Talking about comic books, TV shows, movies, sports, and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

One Sentence Reviews

Well, aside from my St. Valentine's day post, it's been a while. My Vikings blog plus my own laziness has kept me from posting. But I should be more active now...maybe. But I'll start out with some light-weight lifting. In other words, it's time for some one sentence reviews!

Friday, February 26, 2010

X-amining X-Men #34

"War--In a World of Darkness!"
July 1967

In a Nutshell: The X-Men get dragged into a war between Tyrannus and the Mole Man

Editor: Stan Lee 
Writer: Roy Thomas 
Artist: Dan Adkins 
Lettering: J. Feldman

As Beast and Cyclops work to repair the damaged Cerebro so they can locate Professor X, Marvel Girl returns to college and receives a frantic call from Ted Roberts. His brother Ralph was kidnapped by subterranean villain Tyrannus and, suspecting the X-Men's real identities, he is asking for their help in getting him back. Using Ralph's new earth-borer vehicle, Marvel Girl, Angel and Iceman track Tyrannus beneath the Earth's surface. They emerge near Mole Man, who is fighting with Tyrannus over underground territory. The three X-Men accidentally inhale the mists of the River Lethe, giving them amnesia and putting them under the sway of Mole Man.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lost 6x05: The Lighthouse

"You don't have what it takes." Those words, spoken to Jack by his father when he was young, speak to Jack's inability to be a hero. Lost is an ensemble show, but in many ways, Jack is the central character. The crash of flight 815 and its immediate aftermath was seen through his eyes, he's received the most character-centric episodes (with mixed results) and is the driving force behind many of the most significant events on the island. In fact, the grand narrative of Lost, at least from the perspective of the Losties, could be seen as Jack's quest to prove to his father he does have what it takes to be a hero.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Boots' Best - Fear(s) of the Dark

Horror is, of course, quite subjective. Some people are scared of roller coasters or mimes or being poor or dying unloved. This film examines the minds of some international artists and answers the question - What scares you?

Drawn in brilliant black and white, Fear(s) of the Dark, or Peur(s) du Noir (2007), is an animated horror anthology that should leave an indelible mark on your skin.

We Americans tend to inhibit our imaginations and use politically correct communications when getting a point across. Thank the Creator for foreigners with their drugs and whacked out styles. There were a few times during my viewing of the film I had to turn away and let loose the shivers.

In a world of Disney and Pixar, I had never seen animation like that displayed by the six talented artists working on this film. I'm very eager to research who they are and what else they have released.

If you rent the DVD through NETFLIX, make sure to watch the trailers beforehand. There's a movie out there about some "evil" children who do some nastiness to a kitty that left me rolling (hint - the Romans did this to people!). I believe it was called HOME MOVIE. Anyone seen it?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Retro Review: War of the Simpsons

Or the One Where: Homer and Marge go to a marriage retreat.

The Setup: After Homer gets drunk and makes an ass of himself at the Simpsons' cocktail party, Marge signs them up for Reverend Lovejoy's marriage retreat.

Friday, February 19, 2010

X-amining X-Men #33

"Into the Crimson Cosmos!"
June 1967

In a Nutshell: Cyclops and Marvel Girl search for a means to defeat Juggernaut. 

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Werner Roth
Inker: John Tartaglione
Lettering: Sam Rosen

Plot: While Juggernaut mows down the National Guard on his way to steal an airplane and join Factor Three, the X-Men probe the comatose Professor X's mind for a way to defeat him. They watch as hundreds of years ago the Ancient One does battle with Xorak, the guardian of the temple of Cytorrak, ending when the Ancient One banishes Xorak to the Crimson Cosmos. The X-Men repair Cerebro and try to use it to contact the Ancient One, but reach Dr. Strange instead. Dr. Strange teleports Cyclops and Marvel Girl to the temple and teaches them an incantation to send them into the Crimson Cosmos in search of the Ruby of Cytorrak's (from which Juggernaut gets his power) prototype.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lost 6x04: The Substitute

Now THAT'S more like it! "The Substitute" was Lost at its best, displaying both brilliant character work and compelling mythology, the first great episode of the season. It had disheveled Richard, pants-less Sawyer, douche-y Randy, and Other-less Ben. Mirroring the first season's "Walkabout", the focus was on Locke. On the island, Locke finally got a burial, appropriately added to the cemetery near the Lostie's beach camp and succinctly eulogized by his murderer, while the being wearing his shape recruited Sawyer and led him to some answers that underpin the entire mythology of the show.  

