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Growing up, there was a phase (as I’m sure there was with many kids in 80′s and 90′s) in which I was obsessed with the Ninja Turtles.  Today these four teenage brothers still strike a chord with youngsters (and even adults) thanks not only to the hugely popular Nickelodeon animated series and extensive merchandizing (i.e. toys, games, etc.) appeal, but also the cult appeal of the former live action franchise from the 90′s.  Add to that, the recently reimagined live action film, which opened to huge box office numbers just a week ago, and the Turtles truly appear to be a force to be reckoned with.  But how did such an unusual idea become so HUGE?  Well, that’s the question that TURTLE POWER aims to answer. (more…)

 

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Perhaps due largely to the remarkable success of Marvel Studio‘s Shared Cinematic Universe, it would appear that many studios and networks are keen to participate in the growing trend of creating superhero franchises and/or universes of their own, be it on the big screen or the small screen.  One example of the trend would be the CW as they prepare to unleash their Arrow spinoff series, The Flash, later this fall.  Inspired by the DC Comics superhero of the same name, the series follows Central City police scientist Barry Allen, an everyday guy with the heart of a hero and the genuine desire to help others.  After an unexpected and devastating accident at the S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator facility strikes Barry, he finds himself suddenly charged with the incredible power to move at super speeds.  Starring Grant Gustin (Arrow) in the title role, the series also stars Candice Patton (The Game), Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries), Danielle Panabaker (Necessary Roughness), Carolos Valdes (on Broadway: Once), as well as Tom Cavanagh (Ed), and Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order).  (more…)

Otakon 2014: Day The 3RD

August 15, 2014

Day 3: 12:30pm  Kingdom Hearts Photo Shoot (Charles Street Lobby) 

Day Three of Otakon 2014 felt like the end. The crowds were thinner, the lines were shorter. It felt as if the circus were leaving town and wouldn’t be back for another year. While the workshops were concluding, I as in the lobby for the Kingdom Hearts Photo Shoot. One of my favourite video game series of all time, Kingdom Hearts has been a source of pride, joy and heartache for the last twelve years. 

The Gang's All Here

 

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The finals of the Ultra Street Fighter 4 Tournament.

The finals of the Ultra Street Fighter 4 Tournament.

Day 2: 2:05pm Video Game Room (Hall A)

The Video Game Hall was buzzing with excitement, as the Ultra Street Fighter 4 Tournament continued. I made my way over to the Sega Dreamcast for some Street Fighter Alpha 3 action. I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t terrible against the field, going 4-6 in 10 games. Then I jumped over to WWF No Mercy for the Nintendo 64. I only managed to play one match. It was a triple threat ladder match for the WWF Championship that lasted 38 minutes. I lost the match and the title but the experience was amazing. 

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Though the many offerings available at SDCC are often overshadowed by the respective movie and television presences, one offering that I made sure to hit before concluding my time there were the videogames!  Therefore to cap off my coverage of San Diego Comic Con 2014, I stopped by the Xbox Gaming Lounge at the Manchester Grand Hyatt to check out the demos to some of the year’s most anticipated games.  Among these games that I was afforded the opportunity to check out was the upcoming 2D action- platformer known as FENIX RAGE.  (more…)

LET'S BE COPS
It’s easy to bash a movie like “Let’s Be Cops”. The wafer thin premise, that should-be a two-part episode of ‘The New Girl’, also starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr.; gets back filled with gross out humor, implausibilities and a smattering of real laughs. But, that’s to be expected from director such Z-grade films as: “Something Borrowed”, “The Girl Next Door” and the rob Schneider tour-de-force, “The Animal”. With my expectations lowered to the smallest; I wanted to go soft on “Let’s Be Cops” and accept it for what it is. A throwaway movie that could work if presented in a uniquely original way. But I actually walked away from “Lets Be Cops” full of surprise.  This movie is actually worse than I would’ve possibly imagined.

