WEEKLY COMIC REVIEWS 6.11.2014

Here’s our latest video review featuring comics released on Wednesday, June 11 2014. Gonna’ be completely honest, most of this week’s reads were complete caca and garboski with a few gems sprinkled in. Check out the video below to watch us talk smack on the turds and gush over the good stuff.

As always, comments on these are truly appreciated and you can help our YouTube channel grow by subscribing and clicking that thumbs-up button. It really, really helps.

Also, this show needs a catchy name. Weekly Comic Picks was dumb since it sounds like we’re recommending top picks, so this week I changed it to Weekly Comic Reviews, but that’s sooooo boooooring. I’m torn between Comic Book Casserole because I thought of it while making a casserole the other day, or Comic Book Real Talk because it has sass and we don’t mess around with silly scores, but that just sounds kind of generic.

Whoever comes up with the best name in the comments section wins a prize.

WEEKLY COMIC PICKS FOR 6.4.2014

This week we review Nailbiter #2, Rise of the Magi #1, Big Trouble In Little China #1, Black Widow #7, and Original Sin #3.

We took some advice from one of our viewers and tried to make this episode as spoiler-free as possible which also makes for shorter, more digestible episodes. Check it out and let us know what you think.

If you like these videos, please show your support by giving them a Thumbs-Up, leaving a comment, and/or subscribing to our channel. It would really mean a lot, plus it’s nice to have some form of interaction with you guys so we know that other people besides us are into this kind of stuff.

We hope you like this episode. Until next week, let us know what you’re reading in the comments!

PAST EPISODES
WEEKLY COMIC PICKS FOR 5-28-2014
Okay, so I’m pretty late in getting this one up. My bad. Life and stuff.
Anyway, this week we talk about Trees #1, Inhuman #2, and Avengers #30. We also do an all new Quick Picks segment featuring C.O.W.L. #1 and Southern Bastards #2.
Check out this week’s (i.e. last week’s) video below.

We got some awesome comic recommendations from you guys on the last episode, so we’ll try and feature at least one in this week’s episode. Which should TOTALLY be up on time this week if I don’t slack like a jerky loser.
In the mean time, go read Matt Fraction’s super ultra amazing Hawkeye. If you think superheroes are dumb, you will love it. If you love superheroes, Hawkeye will become your new favorite. Get the fancy hardcover collecting the first 11 issues HERE or the cheap paperback version with issues 1-5 here.

WEEKLY COMIC PICKS FOR 5-28-2014

Okay, so I’m pretty late in getting this one up. My bad. Life and stuff.

Anyway, this week we talk about Trees #1, Inhuman #2, and Avengers #30. We also do an all new Quick Picks segment featuring C.O.W.L. #1 and Southern Bastards #2.

Check out this week’s (i.e. last week’s) video below.

We got some awesome comic recommendations from you guys on the last episode, so we’ll try and feature at least one in this week’s episode. Which should TOTALLY be up on time this week if I don’t slack like a jerky loser.

In the mean time, go read Matt Fraction’s super ultra amazing Hawkeye. If you think superheroes are dumb, you will love it. If you love superheroes, Hawkeye will become your new favorite. Get the fancy hardcover collecting the first 11 issues HERE or the cheap paperback version with issues 1-5 here.

WEEKLY COMIC PICKS [5.21.14]

Vagina! Butthole! Cats! THIS EPISODE HAS IT ALL! This week we review Original Sin #2, The Amazing Spider-Man #2, and Saga #19.

Check it out below:

Still working out the kinks in this new weekly series, so feel free to let us know what you think in the comments. Also let us know what you’re reading! We’re always looking for new stuff and we’d like to do a Viewer’s Pick segment in future episodes.

If you haven’t read the amazingness that is Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’s Saga, pick up the first three trades with the links below. It also helps us out so we can keep doing these videos.

PAST EPISODES
WEEKLY COMIC PICKS FOR 5-14-2014
Looking for some fresh new comics to read? Check out our recommendations this week as YaYa and I review our top three picks.
Check out the vid below and don’t forget to support Albotas by liking the video and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

This week, it’s all Marvel, baby! We review Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1, All-New Ghost Rider #3, and Secret Avengers #3. Also mentioned in this video is the amazing Hawkeye by written by the absurdly talented Matt Fraction. Go buy the hardcover NOW! If you can’t afford it, pick up the My Life As A Weapon, Vol. 1 trade which collects issues 1-5, then Little Hits, Vol. 2 which has issues 6-11. As someone who prefers niche indie stuff over superhero stories, I can honestly say everyone should read it.
What did you think of this week’s picks? Did we miss anything? What are you looking forward to reading next week? We’d like to do a “Viewer’s Choice” segment in the future where we read comics chosen by YOU, so please let us know!
Until next time.

WEEKLY COMIC PICKS FOR 5-14-2014

Looking for some fresh new comics to read? Check out our recommendations this week as YaYa and I review our top three picks.

