TPCCafe S6 Ep 193 Show 200

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Welcome to a special show. Paul wanted to be on show 200 so to make sure he was we jump ahead. Paul and Scott do most of the talking and I sit back and relax. I chip in a few times. Also this is part one of a two part show.

Check out this episode!

Coming to the Final Week Of July On Netflix Canada

Here are the last of the new shows coming  at the end of the month.

 

Avail. 7/30/19

Hot Summer Nights

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Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It?NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Multi-hyphenate comedian, Whitney Cummings, makes her Netflix debut with her 4th stand-up special, Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It? Filmed at the Sidney Harmon Hall in her hometown, Washington, DC. Cummings’ signature incisive commentary on gender dynamics is more relevant than ever. Do women need to wear service vests instead of “Rosé All Day” t-shirts? Are their nicknames for each other hurting the cause? Now that people are actually listening what should women change? How are men holding up with all the “new” rules they have to follow now? Tune in for Whitney’s take on everything including why we should give sex robots a chance. The special will launch globally on Netflix on July 30, 2019.

Avail. 7/31/19

Kengan Ashura: Part l NETFLIX ANIME
Underground gladiator Tokita Ohma fights on behalf of business mogul Nogi Hideki who wagers mega-business deals on the outcome of these brutal matches.

The Letdown: Season 2NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Audrey, mother of a 2-month-old, joins a new-parents support group, where she makes some quirky friends facing various challenges and life changes.

Michiel Huisman, Michael Kenneth Williams, Haley Bennett, Chris Evans – Red Sea Diving Resort – Photo Credit: Netflix / Marcos Cruz

The Red Sea Diving Resort NETFLIX FILM
Inspired by remarkable true life rescue missions, THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT is the incredible story of a group of international agents and brave Ethiopians who in the early 80s used a deserted holiday retreat in Sudan as a front to smuggle thousands of refugees to Israel. The undercover team carrying out this mission is led by the charismatic Ari Kidron (Chris Evans) and courageous local Kabede Bimro (Michael Kenneth Williams). The prestigious cast also includes Haley Bennett, Alessandro Nivola, Michiel Huisman, Chris Chalk, Greg Kinnear and Ben Kingsley.

HOUSE OF X #1 – MARVEL COMICS

WRITER – JONATHAN HICKMAN
ARTIST – PEPE LARRAZ
COVER ARTIST – MARTE GARCIA
LETTERER – CLAYTON COWLES

Ambitious. That was my first thought when I heard that JONATHAN HICKMAN was being put in charge of the X-Men re-launch. It’s the one thing that brought me back to a universe that I stepped away from about 4 years ago after multiple re-launches. I’ve read Hickman’s runs on the Avengers, and Fantastic Four and knew , with  him being one of the best “world builders” in the business, that he could get the franchise back on track. JONATHAN HICKMAN  is a novelist who just happens to have illustrations with his novels. For wordsmiths, him just being named to the project was a win. Now onto the review.

Overall, I did enjoy the book. I read it twice as there is a lot there to unpack as someone who has been outside the X-universe for a while. A few of the characters look different (will take me a while to get used to seeing Professor X look like that) and there were some new faces(both human and mutant), but I never really felt lost at any point in time, and upon my second read I had a much clearer picture of where this group of X-Men were at and the threads that tied them together. Some of your favs aren’t front and center, but it’s a 12 part series between HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X and there is plenty of time to get the roster fleshed out. This first chapter had a nice slow burn feel to it which is what it should have.

The first chapter also laid the groundwork very methodically to show you the culture that has formed around the X-Men. Each transitional scene ends with a look at a new language, new power levels, new olive branches to a human race that may yet bridge the divide(vague I know, but I meant what I said by “non” spoiler),A look at the lands, factions of mutants and much more. This book clocks in at about a 45 minute read and HICKMAN fills every minute and details and character driven dialogue. It felt a bit like a chess match where the board was being set for the long term game to come.

