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Saga #33 Review - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 02:45

As far as pushing the medium goes, Saga has always been, and seemingly always will be, a book that takes risks. Case in point - at a time where the book's leads have been scattered across the cosmos, a time where the future of the story has never been more uncertain, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples seemingly decide that the best way for their story to move forward is to go way, way back. It's a move that pays off in uniquely unexpected ways, though the meaning of said payoff remains to be seen.

As the cover alludes, issue #33 sees the return of reporting duo, Doff and Upsher (or Upsher and Doff for the byline inclined). The scoop seeking couple has been largely inactive over the last few arcs, what with their literal inability to tell the story they so desperately want to, but it appears that with the death of The Brand comes life to this particular plot line. Despite their long absence, writer Vaughan is able to refresh we readers on their status and personalities in a few finely tuned bits of dialogue, in turn restarting the manhunt (well, hybrid-baby-hunt) that lead us to meeting them in the first place. The question is, for what purpose?

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Faith #1 Review - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 01:42

She’s been a Renegade, she’s been a defender of Unity, and now, with new digs and a new identity, Faith Herbert is ready to be herself. Valiant’s pluckiest psiot gets her own limited series courtesy of Jody Houser, Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage, and her first foray into solo stardom proves to be a blast of fresh, companion field-fueled air.

Leaving behind the doom and gloom of past misadventures, writer Houser redirects Faith – sometimes known as Zephyr –to the sun spun hills of Los Angeles. Serving as a mild-mannered click-bait journalist by day and an aspiring solo hero by other-parts-of-day, this first issue carries a definite lightness to it that’s reflected both in Houser’s zippy, pop-culture laden script and Portela’s beaming lines. While that same lightness can at times read too on the nose – Faith’s one heroic excursion is so perfectly Faith that it’s almost distractingly so – the issue is quick to present enough real world conflict to keep things grounded. Whether its Faith dealing with the fallout of leaving her former team, and boyfriend, behind, or the unnerving subplot involving psiots on the run, the read has depth to it beyond Faith’s reinvention.

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Extraordinary X-Men #6 Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 23:29

It's tough to think of a Marvel trope more played out than the idea of the X-Men visiting the Savage Land. It may be obligatory for that type of field trip story to crop up every so often, but at least writer Jeff Lemire is shaking up the formula a bit by sending the X-Men to Weirdworld instead. Extraordinary X-Men continues its upward trend as Lemire kicks off his second story arc and sets a number of new storylines in motion.

Even more than the introduction of Weirdworld, the most obvious change with this issue is that Victor Ibanez has stepped in for Humberto Ramos on art. Ramos' style has its merits, but his overly exaggerated and distorted character designs are often too distracting and out of place. Ibanez's style is less flamboyant by comparison and also easier on the eyes. Character drama takes precedence over spectacle here, and the series needed a more naturalistic style to help bring that change about. Ibanez's past experience on Greg Pak's Storm series come sin handy, as he has no trouble handling the more esoteric character designs while keeping the focus on clear, simple emotion. One panel featuring Old Man Logan reclining and enjoying a beer stands out n particular, showing how much information Ibanez can convey about a character's mental state through body language and background details.

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Supernatural: "Into the Mystic" Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 22:37

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Named after a Van Morrison song, "Into the Mystic" was a solid-but-standard monster hunt, with smatterings of Dean pining for Amara, Sam being haunted by that time left his brother in Purgatory while he found true love, and "Casifer" infiltrating the bunker and learning about Dean's sweet spot for the Darkness. Nothing too heavy. Definitely a come-down chapter after last week's big, eventful cage match. With, you know, a little humor thrown in involving a retirement home woman, Mildred, having the hots for Dean. And hating to see him go, but loving to watch him leave.

Was it just me or did anyone else think something was suspicious about Mildred? As in, you were expecting her to be behind the Banshee attacks somehow. I don't know. I thought there'd be more to her than just a character designed to deliver a few laughs and  get the boys to reveal their secret Golden Girls crushes (ROSE ALL THE WAY, YOU HEATHENS!). Anyhow, she wasn't behind the murders. It was a just plain ol' "total dickbag" Banshee (the non-good kind). One that had been hunting and feeding for years.

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It's Always Sunny: "Dee Made a Smut Film" Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 22:30

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Gotta say, wasn't fully feeling "Dee Made a Smut Film." Things picked up toward the end, when Cricket was brought in to grossly inspire Charlie's doodles, but even then the actual finish felt lacking. I was expecting more of a punch out of Dennis' story. Perhaps even a real catharsis/breakdown over actually being sexually violated when he was a young teen.

But no, Dennis held firmly to his belief that banging his Rick Moranis-looking school librarian was a "good time." Because it had to be, for his entire adult psyche to remain unshattered. Which I guess is fine, but also not funny. And it made for a flat ending.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider - Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 22:16

Rise of the Tomb Raider’s first piece of story-driven DLC Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch is an enjoyable, if brief, adventure that adds a welcome supernatural element to familiar puzzle-solving and adventuring. Although a fetch quest in well-trodden territory is a low point, The Temple of the Witch stands out from the main campaign by virtue of this unexpected psychedelia.

