Review Grab Bag (10-4-15)

Review Grab Bag 11-4-15

It’s the 11th Edition of the Review Grab Bag, everyone!  Yay!  For something I’ve been doing for a little over 4 years, that’s really not a lot of Grab Bags.  Sure, once or twice there was basically a whole year or more in there where I didn’t post anything… but we don’t like to talk about that.

*Shifts eyes shiftily*

Anyway…  Today, in the Review Grab Bag we’ll find 2 movies, a Graphic Novel and a puzzle that’s from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope (2011)

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope (2011)

This documentary from Morgan Spurlock follows a handful of con-goers and highlights their goals for the con.  Cosplay, portfolio reviews, collectible buying and selling and a secret proposal are among the things these attendees hope to accomplish.  Dividing these scenes are fairly interesting talking head interviews of various celebrities and industry insiders discussing their views of Comic-Con.

The film is surprisingly kind.  Most media that covers the con chooses to focus on beating down the participants or playing it up as a gigantic money grab.  Spurlock chooses to paint it in a very positive light, as a place free of judgement and a good place to do business.  Though I’ve never had the pleasure of going to the con myself, I have a strong feeling the truth lies somewhere between the overly positive portrayal from Spurlock and overly negative portrayal from others.

Justin Jordan & Matteo Scalera's "Dead Body Road"

Justin Jordan & Matteo Scalera’s “Dead Body Road”

I read this book a while ago, as it came out in individual issues.  I recently flipped through it again, and was surprised by how much I still enjoyed it.

Writer Justin Jordan crafts a very basic–but solid–revenge tale that involves high paced car chases, gunplay and double crosses.  I’ve read a few things by Jordan now, and he really reminds me of a young George Lucas, able to piece together very familiar concepts and themes in a way that makes them feel truly fresh and original.

Matteo Scalera delivers absolutely phenomenal art.  If you think about it, a car chase is something that’s very hard to draw in a way that looks exciting or tense, let alone interesting.  Scalera makes it look easy, though.  Highly recommended book for anyone that’s a fan of old school revenge movies like Death Wish, or anyone looking for something a little different in their Graphic Novel pulls.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015)

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015)

This time the gang, less John Cusack, travel to the future in an attempt to prevent a murder.  More of the same from this film.  If you hated the first one, or thought it was just okay…  you’re not likely to find this one much better.  I was surprised when I watched the first film at how much I enjoyed it.  Once again, I was surprised by this one.  It’s just as crude and vulgar, and aware of its own ridiculousness, but if that sort of thing doesn’t make you turn your nose in the air, you just might like this one as well.

Star Wars Jigsaw Puzzle Han & Chewbacca 40100, Kenner, 1977

Star Wars Jigsaw Puzzle Han & Chewbacca 40100, Kenner, 1977

It’s their classic pose in front of the Millenium Falcon with their blasters drawn. This puzzle is 140 pieces, and 14″ x 18″ when finished.  It’s subject and difficulty make it a fun one to revisit.  For a kids’ jigsaw puzzle, Han & Chewie are surprisingly hard to put together. Something that’s easy to notice when putting it together is that this old school publicity photo has very little colour difference.  Almost everything is an odd shade of greenish or yellowish brown.  Han’s face and shirt are just about the only colours that pop out.  Even the details around Chewie’s face can be hard to define.

The puzzle was built well enough that it’s survived multiple builds over the nearly 40 years since it was released.  I’ve put together a lot of puzzles that haven’t held up nearly as well as this one.  I’ve seen a few other puzzles in this series from Kenner, and largely they’re in similar shape. If your school aged children are at all careful with their puzzles you can trust this one in their hands.

I found this particular puzzle for about 5 years or so at a thrift store for $3.  Averaging between $18 and $30 US online, it’s also not that expensive (as far as original ANH merchandise goes) if you were looking to track it down quickly.




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