SF Fantasy

Fri
20
Nov

Westworld Meanders Aimlessly Through Third Season on Blu-ray

Westworld Season 3 Bluray

WESTWORLD releases its third season on Blu-ray, and once again it's a season where I have no idea what is happening from episode to episode, nor do I know how it all tied together. The intelligence of the hosts -- robots built to look and think like human beings -- flit back and forth from the real world to the cyber-built world to the robot-populated theme-park worlds that you never know which reality you're in -- or, indeed, if anywhere at all is real. One of the character even states that it would be the ultimate mind trip if somehow an artificial reality was built with an artificial reality inside it, so they only thought they were in the real world.

Wed
04
Nov

Put This One On Your Sith List - Star Wars: Book of Lists

Star Wars Book of Lists

When I was a middle schooler in the late 70s and early 80s, there were two books that would publish new editions which were required reading (three for me, if you count the Overstreet Price Guide to Comic Books): The GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS and THE BOOK OF LISTS. Both were filled with intriguing facts and figures that could keep me engaged for many an afternoon.

The STAR WARS BOOK OF LISTS tries to capture that same attention in a very handsomely bound hardcover with gold leaf imprinted on the cover. If you're a Star Wars fan, you'll pick this up immediately. However, you may also get disappointed quickly at what qualifies as 'trivia' in this compendium. For instance, "Caped Crusaders: Characters Who Rock Capes and Cloaks," which is immediately followed by "It's A Deal: Negotiations and Deals Made for Parts, Droids, and Information," are, kindly put, uninteresting. It screams out "I have to find 100 different lists to make from a finite set of films!"

Fri
16
Oct

Monsters Run in Mary's Family: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter

Mary: Advs of Mary Shelley's GGGGG-Gdaughter

Sixteen year old Mary Shelley carries a 197-year-old burden. She's the great, great, great, great, GREAT granddaughter of the original Mary Shelley -- you know, the lady who invented the science fiction genre with her story about a doctor who revives the dead? Right, that Mary Shelley, and that book. And ever since that fateful publication, the Shelley lineage has been populated with authors, including modern Mary's grandmother (recipes) and her mother, Tawny, who writes a mega-successful mystery series about a crime-solving sleuth, also named Tawny.

Mary is the one next in line, with the expectations that she, also, will find her voice and take up the pen. But there's a problem with that.

She doesn't want to. In fact, she doesn't know what it is exactly that she wants to do, but she knows it isn't that.

Fri
16
Oct

10 Most Favorite Students' Superhero Movies and TV Shows

Students Watching Television

Superhero movies are mostly seen as overly expensive special effects flicks that carry a fraction of artistic value. Nevertheless, even through their simplified narrative, superhero movies and tv shows point out the value of friendship, positive attitude, and persistence towards achieving a goal. All these messages are vital for college students because they can provide a guideline for overcoming the challenges of academic life.

We asked students for their opinion, and here is a list of 10 favorite superhero flix among college students.

Mon
12
Oct

Space Ghost and Dino Boy: The Complete Series on Blu-ray

Space Ghost and Dino Boy Complete Collection

It's Saturday morning all over again with this collection of the classic SPACE GHOST animated series. Featuring all twenty of the 1966-1968 SPACE GHOST episodes, these cartoon shorts have lost none of their appeal, due in large part to the timeless designs of Alex Toth.

Fri
02
Oct

Up to the Hilt: The Lightsaber Collection Provides Detailed Look for Star Wars Fans

Star Wars Lightsaber Collection

Even the casual fans of Star Wars can tell you that the lightsaber is a deeply personal weapon to the one who wields it. Unlike a blaster, the lightsaber is not some mass-produced weapon made in a factory, with identically interchangeable parts. No, the lightsaber is crafted by hand by the Jedi or Sith who will take it into battle, making it an extension of themselves. "This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age," as Obi-Wan put it to Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars film. And, really, that whole "random as a blaster" comment pretty much sums up why the stormtroopers could never hit anything they shot at.

Tue
11
Aug

Joker War Spills Over into Detective 1025

Detective Comics 1027 2020

The Joker has struck his biggest blow against the Dark Knight -- he has taken all the billions of Bruce Wayne and has assumed control of Wayne Enterprises, including all the attendant Batman technology. Bruce Wayne has been exposed as an embezzler, redirecting Wayne Foundation funds into financially supporting Batman's war on crime -- which is, in fact, true, since Bruce Wayne set up several shell companies to hide the fact he had been doing exactly this for years.

