Spring hasn't exactly sprung, but even though there's still a chill in the air and frost on the tree branches, it's never too early to kick off convention season. This year, pop-culture fans in Chicago were treated to something a little bit different - while Wizard World usually rolls into the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois sometime in August, a smaller Fan Fest was held in the same location on March 7-8. Fans who purchased either VIP or 4-Day tickets for the August show would receive free admission (which I guess is what makes it a fan
Recently in Features
New fans, lapsed fans, fair-weather fans, broke fans and folks whose kids have been begging them to go to a convention - rejoice! Wizard World has heard your cries!
"Happy Easter." - The Doctor
When one can travel through all of time and space, sometimes Christmas comes about at the strangest of times. For Doctor Who fans, it's Christmas right now as the BBC releases 2014's Christmas special "Last Christmas" on DVD and Blu-Ray between Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. While the title gets the 1984 song by Wham! instantly stuck in my head for hours to come, "Last Christmas" proves to be a brilliantly written and highly entertaining holiday outing for the Doctor. In fact I think it's my favorite of all the Doctor Who Christmas specials so far. Imagine Alien, The
His work will live long and the audience will prosper from it.
Leonard Nimoy died on February 27 due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which he claimed was due to having been a smoker even though he had kicked the habit nearly 30 years. Though he had a long career as an actor playing a variety of parts, he became forever identified the world over as Star Trek's Mr. Spock, the half-human/half-Vulcan First Officer of the Enterprise. He not only played Spock on the initial TV series for three seasons, but would return to it many times over the years from The Animated Series and the theatrical movies, and
Press release: Long Beach Comic Expo is unveiling legendary guests and buzzworthy panels, as well as innovative programs and new partners, in preparation for the 6th annual Long Beach Comic Expo, to be held at the Long Beach Convention Center on February 28 and March 1, 2015. The Expo will play host to more than 140 guests and 50 panels and, for the first time, it will be held in the full exhibit hall. Long Beach Comic Expo is proud to announce bestselling writer Chris Claremont and bestselling artist Ethan Van Sciver as the Long Beach Comic Expo Guests of
Book Review: The Art of the Films: Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by Sharon Gosling and Adam Newell
An enjoyable for read for those fascinated by how modern movies are made.
This book takes readers behind the scenes of the first two films of the revived Apes franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and reveals what Dawn director Matt Reeves describes in the Foreward is the "astonishing work" of the crewmembers. Led by Rise's production designer Claude Pare and director of photography Andrew Lesnie and Dawn's production designer James Chinlund and director of photography Michael Seresin, the combined imaginations and talents on each film created realistic locations and believable characters on screen. The latter accomplishment also owes a debt to the
As the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi is off to a roaring start in the brilliant new series.
With the Blu-ray release of Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series, it is clear that the beloved Doctor is on a historic roll. While there have been highs and lows since the 2005 re-boot of Doctor Who, something very special has been going on in the past couple of years. Part of this has been the excitement over the 50th anniversary, which was in November 2013. But even bigger was the appointment of Steven Moffat as showrunner. With The Sopranos, David Chase turned the story of a New Jersey mafia boss into a parable of turn-of-the-millennium America. With the eighth
This is not your daddy's Star Trek.
On its way to becoming a multimedia franchise, Star Trek first entered the world of comics by way of Gold Key, who sporadically published 61 issues between July 1967 and March 1979 before the license was obtained by Marvel. Earlier this year, IDW reprinted Gold Key's first six issues in a hardcover collection and now the second volume of Star Trek: Gold Key Archives, which collects issues #7-12, is available. Fully re-mastered with new colors, the first two stories are written by Dick Wood (Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom), the rest are by Len Wein (co-creator of DC Comics'
My first ever Con found me checking out cosplayers and listening to James Marsters and William Shatner.
When I learned I’d be going to Wizard World's Tulsa Comic Con this past weekend, I was excited and a little nervous. I’d never been to a Con before, and while I have certain dorky tendencies, I don’t consider myself a full-blown geek. I’ve read a few graphic novels and manga, but I don’t haunt the comic book store. I’ve seen almost all of the superhero movies, but rarely have they been caught in the theatre. I like science fiction movies and stories but not more so than any other genre. And while I play a lot of games, they
Byrne's work is like watching a long-lost episode play before our eyes.
John Byrne and IDW Publishing are presenting the lost missions of the Original Series Enterprise crew in the form of photonovels. That format uses photographs instead of drawings like the Star Trek Fotonovels of the late '70s, which allowed fans to revisit episodes before they could watch them on demand through home video and the Internet. Byrne maniuplates images of characters and backgrounds from the series to set the scene. He then uses word balloons to tell his stories. Volume 1 contains three previously released books and the collection will be available on Oct 21, 2014. Star Trek: Annual 2013
In which we start with blood and end with fire. In between Carol kicks ass.