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What happens when an outbreak forces a couple to isolate themselves in a cabin in fear of what lies beyond its doors?  This is the question that is examined by the upcoming horror/psychological thriller, DEAD WITHIN.  Set six months after a deadly outbreak has all but ended the human race, writer/director Ben Wagner tells the story of a man and a woman that have boarded themselves up in a remote cabin to protect themselves from the dangers that lie outside.  However, now starved for resources, they must not only confront the horrors that threaten them outside… They must also contend with the horrors within.  (more…)

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One of the few delightful, unexpected gems to come out of this year’s Comic Con was a series that I discovered called Nobility.  Often described as a cross between Serenity and The Office, this quirky, dramedy from Cowboy Errant Pictures takes us 700 years into the future as we (as the viewers) get to know the eclectic crew of the starship known as the C.A.S. Nobility.  Composed of a wildly underrated cast that includes Christopher Judge, Adrienne Wilkinson, and Doug Jones (just name a few), the series promises to be quite a unique show… (more…)

Day 2 begins

After a successful Day 1 of Otakon 2014 and only 4 hours of sleep; I was ready for Day 2. On the agenda were a few more photo shoots, including: Marvel vs Capcom, Assassin’s Creed, Resident Evil and Kingdom Hearts. What I missed were the anime screenings and workshops. There were philosophical discussions on the prominence of the Devil in anime. Or, how-to workshops on illustrating and publishing were available. As for the anime; Kill La Kill, Card Captor Sakura, Sailor Moon Crystal and the 1993 classic Ninja Scroll, were a few of the many Anime shows and movies being screened throughout the weekend. With the ability the view these films later, I made my way to… (more…)

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Aside from the cool panels, awesome exhibits, and priceless swag that any given attendee can experience or have (in the case of swag) at Comic Con, one of the other crazy elements that occur at the event each year are its parties! With the all the craziness that can (and often does) happen on a given Con day, going to these parties are a great way for people to unwind.  Particularly, for the celebrity guests who often have endless streams of press conferences, interviews, and panel appearances to attend in a given day.  (more…)

 

(left to right) Morris Chesnut, Sean Bean, and Ali Larter star in TNT's Legends.  Photo Credit: Marco Grob

(left to right) Morris Chesnut, Sean Bean, and Ali Larter star in TNT’s “Legends.”  Photo Credit: Marco Grob

One of my first few stops at this year’s Comic Con was the pressroom for TNT’s Legends.  Based on the novel by Rob Littell, the series follows undercover agent, Martin Odum, who has the uncanny ability to transform himself into a completely different person for each job.  Working for the FBI’s Deep Cover Operations (DCO) division, Martin begins to question his own identity when a mysterious stranger suggests to Martin that he isn’t the man he believes himself to be. Also starring the likes of Ali Larter (Heroes) as Crystal Quest, a fellow operative who has a history with Martin; and Morris Chestnut (American Horror Story, Nurse Jackie) as Tony Cimarro, a smart, quick-witted and charming DCO agent; the series has all the ingredients to debut big this Wednesday on TNT.

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Ali Larter as Crystal in the Pilot Episode of "Legends."  Photo Credit: Richard Foreman

      Ali Larter as Crystal in the Pilot Episode of “Legends.”            Photo Credit: Richard Foreman

Set to make its debut this Wednesday on TNT, the television series, Legends, is poised to make quite a splash this fall thanks to its interesting premise and its impressive ensemble.  Including the likes of actors Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) and Morris Chestnut (BOYS IN THE HOOD, THE BEST MAN franchise), the show, which examines the world of deep cover agents, will also boast the talents of Ali Larter, who portrays the character, Crystal, in the upcoming series.  (more…)

 Day 1 8PM (Pratt Street Lobby) 

I made my way from the video game hall to the Pratt Street lobby for the different photo shoots. Cosplayers from their respective shows meet up for one large photo shoot. Anime conventions, more than most; give an unscheduled entertainment in cosplaying. Like the red carpet ceremony at an awards chow, everyone wants to know who’s who and who’s wearing what. 

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Otakon 2014

The annual celebration of everything anime; another Otakon is upon us. The Baltimore Convention Center, for the next three days, has been transformed into the cultural capital of Japanimerica. In its 21st year, Otakon has come a long way from its small beginnings in a State College, Pennsylvania Days Inn. Now it’s filling the Convention Center to its capacity with characters from the farthest reaches of the Multi-verse. It’s my first Otakon and luckily I was able to capture the frivolity; because some of the things seen at the Con are absolutely indescribable. 

The Eternal Dragon Shen Long

There isn’t enough time to cover 100% of the Otakon experience. Believe me, I’ve tried. With that said, the following real-time rundown of DAY 1 of Otakon 2014, is only a taste of what is offered. the full schedule can be found on the Otakon website. 