Check out the vid below and don’t forget to support Albotas by liking the video and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

This week, it’s all Marvel, baby! We review Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1, All-New Ghost Rider #3, and Secret Avengers #3. Also mentioned in this video is the amazing Hawkeye by written by the absurdly talented Matt Fraction. Go buy the hardcover NOW! If you can’t afford it, pick up the My Life As A Weapon, Vol. 1 trade which collects issues 1-5, then Little Hits, Vol. 2 which has issues 6-11. As someone who prefers niche indie stuff over superhero stories, I can honestly say everyone should read it.

What did you think of this week’s picks? Did we miss anything? What are you looking forward to reading next week? We’d like to do a “Viewer’s Choice” segment in the future where we read comics chosen by YOU, so please let us know!

Until next time.

WEEKLY COMICS PICKS - 5.7.2014
If you’re looking for some new comics to read, check out this video of me rambling about some stuff I read this week. Original Sin #1 takes the third spot this week (I liked issue #0 way more), the debut issue of the creepy serial killer crime thriller Nailbiter takes second, and Rat Queens #6 takes the number one spot for my top pick of the week.
Check out the video below.

Seriously, if you aren’t reading Rat Queens, you need to handle that business, like, forever ago. Go get the Sass and Sorcery trade paperback for mad cheap to catch up. It collects issues 1-5. I described it as Your Highness meets Girls in the video, but that’s probably way off. It’s way more fun than either of those two.
I’d love to hear what you dudes and dudettes are reading in the comments section. And I mean the REAL comments section of this post, none of that reblog crap where you comment after the blockquotes. Interaction, people!

WEEKLY COMICS PICKS - 5.7.2014

If you’re looking for some new comics to read, check out this video of me rambling about some stuff I read this week. Original Sin #1 takes the third spot this week (I liked issue #0 way more), the debut issue of the creepy serial killer crime thriller Nailbiter takes second, and Rat Queens #6 takes the number one spot for my top pick of the week.

Check out the video below.

Seriously, if you aren’t reading Rat Queens, you need to handle that business, like, forever ago. Go get the Sass and Sorcery trade paperback for mad cheap to catch up. It collects issues 1-5. I described it as Your Highness meets Girls in the video, but that’s probably way off. It’s way more fun than either of those two.

I’d love to hear what you dudes and dudettes are reading in the comments section. And I mean the REAL comments section of this post, none of that reblog crap where you comment after the blockquotes. Interaction, people!

REVIEW: ORIGINAL SIN #0
Marvel’s big summer crossover event is about to kick off in the form of Original Sin, a murder mystery in which one of Marvel’s most ominous characters gets assassinated - The Watcher. The killer even goes as far as stealing his eyeballs and raiding his home on the moon of all kinds of deadly weapons and celestial doohickeys.
But this is a zero issue, so it’s still just laying the groundwork for all the exciting murdery stuff to come when issue #1 drops on May 7th. Consider this an appetizer to the main course.
AWESOME:
If you’re new to comics or aren’t all too familiar with the current state of Marvel, Original Sin #0 does a terrific job at easing you into the proverbial saddle. We get some back story on Sam Alexander, a fifteen year old kid and newest hero to take on the mantle of Nova, a character that I’m admittedly only vaguely familiar with. Thankfully, the gist of his origin story is eloquently summed up in the first three pages. We also get a slightly retold backstory behind Uatu, The Watcher.
For a superhero story, this is filled with some truly great character moments. You have this kid with superpowers who is searching for his father and the only person he can turn to for answers is The Watcher - a being who observes, but doesn’t intervene. My absolute favorite moment is when Sam flies to the moon to visit Uatu and brings him a gift. It’s just this really sweet human moment that helps ground these characters and their relationship. Superhero comics need more of this sort of thing.
The art by Jim Cheung and Paco Medina are pitch perfect for this sort of story. Everything is bold, cinematic, and most of, super crisp. One weird thing I noticed was that there are five separate inkers credited in this book. FIVE INKERS!!! I don’t even know how that happened, but I almost wonder if some of the inking was done digitally for how super clean all the linework is.
NOT AWESOME
Being a #0 issue meant to lay groundwork for the rest of the series, this doesn’t have a huge cast of A-list characters or nearly the amount of action that most readers would expect from a blockbuster summer event from Marvel. I personally loved the more character-driven quality in the story, but I’d expect some people could be turned off by it. That being said, me and those people could probably never be friends in real life.
All in all, I really dug Original Sin #0 and can’t wait for the next eight issues. I’m usually turned off by scrappy young teenage heroes, but I found myself surprisingly drawn to the Sam Alexander character. All I know is, that poor kid’s going to have a tough time coping when his buddy The Watcher gets shot to death and has his eyeballs ripped out.

REVIEW: ORIGINAL SIN #0

Marvel’s big summer crossover event is about to kick off in the form of Original Sin, a murder mystery in which one of Marvel’s most ominous characters gets assassinated - The Watcher. The killer even goes as far as stealing his eyeballs and raiding his home on the moon of all kinds of deadly weapons and celestial doohickeys.

