is almost as hard to follow for me as the miniseries that lead into it. I get the overall story, but the individual pieces sometimes pass me by. Will probably give it another issue or two before dropping it. It is good, just not really sure what to think of it though.

Squadron Supreme #2: Wow, if this isn't crap. Not the story itself, or the idea. Just, you know, doing it in the Squadron Supreme universe. I liked Supreme Power, and Squadron Supreme (enough so, I went out and got the trades of teh original stuff...which was better). I did not like what the Ultimate Power thing did for either universe (a post I mean to make and never got around to...maybe I may do it soon-ish...or not...). This story takes the remnants of the Ultimate Power debacle, and turns the Squadron Supreme universe into yet another Ultimate-style thing. I will say, the additions are handled well at least. I just chafe at them being in this series, instead of somewhere else. Bring back Hyperion and the rest, now!

X-Factor: Layla Miller: Wow, I have been waiting to see this since the Messiah Complex stuff, and was not disappointed at all. Layla is still doing her thing, which is as awesome now as it has always been. Or, at least, since Peter David got a hold of her. It was neat seeing her talk about how she knew what was coming, and didn't like it but did it anyhow. Showed her to be a much stronger character than i would have thought. Knowing you would be stuck int he future, branded with a tattoo, and degraded...but doing it anyhow...that is true courage. A lot of people seemed to dislike the Ruby Summers character, but I thought she was cool. I never had a huge connection to the Jean/Scott thing other then where it played a role in the love triangle with Logan. So, no problem there. I also don't see it as Marvel thinking all women are replaceable. I think of it more like Peter David had a fun idea, using the current relationship, and ran with it. Anyhow, I like the knowledge that Layla is going to get back to the past somehow, and I hope it is soon.

The Immortal Iron Fist #18: More back story on the killer of the Iron Fists. This dude is hardcore, and pretty nasty too. Hes got a mole inside Danny's company, who I am assuming is probably the new guy. I say this because he is new, and he was interrupting Danny during the Iron Fist Study Time. Next issue, Danny is gonna get to try and be a hero by saving the kids, so he can blame himself for them being attacked in the first place. Yay angst!

Captain America #41: Wow, I just noticed the issue number and realized how long this title has gone on without the title character. Well, to be fair, Bucky is a pretty badass replacement...but still, no Steve. Crazy. Sharon lost the baby, which is very sad. Sin is not a very good daughter, or assassin for her dad. Bucky is the man. Zola is creepy. Faustus acts like a douche. Red Skull is going insane, in a not as good way. It is all coming to a head next issue. Still one of the better comics out there today.

Thunderbolts #123: Well, I still hate the team but at least they are less dickish than when Ellis was writing them. It is slightly more believable they would have government sanction the way they seem now, as opposed to before. The Skrull element added in to the book has so far been interesting. Not much else to say, other than I really want Songbird in charge and Moonstone gone.

X-Factor #34: Meh. Glad to see Darwin, one of my favorite of the recent mutants, join the book. The Skrull fighting and She-Hulk fighting wasn't as much fun. I want more like the book used to be. More detective, noir, strangeness. less superhero misunderstandings leading to fights that never should have happened. More like the Layla Miller book was, and less like this, please.

Nova #16: Disguising themselves as children. Cute, cat-like children. That's low, even for a Skrull. Super Skrull was pretty cool, and completely doing as I would have expected all the way through. Next issue will be fun, I think. Also, i hope Worldmind isn't permanently gone. That's too much angst, even for Nova.

Guardians of the Galaxy #4: Rocket Raccoon hates Kosmo. Which, really, sort of makes sense. The introduction of Secret Invasion to this title was one I would not have expected, but it is working as a story so far. I wonder who the Skrull will turn out to be, since there is bound to be one. I hope it isn't anyone cool. Which means, one of the council members since all of the team are awesome. Well, Groot could go away and I would be fine. That's it though. I wonder what Drax is up to, especially if he isn't a Skrull. I also can't wait to find out what is going on with the Vance Astro bits, and the future Guardians. Wonder if Vance will stick around long enough to meet his younger self. Again. Wonder if anyone remembers they are the same dude (both in the comic and in the marvel writing/editing teams).