Lara’s hunt for a witch who’d allegedly terrorized locals for years is a welcome change from Rise of the Tomb Raider’s more grounded threats. In one sequence, Lara must follow her father through a haunted forest, pursued by demonic dogs and leery skeletons. While genuinely spooky, it also serves to illustrate Lara’s complex relationship with her dad, one of the most interesting themes in Rise of the Tomb Raider’s main campaign.

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Ghostbusters International #1 Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 21:45

IDW's Ghostbusters franchise continues to follow the Hellboy model, breaking up an ongoing story into a set of easily accessible mini-series. Ghostbusters International introduces yet another new status quo for Egon, Ray, Peter and Ray. As the title suggests, the Ghostbusters are going global. It's no Ghostbusters: Get Real, but it's a solid starting point for a new mini-series. That's despite the fact the first issue is in no particular hurry to get the ball rolling.

Ghostbusters International #1 focuses mainly on the group recuperating and rebuilding after the events of Get Real and Ghostbusters Annual 2015. The real meat of the story gets underway when a mysterious international businessman arrives with ambitious plans for the Ghostbusters, but by that point the book is almost finished. There's a certain malaise to the pacing in this issue that isn't normally found in these short, tightly paced Ghostbusters comics.

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Star Wars Rebels: "The Protector of Concord Dawn" Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 21:29

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

A strong, Sabine-centric episode, “The Protector of Concord Dawn” was a fast-paced and intense installment of Rebels, delving into the world of the Mandalorians.

While many Expanded Universe fans bristled at the pacifist version of Mandalore seen on The Clone Wars, even there, we heard about their warrior past – and saw it in action via the splinter group, Death Watch. And while we were reminded in this episode that Mandalore itself was under Imperial rule, it seemed the warrior side of these people was still in effect on Concord Dawn (the home world of Jango Fett).

While the basic design of Boba Fett’s armor (and its influence on other Mandalorian armor since) is just innately cool, and it was fun to see a Mandalorian pilot outfit variation, the main antagonist here, Fenn Rau, was also just a strong character, regardless. Voiced by Kevin McKidd (Rome, Grey’s Anatomy, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 3), he was a merciless warrior, quick to go all out attacking Hera and Sabine, thanks to his Imperial alliance, yet also with an open and even laid back demeanor in his one-on-one conversation with Kanan. His bemused reaction to what was happening (“One of you came here to befriend me, one of you came here to kill me”) was very fun as well.

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7 Hours With Valve VR: IGN's Live Updates - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 21:26

We're spending seven hours with 12 Valve VR games today.

IGN is attending an all-day Valve VR event in Seattle, WA, where we're spending it with Valve, VR developers, and the incredible Vive headset. We'll be updating this page live with various impressions of each game throughout the day, alongside interesting developer quotes and more.

Have questions? Leave them in the comments and we'll follow up on what you want to know.

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NickToons Movie From Napoleon Dynamite Director Will Unite Ren & Stimpy, Rugrats, and More - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 21:26

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon have tapped director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre) to helm NickToons, reports Deadline.

With Who Framed Roger Rabbit? cited as an example, NickToons will blend live action with character appearances from numerous ’90s Nickelodeon series, including The Ren and Stimpy Show, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Rugrats.

Further details are scarce but according to Deadline Hess will also write the script with his wife and frequent co-writer, Jerusha Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre).

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Unlocked: Burnout Returns...As a Golf Game...Sort of... - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 21:25

DOWNLOAD UNLOCKED 230 (Audio version)

On this week's Xbox show, we celebrate the very Burnout-y new golf game (yes, golf game!) from the original creators of Burnout. Plus: praise for the word-of-mouth hit ARK: Survival Evolved and the awesome adventure that is Oxenfree. We also discuss the potential awesomeness of PlatinumGames's just-announced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, share what you're getting for your $50 season pass in Star Wars Battlefront, lament Mighty No. 9's latest delay, and tell you how you can attend E3 with EA.

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Arrow: David Ramsey on A.R.G.U.S., Diggle's New Helmet and The Flash Crossover - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 21:05

Full spoilers for Arrow's Season 4 episode "A.W.O.L." continue below.

Big changes happened for John Diggle's (David Ramsey) storyline this week on Arrow, both good and bad. On the good side, Diggle finally resolved some of his ongoing issues with his estranged (and, until recently, presumed dead) brother Andy (Eugene Byrd). On the not so good side, agents of Shadowspire killed Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and left A.R.G.U.S. without a leader.

Add on to that the ongoing issues with Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) paralysis the drama unfolding in the past on Lian Yu -- plus the mystery person who's buried in that grave in the near future -- and there's a lot to be concerned about on Arrow.

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Arrow: "A.W.O.L." Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:59

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

It's tradition for Arrow to take a little break once or twice a season and put the Diggle family in the spotlight. More often than not that also involves bringing Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad into the picture as well. There was no Squad this week, but plenty of John, Andy, Lyla and Waller as they dealt with the growing threat of Shadowspire. Even with that shift in focus, this episode never really felt like a side-story or a pointless detour. It was a definite step up from last week's disappointing outing.

