New Warriors Vol.5 #6

Writer: Chris Yost
Penciller: Nick Roche
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Nick Roche’s artwork in the first half of this issue was a vast improvement over his work in #5, but it became weak again a little more than halfway through, then picked up again by the end. I thought Fume looked amazing.

As for the writing, I loved the stuff to do with the Darkhold and Chthon, and particularly liked how it incorporated Water Snake, given what we know of the early days of Atlantis. I’m curious to see where this goes.

I loved Justice standing up to Captain America and Iron Man. I was introduced to the Avengers at the same time as Justice, and I’ve followed his career closely; he really shines when he speaks his mind.

I did think Thor reacted a bit over-the-top to a very minor threat. Thor’s been written pretty poorly since Disassembled, but I still didn’t think he’d resort to trying to smite kids after a strike that he probably barely felt.

Futari wa PreCure Episode 27

Episode 27: “A new darkness closes in! Save the lost Porun”

Oh, Porun. You went from cute, to irritating, back to cute, to downright creepy. His “It’s coming.” and “It’s awakening.” comments screamed “Redrum!”. The rest of the episode didn’t help, with the seed of the Dark King’s evil sprouting monstrously and the salaryman jumping out of the skyscraper window… but the creepiest bit was the salaryman disappearing like he never existed once his dark form manifested.

I liked how Nagisa reassured Porun with confidence before she even knew how strong a foe they faced. Not because she was sure she could beat it, but because she knew she’d do everything possible. It was quite noble. The girls have grown so much since the show started. They’re still relatively weak, but it is easy to have their backs, because you know that even outmatched, they’re not going to just give up.

Spider-Man 2099 Vol.2 #1

SPIDER-MAN 2099 Vol.2 #1
Writer: Peter David
Penciller: Will Sliney
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I own, but haven’t read, most of the first volume of Spider-Man 2099, so this issue was really my introduction to the character. I know enough about the *2099 premise to know I’d likely be interested – hence why I bought it – but I was still surprised by the all around quality: both the writing and art were superb.

I loved the Adjustor, but I’m a sucky for all the time travel fixers, from the Time Variance Authority, to (apparently) TOTEM to Immortus himself.

Futari wa PreCure Episode 26

Episode 26: “Farewell, Mepple and Mipple!? No way”

Take that, Irukubo! Glad to be rid of you!

I like that this episode didn’t just pull a rabbit out of thin air to explain how the girls defeated Dark King. There was an actual, logical explanation for how it all worked, and a very moving one at that. Although it seems the Prism Stones weren’t really needed for it – why didn’t the Queen and the Pretty Cures just team up to beat the Dark Zone guys in the first episode?

I knew it wouldn’t be goodbye for long, and I cheered when Mepple and Mipple returned. Not so keen on Porun, though!

Twisted (1986)

Screenplay by: Glenn Kershaw
Directed by: Adam Holender

I like that the movie poster shows the general, bad boy image of Slater we are all quite familiar with, even though it totally misrepresents his character in this film. Sigh.

The premise of this film is meant to be that Christian Slater’s character is a psychopath and yes, we get evidence of this – it is suggested that he killed a litter of kittens, and we later see that he’s been dissecting animals and he throws a live kitten in the fireplace.

But generally, his behaviour just seems like that of a kid acting out with really absent parents. If his dad gave him a kick up the arse once or twice he’d probably behave; instead, when he acts out horribly, he gets trivial little punishments like grounding. Any kid is going to act out when their parents show no interest even when they act abhorrently.

Slater was also awkward casting for the role. He was meant to look like a nerdy-type, but his bad boy charm still shone through. I couldn’t imagine him being unpopular at school, which leads to the first evidence of his twisted behaviour.

Futari wa PreCure Episode 25

Episode 25: “Let’s go to the field of light-popo! Us too!?”

But but but — !

But Irukubo was destroyed! How?! But then… and when that happened… and oh no!

