Monday, August 3, 2015

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Published:  April 14th, 2010
Captain America: Winter Soldier (Winter Soldier #1-2)
By: Ed Brubaker (Writer) & Steve Epting (Artist)
Marvel Comics
ISBN-13:  9780785143413

A midnight call to duty brings Captain America aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D Heli-carrier to identify the corpse of his most feared adversary: the Red Skull!  The shocking murder of Cap's oldest enemy may not be the end of the Skull's plans, however, because whoever shot the Skull has stolen his final project: an unfinished Cosmic Cube with the potential power to alter reality itself.  Adding to the imminent danger, a cadre of the Skull's followers has already set in motion a plan to ignite bombs in the heart of Paris, London and Manhattan -- causing untold destruction.  Racing against these bombs' rapidly ticking clocks, the Star-Spangled Avenger must not only solve the mystery of his nemesis' murder, but find the Cube before it can be used in the Red Skull's malevolent plot against the United States!  Then, the questions plaguing Captain America's dreams and memories have been answered in the most brutal way possible.  And in the wake of this brutality, General Lukin makes his first move...


     More like 3.5 stars. To be honest, the stuff with the cosmic cube was very "meh" to me personally. The "death" of the Red Skull was interesting though and I feel like if I had more background on it, I'd be more invested in what happened. That ending was creepy as Hell though! I do think I liked the way the movie was structured a lot better than this comic -- too much talk and not enough action! (Oh my God, I'm turning into my Dad...)

     But, I really truly enjoyed the idea that Bucky was not a recipient of the super-soldier serum, but was a trained tactician/sniper/wetworks operative -- even when he was Steve's teenage partner!!! And that backstory that was in the "Winter Soldier" file left on Steve's doorstep...oh my god, the feels. It broke MY FEELS.

     However, I felt like this was not the place to start if I actually wanted to like Steve Rogers/Cap as a person. To be completely honest, he was kind of a everyone he spoke to for the ENTIRE comic. He's built like a mack-truck and spends most of his time breaking shit in blind rages, yelling at people, refusing to listen to anyone elses' opinions and looking downright scary! Not a guy I'd approach on the street for directions. More like someone I'd expect to go to rehab for one too many roid-rage incidents.


     Don't know all the history between him and Sharon Carter, aka Agent 13, but obviously there was some mega-tension and clashing of ideals going on between the two of them. Also was very put off by her basically just wanting to shoot Bucky and get rid of him, regardless of the fact that he was a brainwashed hired-gun and none of it was really his fault -- all because his Philadelphia strike kills her ex-boyfriend. BOO-FUCKING-HOO Sharon, boo-fucking-hoo! To her it doesn't matter if Bucky's still in there or not, which didn't endear her to me AT ALL. 

     Final verdict, I liked the movie better because it's more approachable for someone that's a noob like me. That said, I definitely want to read more Cap comics and will be continuing this series. Now excuse me while I celebrate Friday with a virtual drink or two...

You're A Virgin, Who Can't Drive!

Published: July 7th, 2015
As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew
By: Jen Chaney
ISBN-13:  9781476799087

Acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney shares an oral history of the cult classic film Clueless in the ultimate written resources about one of the most influential, revered, and enduring movies of the 1990s -- in celebration of its twentieth anniversary.

Will we ever get tire of watching Cher navigate Beverly Hills high school and discover true love in Clueless?  As if!  Written by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone, Clueless is an enduring comedy classic that remains one of the most streamed movies on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes even twenty years after its release.  Inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, Clueless is an everlasting pop culture staple.

In the first book of its kind, Jen Chaney has compiled an oral history of the making of this iconic film using recollections and insights from key cast and crew members involved in the making of this endlessly quotable, ahead-of-its-time production.  Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Emma influenced Heckerling to write the script, how the stars were cast in each of their roles, what was involved in creating the costumes, sets, and soundtrack, and much more.


I really enjoyed this one! I'm grading up a tad bit due to nostalgia factor -- plus I'm looking forward to looking at the production/publicity pictures I'm sure will be included in the finalized copy. If you're a fan of Clueless, but don't know everything about it already, you will find this to be a fun book. It's mostly transcription of interviews, etc. with the cast and crew of the film that are still alive (the notable exception being the late Brittany Murphy, aka Tai) and there are some great stories from filming. Like the story behind the real Mr. Hall and the last-minute casting of the mugger who holds up Cher at the gas station.

I especially loved the stories from Amy Heckerling, Twink Caplan (associate producer and "Ms. Geist"), Paul Rudd, and Donald Faison.  It follows from the pre-production and planning of Clueless, all the way to the cultural zeitgeist existing today.  We get insights into the costumes, acting, directing, the soundtrack (with interviews from a few of the artists), and just about everything else involved in making a movie that you could possibly think of!  Obviously there are some things that slightly contradict each other -- no one's memory is perfect after 20 years.  But it's funny seeing them argue with each other over certain things and to get opposing viewpoints is wonderful.  I'd recommend it if you're a fan of Clueless at all, you'll be surprised at how much you learn and the fun you have doing it!  Thank you to NetGalley for this eArc to read and enjoy! :D

VERDICT:  3.5/5  Stars

*I received this book from Touchstone, on NetGalley.  No favors or money were exchanged for this review.  This book was originally published on July 7th, 2015.*