May 2011

North Carolina Theatre’s production of Hello, Dolly! is one of the big “show must go on” stories of this past season. With mere days until the opening, much-hyped star Cybill Shepherd was sidelined with an injury, necessitating a last-minute replacement by Broadway veteran Jacquelyn Piro Donovan. Thankfully, Donovan ably fills the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi for the show’s biggest moments, though the old-fashioned musical might appeal most to older audiences.

Read the full review here!


Reprinted from yon Independent Weekly

Yon director Kenneth Branagh doth keep focus on characters in this adaptation of Marvel Comics’ long-running series of the God of Thunder, though its overstuff’d plot doth keep it from sitting alongside the likes of Iron Man and The Dark Knight in superhero film Valhalla. Chris Hemsworth of Star Trek doth portray yon hammer-wielding Odinson, whose hot-headed antics do see him exile’d from the glorious realm of Asgard by the All-Father (Anthony Hopkins, who toneth down yon mannerisms), to our mortal realm of Midgard, where he encountereth yon fair astrophysicist Natalie Portman and learneth humility to stop the machinations of the trickster Loki (Tom Hiddleston, whose layered antagonist stealeth with yon picture). Yea, this be a more female-appealing superhero picture than usual, as Hemsworth posseseth the build of a warrior but the charm of a sensitive soul, but some will say thee nay to yon contrivances involving Frost Giants,Odin’s Destroyer, the Rainbow Bridge of Bifrost, the Odin-Sleep, the Casket of Ancient Winters and the Warriors Three, and that mentions not the teaser for yon Avengers film for those who doth sit through the long and out-of-place song by the Fighters of Foo after yon credits. Worry not, though, as this mostly maketh sense, and art more charming than many a would-be summer epic. Though yon Kat Dennings, who boasts a tongue most sharp as Portman’s sidekick, needeth more to do when the gods of studios decree that yon sequel be forged. Also, careful when viewing yon “Real-D” version, which assaulteth the eyeballs like the Viking hordes themselves. Rated PG-13…eth.

Reprinted from the Independent Weekly

Gonzo Asian director Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer) tones it down (somewhat) with this Kurosawa-esque tale of a group of samurai led by Koji Yakusho’s Shinzaemon plotting the death of the Shogun’s psychotic half-brother (Goro Ingaki). Gorgeous Japanese scenery and thoughtful, often witty dialogue dominate the first half as the plan comes together, while the second, involving the actual assassination, is a Miike specialty, a massive battle in a deserted town where the streets literally run red with blood. The title evokes almost double Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, and indeed, this is twice as psychotic as most period pieces, complete with some genuinely stomach-churning acts of evil and plenty of decapitations. But come for the sight of evil bastards getting impaled with spikes, and stay for a tale of honor and duty. And also spikes.

The good news is Judd Apatow can produce more than just films about overgrown man-children whining and cracking middle-school jokes. The bad news is that this vehicle for Saturday Night Live‘s Kristin Wiig (who co-wrote the script), merely transfers the whining and gross-out humor to the opposite sex. Wiig plays a broke and depressed ex-baker whose bestie (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be maid of honor at her wedding, only to be undercut by a wealthy perfectionist (Rose Byrne of TV’s Damages). There are a few screamingly funny set pieces and some intriguing commentary on the economy and class differences in America today, but Wiig and director Paul Feig let her character descend into such an unlikable state of histrionics that you wonder why anyone would want her anywhere near a wedding. At least this proves that women can be as crude and immature in a film comedy as men—if that’s really a triumph.

For a longer review, click here!  

This year’s Free Comic Book Day features a wide variety of books for your no-cost perusal, and companies are pulling out all the stops to rope in new readers and keep existing fans excited. One of these is the new flip book from Archaia, Mouse Guard/The Dark Crystal, which features an all-new story from David Petersen’s hit warrior mice series, an all-new sequel to the hit Return of the Dapper Men and previews of Archaia’s new Jim Henson books, including their prequel to The Dark Crystal, the anthology The Storyteller and A Tale of Sand, based on a long-lost unproduced screenplay by Henson. To get the scoop on these, we talked turkey (and Henson) with anthology editor Stephen Christy.

Read the full interview here!

Forsooth, yon readers of Newsarama! A strange disturbance hath ripp’d the cosmos asunder! This July, there be a new compilation of the classic 1980s Thor run by Walter, Son of Simon…but not from Marvel!

Yes, IDW, who doth chronicle the battles of the Warriors of Cybertron and yon 30 Days of Night, art publishing Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition, a black-and-white oversized compilation filled with enough artistic power to stop Surter himself in his tracks! But what is this strange volume, and how did it come to be? For answers, we did speaketh to yon editor Scott Dunbier, who did putteth it together. Much geeking on great artists did ensue. Read on!

Readeth yon full interview here!

Know ye that on Frigga’s Day May the Sixth, the God of Thunder, Thor shall bring the might of his hammer Mjolnir to yon multiplexes, where he shall woo the Maiden Portman of the Black Swan and match wits with the great Hopkins, Lover of Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti! But the forces of “Real-D” and CGI realize for us mortals the halls of Asgard, we found ourselves questioning — what stories of the classic myths were likely to not find their way into yon comics and films?

Yon Kieron Gillen doth provideth yon answer!  Read on to findeth out!

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