But this is a zero issue, so it’s still just laying the groundwork for all the exciting murdery stuff to come when issue #1 drops on May 7th. Consider this an appetizer to the main course.

AWESOME:

  • If you’re new to comics or aren’t all too familiar with the current state of Marvel, Original Sin #0 does a terrific job at easing you into the proverbial saddle. We get some back story on Sam Alexander, a fifteen year old kid and newest hero to take on the mantle of Nova, a character that I’m admittedly only vaguely familiar with. Thankfully, the gist of his origin story is eloquently summed up in the first three pages. We also get a slightly retold backstory behind Uatu, The Watcher.
  • For a superhero story, this is filled with some truly great character moments. You have this kid with superpowers who is searching for his father and the only person he can turn to for answers is The Watcher - a being who observes, but doesn’t intervene. My absolute favorite moment is when Sam flies to the moon to visit Uatu and brings him a gift. It’s just this really sweet human moment that helps ground these characters and their relationship. Superhero comics need more of this sort of thing.
  • The art by Jim Cheung and Paco Medina are pitch perfect for this sort of story. Everything is bold, cinematic, and most of, super crisp. One weird thing I noticed was that there are five separate inkers credited in this book. FIVE INKERS!!! I don’t even know how that happened, but I almost wonder if some of the inking was done digitally for how super clean all the linework is.

NOT AWESOME

  • Being a #0 issue meant to lay groundwork for the rest of the series, this doesn’t have a huge cast of A-list characters or nearly the amount of action that most readers would expect from a blockbuster summer event from Marvel. I personally loved the more character-driven quality in the story, but I’d expect some people could be turned off by it. That being said, me and those people could probably never be friends in real life.

All in all, I really dug Original Sin #0 and can’t wait for the next eight issues. I’m usually turned off by scrappy young teenage heroes, but I found myself surprisingly drawn to the Sam Alexander character. All I know is, that poor kid’s going to have a tough time coping when his buddy The Watcher gets shot to death and has his eyeballs ripped out.

REVIEW - CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Guess who saw an early screening of Winter Soldier and had his mind completely blown away. This guy.
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I grew up a Marvel kid. I was mostly into Spider-Man and the X-Men universe. For some reason, the more straight-laced heroes like Iron-Man and Captain America were too boring and goody-goody for my super edgy 10-year-old tastes. I eventually got more into Image Comics and random other indie stuff, but I’d always go back to Marvel just to see what was up.
Then Iron-Man came out in theaters. It took a character I’d previously thought of as boring and turned him into a lovable, cocky, smart-ass version of Bruce Wayne. Then Captain America: The First Avenger was announced. Was it possible that Cap on screen could be more interesting than the corny whitebread Cap I remember from the 90’s?
Sort of.
Captain America was an alright movie (aside from the distractingly weird Skinny Steve Rogers), but it felt too montage-y — like they were trying to pack in too much. I’ve seen it about 5 times and still don’t remember most of what happens in the third act. That’s where my brain just switches off and I just stop caring.
But then Avengers (a.k.a. the greatest superhero movie of all time. Fight me.) came out followed by the trailers for Winter Soldier making it look all intense and epic, like Marvel’s version of Dark Knight Rises. And that’s basically what it is, but better.
The first bit of the film is just one giant awesome espionage scene on a ship that plays out like a stealth action game. Then some serious shit goes down, peeps can’t be trusted, and Cap and friends set out to right wrongs by punching faces and blowing things up.
Without spoiling anything, I can say that the choreography of not just the hand-to-hand combat, but the action sequences as a whole, are easily the best of any Marvel movie to date. The camera zooms and spins between Falcon dodging bullets in the sky, cars exploding into the air, Cap taking on swarms of dudes on the ground, and then there’s Nick Fury and Black Widow espionage stuff. It’s SO. DAMN. GOOD!
I feel like Chris Evans plays a way better Steve Rogers this time around. He has more of the character to work with. He misses his past, he feels betrayed by the government that he strove so hard to fight for in the first film, and he’s at a point where there’s really no one he can trust.
Anthony Mackie does as much as he can with the role. His character, Falcon, is introduced as a stand-up guy that Steve views as a trustworthyfellow soldier. He eventually becomes the only person he can turn to and is reduced to little more than a really cool device for action scenes and spouting the occasional campy one-liner while a majority of the real talking is left to the grown-ups. To be fair, he plays the role with all the enthusiasm and charm necessary to make the character likeable and it would have been tough to cram in some ridiculous backstory with all the other craziness going on.
Scarlett Johansson definitely takes the Black Widow character to a new level compared to previous films. She’s sort of a hit-or-miss actress for me, but she nailed it this time around. She displays a bad-ass tough chick confidence, but does a terrific job at adding a layer of sadness and vulnerability behind it all.
As for the Winter Soldier, Sebastian Stan freaking KILLS it. He’s menacing as shit and commands each scene he’s in with a vicious and lethal presence. The dude wears a mask covering his mouth for most of the film and has to do most of the acting with his eyes which is way harder than it sounds. I’ve already seen a crazy amount of fangirl swooning on Tumblr about his “OMG poor brainwashed sad guy I want to save” performance, so expect more once the film actually releases. A weird part of me kind of wants to see who gets fangirl’d on harder: Tom Hiddleston as Loki or Sebastian Stan as Winter Soldier. Chicks love tragic-ass bad boys.
What i love is how the whole scope of the film escalates from small-team-of-agents-on-a-boat to holy-shit-everyone-is-bad-everyone-will-die-this-is-epic-as-shit by the end of the second act; the repercussions of which will definitely be felt by the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a crazy degree. It will definitely be interesting to see how Captain America: The Winter Soldier will impact the next few films as well as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series.
All in all, Captain America: The Winter Soldier brings a well-balanced mix of action, intrigue, rich character moments, and is complete with all the fanboy inside winks and nods you’d expect from a Marvel film (and a pitch-perfect Pulp Fiction reference for Samuel L. Jackson fans). This film is leaps and bounds greater than the first Captain America and is on the same level as Avengers. If anything, this will definitely get you pumped for Phase 2.