Now Gotham City is under seige, with Batman and the police being the last line of defense against the Joker and his minions, armed to the teeth with Batman-weaponry. The new Wayne Foundation lawyers are also pressing things on the legal end -- against the police and the press, silencing all opposition as best they can.

Thu
30
Jul

Engineward Posits a Post-Earth Civilization

Engineward #1 from Vault Comics

In the distant future, long after the humanity has fled planet Earth, people live in a desert environment threatened by gigantic reptilian monsters. Water is a precious commodity, rationed and dole out by an elite faction called Celestials, who live in excessive luxury and fashion themselves after the zodiac.

On this world, a team of archeologists has recovered an artifact from the days of arrival, a metal head found in the face of a mountain near the site of the rusted out shell of a crashed spaceship. The discovery is taken as a prize by the team leader, Ichabod, to a plucky young engineer -- called an engineward in this evolution of the English dialiect -- named Joss, who is excited about the relic and what it might teach them about early Earth -- or "Oert" as it has etmologically transformed.

Thu
16
Jul

Russian SF Flick Attraction 2: Invasion Visually Fun -- So Watch Muted

Attraction 2 Invasion

ATTRACTION 2 is a visually stunning work of science fiction, and the trailers for it certainly communicated that fact, drawing in new fans as well as those who had already seen the 2017 ATTRACTION to which this is the sequel. It's shots of outer space satellite action, the scenes of flying through the city in a miniatur pod craft -- in fact, the entire cinematography is a thing to be admired from beginning to end.

And if visuals were all it took to make a great film, then this one would be a success. But there's also story and dialogue to be considered, and that's where this Blu-ray release just fails to capture me. To be fair, I am watching an American dub; the dialogue in the original Russian, were I able to do more than say 'good morning' and 'let's get coffee', might make more sense.

Thu
16
Apr

Zenescope Co-Founder Ralph Tedesco Discusses COVID-19 Impact on Comics Publishing and Distributing

Zenescope livestream interview 2020-04-16

Critical Blast has talked a lot with retailers during the COVID-19 induced industry shutdown that has impacted the comic book supply chain nationwide, even in states where stores are not facing mandatory closures.

But while the end-user impact is important, we also want to make sure we shine a spotlight onto how the shutdown -- specifically the Diamond Distribution shutdown, which services as the bottleneck for the entire logistics model of getting comic books from publishers to consumers -- has impacted the publishers that bring us our weekly dose of fantasy, horror, action, and every other genre of four-color entertainment.

Sun
12
Apr

V: The Final Battle on Blu-ray

V: The Final Battle

In 1984, the country was fully caught up in the fever of the first trilogy of STAR WARS films, and television had stepped up to fill that void with programs like BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and the simplistically titled and high-minded sci-fi thriller, V.

The "V" stood for "The Visitors," who were aliens who had come to Earth under the pretense of helping mankind. But the show was actually the long-form version of Damon Knight's short-story, "To Serve Man," because the Visitors were actually lizard people wearing human skin disguises, here to plunder our resources and process human beings as a food source.

Wed
08
Apr

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge Hits Like a Hard "R" G.I. Joe

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge

MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION'S REVENGE opens, as one would expect, by presenting itself as the origin of Hanzo Hasashi (voiced by Patrick Seitz), a great warrior who returns to his village to find it completely eradicated, including his wife. His final vision before his death is the brutal murder of his young son.

Hasashi awakens in the Netherrealm, where he is about to be tortured for all eternity by a demon. But Hasashi's will is indomitable, and he manages to fight his way through an army of demons, to the door of Quan Chi (Darin De Paul), who offers Hasashi an opportunity to get his life and family back -- by obtaining the key to unlock Quan Chi's imprisoned master through a competition held between the many realms. The competition comes with an opportunity for revenge against the man who killed Hasashi's family. And so Scorpion is born.

Wed
26
Feb

Star Wars Fans Assign "The Mandalorian" Best Broadcast Series of 2019

Best Broadcast Series 2019 The Mandalorian Disney +

While fan response to the Disney STAR WARS films has been more starkly divided than the philosophies of the Jedi and the Sith, one thing everyone can seem to agree on is that the first ever STAR WARS live-action series, THE MANDALORIAN, is a unifying (wait for it) force. A western adventure set in another galaxy, the series is an original to the Disney Plus streaming service, and has been pleasing fans since its debut -- perhaps, in no small part, due to the presence of The Child, universally known to all as "Baby Yoda."

