Movie review: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ offers plenty of colorful, entertaining mayhem

We’ve seen many incarnations of Batman since he first made the jump from the comic book page to the screen. He’s been both campy and gritty, animated and live action, and occasionally cringe-inducing (yes, I’m referring to you, “Batman and Robin”). He also ended up stealing the show in tiny brick form in 2014’s unexpected hit “The Lego Movie.” Will Arnett’s Lego caped crusader quickly emerged as a fan favorite from that movie, and he’s now been given his own standalone feature, out in theaters this past weekend. Although it can’t quite top the original “Lego Movie,” it’s a fun, colorful adventure with plenty to keep both adults and children entertained. Continue reading “Movie review: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ offers plenty of colorful, entertaining mayhem” »

TV review: So long, ‘Sherlock’? Thoughts on the fourth (and maybe final) season of the BBC show

I’ve been a huge fan of “Sherlock” — and its star, Benedict Cumberbatch — since the beginning. I joke that it’s the only time in my life that I discovered something before it was cool. 😉 During my post-college graduation trip to the United Kingdom in 2010, my friends and I were staying at a hotel in London and were channel surfing when we stumbled across the very first episode of “Sherlock.” Something about it caught our attention, and we were hooked (and, of course, we had to come home and tell all our other American friends about it). It took a risky premise — updating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories to modern-day London — and turning them into a thrilling, clever, and buzz-worthy show.

We’ve only gotten four seasons of the show in the past seven years, due to the hectic schedules and ever-increasing star power of its lead actors. Although the season four finale that aired Sunday isn’t the official final episode, a fifth season hasn’t been formally announced yet and the last episode has enough closure to serve as a series ender if more episodes can’t be filmed. So, is season four a fitting send-off for this iconic show? Continue reading “TV review: So long, ‘Sherlock’? Thoughts on the fourth (and maybe final) season of the BBC show” »

TV review: ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ a fun, animated adventure for fans of the franchise

Although we’ll have to wait until December for Episode VIII, the next Star Wars adventure up on the big screen, if you’re in the mood for more Star Wars content now I would highly recommend checking out the animated series “Rebels.”

After (finally!) finishing all the seasons of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” late last year, I decided to dive into Disney’s new animated series, “Rebels.” I’m a huge fan of “The Clone Wars”; anytime someone tells me they don’t really like the Star Wars prequels, I tell them to check out this computer animated series instead because it actually does a better job fleshing out the characters. Although I wish the show had gotten one more season, I was excited to check out “Rebels,” which is set between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope.”  Continue reading “TV review: ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ a fun, animated adventure for fans of the franchise” »

‘Singularity’ Book Review By Ron Fortier

Singularity Book Review By Ron Fortier
Rise of the Posthumans
Edited by Jaime Ramos & Wayne Carey
Pro Se Press
164 pgs.

Shared world anthologies are always fascinating and at the same time a really challenge to pull off properly. In this wonderful book from Pro Se Press, editors Jaime Ramos and Wayne Carey have created a post-apocalyptic England controlled by a despotic Queen in which humanity begins to arise from the ashes. Still a poisonous gas called the Creeping Green covers the land and people have to wear protective gas masks and goggles when out and about. A group of resistance fighters begins to appear; each with his or her back story and some with enhanced abilities. These are their stories.
Continue reading “‘Singularity’ Book Review By Ron Fortier” »

Movie review: ‘Arrival’ offers thought-provoking, insightful sci-fi

By Ashley Pauls/Box Office Buzz

One day without warning, 12 strangely-shaped alien ships appear on the Earth’s surface, landing at various sites around the globe. Humanity’s natural reaction to these vessels is to panic, especially since the aliens’ purpose remains unclear. Are they here to investigate or invade? Do they actually want to communicate with the humans or do they merely want to gather information to use later on in an attack?

The U.S. government recruits linguist Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) to help them attempt to communicate with the aliens. Although Louise has done difficult translation work before, this will be the greatest challenge of her career. The aliens speak in a series of unintelligible sounds no one can seem to understand. However, Louise has a breakthrough when she convinces the aliens to start writing down their language — although their version of “writing down” is actually squirting circular inky shapes into the air. As Louise begins to decipher their language and communicate in return, the aliens send her what could be a threatening message…or perhaps she’s just misinterpreting it. She’ll need to decipher it quickly before other countries around the world respond with violence to the mysterious aliens and perhaps trigger a doomsday event. Continue reading “Movie review: ‘Arrival’ offers thought-provoking, insightful sci-fi” »

Movie review: ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (spoiler free!)