In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) have instant reactions to the best walker show ever. Shawn: Let's get down to this and not go on for 45 pages about this first episode. We've both kept up with the series as it has progressed. We anticipated this episode for months now. I will say that I've typically been underwhelmed with the first episodes of the past few seasons. We start slow and build through the season. This time - hell no. Simply, this might be one of the best episodes since the pilot for action from beginning to end. My
SAMCRO travels to Ireland and gets a baby back, people get kidnapped and rescued and old vendettas are addressed.
In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) reminisce about Season Three of Sons of Anarchy. Shawn just started watching the show this Summer and Kim has been watching for years. As the Final Season rides into the heart of their last season, here are some thoughts about the show's episodes from the Fall of 2010. Shawn: Talk about not knowing where to start my comments. I need you to focus me here. We start with Gemma on the run and Abel in Ireland. By the time we get back with baby Abel, Tara has been kidnapped, and Jax has to
Touch it! Touch the Obelisk.
In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) have instant reactions to the intense Marvel show and the episode "Heavy Is the Head". Shawn: No miracle comeback for Lucy Lawless. It's a Marvel TV show, so I was hoping that we would start this episode and find out that dead isn't really dead. Instead, it feels like they wasted a really strong female character and gave us another generic bad boy in her place. Lance is our double-crosser of the moment. They appear to be starting a Skye and Lance relationship too. I know that some women can't help themselves around
SAMCRO is forced to deal with LOAN and lots and lots of retaliation. Throw in some rape, porn and more revenge for good measure.
In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) reminisce about Season Two of Sons of Anarchy. Shawn just started watching the show this Summer and Kim has been watching for years. As the Final Season revs up, here are some thoughts about the show's sophomore season in the Fall of 2009. Shawn: Well, you didn't lie to me. I got a full dose of guns, porn, overzealous law, and a bit of the ultraviolence. I feel like there's a conscious effort to expand the story right off the bat. We ended on such an emotional note last season that dealing with
T&A come out of the shadows to see what our crew is doing to start Season Two.
In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) have instant reactions to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the most fun show on network television. Shawn: Go dark. Stay in the shadows. Find the obelisk. I think I see where this season is going in a nutshell. I really needed a little more of a "Previously on . . . " to get me back up to speed. But that start caught my attention and I kinda want a whole episode of the Howling Commandos in the '40s. Back to modern day and I got the good and the bad of the series all
Doctor Who: Deep Breath DVD Review: You Don't Need to Hold Your Breath to Bring the 12th Doctor Home on DVD or Blu-ray
Peter Capaldi's first outing as the Doctor time-travels onto DVD/Blu-ray.
The new Doctor has arrived...on DVD and Blu-ray! Doctor Who: Deep Breath sees actor Peter Capaldi stepping into the role of The Doctor for his first full-length episode (having made brief appearances in episodes The Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor). Wasting little time, the BBC has already produced a DVD and Blu-ray of the episode for those who, like me, can't watch the BBC or BBC America, giving us our first real look at the new 12th Doctor. Having just regenerated, the Doctor finds himself having trouble remembering important information, like the identity of his friends
The Sons of Anarchy are introduced to T & A by way of Season One.
In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) reminisce about Season One of Sons of Anarchy. Shawn just started watching the show this Summer and Kim has been watching for years. As we run up to the final season, here are some thoughts about the show's debut season in the Fall of 2008. Shawn: Sons of Anarchy has always been one of those shows that I didn't watch but knew that I'd love. I loved Kurt Sutter's work on The Shield and this show has lots of the touches of that show that made it unique in the police drama genre.
Chad Derdowski returns to Wizard World after a long hiatus... but is there any magic left?
Once upon a time, I couldn’t have imagined missing a Wizard World event in Chicago. Even though I lived in Michigan, and more often than not, found myself taking the affordable, but not exactly enjoyable Mega Bus in order to make the long journey to the Windy City, it was always worth it. Greeted by old friends, aged whiskey, and the promise of scads of sequential art, the idea of missing this grand event was as impossible to imagine as a blockbuster film featuring Rocket Raccoon. But “once upon a time” was a long time ago, in what often feels
The fourth season of The Killing tries to go out with a bang.
This conversation takes place between Kim (@kimfreakinB) who watched The Killing as it aired and Shawn (@genx13) who watched every episode in the past five weeks. It centers around the six episodes of season four that debuted on Netflix on August 1st. Shawn: I have to wrap my head around this in segments. I'm still working through my opinions. In short, I'm not satisfied. At all. But why? I asked myself a couple questions to start. Were the characters consistent between the initial three seasons and this last season? And was it the story that let me down? That doesn't
Did your favorite make the list?
As news of Robin Williams' death at the age of 63 broke across the media landscape, there was a slow groundswell of sadness for the man that had entertained so many for decades. Once details hinted, which have since been confirmed, that he had committed suicide, there was a palpable, collective grief that still lingers as the world continues on with its triumphs and tribulations. It's hard to fathom how someone whose purpose appeared to be, as his wife Susan Schneider referred to in a public statement, “the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions,” had such
The current state of the Marvel film empire is considered.