The Mighty Avengers #17: Wow, first weak issue since the Secret Invasion stuff started popping up in here. A bunch of Skrull Pym talking about how the plan will fail, followed by a fight, followed by a new Skrull Pym. Not sure what to make of the last page, either. Overall, better than the title was before the invasion but not as good as it has been since the invasion. Middling out.

The New Avengers #44: At the beginning, I thought this issue would be sort of lame. A rehash of the Illuminati stuff. Then, it did the twist and i was hooked. So interesting to see how the Skrulls got the plan in the first place. Beautiful, almost Shakespearean really. Wonder if we will find out what how it works. On the one hand, I kind of want a pseudo-science explanation. On the other hand, i know that anything that is come up with will sound silly. Tough call. Good issue, though.

Avengers: The Initiative #16: I was less than impressed with this issue. Couple fun bits, but nothing as outstanding as I would expect from this title. Invasion has improved Mighty Avengers, and is killing the Initiative.

Secret Invasion #5: The opening scene from Thunderbolts, with mostly identical dialogue. Nice touch to whoever chose to do that. Agent Brand on the Skrull ship with Reed was good. Agent Hill on the carrier with the Skrulls was funny as hell, and well played. Savage Land was a whole lot of nothing, until Reed showed up. So-so issue. Really wondering how this whoe series will end.

Ultimate Iron Man 2 #5: Thank god this is over. This series was crap. The first Ultimate Iron Man was at least moderately interesting. It had cool concepts and it was neat to see the birth of Tony Stark. That mini had a good story to explain how and why Tony is like he is in the ultimate universe. Thsis series was stupid all the way through. I hate the blown off limbs beign regrown thing. Obediah Stane acted borderline retarded half the time, for no real reason. The end villain was a nice twist, but her speech was so horrible I lost all interest. I hope Orson Scott Card never touches a comic project ever again. Especially Ultimate, as I would have to have to not buy an Ultimate title.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #57: Is it over? I think it is, since there is no "To Be Continued" or anything. However, the story seems far from wrapped up on this arc. Reed and Sue are back together, which is nice. Namor is even bigger of a dick than the non-ultimate version (which is saying something). The lesbian stuff wasn't even really all that well done, too over the top for me. The concept of the villain was neat, but hard to accept. Really, it is not a good thing when a comic book as effed up as the Fantastic Four (Ultimate or not) reads as implausible in its own setting. Next issue will hopefully be better. I want more Ultimate versions of old bad guys. Do Molecule Man or something.

Ultimate Spider-Man #125: I am glad the video game story is being officially fit in to the regular continuity. It was a fun story, and now it is there for those of us who suck at games and got stuck part way through. Plus, Venom stuff is always kind of fun.

Ultimate X-Men #97: Wow, this was a nice ending to a good story arc. I wasn't expecting much from this either, since it was a TV guy doing it. TV guys doing comics rarely works out well, unless they are JMS or Joss Whedon. Even then, sometimes it doesn't work. This, however, was great. Tied in with the great reveal of Logan's origin in Ultimate Origin. Nice twist on Moira. Nice wrap up, and a great ending to lead in to Ultimatum. I fear for this title, though. With the things that have been happening in it and Ultimate Origin, it is looking ot me like the X-Men may not be lasting much longer. I hope I am right.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mini Marvels

So, I hear there is finally a Mini Marvels trade. I have been saying for months that there needs to be a Mini Marvels ongoing series. Similar to how Tiny Titans is. Now, there is a trade. This isn't exactly what I was asking for, but it is close enough to make me happy.

Except, I have no money. So I can't buy it. Which means that I can't put my money where my mouth is. I hope this thing has been selling well enough that Marvel will do more, and maybe the ongoing this idea deserves.

I will have to save up and buy this thing asap.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Month of Comics (Part Two)

So, on to the DC comics. Lots of stuff here.

Tiny Titans #7: As usual with this series, perfection. Always kind of cute, with some sill stories and goofy dialogue. Aw Yeah Titans! That's how you clean a room, and avoid getting in trouble for being gone for 5 days without asking permission. I can't wait to share these comics with my kids (once I have some, that it).