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Papa vs Mallory When tragedy in the form of political unrest strikes the Kadam family’s Mumbai restaurant, they pack up and head to London. If home is where the heart is, the heart is in the flight path of one of Europe’s busiest airports. The Kadam family is on the move again. After car trouble stalls them outside of a small town in Provence, France, the headstrong but stubborn patriarch, Papa (Om Puri), falls in love with a space that was formerly a restaurant. The rest of the family has reservations, especially since nobody eats Indian food in the South of France. Undeterred by the family or the locals, Maison Mumbai will open, come hell or high water. Led by the talented Hassan (Manish Dayal) in the kitchen; will the restaurant survive in a land where their culture doesn’t exist? (more…)

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Since Into The Storm is about a series of tornadoes that threaten a small Oklahoma town; let’s get one thing clear, from the beginning. This movie isn’t Twister. It’s as relatable to Twister, as Showgirls is to Jersey Boys. Sure, both Into The Storm and Twister follow storm chasers into Tornado Alley, for research. Both movies exploit the raw, destructive power of tornadoes. That’s where the comparisons end. Into The Storm takes a different approach. Using found footage from the omnipresent cameras of a group of storm chasers that roll into Silverton, Oklahoma. Along side the two students that are recording their high school graduation, these indestructible cameras record all the action. With the acting being slightly better than basic cable, Into The Storm relies heavily on visual effects. I guess you’d have to if you didn’t have Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt and Phillip Seymour Hoffman at your disposal. 

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Starting next Thursday, August 7th, 2014, Baltimore, Maryland is turning Japanese. No, Zero’s aren’t circling Camden Yards, but Otakon 2014 is upon us. The Reel Film News team will be out in full force, covering the convention from all angles. Keep this space refreshed for the latest updates from Otakon 2014 in Baltimore, August 7th-10th.Otakon 2014Anime enthusiasts from across the universe will descend on the Baltimore Convention Center. It’ll be a celebration, 21 years in the making. Over 100,000 Cosplayers, gamers and friends of an Otaku Generation attended last years festivities; making it the largest Otakon to date. From its humble beginnings in a rural Pennsylvania Days Inn, to one of North America’s longest running Anime conventions, Otakon isn’t only for die hard fans. It’s the best way to immerse yourself in Japanese and other East Asian cultures without the 20 flight. From sumo wrestling, sake tasting, concerts and more; Otakon 2014 looks to be the biggest one yet. 

Each celebration gets increasingly bittersweet, as Otakon prepares to say goodbye to the Baltimore Convention Center. Its home since 1999, the BCC presents Otakorp, Inc. with a good problem to have. Otakon’s increasing popularity has outgrown Baltimore; and it will move back to Washington, D.C. At the end of last year’s con, it was announced that Otakon will move to the Walter Washington Convention Center, starting 2017. 

Guardians AssembeledI’m going to start this review with a note of caution. I want to make things very clear from the beginning that, this will not be a normal review.You won’t find any spoilers in this space. Nor will you find any discussion of the plot at all. This is because of the notion that you follow one of two schools of thought about this film. You are reading this review to either confirm your suspicions of how awesome the movie really is; or, you’re on the fence about seeing a movie that stars a raccoon and an emotional tree. I found myself in the latter camp and wasn’t impressed by the 17 minute IMAX 3D sneak peek, shown last week. I knew little about the Guardians going in and had little faith in James Gunn, whose credits include Slither (2006) and a little movie called Super (2008). 

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(L to R) Z (Chelsea Alden), Jax (Cole Shoemaker), Eve  (Stephanie Koenig), Alaric (Eric Carpenter), and Cas (Zach Bostrom) Photo Credit: Jerry Buteyn

(L to R) Z (Chelsea Alden), Jax (Cole Shoemaker), Eve (Stephanie Koenig), Alaric (Eric Carpenter), and Cas (Zach Bostrom) Photo Credit: Jerry Buteyn

What happens when you have a woman, with a mysterious need to die and resurrect, cross paths with an eclectic band of individuals with their own unique set of supernatural abilities?  The answer is the new paranormal webseries Necrolectric set to release this summer.  (more…)

“You think you know the real story of Hercules? Think again.” Unfortunately, that translates into: You thought you were seeing an updated version of the story you know and like. Think Again. From the beginning, the marketing for Hercules had me convinced that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would become the son of Zeus. But, as suggested by the narrator, I don’t know this story of Hercules. Based on the Steve Moore short series, Hercules: Volume 1: The Thracian War; this story takes place in Thrace, not Greece. Cotys, the King of Thrace seeks the help of Hercules and his band of merry men. Bandits threaten the land and Thrace’s unqualified army won’t cut it. But, expectantly, not everything in Thrice is as it seems. 