The huge Queen of the Garden of Light was really creepy, just by virtue of her size. The references to the power of creation and all that stuff were just extra creepy trappings. I loved the denizens of the Garden of Light, especially the cute ones that look like leeks. Elder is lovely, too, as is Wisdom when he behaves himself.

Porun is cute but infuriating at the same time. But that Dark King… ganbare, onnanoko-tachi!

Oculus (2013)

Screenplay by: Mike Flanagan & Jeff Howard
Directed by: Mike Flanagan

This movie is utterly pointless.

A mirror may or may not have killed people eleven years ago and again today. Or it could have been the male main character. You get no answers, and the trappings themselves aren’t very interesting. I tolerated the film and all its awkward flashbacks and flashforwards and whatnot expecting some payoff at the end, but there’s no clear answer.

You might like the film if you like Doctor Who - the female lead played Amy Pond – but I don’t like Doctor Who, so I can’t be sure.

Futari wa PreCure Episode 24

Episode 24: “Decisive battle! PreCure VS Irukubo”

The arc and this episode were going so well. The girls showed themselves to be real heroes, facing up to Irukubo despite thinking – and Mipple and Mepple agreeing – that they had no chance of winning. This is one of those iconic moments, like Captain America standing up to Thane Ector, when winning or losing stops being the issue and standing up for what’s right is all you can hope for.

Then they somehow won. I don’t even know what happened. The seven Prism Stones were gathered and somehow this caused Irukubo to lose. If that was the case, why didn’t they just hand over all the Prism Stones in episode one? What’s worse is that the show moved on as though we should somehow understand what happened.

They painted themselves into the corner with an awesome arc, couldn’t reconcile Irukubo being so powerful with the girls defeating him, so they pulled something nonsensical out of their rear ends to end the problem. I call absolute shenanigans on that.

Isola: Multiple Personality Girl (2000)

Screenplay by: Hatajima Hiroshi & Kinoshita Mugita
Directed by: Mizutani Toshiyuki

I have said many times, and will probably say it many more times to come, that I love Asian horror films, particularly Japanese ones. They are very, very different to what we get in the West, which tends to just startle you. Asian horror films find a way to really get under your skin and evoke true fear.

Isola doesn’t manage this, but is still a good movie. It is like a Western horror film made by the Japanese, a really odd mish-mash that still works. We get a twist on a stock-standard Western horror plot (a force possesses a girl with psychological issues) but with a hint of the Asian horror-by-forces-of-nature thrown in. It’s hard to elaborate any further without spoiling the plot, unfortunately.

What is especially worth noting is that the titular “multiple personality girl” is really a secondary or tertiary character for most of the story. Most of it just happens to her and those around her, with her being quite passive, even at the climax. The title is also a tad misleading, as Isola is not the multiple personality girl.

I would probably watch this again, but from the perspective of it being a Western horror with a twist, rather than an Asian horror. It’s by no means a bad film, it just isn’t what it tries to present itself to be.

Futari wa PreCure Episode 23

Episode 23: “Danger! The summer camp nightmare”

… and his name is Irukubo.

The last lieutenant of the Dark Zone, the one with the intense powers? That’s his name. And he can even stop a PreCure Marble Screw by raising his hand! This guy isn’t going to be the pushover Pissard, Gekidrago and Poisony were. What’s worse, he captured Wisdom and the Prism Stones!

I’m still kinda shocked by how this episode ended. I assume that Irukubo didn’t finish the girls off because he used so much energy drawing Wisdom and the Prism Hopeish out of the crack between worlds. But what are they going to do?!

On the lighter side, I’ve lost a bit of respect for Akane, as she didn’t seem to manage her role as chaperone with appropriate confidence. Even when things go south, the adults are supposed to remain cool for the kids in their care. I did quite like how everyone automatically turns to Honoka when there’s a problem, even the Principal and Vice-Principal.