Teen Titans Year One #6: Bah, nothing great here at all. Robin has angst dreams. The villain from before comes back. Titans become a team. Batman can't express emotions. This was the weak link in this miniseries. A shame, since it has been universally great to this point. This, with Tiny Titans, was the only Teen Titans comic I was still getting. Now I am down to one Titan related story. Sad.

Trinity #11-14: So, we have Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman becoming more like each other. At first a bad thing, but seeing Superman take down Owlman, Superwoman, and Ultraman all at once is amazing. Hardcore, a little brutal, and effective. Not much else has really happened with the main story. I am a little concerned for Green Lantern. Hope that ends up better than it is looking like it will. The backup stories are ok. the tarot-themed crimes are at an end, with everything pointing to Riddler. Which, you know, makes sense with the eventual hinting at a reveal. I was sort of thinking that was who it was. Not the version it seems to be, but at least I was close with the Riddler thing. Also some fights, in a graveyard. Bad guys have their pieces of the Trinity's trinity. So, now what? I do wonder how this story will be able to last a year without dragging on too long. I am starting to wonder if I still want to buy it. I keep it up, for the Bagley art. Otherwise, I could wait and read the trade at a Barnes and Noble in a year.

Tangent: Superman's Reign #6: I wish Dan Jurgens was drawing this as well as writing it. I'm not liking the art in this much at all. This issue was kind of neat, finding out about how Superman got to where he is at. Plus, Batman meets Batman, and the Tangent Outsiders are born. Next issue should be awesome. Superman vs. Superman. The back-up story is kind of interesting for a reminder as to what all the Tangent Universe is all about, a good thing since the original Tangent stuff was something like 10 years ago.

The Spirit #20: Spirit is roped into helping a children's field trip at an aquarium. Then he solves a murder dealing with dolphins. Nothing super special, but nothing disappointing either. Solid comic, as usual.

Batman Detective Comics #848: Man, I love that this comic is numbered in the 800's. How sweet is that. Anyhow, this was an interesting addition the the story. Hush and Catwoman fight, then she reveals his face, which we do not get to see, but it shocks her. We get Batman punching a kid...Venomed up, but still a kid. Then there is the flashback, showing more if Hush's past, including the allusion that he was the friend who was engaged to the new Ventriloquist. Finally, the big final page, which is shocking and completely implausible. Looking forward to more.

Simon Dark #11: This one was funny. I seem to remember the series not being this funny to begin with, but has had a definite humor aspect to it over the last few issues. An interesting issue, for the origin of Simon, and his choice at the end. Can't wait for the next issue.

Booster Gold #11: See, this is why I think Dan Jurgens should be drawing his Tangent comic. This is lovely stuff. I have to admit, I was a bit worried about this one, since it is the first with the lack of Johns on the writing. But, you know, this was still really good. I liked the batman and team vs. Killer Moth at the beginning, then the impostor Moth later on. The Change to the timestream was quite fun, where they were able to save a Gotham without Batman, but managed to make it worse with Killer Moth actually not being a joke of a villain. Alfred is also quite kick ass, but we already knew that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Return to Horror