REVIEW - CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

Guess who saw an early screening of Winter Soldier and had his mind completely blown away. This guy.

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Impressions
Hey gang.
Just picked up my copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds the other day and I’ve been managing time between crazy holiday hours at my day job and sleep to play this title. Not much time to write a full review, and I’m not too sure if I will since everyone else in the gaming world already has, but here are my impressions of the title.
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Off the bat, it’s weird seeing Link not in Wind Waker form. Maybe it’s just me, but it took a bit of getting used to seeing our hero back in a smoother 3D form.
Definitely gives off a nostalgic trip by revisiting the old land of Hyrule that existed in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but it has enough new spark to it to give the old land an amazing fresh breath of air.
I’m really loving how the puzzles in A Link Between Worlds are actually making me feel somewhat dumb in some parts of the game. The nostalgia aspect makes me believe I was a smarter child than I am an adult gamer, being I can’t figure out half of any dungeons out without looking a guide up on Game FAQs.
The graphics are awesome and the 3D looks pretty great. It’s terrific to see an updated/old school Hyrule.
Tons of new characters and the ability to visit dungeons in any order at all makes this title a huge expansion from previous reiterations. Definitely loving this new range provided by producer Eiji Aonuma.
The 2D Link/merge mechanism works well in this title. Innovative, though Nintendo seems to love making a bunch of their older characters flat pieces of paper. The ability to merge into walls as a flat Link doesn’t feel off from the game at all and makes me hopeful for a 2D Link addition to future Smash Bros. games.
This is 1992 in 2013 and it feels as great as it sounds.
Looking to finish this title in the next two weeks. Super happy with this newest addition to the 3DS' awesome catalog.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Impressions

Hey gang.

Just picked up my copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds the other day and I’ve been managing time between crazy holiday hours at my day job and sleep to play this title. Not much time to write a full review, and I’m not too sure if I will since everyone else in the gaming world already has, but here are my impressions of the title.

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Killzone: Shadow Fall - The Albotas Review
On a complete whim I decided to pick up a PlayStation 4 on launch day. I typically never get systems on launch day because their libraries either consist of updated ports or first party exclusives that look amazing, but are just kind of okay in terms of gameplay. Killzone: Shadow Fall fits into that second category.
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AWESOME
The graphics. The graphics on this game are bonkers and make this game a showpiece that perfectly demonstrate what the PS4 is capable of.
Seamless transitions. In one level you’ll go from being flown into a beautiful futuristic city on an aircraft, to that city being reduced to burning rubble while all heck breaks loose, to being flown across the city to a railway transit system in the sky. It’s all done in a very seamless way and loading screens are disguised as dialogue sequences when flying from one place to another.
Level design. These levels are HUGE. There’s futuristic ghetto slums reminiscent of Blade Runner which absurdly tall steel towers and neon lights reflecting on the wet streets. There’s apocalyptic desert wastelands where decaying stone buildings lay collapsed while the sun casts lens blooms every which way. I kind of want an “Art of Killzone: Shadow Fall” book.
The OWL Drone. This is a little flying robot dude that you control with the PS4’s all new touch pad. He has 4 modes: shoot things, hack things/EMP things, turn into a shield, or turn into a zipline. It’s sort of a gimmick, but it helps spice up the stale run-of-the-mill FPS formula.
The less FPS-y parts. For a mediocre FPS, this game deserves some credit for trying to mix things up with stealth, anti-gravity parts (one was a particularly challenging escort mission of sorts), summoning giant flying robot things to kill waves of enemies, hacking/controlling robot spiders, and ordering an unkillable sniper with unlimited ammo to take dudes out while you sneak around and get shit done.
After the credits. There’s a mid-credits mission that I really wanted more of. Rather than play the main protagonist, you play a completely different character with a different set of skills. It’s a stealth mission where your objective is to assassinate someone, but first you need to go around disabling security cameras. A whole game of just that with a little generic FPS action probably would have been way more enjoyable, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some sort of DLC expanding on the concept was made available at some point.
NOT AWESOME
Forgettable story. I seriously barely remember what it was about. The Vektans are the good guys and they let the Hellghast live on their planet after they messed up the Hellghast planet in Killzone 3, but they’re both still at war for some reason.
The falling parts. There are a few chapters that have you navigate while falling. You will die numerous times. Not because these sequences are hard, but because the controls for them are terrible.
The text is absurdly small. Even on my 47” flatscreen I have to get up from my sofa to read mission objectives. I felt like I needed binoculars.
Multiplayer leaves a bit to be desired. Where to even begin. The walls in almost every level are the shame shade of metallic grey as the character models, so it’s almost impossible to see anyone, not all multiplayer modes and loadouts are made available from the start and it’s unclear how to unlock them, and some of the levels simply seem more like terrain than actual well-though-out levels for a multplayer FPS.
VERDICT
As a tech demo to show off the power of the PS4 to your friends, Killzone: Shadow Fall is amazing, however, while it may have gorgeous next gen graphics and gimmicky-but-fun next gen controls, it fails to deliver next gen storytelling or next gen gameplay. It isn’t a terrible game by any stretch, but it isn’t remarkable either, just solid. If you own a shiny new PS4 and want to be blown away by some top-notch visuals, this game is quite the spectacle to behold.