This week's Diggle storyline came at an opportune time, as John just recently got through to his captive brother and began the slow healing process. This week's conflict put that fragile brotherly bond to the test as Shadowspire invaded A.R.G.U.S. headquarters and Lyla's life was (once again) put in danger.

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This Is How You Brush Your Teeth in Space - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:55

Dental hygiene should be an important part of everyone's life—even if you're floating in space. Astronaut Tim Peake posted a video on Instagram to show us just how astronauts get it done.

It looks a lot like you'd expect, minus the running water. Astronauts use normal, everyday toothbrushes; the same goes for toothpaste. He'll use the water pouch to suck up some moisture, then get right to it just as the rest of us would.

The big difference is that astronauts have to swallow their toothpaste when they're done. And, it's a lot easier to lose the toothpaste cap when it can float away.

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Pizza Hut Has a Tater Tot Crust Pizza in New Zealand - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:49

If you’re the type of person to toss the crust when eating pizza, perhaps Pizza Hut’s tater tot crust would change your mind.

According to Brand Eating, the chain restaurant recently offered a Hash Bites Crust Pizza in New Zealand, a pizza with actual tater tots baked into the crust. Apparently, ordering Hash Bites on the side is a thing in New Zealand and Pizza Hut decided to incorporate them into their pies.

Image Credit: Pizza Hut New Zealand

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Miranda Otto to Play Female Lead in 24: Legacy - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:26

Homeland star Miranda Otto has joined the cast of 24: Legacy.

According to Deadline, Otto will star as the show's female lead, Rebecca Ingram, the former head of the CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) who finds herself "struggling with second thoughts about having left the counterterrorism agency."

Otto in Homeland

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Forget The Shining; Here's The Chickening - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:23

In an absurd twist, directors Nick DenBoer and Davy Force have reimagined classic horror film The Shining into The Chickening.

The short film remixes scenes from The Shining using chickens, bizarre special effects, and a foul-mouthed Danny Torrance. Instead of taking place at the Overlook Hotel, The Chickening is set in a chicken restaurant and resort called Charbay’s Chicken World.

According to Slash Film, the film debuted at Fantastic Fest, a film festival held in Austin, Texas last September. The audience reportedly loved the raunchy, chicken-themed film and it only just debuted online.

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Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Kantana #1 Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:15

With a Suicide Squad movie on the way, DC understandably wants to put a spotlight on some of the characters who will be making their big-screen debut in August. Harley Quinn is more than covered at this point, but what about the rest of this team of miscreants and murderers? That's where Suicide Squad Most Wanted comes in. This series essentially offers two comics in one as it delivers separate stories featuring Deadshot and Katana. Both halves of issue #1 are nothing if not competent, but they may not do a lot to make newcomers care about either character.

Writer Brian Buccellato and artist Viktor Bogdonavic tackle the Deadshot story, which sees Floyd Lawton carry out a particularly dangerous mission for Amanda Waller while simultaneously wrestling with a mysterious family matter. Complicating matters is the addition of a rival sharpshooter assassin with whom Floyd is forced to team up. The dynamic between these two characters is amusing, though at times Deadshot's partner is so similar to Deadshot himself in terms of look, personality and skills that he barely seems like a character at all. Buccellato keeps his script light and breezy, with the promise of a deeper look at Floyd's troubled past and family history in issues to come.

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Harrison Ford to Reveal Star Wars Land Details Next Month - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:14

Harrison Ford will share new details on Star Wars Land during Disneyland's upcoming anniversary special, "The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60."

According to Disney's announcement, the Han Solo actor will provide "an exclusive preview of Star Wars-themed lands" when the special airs in the US on Sunday, February 21 at 8pm ET on ABC.

Derek Hough will be hosting the event, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will be performing Fantasia's iconic musical sequence "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Additionally, the anniversary celebration will include appearances by Elton John, Josh Gad, and Witney Carson.

Last year at D23, Disney announced Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland and Disney World in 2016. In anticipation of their launch, several new Star Wars-themed areas and elements were debuted in Disneyland back in November.

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You, Me and the Apocalypse: Series Premiere Review - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:10

It’s not often these days we see a network take a huge gamble on a show (those series are frequently left for venues like cable and streaming services, it seems), but NBC sure has come out of left field with the new British co-production You, Me and the Apocalypse, debuting Thursday night.

Reminiscent of Finding a Friend for the End of the World, the series revolves around several random characters who find themselves together in a bunker during the opening scene, as they wait an asteroid to hit Earth and wipe out humanity as they know it. Flash back 34 days, and we begin to meet the characters scene by scene.

There’s Jamie (Matthew Baynton), a British chum who finds himself mixed up in an international case when he discovers he may or may not have a twin; Rhonda (Jenna Fischer), a librarian who took the fall for her son and is now serving time for hacking into the National Security Agency; Rhonda’s white supremacist fellow inmate (Megan Mullally); an inexperienced nun (Gaia Scodellaro) with an aptitude for languages; and the chain-smoking Father she works with (Rob Lowe).

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