So, back when I started this often neglected blog up, I posted a set of reviews of the entire Friday the 13th series. I have taken my time in doing so, but I am now going to review the entire Nightmare on Elm Street series. This will allow me to finish the original review series as well. With Freddy vs. Jason as the cap to this series, I will be done with both franchises and can move on to another one.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The original, and what an amazing movie it is. The script is a little weak with the dialogue, and the acting is pretty bad. but, this was made in '84, so you really can't expect much. I mean, really, 80's horror was not known for being brilliant in those areas. Where it excels, though, is in the plot. The idea behind the movie is inspired. Child killer, caught and acquitted of the crime, is killed by a group of parents. He then comes back in the dreams of the kids to get his revenge. The effects are pretty cool, from watching cuts magically appear on a girl's body to the quicksand stairs and the geyser of blood. Oh god, the fucking wall! Even better were the amazingly surreal dream sequences. They are subtle and unnerving at once. Nothing too over the top. Just little things like a sheep randomly being in a hallway, or a tree in the halls of school that is only there for one shot. The dreams are cleverly done so that you think it is reality, then it twists and you see that it is not real. I imagine that when this movie came out, it was also a great twist on the genre, since they keep making you expect the killer to come out of nowhere early one, before you know its a dream killer. Make-up is also a great touch, with Nancy slowly looking more and more worn out, and a streak of gray showing up in her hair (which nobody points out, making it that much better for the subtlety). Love it, and can see why it became such a huge thing.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge: So, a year after the original, a movie taking place 5 years later occurs. The basic idea is, some new family movies in to the house where Nancy lived. Freddy possesses the son of this new family, hoping to use his body to be reborn. Somewhat of a flimsy premise. For one thing, why does Freddy pick this guy, and not the dad or sister? There is no real reason for this one particular kid to be picked. But, that aside, it's not to bad of a movie. The visuals are still cool, especially the transformation scene. I also kind of liked the showers bit, for the transformation there as well. Didn't like the S&M club and night at the gym bits, though, because they sort of made no real sense. I have a hard time believing a high school kid just randomly walking around at night, and finding an S&M club to wander into, only to have his PE teacher walk up to him and make him run laps at school in the middle of the night. I am also confused as to whether Jesse is supposed to be the weird outcast or the popular guy. It seems to go both ways on that. The surreal aspects were less dream-like and more just-plain-strange. The redesign of Freddy to have his glove actually be one of his hands was nice, though. I also liked the reoccurring theme of heat and fire, which is a good mirror to both how Freddy died as well as the boiler room he traditionally did his killing in. All in all, not a bad sequel.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: The kid in the wheelchair plays D&D. D&D people! That's so awesome...except for the whole making him incredibly nerdy thing. Still, for when the movie was made, not too bad. We also have our first actual nudity (I don't really count the bath scene in the original, it was too quick). For the cliche of naked girls, drug use, and lots of sex that slasher type movies have, I have not seen nearly as much as I would have expected from the two franchise I have watched this much of. Anyhow, this was a fun movie. Nancy comes back, with her gray streak on the wrong side. The deaths in this were much more creative. Everyone dies or is attacked in a way that ties in with their personality. The puppet making kid, turned into a marionette with his veins as the strings. The mute kid tied up with tongues. The wannabe actress killed with a TV. The ex-junkie killed with hypodermic needles. The kid in a wheelchair is attacked by a spiked and bladed wheelchair. It was interesting to learn a bit more of Freddy's background. Not that the story was too terribly plausible, but it was a very 80's horror thing. The bastard child of 100 maniacs. I like the sound of that. I will call myself that from now on. Finally, it is an end to the Nancy stuff )for now, I know of the final nightmare connection). At least, I hope it is. I would be very annoyed to have Nancy show up again after dying. Freddy coming back, I can accept. Anyone else, not so much.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master: New Kristen , but the same Joey and Kincaid. Note sure why they got a new actress, cute as she may be. Hopefully there was a good reason for it, like scheduling or pay conflicts. I'm not a fan of changing cast for no reason. Also, I want a dog that can piss fire. Kincaid's death wasn't done well at all. He dies in the dream, with no visual cue in the waking world. This after they show that dreams and reality connect with the bloody dog bite earlier. Not good at all. Joey's death by waterbed was better. Still the dirty perv he was before. Beautiful stuff, there. I think we have all had the hot girl in the waterbed dream.So, Kristen ends up dying really early on as well. My first thought was, why even tie in with the remaining cast of the last movie if you are just going ot kill them right away. Then the movie tells me, by implying that Freddy can't kill more people if he doesn't have a link to the new kids. Since Kristen pulled Alice into the dream on accident, Alice is the link. This worked pretty well, actually. Nice tortured protagonist, who had a very good reason for gettin rid of Freddy beyond the normal survival thing. It was also interesting that Alice was somehow able to collect teh power of all the friends she got killed, thus enabling her to fight Freddy inthe end. The effects in this were less impressive than previous movies in teh series. Other than the roach transformation, and Freddy's sould attacking him in the end, the movie was rather tame in the graphics department. It is sad when movie 4 in a franchise has less impressive visuals than movei 1 did. I liked the return of deaths fitting the personality of the character as well. The first two movies didn't have that, but the last one and this one did. I also notice that Freddy's snark factor has increased a lot over the last couple movies. Where the first one he just taunted in a general manner, and the second was mroe of taunting Jesse but not so much taunting the victims. Three had a bit more snark, and this one was pretty much total snark from teh man. He is alsoless prone to getting his ass kicked in the process of fighting the kids. Interesting. I may have some final thoughts on this after i finish the series.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child: #1, yay Alice is back as the same actress! She's blond now, which is odd. I liked her as a redhead better. Nice to see the ties to the Krueger backstory from movie 3 being used for a plot in this movie. Somehow Freddy is able to be reborn by Alice dreaming of his original conception and birth...or something. It is a little unclear how it happens, but somehow he is back. So is his mom. Freddy seems to have gained in power again, prompting dream effects for Alice while she is awake. Oh, nevermind. They explain it as her baby's dreams. Freaky. One thing that surprises me is that nobody seems to know the story of Freddy, since every movie has to have the protagonist retell the story and nobody believes the dream killings are real. You would think after this many deaths due to the same thing, somebody would actually remember and believe. More ironic deaths, this time more tied to location than personality. The snark from Freddy is also higher than it was last time. Haha, I loved the comic geek with the blood phobia. Especially when he is pulled into the comic of the events of the movie. All technicolor clothes, while everything else is black & white (including Freddy). Another one of those so-so effects movies. Some bits were better than others, but they are more campy than the older movies. I prefer the semi-realism, as opposed to this camp stuff. The comic book death was still kind of fun, even if it was not my tastes for a death. I do somewhat wonder why Alice seems to have lost her dream powers. Like Kristen in the last movie, Alice has lost all of what made her able to defeat Freddy to begin with. Sort of lame. I do like how they do Freddy being "born" from Alice. Cool prosthetics there. As with the eventual defeat. Sort of mirrors the ending of the last movie, while still being original.