Killzone: Shadow Fall - The Albotas Review

On a complete whim I decided to pick up a PlayStation 4 on launch day. I typically never get systems on launch day because their libraries either consist of updated ports or first party exclusives that look amazing, but are just kind of okay in terms of gameplay. Killzone: Shadow Fall fits into that second category.

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Heavyweights: A Terribly Underrated 90’s Film
I’m reluctant to co-sign such a critically mediocre film…
So Heavyweights of those movies that everyone remembers from when they were a child, but never really went back and rewatched to see if it was as great as remembered. Honestly, I had no desire to watch this film again — I saw an episode of the Mega64 podcast (I forget the specific episode) in which Rocco Botte described how great the Blu-ray of Heavyweights was. So me, being a firm believer of the Mega64 crew, purchased it, and holy shit did I soon find out how right Rocco was.
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For those of you who are unfamiliar with Heavyweights or simply just don’t remember it: Heavyweights was a live-action Disney movie released in 1995, following the success of other live-action Disney films, The Mighty Ducks and Cool Runnings. The movie is about a group of fat kids who are sent to fat camp for one summer, only to deal with the wrath of a psychotic excercise-obssessed camp instructor who literally degrades kids and deprives them of food in order to shoot a successful infomercial. The film stars Ben Stiller in one of his greatest roles ever, a young Kenan Thompson, Tim Blake Nelson, as well as featuring a role for Judd Apatow himself.
Without trying to overhype this at all: this film is pure gold on so many levels. 
First off, this is Judd Apatow's first film produced and written by himself. Yes, the Judd Apatow of Apatow Productions, responsible for The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Knocked Up, Superbad, and numerous other Seth Rogen-related movies. The significance of his name being attached to Heavyweights? Heavyweights was a Disney movie.
So it’s fairly obvious that Disney has a ton of guidelines for releasing a film, especially guidelines involving language and kid-friendliness. Judd Apatow is a raunchy man in comedy, no doubt, but his genius work is tremendously fun to watch, and Heavyweights was absolutely nothing short of an underrated brilliant piece of 90’s family-film. The Blu-ray definitely shines light on that, as it’s very clear: Judd Apatow created Heavyweights the exact way he intended it to be. 
Apatow didn’t pull ANY punches here with his script. There is some lewd and raunchy shit in this movie. So much in fact, that Disney had to cut a LOT of this movie out and the plot doesn’t actually make total sense. I’m talking 30 minutes worth of footage was cut, with 30+ deleted scenes packed in the Blu-ray edition. The theatrical release of the film is 97 minutes in total, with scenes seeming to skip around at major plot points.
You can totally tell Judd Apatow was funded money by Disney to create his movie, then Apatow just turned it in to Disney to release and Disney replied with a “What the fuck do you think we’re letting kids see here?,” and ended up cutting a lot of the major plot out. That’s in addition to dick jokes, Kenan calling a rival camp a bunch of “jerkoffs,” a sex scene (not graphic), and a bunch of other scenes.
Specifically, the most interesting scene cut is the quick dialogue exchange between Ben Stiller's character and one of the kids in the camp, in which Ben Stiller asks “Who’s Seymour Butts?,” and the kid replies with “No one’s seen more butts than you, Uncle Tony!" The original line was kept in the film, but it was overdubbed in the theatrical release. You can clearly see Stiller’s character mouthing a different name when saying “Seymour Butts.” That’s because Apatow originally wrote in the name “Peter Fitz,” for Stiller’s character to ask “Who’s Peter Fitz?,” and the kid to reply, “Any Peter fits if you push hard enough!” But Disney dubbed over that because it was so not-Disney.
I’m not saying this film is absolutely flawless, because it’s not. At all. What I am saying is Heavyweights is better than you remember it being as a child, and the Blu-ray will shine some light on the movie actually being a better movie than originally released.
Of course, not a lot of people give that much of a shit over this Disney title, being that it’s an iffy 90’s film a lot of people forgot about, but those of you who remember might enjoy the Blu-ray surprises it’s packed with. Being able to see the original intent of Heavyweights is totally worth it.