There is always that question with any re-launch I find. Is this a good jumping off point, as much as it is a jumping on point?Overall the groundwork JONATHAN HICKMAN has begun to lay feels like this is for folks who have not been long time followers of the X-Men, and it seems continuity from the previous X-Men series was not a high priority in his mind. There’s was one glaring example of this, but it was not anything I really minded and made for an interesting new direction for the character.

There is a much different vibe to this re-launch then previous ones in that it seems the mutants seem to feel they are on much more equal footing with the human race then ever before. Magneto’s demeanor through the entire book is not one of fear, hostility or divisiveness. I could say the same for Cyclops. It’s simply a statement of -this is how mutants are going to exist with humans and this is how their idea(and a brilliant piece of story telling idea that it is)is going to work. Take it or leave it. This first chapter  feels as much a societal story , as a political one and the point, counterpoint dialogue between humans and mutants in the story over mutants place in the world and the distrust that is still there makes for some wonderful conversation.

PEPE LARRAZ’S art was a wonderfully detailed addition to this story. I’ve noted before that facials expressions can say so much and they had plenty of opportunity to do so this issue. From Cyclops firm stance with some old friends, to the last panel of the story, some beautifully rendered art told a secondary story without words. The X-Men felt both gritty and elegant this issue which suited the story. Also, of note, Beautifully done illustrations of the landscape of Krakoa also. I felt this was also a pretty cool nod to Giant Size X-Men #1 which also felt like the beginning of a new era.

If you’ve been looking to get back into the X-Men your probably not going to get a much better opportunity then this. JONATHAN HICKMAN seems like he has a long term plan in mind. I’d be pretty happy if we could get 50 really good issues out of this run. Time will tell.

Til next time

Scott

 

VALKYRIE #1 – MARVEL COMICS

Writers – Jason Aaron & Al Ewing
Artist- Cafu
Colorist – Matt Wilson
Letterer- Joe Sabino.

I’m very fresh to this Asgardian comic universe after many years of being away. I figured with Jane Foster being announced for the new movie “THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER” I should catch up with the goings on in her universe. There’s a nice write up at the beginning of the book, briefly outlining her life up to this point and throughout the story there are more then a few references to the past to give you a good sense of where she is at. On to the review.

Other than curiousity, the art was a strong factor in me picking up this book. From the detailed, magnetic, youthful, looking cover by artist Mahmud Asrar to the strong, angelic inside art of artist Cafu(The first panel is worthy of being a portrait on any wall. Beautiful crafting),I thought the art was on par with the writing in this book, and that is a rarity for me. Facial features, background landscapes, costume renderings, Realm stylings, you name it. All of it really worked for me. Was pleasantly surprised by this. Though in retrospect I shouldn’t be, as Jane Foster is going to be playing a big part in the MCU so it would make sense she is getting” A” talent treatment here.

Jason Aaron & Al Ewing’s writing was also pretty strong in this premiere issue. I love dialogue driven books and this one held up nicely. The first person Jane Foster dialogue gave us some insight as to what came before, so the reader never really had a large amount of questions about why certain things were the way they were. The story some very interesting secondary character introductions(new to me anyway)that I suspect will make for some interesting conversation and storylines down the road. A large key to me for this book will be keeping a balance between the God and the girl(I know she’s not a girl but it’s rhymed and it’s my review).Strong secondary earth bound characters will help with that.

Other then the strong art , the other unexpected surprise of this book was the down to earth feel it had to it. If you liked the Don Blake/ Thor “balance” trials and tribulations of the original series you might feel a bit of nostalgia for this first issue. That and just a pinch of Peter Parker/ Spider-Man life balancing is in there also. For a “Goddess” book I found this ingredient very well done and dispensed through the book. Every good first issue needs a hook to bring you back. This one ended with a page turner, and brought in a villain I would not have associated with this title, and that’s a good thing. Far too many times the arch nemesis is trotted out to pop a first issue and I feel many times that is done too soon. Add to the fact that this villain is now “amplified ” and it’s going to make for an interesting second issue.