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare: The "last" Freddy movie. Right. Hah. Oh my god, this was the most ridiculous movie yet. Fun visuals, if nothing else. But, damn is this over the top with the camp and the snark. So much that I can't help but dislike it as a whole. Well, at least the first half. After the kids are done dying, and Freddy has left Springwood and the backstory come into play. I liked finding out about Freddy as a father, and the reasons for his killing (even if they do a nature vs. nurture thing that I don't really play into). I nice way to tie things into each other. Like actually having the house mean something, instead of just showing up for no real reason. I mean, the house was Nancy's, so why was it always such an icon of Freddy? Well, now we know. Though, it does make you wonder why Nancy's mom chose to live there, if it was the old Krueger house. Whatever. Anyhow, I dig the last part of it, where you get to see the beginning and ending of Freddy. The DVD I have offers the ending in both 2-D and 3-D. I tried teh 3-D, but the glasses gave me a headache and were not very good. It was all just sort of crappy and two toned. So, i went back and watched it in 2-D. This is much more entertaining. Like watching Friday the 13th 3-D without the actual 3-D. You can see where it was supposed to pop out of the screen and freak you out, but you can also see that it was just sort of there to mess with the technology. No reason in the plot for there to be a spiked club coming out at you, or a flying molotov cocktail or anything. Pandering, and cheesy. So, you know, perfect. This makes a decent end to the franchise. Oh, wait, it isn't the end though. They had to go and make one more. Plus a crossover. With a TV series somewhere in there as well. *sigh* Moving on.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare: Now this is a Freddy movie. Semi-stupid plot. A movie about a new Freddy movie, which is actually Wes Craven summoning a primal evil. Eh...I guess it could work...Wait, it actually did work. Quite well. Freddy in this is much more menacing, and scary as hell to look at. Previous movies in the series have had Freddy a mildly creepy looking guy, but in this he is full on menacing. The glove is no longer a glove, but some sort of bony bladed hand. His face is much more demonic, while still being skeletal. It is hard to describe properly. The package works, though. Gone is the snark, leaving pure evil. Freddy closer to how he was in the first couple movies, and less like later incarnations. The return of Nancy and her Father, or the actors playing them, was a nice touch. Wasn't as keen on the hell where the final confrontation takes place, but I can accept it anyhow. I also liked the references to the original. Bland is killed in plain sight, thrown along walls and the ceiling, and nobody sees Freddy doing it. They only see her reaction. Quicksand stairs also show up later in the movie. This is probably the second best movie in the series, with the original topping them all. A great way to end a franchise, once and for all. more to go.