Apparently Hercules was a master strategist and proponent of dental hygene.

Apparently Hercules was a master strategist and proponent of dental hygiene.

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Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) is a professional cynic and a pessimist. Which is why he’s succeeded under the stage name Wei Ling Su, a Chinese magician who has brought his secrets of the Orient to Europe. We find Stanley on tour in Berlin, 1928 when he gets word of a spiritualist in the South of France that could be the real deal. Never passing on a moment publicly shame a swindler,  Stanley gleefully heads to France. (more…)

Movie Review – Lucy

July 24, 2014

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) isn’t a bad person. She’s recently made some terrible decisions. We don’t know why she’s partying hard with drug dealers on the streets of Taipei. We don’t know how she met Richard, nor why he’s so jumpy about delivering this briefcase to a man named Kang (CHOI Min-Sik). Kang, a powerful South Korean durg lord, wants the briefcase, now handcuffed to Lucy. It contains a new synthetic drug that could increase the brain function of it’s user. Think of it this way: the drug that Lucy has is the uncut, unprocessed version of what Bradley Cooper took in Limitless. While the average human uses 10% of its brain power; what would be the ramifications of using 20% or even 60% of brain power?

Lucy

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San Diego Convention Cente (will host San Comic Con 2014

San Diego Convention Center (left) will host San Diego Comic Con 2014

Unless you have been living under rock, you’ve probably noticed (the past few weeks) an increase in our articles that have been geared towards Comic Con.  Well, there is a reason for that…San Diego Comic Con will soon be upon us once again next week! (more…)

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With San Diego Comic-Con taking place next week, Disney Interactive is excited to share details on all of the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes’ activities during the show. From hands-on previews to hosting a Pop-Up Shop and games panel with Executive Producer John Vignocchi, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will have something for everyone. (more…)

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As mentioned before, major changes will be made to many of our favorite Marvel superheroes come this fall.  Though some fans are excited by the changes, only time will if these changes will be accepted in the long term.  Nevertheless, Marvel has released a press release today detailing their new Marvel Universe.  Check it out below: (more…)

When Jay first met Annie in college, it was sex at first sight. Surely, the love came later; but it was definately about the sex. In the library, the park, or whenever they had a free momen; sex for Jay and Annie was as expected as your next breath. However, the burden of responsibility in the form of marriage, two kids and work, leaves little room for coitus. Annie now writes a blog increasingly successful blog about motherhood and Jay is somehow involved in music. When Annie’s blog gets picked up by a national lifestyle brand (think: Martha Stewart), the sex starved couple decides celebrate her success by, making a sex tape. 

That moment when you realize the movie you paid to see is S#!T

That moment when you realize the movie you paid to see is S#!T

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SUPERIOR_IRON_MAN

Marvel has made headlines the past few days thanks to the major changes that have been announced regarding some of their most iconic superheroes.  If you not caught up, then let me bring you up to speed… On Tuesday, it was announced on The View that the Asgardian God of Thunder (known as Thor) would no longer be male, but female.  In addition, it was announced yesterday on The Colbert Report that the mantle of Captain America would be taken over by long time Captain America ally, Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon).  A change which will see the character of Captain America become a black superhero.  Now, comes news today that our favorite playboy billionaire, Tony Stark, will receive a radical change as well!  Check out the details of this change in the press release below: (more…)

CBS Consumer Products

Today CBS Consumer Products announced an out-of-this-world lineup for the iconic Star Trek™ franchise at Comic-Con International 2014 in San Diego. Fans will be able to participate in a full weekend of Star Trek events and activities at the world-famous convention including the Star Trek’s Ships of the Line panel on Thursday evening, and Star Trek: Live in Concert with the San Diego Symphony at Embarcadero Marina Park South on Saturday. (more…)

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When collectibles manufacturer Factory Entertainment shows up at San Diego Comic-Con next week, it will have more on its mind than selling “cool stuff.” (more…)

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Though The Purge wasn’t a good movie, the elephant in the room has always been its premise. How would you spent the night where all crime was legal, except for the killing of government official of level 10 rank or higher. Also class 4 and higher caliber weaponry is forbidden. But how would you spend the night? Unfortunately, the first movie focused on a single family, in a single neighbourhood; living in a suburb of Los Angeles. It left me wanting so much more. I had a ton of questions in the end, as the premise had been so intriguing; but almost  forgotten when the assailants stormed the home. Such a great movie premise, abandoned to become a run of the mill slasher film.

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