Sun
05
Jan

Soule and Saiz Give Fans a New Hope with Marvel's Star Wars #1 Comic

Marvel Comics Star Wars #1 2020

Over the last few years, the foundation of STAR WARS fandom has been a little shaky. We've seen one writer ignominiously ousted from the extended universe, several directors fired from the sequels and ancillary films, and controversy among the fandom over the way the final trilogy was handled from start to finish. Basically, if you're handed the reigns to do something with STAR WARS these days, you stand a good chance of slitting your own throat.

Mon
11
Nov

Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 106, "I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury"

Batwoman I'll Be Judge I'll Be Jury

It took six episodes, but BATWOMAN has delivered a one-and-done murder mystery that was both compelling and character elevating.

There's a new villain in town, who wears an executioner's mask and carries an axe. When he electrocutes a prominent Gotham City prosecutor, whose most famous case was the conviction of Jack Napier, aka The Joker, the GCPD fire up the Bat-signal, seeking help from the city's new bearer of the mantle. This infuriates Jake Kane (DOUGRAY SCOTT), leader of the Crows, and he vows to capture this killer before Batwoman (RUBY ROSE).

Tue
29
Oct

The Crew of the NSEA Protector Returns in Steelbook Edition of Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest 20 Year

Has it really been twenty years since TIM ALLEN, SIGOURNEY WEAVER, ALAN RICKMAN, TONY SHALHOUB, SAM ROCKWELL and DARYL MITCHELL took off aboard the NSEA Protector to explore the farthest corners of the galaxy -- only to have their voyage cancelled on a cliffhanger? See, GALAXY QUEST was just a television show, a science fiction classic beloved by fans and made into the centerpiece of conventions, much to the chagrin of the actors of the series -- Jason Nesmith, Gwen DeMarco, Alexander Dane, Fred Kwan, Guy Fleegman, and Tommy Webber -- who found themselves typecast into their roles and condemned to make a living through special appearances and autographing photos. The only one really into it is Nesmith (ALLEN), but when he overhears two teens talking about how pathetic his life must be, it shakes his confidence.

Wed
25
Sep

Dark Crystal Success Shows The Staying Power of a Good Story

Dark Crystal Age of Resistance

1982 movie The Dark Crystal is probably better categorized as a cult classic rather than as a bona fide classic. So its entrance into 2019 popular culture will have taken many by surprise. The Jim Henson Company collaborated with Netflix to produce a ten-episode prequel to the original film. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance explores the magical world of Thra, in which Gelflings look to rebel against the tyrannous rule of the Skeksis.

Thu
12
Sep

Lost Lovechild of Kubrick and Hitchcock: Empathy, Inc.

Empathy Inc

Director Yedidya Gorsetman and Screenwriter Mark Leidner have put together a sleeper hit of masterpiece proportions.

EMPATHY, INC. starts out simply enough. Joel (ZACK ROBIDAS) is a successful silicon valley executive, about to make a fortune with the release of a new technology. But his partner has been falsifying the results of the tests, with devastating financial results for Joel and the company he worked for. He is scapegoated into ruin, and he and his wife Jessica (KATHY SEARLE) are forced to move in with her retired parents.

Thu
18
Jul

More Than Two Months Past Game of Thrones Finale: Are You Still Suffering from Withdrawal?

Game of Thrones Withdrawal

Symptoms include low energy, headaches and irritability. If you don’t think you’re suffering that last one, ask your family or friends. They may have an answer different than yours.

But here’s some news that may cure your ills: Filming of the GAME OF THRONES prequel has begun in Belfast. It won’t have Jon Snow or Arya Stark, but maybe you can be satisfied that you’re dealing with the same bloodline, albeit a bloodline that is thousands of years older.

Before you place any bets on the prequel, such as which of your favorite characters turned out to be chips off the (very) old block, read an Intertops review, one of SBR’s top rated sportsbooks for entertainment wagers.

And be warned, there will be speculation and spoilers in this article.

Tue
09
Jul

Avellone's Crisis on Infinite Betties Continues at Dynamite

Bettie Page Unbound 2

David Avallone and Julius Ohta are taking the iconic Bettie Page to places she has never been before -- alternate worlds, alternate dimensions, and ultimately alternate Betties, as she races against time to stop Yog-Sothoth and the Elder Gods from invading our dimension and bringing about the end of...well, pretty much everything.

Fortunately, there's a key to stopping this invasion. More precisely, there are five keys, spread across five different dimensions. Bettie has acquired two of them, having picked up the second key in the first issue of this miniseries, where she found herself embodying a she-devil with a sword. Now she finds herself on a new planet, in a form where she's even stronger and stranger--a fanged vampire woman who can sprout wings and kick ass!

Oh yeah, and she's kind of hungry. For blood.

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