Heavyweights: A Terribly Underrated 90’s Film

I’m reluctant to co-sign such a critically mediocre film…

So Heavyweights of those movies that everyone remembers from when they were a child, but never really went back and rewatched to see if it was as great as remembered. Honestly, I had no desire to watch this film again — I saw an episode of the Mega64 podcast (I forget the specific episode) in which Rocco Botte described how great the Blu-ray of Heavyweights was. So me, being a firm believer of the Mega64 crew, purchased it, and holy shit did I soon find out how right Rocco was.

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Samurai Jack #1 - The Albotas Review
Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack is officially back, but in a new medium it seems, as IDW has recently published the debut comic book series revolving around the legendary character. The incredibly acclaimed animated show never resolved anything after its cancellation in season 4, which left fans to kind of just sit around on the Internet, awaiting news for the feature length film Tartakovsky has been promising for years, or some form of a season 5 Cartoon Network would miraculously greenlight.
It sucks, but alas, fans of the show have something new and tangible to look forward to thanks to publisher IDW: a beautiful comic book written by Jim Zub and drawn by Andy Suriano, which holds the core of the show on its flimsy-paged back.
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Immediately, the comic book begins with Jack crossing the desert to find an old hermit for some wisdom on how to undue evil Aku’s future terror. He kicks off a quest to search for the Threads of Time to reconstruct the Rope of Eons, which hopefully will bring him back to his former time where he can finally stop Aku. Along the way, we’ve got bright colors, a big gladiator battle, and what honestly seems like a long lost episode of the original animated Samurai Jack.

[+] AWESOME
This baby is authentic. I mean that. Samurai Jack #1 honestly feels like Genndy Tartakovsky created this comic book himself. Jim Zub did a fine job of crafting a story in an extremely familiar fashion, for both fans and newcomers to enjoy. That’s a great thing, as not once while reading this book do you feel like this is a cash grab from IDW to tap into nostalgic 20-somethings. It’s funny when it needs to be and action-packed when it gets down to it. Zub got Jack spot on, giving the character bluntly spoken lines and a wooden personality.
If you have any doubt in the artwork, just know that artist Andy Suriano worked on the actual show as a character designer. This guy knows what he’s doing. The comic certainly bears the feeling and atmosphere the show carried, with the use of vivid colors and crazy unique characters. Suriano adds his own style to the mix as well, thankfully.
It’s more Samurai Jack. New stories involving one of the coolest heroes in animation. How cool is that!

[-] NOT AWESOME
It’s a bit short. It definitely sets up a story everyone wants to hear more of, but the action and pacing is pretty fast.


FINAL THOUGHTS
I mean, come on dude. You really gotta doubt this? This is exactly the calling everyone has been waiting for regarding a legendary animated series. Jim Zub and Andy Suriano have created a solid introduction to Samurai Jack in comics. If you’re a fan, you’ve got no excuse not to pick this up. Newcomers will definitely jump on board to await anxiously for the story to unravel.
VERDICT: Really? Buy this shit.

Samurai Jack #1 - The Albotas Review

Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack is officially back, but in a new medium it seems, as IDW has recently published the debut comic book series revolving around the legendary character. The incredibly acclaimed animated show never resolved anything after its cancellation in season 4, which left fans to kind of just sit around on the Internet, awaiting news for the feature length film Tartakovsky has been promising for years, or some form of a season 5 Cartoon Network would miraculously greenlight.

It sucks, but alas, fans of the show have something new and tangible to look forward to thanks to publisher IDW: a beautiful comic book written by Jim Zub and drawn by Andy Suriano, which holds the core of the show on its flimsy-paged back.

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Rat Queens #1 Review
Rat Queens is what Lord of the Rings would have been like if everyone on Middle Earth was hung over, tripping on shrooms, and constantly starting bar room brawls. It’s no wonder this book sold out of its first run and is already on its second printing in less than a month.
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Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe with art by Roc Upchurch, Rat Queens focuses on the titular band of ass-kickers-for-hire who used to be known for protecting their village, but since they’ve slain just about all of the monsters, these days they usually get drunk at the tavern, start fights, and pretty much wreak havoc throughout the town on a daily basis.
The group consists of Dee, the Atheist Human Cleric; Betty, the Hippy Smidgen Thief; Violet, the HIpster Dwarven Fighter; and Hannah, the Rockabilly Elven Mage.