I did have a few issues with the overall story. There seems to be a bit of a clique’ to send the hero up against (insert D level villain here) to get the issue started off with a bang. There was more to the story this time, and it recovered nicely, but would have been cool if it could have been avoided completely. Also I found the scene transitions with a few of the characters a little too cut and dry. Overall , I enjoyed the story a lot more then I thought I would. If your looking to try something new, I’d recommend giving it a read. Between the art and writing I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Til Next time

Scott

AFTERLIFE SEASON #1- RICKY GERVAIS- NETFLIX

My wife and I sometimes talk about how we’d react if the other unexpectedly died. Morbid subject to be sure, but I think it crosses most couples minds once or twice. I’ve always stated honestly that I want to go first. I’d rather be dead, then try and “go on” afterwards. That’s how painful it seems to me. That’s also where we find our main character “Tony” played brilliantly, though I highly suspect much of it is based on real life thoughts, by Ricky Gervais.

This first season is only 6 episodes long, at 30 minutes each so it goes by pretty quick. Saw Ricky on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert, and he said it shot in about 6-7 weeks which is pretty good clip.Overall , I enjoyed it quite a bit. I have not seen any of Ricky Gervais’s movies, so I’ve never really seen him act before. I’ve seen all of his stand up, so I knew going in there was going to be some biting comedy in it, and it didn’t disappoint. One of the things that fascinated me about this series is that Ricky really can act, and in the more serious parts of the “dramedy” you really felt for this character and what he was going through.

The rest of the cast is also pretty stellar also.It features a British cast, and I only recognized a few of them. The ones I did recognize, David Bradley(Lord Walder Frey-Game of Thrones, Harry Potter)and Paul Kaye(Thoros- Game of Thrones), playing Tony’s Dad and Shrink respectively, showed  a comedic side to them that I had not seen before. David Bradley has great comedic timing, and has some great one liners as Tony’s hospice care dad. Other cast standouts for me were Penelope Hilton “Anne”-A fellow grieving spouse who becomes a bit of a kindred spirit, Roisin Conaty – playing  prost- sex worker “Daphne”, and David Earl playing a really well done eccentric character “Brian”.Hope all five of these folks are in season 2. Cast totalled 12 , and all had some really well written and acted scenes with Gervais. Great casting!!

I’ve not seen the British version of the office, but I suspect the core of this show taking place in a newspaper bullpen, for lack of a better term, will draw some comparisons to the iconic show. The language is much, much more salty though. “Cunt” apparently doesn’t carry the weight overseas, that it does here. As with Gervais’s stand up, no subject is really taboo, but every single joke landed for me. That’s rare for me with any show. It is a bit of rollercoaster in that aspect. One minute your reacting to this shockingly funny joke, and 5 minutes later your feeling sad emotion for these characters who are dealing with death, shortness of our lives and the painful nuances of humanity. It really is quite the writing feat.

There is a brutal honesty to the series also. That comes from the self destructive behaviour that depression can bring about.It’s mostly met with humour, but it is there and plays an underlying theme throughout the series. if you get offended easily by jokes on a variety of subjects,  from death, to suicide, to pedophilia, to sex work, to- well , just about any taboo subject you can think of you may not want to take a look at this one. If you decide not to, your truly missing out on a lot of great character development, character building and great acting. The British make it look so goddamn easy most of the time.

Few other notes, I loved the way this show was shot and the locales it was shot in. Beautiful cinematography. Did make the seedier aspects of the show seem a bit far fetched, but it’s a minor detail. It’s about 3 hours of watching in total, and makes a great journey of loss, healing, discovery, acceptance, and hope, against a back drop of some of the filthiest jokes you’ll ever see in a series this year. Highly recommend you give it a watch

Til next time

Scott

 

SERA AND THE ROYAL STARS #1 – VAULT COMICS

Writer – Jon Tsuei

Artist – Audrey Mok

Colorist -Raul Angulo

Letterer – Jim Campbell

Whenever I’m flipping through books at my local comic shop, one of the first things I look for is lots of dialogue on the pages. Even if the subject matter looks like it may not interest me, a good story can reel me in .That’s pretty much what happened here. That, and a beautifully coloured cover that matched the archers “pull” strikingly well.This was my last pick up of the week. Glad it made the cut. Onto the review.