In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@KimFreakinB) consider Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel Comics movies: Shawn: I am Groot! Spoiler alert - I loved it. I don't know when I've left a theater more satisfied with a superhero film than with Guardians of the Galaxy. I think it's partially the lack of hype of the previous films this year and that it sneaks in at the tail end of Summer when there isn't much competition. But I was surprised that it even exceeded my expectations. So where does it fit in the spectrum for you, Kim? What are
The reboot of the Avengers' core characters, while not surprising, is disheartening.
In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@KimFreakinB) consider the news about changes coing to a couple Marvel Comics characters: Shawn: This past week brought the announcement of a few changes coming to the Marvel Universe this Fall. It's funny what changes in the comic industry make the mainstream news and which ones go unnoticed. First, we're talking about fictional characters. Second, over the past 75 years, comic companies have proven that no change is permanent. I think the current changes caught the attention of Social Media because of a confluence of events. The week around San Diego Comic-Con always brings
Set for release on July 11, director Matt Reeves' Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes picks up the story 10 years after the events of Rupert Wyatt's Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. To help fill in the details of what has happened since the simian-flu outbreak, Vice Media’s Motherboard has created three short films, and Greg Keyes has written Firestorm, published by Titan Books. Spread of Simian Flu: Before the Dawn of the Apes (Year 1), directed by Isaiah Seret: Amidst a widespread viral outbreak known as the "Simian Flu," a mother is quarantined after testing positive
Some of the best of both mediums.
With Clint Eastwood bringing the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys to the silver screen, it serves as a reminder that many stories have graced theater stages before going before the cameras. Here are a few of our favorites: His Girl Friday, adapted from The Front Page, which debuted at the Times Square Theater on August 14, 1928 by Chris Morgan The Front Page has been turned into a movie a few times, but the best of all those movies, and one of the best movies of its era, is His Girl Friday (1940). This version keeps the newspaper milieu, but
"Apes...do not...want war!" - Caesar
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier, as seen in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. Directed by Matt Reeves, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be released on July 11, and from the final trailer, the story continues, bolstered by great action sequences .
A loving remembrance of how Doctor Who got its start.
In 1963, the BBC had a space to fill in its Saturday time slot. Legendary producer and head of drama Sydney Newman had an idea for an educational science fiction show to fill it. He promoted Verity Lambert to produce the show (creating the first female producer of a dramatic program at the network). She hired character actor William Hartnell as the lead. It had a minuscule budget, a tiny studio, and got off to a rough start (the pilot aired the day of the JFK assassination) but went on to become the stuff of legend. The show, of course
I feel the need. The need for a list.
Over the past 30 years, few actors have been as big a movie star as Tom Cruise has. With his 37th feature, Edge of Tomorrow, the sci-fi actioner that finds mankind fighting against an alien race with the ability to control time, debuting this weekend, we thought it was a good time to reflect on his impressive body of work. The Color of Money by Gordon S. Miller Although Cruise had a greater success with Top Gun, my favorite performance by him from 1986 was in this Martin Scorsese-directed sequel to The Hustler, which found Paul Newman returning as "Fast"
Read it now before someone goes back in time and changes the responses.
This weekend the X-Men franchise returns to theaters with Days of Future Past, which finds Wolverine being sent back in time in an attempt to save humanity from destruction. The concept of time travel is certainly a fascinating one and is used in the movies listed below: Primer (2004) by Mark Buckingham Primer takes an interesting angle on the mystery of time travel by presenting it in a really practical, approachable way. At the same time, it's not dumbed down for the masses. Four tech-minded entrepreneurs working toward the next big idea literally in their garage accidentally find a way
We're really quite lucky to have it, and ultimately, it is quite enjoyable.
It really is quite astonishing that they are finding various Doctor Who serials after literally believing them to be lost forever. Here at Cinema Sentries headquarters we threw quite a party when it was announced last year that all but one episode of The Web of Fear and the entire serial of The Enemy of the World had been found in Nigeria. They've only recently started to seriously scour the Earth for missing episode so who knows what they'll find next. The Enemy of the World is the fourth serial of the fifth season of Doctor Who. It originally aired
We unleash our picks upon the world.
With Gareth Edwards' Godzilla roaring into theaters this weekend, it seemed as good a time as any to reveal our favorite monster movies, which feature creatures of various shapes and sizes delivering chills and thrills to audiences around the world. Some love monster movies so much, they couldn't pick just one. The Invisible Man (1933) by Adam Blair Not a monster movie in the Godzilla/Mothra/giant mutated ants mode, the 1933 Invisible Man is about an ordinary, misguided guy who becomes a monster. Made by the illustrious James Whale midway between his triumphant original Frankenstein in 1931 and his now- camp-classic
Pandora's box was opened when original music not written for the screen was incorporated into soundtracks.
Even before the advent of sound, movies had live accompaniment as they played in theaters. That's because music's intrinsic ability to convey moods greatly augmented what audience's were experiencing as they watched the visuals on the screen. Once the sound era was ushered in, talented composers joined the collection of artists working in Hollywood. Later, Broadway musicals began to be adapted for the silver screen. Eventually, original music not written for the screen was incorporated into soundtracks, opening up a Pandora's box. There are countless memorable pairings of music with movies, ranging from classical (Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra" in 2001)