By Ashley Pauls/Box Office Buzz

The destruction of the first Death Star was the beginning of the end for the Empire. Not only was it a huge tactical setback, it was also a major morale booster for the Rebellion. Without that key moment, the Death Star would have kept terrorizing and destroying worlds, and the Rebellion likely would have been crushed.

The destruction of the Death Star wouldn’t have been possible without a brave band of rebels stealing the plans, and until now that particular event has been a mere footnote in the Star Wars franchise. “Rogue One” finally tells that story, giving us a glimpse into the birth of the Rebellion and the brave sacrifices that were made to end the tyranny of the Empire. Continue reading “Movie review: ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (spoiler free!)” »

The Earth Station One Podcast Episode 347 – ESO Book Club: The Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

Earth Station One Podcast Ep 347Step aside, Oprah. The ESO crew is reaching out to literary lovers everywhere. Mike, Mike, Montgomery Lopez, Kevin Eldridge, and Alan OW Barnes discuss the massively influential first storyline in The Sandman saga. Plus, we interview the impressive young writer/artist of the SuperCheese comic, Aaron Berube. All this, along with the usual Rants, Raves, Geek Girl’s Take, Khan Report, and Shout Outs!
Continue reading “The Earth Station One Podcast Episode 347 – ESO Book Club: The Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes” »


TV review: BBC’s ‘The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses’ chronicles the real-life ‘Game of Thrones’

cumberbatch3-large_transpvlberwd9egfpztclimqf98oamgzyx8vqbq2hlobtfcBy Ashley Pauls/Box Office Buzz

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” may be fantasy, but it’s no fairy tale. This gritty, violent fantasy universe is filled with warring families and political betrayal, where even main characters are not immune from a sudden, grisly death. However, England’s real-life history is actually just as shocking and violent. The infamous Wars of the Roses more than match the level of betrayal and scandal found in “Game of Thrones” and actually served as part of the inspiration for the fictional series.

Shakespeare dramatized this bloody period in his plays “Henry VI” and “Richard III,” which have been adapted by the BBC and released as “The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, and a number of other prestigious actors. The series will air on PBS starting this Sunday, Dec. 11. It’s shot as a film using actual sets such as castles and battlefields, rather than as a traditional stage play. It’s a lavish, well-acted dramatization that’s perfect for any fan of history, Shakespeare, or medieval period dramas like “Game of Thrones.” Continue reading “TV review: BBC’s ‘The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses’ chronicles the real-life ‘Game of Thrones’” »

TV review: ‘Luke Cage’ another win for the Marvel/Netflix partnership

luke-cage-poster-featured-08102016By Ashley Pauls/Box Office Buzz

Luke Cage didn’t set out to be a hero. After being framed for a crime he didn’t commit, he’s sent to prison, where he becomes a part of an experiment that gives him super strength and bulletproof skin. He tries to build a quiet life for himself in Harlem, working at a barbershop and a nightclub, but fate won’t let him disappear from the spotlight. The rise of a villain and the death of a friend force him to take action, and he becomes the hero his city needs.

“Luke Cage” is the latest series to come from Marvel’s partnership with Netflix, following “Jessica Jones” and two seasons of “Daredevil.” Although the tone of these shows is much darker and grittier than the more lighthearted Marvel Cinematic Universe films, like the MCU these shows have found a template that works very well and opens the door for crossovers down the road (Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage will all be teaming up in “The Defenders” miniseries next year). Continue reading “TV review: ‘Luke Cage’ another win for the Marvel/Netflix partnership” »

‘Crimson Shore’ Book Review By Ron Fortier

'Crimson Shore' Book Review By Ron FortierCRIMSON SHORE
A Pendergast Novel
By Preston & Child
Grand Central Publishing
370 pages

Whenever people ask us what is the best New Pulp Fiction being published today, we’ll invariably point them to the Agent Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. In the same way Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt is a modern interpretation of the classic pulp hero, Doc Savage, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast is our Shadow. We first became aware of this series when years ago a dear friend sent us copies of “Still Life With Crows” and “The Cabinet of Curiosities,” two of the early entries, as a Christmas gift. Thus leaving us with a debt we’ll never be able to completely repay. That we instantly were enamored with Pendergast and his world would be a gross understatement.
Continue reading “‘Crimson Shore’ Book Review By Ron Fortier” »