Freddy vs. Jason: The big ending to both franchise finally gets a review. It was interesting, at least. The basic idea is that Freddy is currently powerless, thanks to the parents of Springwood making sure nobody remembers him. So, he tricks Jason into going there to kill people, hoping it will make the residents fear him again, thereby giving him his power back. Except, Jason continues to kill after his purpose is complete, and Freddy gets a little pissed off. So, they start to fight each other. While killing kids. As you do. The movie managed to throw in tropes from both franchise. You get promiscuous teens with drugs and drinking. you get surreal dream effects with a tiny bit of snark. And there's boobs, you know, it's all good. The deaths were not terribly inspired. Sort of a let down, when you realize how great the deaths have been in previous movies for both series. The crazy kid has the best scene of death stuff, but it ended very silly. The Freddy on Jason in dreams was fun. As was the Jason on Freddy in the real world. The "weakness" was sort of doofy as well. Freddy seems to have an affinity for fire, not a fear of it. Jason sure as heck never showed a fear of water in the past. He should have, but never did. So, yeah. Pandering, but kind of fun anyhow. Nothing great or meaningful, but decent popcorn flick. Oh, yeah. Never use obvious cg in a slasher movie. It totally ruined the parts it was obvious in. Old school, man. Prosthetics, animatronics, and buckets of stage blood are where it is at.

So, reactions. As with the Friday the 13th movies, these movies were sort of a couple different series linked together. You have movie 1&3 that sort of make a linked whole. That gives the story of Freddy vs. Nancy, ending in the death of Nancy and the final defeat of Freddy. You also have 3-5 as a sort of linked whole. With those you have a sort of in media res thing, with kids dreaming of Freddy and being put in an institution. Nancy shows up, to explain there is a link with her childhood, but dies in the process of trying to stop the nightmare. Kristen and Alice become the main protagonists in these, in a sort of Master/Apprentice thing. Kristen has the power to fight Freddy off, but it is her teaching Alice that ends in his final defeat. Movies 1-5 (again, minus #2) kind of work as an overarching plot as well. There you have the entire Freddy vs. Nancy thing, with Nancy being the master to Kristen's apprentice, who then teaches what she knows to Alice to eventually defeat the monster once and for all. Freddy's dead really only fits the series to show more of his back story, which really wasn't needed as it just complicates things too much in the big picture. Freddy's Revenge was a really nifty idea, but it doesn't fit into the overall story of the rest of the movies at all. it was kind of a sequel for sequel's sake thing. Great stuff, but nothing that adds to the overall plot of the movies. New Nightmare doesn't really fit any of teh series. It is more of a really cool idea to cash in one more time. As was Freddy vs. Jason.

I did notice a few reoccurring plot elements. There's the obvious dreams, and killing kids and all that. Also the creepy girls playing jump rope in slow motion while doing the rhyme. I did see a theme of uncaring, alcoholic parents as well. Parents who seem to possibly care, but are more self interested than loving parents. The theme of heat and fire started to show up in the second movie, and continued on. I imagine this is meant to tie in to the boiler room he did his killings in, as well as the death by fire Freddy suffered. Was one of the things in part 2 that I actually enjoyed the most. The bad dreams being blames on the heat, when it was more likely the dreams causing the heat to begin with.

So, there's my thoughts on this franchise. I am thinking I may make this an irregular theme. Hellraiser has a number of movies, as does Halloween. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is also a classic with a few movies under its belt. I'm sure i can find others. So, we will see how much I am inspired to review those, when I get around to watching them. Any suggestions?

I do still have the 100 best movies to finish watching. Little under half way there (revised the list, which threw off my original count).