When issue #1 starts, the town has pretty much had it with the Rat Queens and have gathered to discuss how to get rid of them. They are given one last chance, but as punishment, they are sent on a quest to rid a cave of goblins that they thought they already took care of, but apparently goblins breed like rabbits and they’re back.
We’re also introduced to some similar parties of warriors who are also sent on various missions as punishment. There’s the Peaches who are tasked with sacking a bandit camp, the Four Daves are asked to deal with some undead ghouls at a nearby cemetery, Brother Ponties must slay a one-armed ogre, and the brooding goth group of Dark Elves known as the Obsidian Darkness are slapped with the menial task of cleaning the shitters.
Amidst the humor and silliness, the plot picks up when it’s revealed that assassin’s are being sent to kill these bands of heroes-for-hire.
AWESOME
The setting. Sure, it may seem like your run-of-the-mill LotR/WoW setting, but there are little nuances that set this apart from your average mideval fantasy. Characters speak to one another in modern-day language, so expect plenty of “dude” talk and lots of swearing. There’s also a somewhat clever use of magic being used as a device that mimics a cell phone, but that concept tiptoes around making the team of bad-ass she-warriors seem like at-the-mall/Sex in the City girly-girl clichés.
The characters. It’s always a treat to see strong female roles in comics without having them dressed in lingerie (no matter how big a fan I am of such things). Each one of these girls are firecrackers and readers of all types will be able to find a favorite.
The art. Roc Upchurch absolutely KILLS it on the pencils. He also does the inks and colors which makes his skills that much more impressive. There’s plenty of violence and gore in this issue, but it’s mostly used in an over-the-top comedic way that totally works. Upchurch’s calling card, though, is his amazing facial expressions. Some of the biggest laughs to be had in this book are simply from the faces that some of the characters make.
The humor. This is a series that will either live or die by the graces of its humor which, thankfully, is pretty spot-on for the most part. The lead characters are a mix of Whedon-esque wittiness with the vulgarity of Bridesmaids, but with extreme violent tendencies.
NOT AWESOME
Forced narrative. Sometimes it feels like characters are talking to the reader instead of each other. I understand trying to cram a rich world and characters into a first issue, but there’s way to convey information to readers while making conversation flow naturally.
Some jokes fall flat. Sometimes it seems like Wiebe is trying a little too hard to shock the readers with profane potty humor that it borders on Dane Cook levels of trying-too-hard unfunniness. Thankfully, these moments are far and few in between and the rest of the book’s sheer awesomeness more than makes up for it.
FINAL THOUGHTS
Rat Queens is one of the most fun books I’ve read in a long damn time and it’s easy to see why the first printing of this issue sold out (second printing drops Oct. 23). This is a near flawless execution of a first issue, providing just the right amount of back story and intrigue to make readers want to dive right into issue #2. If fantasy, action, and humor are your thing, you’ll definitely want to check out Rat Queens.
VERDICT: READ THIS BOOK

Rat Queens #1 Review

Rat Queens is what Lord of the Rings would have been like if everyone on Middle Earth was hung over, tripping on shrooms, and constantly starting bar room brawls. It’s no wonder this book sold out of its first run and is already on its second printing in less than a month.

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The End of the Fucking World, by Charles Forsman - The Albotas Review
The End of the Fucking World was originally a 16 part minicomic series created by Charles Forsman, owner of the small press company known as Oily Comics. The minis were sold at $1 a pop and quickly rose to the top of many lists in 2012, creating huge buzz over blogs as one of the best comics of the year, according to The Comics Journal and Comic Book Resources. Fantagraphics did a great deed for collecting these minis into one softcover book for all who couldn’t find a physical copy.
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Fantagraphics$20, 176 pages, black & white, 5″ x 6.5″, softcover
This year, the series is nominated for an Ignatz award in the “Outstanding Minicomic,” category, specifically for it’s 16th issue. I’m a bit late to the scene with this breathtaking title from Chuck Forsman, but damn do I feel like The End of the Fucking World will be talked about for an extensive amount of time. Forsman has illustrated a seriously dark comic in which two angst-filled teenagers are doing terrible things. If you want a glipse of how dark this comic is, just take a look at that bold statement that is the title of the book and stare at the intense tint of red on the cover. This kind of story is a void of comic book I don’t see often.
TEotFW revolves around two teens, named James and Alyssa, going on a road trip away from their parents and venturing into an awful journey of nothingness. Each chapter is told from a different perspective, with James and Alyssa alternating points of view between each part of the story. We’ll get a look at James’ view on Alyssa and his personal upbringing, while Alyssa will show readers how much she blindingly falls for James.

Through each chapter, we find James giving off more and more confirmation that he’s a young sociopath who is aiding in ruining Alyssa’s young life. His chapter starts off detailing his first affair with murdering animals at the age of 13, punching his father out and stealing his car at 17, and within a few more chapters, venturing further into sociopathic nature, revealing his troubling thoughts and murderous urges he tries restraining.
Alyssa’s views of the world are about the same as James, except more angst filled and less of an evident disorder. It could be Alyssa’s combination of young love with James, as well as James’ influence on her to accept doing horrible things in her life. She’s masked with fear throughout the book, while James is comfortable, knowledgable there’s something wrong with his way of thinking, yet never comprehending what exactly he is yearning to feel for.