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

We here at Gentlemen of Leisure would like to wish a happy St. Valentine's day to all our loyal readers and even to our not-so-loyal readers. And to all the people who don't read this blog at all...SCREW YOU! (Don't worry, they'll never find out I said that.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

X-amining X-Men #32

"Beware the Juggernaut, My Son!"
May 1967

In Brief: Juggernaut returns!

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Werner Roth
Inker: John Tartaglione
Lettering: Artie Simek
Catered by: Honest Irv

Plot: The X-Men are attending a surprise birthday party for Bobby at the Coffee-A-Go-Go thrown by Zelda when a motorcycle gang attacks. Using their powers surreptitiously to keep their identities hidden, the X-Men manage to chase off the gang. Meanwhile, Professor X has completed his secret experiments and is ready to try and separate his step brother Cain from the power of Juggernaut. The process is interrupted when Juggernaut mysteriously awakens, which knocks Xavier unconscious and seemingly transfers Xavier's telepathy to Juggernaut.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Free Money!

Head over to Falen's blog, Falen Formulates Fiction to get entered into a drawing for a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. What's better than free money, right?

Also, thanks to Falen for giving Gentlemen of Leisure the Happy Blog award, and to Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome, for the Over the Top award.

Thanks friends; the awards are much appreciated even if they do look a bit girly...

Lost 6x03: What Kate Does

The callbacks to season one continue: Kate episodes are just as "meh" as they've ever been! While it was a bit fun to see a good old-fashioned track-through-the-jungle (another season one staple) on the island and to watch Claire and Kate quasi Thelma-and-Louise it in the flashsideways, the episode really didn't pick up until the last fifteen minutes or so. By then, the first, original Other, Ethan, popped up in the flashsideways, we learned that Sayid was infected and the Others need to kill him before it consumes him like it did Claire, and Claire herself popped up on the island doing her best Rousseau impersonation.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Boots' Best - Food, Inc.

Some people like going though life with a paranoid demeanor, jumping at every creak or crack, constantly questioning the intentions of others.

On the flip side, there are those people who prefer to coast on by, never questioning the practices or policies of any authority figure or corporation, always living compulsively, never worrying about what sort of effect their actions may induce.

Food, Inc. is for both of these types of people and everyone in-between.

In this documentary, we hear from farmers and consumers on the practices and mentality that have influenced our everyday eating habits and ,thus, our life in society.

There is truth out there. Unfortunately, even those who know the truth might not value it more than saving $25 a week on groceries.

I knew before viewing this film that corporations were all about turning a profit at whatever expense they could fathom. What really opened my mind was the information as a whole. I had no idea that 4 or 5 food corporations pretty much fed the nation with their products. I didn't know that chickens matured something like 250 times faster with genetic engineering and horrendous living conditions. I didn't know that a child could get E coli from a burger, have to suffer without even being able to drink water, and then die 12 days later.

In the past year, I've made a conscious effort to attempt to eat somewhat healthier. I'd been the guy who could eat fast food at least once a day and think everything's going to be fine as long as I play hockey once a week for an hour and a half.

As I've discovered, the healthier I eat, the better I feel. After viewing this film, I'm now ready to take it one step further and support small local farms who treat their customers, product, and the planet with respect. It's a win win situation. I'll feel better. They'll be able to support their family. We'll all be shiny happy people until the meteorite disintegrates the planet.

I'd recommend Food, Inc. to everyone. Ignorance is acceptable to a limit. Stupidity isn't.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lost 6x01 and 6x02: LA X

In the runup to the season premiere, the producers were adamant about two things: that season six would utilize a new narrative device, and that it would reflect back on the show's first season. "LA X", the sixth and final season premiere, showed the audience exactly what they meant, with the former making the later possible.