Overall , I enjoyed the book. It’s a story of magic, of family, of legacy and of loss. Relatable characters help any story and there was plenty to relate to here. A fairly ambitious first issue, to set the stage for a journey for chapters to come. I had seen some of the themes before, but when they are well done I really have no issue with it. The general character development was spot on for this first issue .Main character(Princess Sera) gives you an essence of her family bonds, and the stress that comes from that, along with how each of us might deal with an unwanted burden we have no choice but to deal with. There were a fair amount of cast members introduced this chapter ,but there was enough there to make their introduction relevant  and to move the story along.

The art by AUDREY MOK was hit and miss for me .Fleshed out facial features can tell a story all by itself. Would have liked to have seen more development of the characters facial features .Some of the panels it was there and sometimes not. Lots of background  details in the panels though, which helped give the story the sense of adventure that it was. Colorist Raul Angulo gave the panels great finishes with some beautiful shades of yellow and orange which completed the journey of a trek through the desert, and dark blues and purples to signify dreamscape, the coming of the gods and the cool night sky. Bit wordy, I know, but I couldn’t draw a bath so that will have to suffice.

If you enjoy stories in the vein of Aladdin, Gladiator(yes, really), Elizabeth, Joan of Arc, Brave ,or others with strong , adventurous female characters, you’ll probably enjoy this one. It’s a well written, well paced story. One thing that did crack me up a bit was hearing a princess say “shit”. I’m sure they do say that, it just seemed a bit out of place, but it’s a minor thing. I’m not sure I’m giving the second issue a try(I’m “princessed” out. Why can’t the heroine be a courtesan who dives into adventure after her last client of the day?)but you should give the first issue a try and go from there. It’s worth the read.

Til next time

Scott

 

 

 

RESONANT#1 – VAULT COMICS

WRITER- DAVID ANDRY
ARTIST – ALEJANDRO ARAGON
COLORIST – JASON WORDIE

I initially picked this book up because I had never read this company before. I like to give Indy companies a try, as over the last 3-5 years there has definitely been a change in the industry, and a lot of times the art quality and storytelling is on par with anything the big 2, and bigger 3 are putting out. The beautiful cover also was a big selling point for me. Let’s dive right in.

The thing that stuck out for me from the first page of this book was how beautiful the art was. Artist Alejandro Aragon has created some really beautiful sweeping landscapes that really give a sense of the world that this book is trying to create. I’ve always believed that detailed scenery gives a reader a much better sense of scene transition which in turn  makes the book seem much more of a journey. It’s done very well here. Reminds me a bit of Geoff Shaw in God Country if you can looking for comparison.

To the story itself, writer David Andry is able to give a nice build on multiple storylines within the book. This can be a challenge to make that flow properly in the first issue, where you want to bring the reader back with basically an introduction, so kudos to him on that success. Great arc up to a sense of foreboding and urgency to give  the ending a nice hook that will most likely want to bring the readers back for a second look. It feels like the end of the world ,but we’re still really not sure what the cause is, or how it happened……….just that it is coming with a “chrip”.

If you enjoy apocalyptic tales, with slow burns, this might just be a tale for you. The dialogue flows well between the characters and it gives you a real sense that the family featured is just trying to make it from one day to the next while making sure each other is safe. One of the the main characters is dealing with a disability(Though you’d never know it from her actions).This is understated, and not dwelled on, which I think helps you recognize the contribution even more. A resourceful person with disabilities has made for an interesting read here.

Overall the  book was a yes for me.I like cliff hanger mysteries and slow burns so I probably will end up picking up the second issue to see where it’s going. If your looking for something new, giving this a try would be worth the money and perhaps even give you a good intro to a new company.

Til next time.

Scott