All the adults featured in the book seem to represent an aggressive force of authority for the kids to run from and attempt to exploit. They break into a professor’s house who is on vacation and live together for a bit, experiencing what their lives could be if they could sustain a place with each other. The plot gathers momentum as the professor comes home early and James slits the man’s throat, showing Alyssa proof of him being a Satanist and a terrible person — more terrible than James may think he is, which is reason it was justifiable to actually murder in both of the kids’ eyes.
It is then that the story becomes deeper than what’s revealed on the angsty teenage surface. It’s a story that explores psychopathy. It explores teenage rebellion against authority and a need for love and understanding. The dark, simplistic style of drawing from Charles Forsman is that of Charles Schulz, injected with a syringe of impurity. The creepy illustrations and the quickly escalated momentum of problems in The End Of The Fucking World is absolutely insane. It’s gritty and clearly conveyed as crazy. The discomforting, disturbing story is a unique comic book nothing short of fantastic.

The End of the Fucking World, by Charles Forsman - The Albotas Review

The End of the Fucking World was originally a 16 part minicomic series created by Charles Forsman, owner of the small press company known as Oily Comics. The minis were sold at $1 a pop and quickly rose to the top of many lists in 2012, creating huge buzz over blogs as one of the best comics of the year, according to The Comics Journal and Comic Book ResourcesFantagraphics did a great deed for collecting these minis into one softcover book for all who couldn’t find a physical copy.

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The highly anticipated, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., premiered on Tuesday night to many mixed feelings from critics and fans alike. The show was screened to an amazing 11.9 million television viewers, which isn’t surprising considering the massive amount of hype the show has garnered since The Avengers blew up box offices. Its director, Joss Whedon, has done nothing but gather attention toward this show, showing it off as a cool new television series to correspond the aftermath of the first Avengers movie, and introduce a new cast of heroes who handle the smaller stuff the big guys, like Hulk and Captain America, don’t.
Joss Whedon, his brother Jed Whedon, and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen, all worked together to craft a television show of minor spy action and X-Files type dilemmas. The show takes place in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, brings back Agent Colson, and is sure to gather even more momentum by its second episode. But overall, the pilot was just…okay.
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AWESOME [+]
Clark Gregg is back as Agent Phil Coulson. It’s great to see an already known character of the Marvel universe bringing some familiarity to the new show.
The fighting, when it happened, was fun to watch. The gadgets included in the show were interesting. It’s a wondrous setup for a world of secret agent possibilities Whedon is prepping us up for.
As much as the show seemed like it would drag, it kept things amusing. Corny jokes included, I didn’t once think of turning off Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I mean, more live-action Marvel on a weekly basis. How cool is that!
NOT AWESOME [-]
This show feels totally 90’s. I feel like everyone is dismissing this with a “that’s just Joss Whedon, haven’t you seen Buffy?,” attitude, but I can’t accept that. Whedon in the 90’s is different from post-Avengers-with-a-billion-dollar-budget-Whedon.
Not as smart as it could have been. Corny jokes aside, the pilot was extremely simplistic and used words like “gamma,” “New York incident ” and “The Hulk,” to grab the attention of those wanting something bigger than what was presented. This is an extremely small-scale squad of government agents dealing with a world of superheroes. They won’t be dealing with Captain America and Thor every episode, and I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was absolutely always shown with Coulson’s character being pretty much resurrected after have dying in The Avengers film. There is no plausible reason why Coulson is back in the show and no in-depth answer was really given. It was kind of shunned. Hopefully it’s answered soon?
VERDICT
Truth is, this is more like the Bourne trilogy mixed with feelings of X-Files than it is anything related to Marvel’s Avengers film. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not what a huge chunk of the audience was expecting. There’s not much we can expect right now with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and as much as I’d love to watch S.H.I.E.L.D. agents try to recapture Spider-Man’s alien symbiote suit (wouldn’t happen due to license issues), or the agency attempting to stop a b-lister villain from killing innocent civilians (I’m pretty sure license issues are a key part to this show being not a total nerdgasm at the moment), I think the show is leaning toward original story arcs and characters if anything at all.
While the pilot wasn’t exactly the strongest, it’s also just a setup for each character involved and how things will run from here on out. Hopefully it pulls itself together by episode three so we can get a true feel for the show.

The highly anticipated, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., premiered on Tuesday night to many mixed feelings from critics and fans alike. The show was screened to an amazing 11.9 million television viewers, which isn’t surprising considering the massive amount of hype the show has garnered since The Avengers blew up box offices. Its director, Joss Whedon, has done nothing but gather attention toward this show, showing it off as a cool new television series to correspond the aftermath of the first Avengers movie, and introduce a new cast of heroes who handle the smaller stuff the big guys, like Hulk and Captain America, don’t.

Joss Whedon, his brother Jed Whedon, and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen, all worked together to craft a television show of minor spy action and X-Files type dilemmas. The show takes place in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, brings back Agent Colson, and is sure to gather even more momentum by its second episode. But overall, the pilot was just…okay.

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