UPDATED 5/8/10
Nightmare on Elm Street (2010): So, here we have a new and improved rendition of a horror classic. I mean, it has to be improved right? With a higher budget, prettier cast, and new technology it has to be...right? They wouldn't make a new version of a movie so well loved and remembered, unless they were improving it....right? Well, kind of sort of, but not really. I will admit that I liked how slick this movie was, and the new cast is all fun. Not the best acting at times, but no worse than any other horror so nothing to complain about. They sure are a hell of a lot prettier than the original (with Johnny Depp being the exception, because that is one pretty man, haha). Some of the improved effects are ok, but most of the time they use cg in place of practical effects, and it suffers for them. The famous Freddy in the Wall scene is better in the original, than the obvious effects used i this one. There are some nice scenes homaging the original. Sleeping at school, Freddy in the Wall, Car Lighter, Gina/Kris's Death. Even a sort of (I assume) homage to the geyser of reverse. But, none of it really improved on the originals, and in many cases was worse. The additional flashbacks were a nice touch, telling the story of Freddy much better than the entire original franchise. I also liked the attempt to tie the characters together in a much more believable way. I will say this, though. The new Freddy is the best Freddy. With a look closer to a real burn victim, creepier motivation, and much less humorous take I enjoyed this version a lot. Even when he was being funny, it had a darker edge to it which really worked for me. I hear this is meant to be the start of a new franchise. I don;t know how I feel about that, but will give a sequel a fair chance.

Monday, September 8, 2008

One Month of Comics (Part One)

No excuses. Just comics. Let's get started.

Stormwatch PHD #13: First of all, I was glad this series had originally ended. I had been on the verge of removing it from my pull list anyhow. So, I was surprised to find this in my box. Didn't even know the series was coming back. I have not followed what has happened with Wildstorm stuff recently. So, I have no idea what they are referring to with this issue. In fact, I am completely lost. From reading this, I gather the supers caused the end of the world. Except the supers who didn't. And now there are people in space saving people on earth, but not all of them. And some of these people are supers. Who are good. Or something. Bah, this isn't even close to what the original series was doing, so why even use the same name? Why not just make a new series and go from there? Dropped, for real this time.

Madman Atomic Comics #10: What can I say about this? I have no effing idea what is going on, but I am enjoying every minute of it. Allred still succeeds in impressing me with his art and storytelling every time. I am also a hug fan of the first page recap showing the entire previous issue in thumbnail size. I had forgotten how brilliant the last issue was for the layout alone. The man is a genius.

The Walking Dead #51: Holy fuck, that was one of the creepier issues. Ever since the prison attack, this has been really a different comic. Which is exactly what was promised. I didn't know how this thing would go after such a major change, but wow. This one was great. A slice of life after the recent turmoil. I do have to admit, i was wondering why the person was calling this house. I figured it may have been their old home or a friends house or something. The real answer was even better. Poor Rick, and poor Carl. I think Carl is going to have to really grow up a lot, and fast.

Fables #75: I must admit, I was not expecting this at all. I was shocked back when they first revealed who the Adversary really was. I was even more shocked when the war was announced. Now, it's over, and successfully. I never in a million years would have expected that to happen. I mean, without the Adversary to keep the fables out of the Homelands, what is there left to the series? I am intrigued as to how this will continue on now.

Jack of the Fables #25: As usual, Babe is the real star of this book. I am very interested i how this series has progressed. From a simple "retirement village" for fables to a story dealing with beings more powerful than fables. Literals are quite possibly one of the most nifty ideas I have seen in a comic in ages.

House of Mystery #5: So far, this has been the modern successor to the Sandman series. Lots of creepy, and literary, and strange, and awesome all thrown together. This issue continued that trend. The first story arc is done with, but it leaves many unanswered questions. QUestions that had better be resolved at some point, because I am tired of too many questions and no answers (I mean, I do watch Lost). The midpoint story in this issue was the second best to date (best is still the girl who married the fly, amazing). This one had the most boring narration one could imagine, talking about almost being late to work. What sells it, though, is that everything that is left out of the story is pure excitement. Giant spiders, elder gods, dragons, vampire cats, homeless zombies. The narrator leaves these out, as they are just a part of his everydya world. But, they are the best part of the story. Perfection.

Fallen Angel #29: Bought but not read. Need to reread this series since the last issue I read was #15, and I don't remember much of anything about it.

Red Star: Sword of Lies #3: Another bought but not read, mainly because there is such a delay between issues I can't keep track of what is going on. I just know it is a great series with amazing art. Will read some day when I can get a hold of the rest of the Red Star books.