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Category Archives: Movies/TV/Film

The Amazing Spider-Man

Okay, so I just took my son to see The Amazing Spider-Man. We went to the IMAX and saw it in 3D. I was fortunate to have a couple of free IMAX tickets and decided to use them for this. Got a couple more free tickets I’ll be using in a couple more weeks for the guy with the pointy ears. 😉

I had gotten used to the Tobey Maguire version that Sam Raimi had come up with. As with a lot of fans when I heard there was to be a reboot instead of a fourth film I was left scratching my head wondering what they were thinking. Then when I heard they were going to have the same villain as what had apparently been planned for the fourth film in The Lizard I really couldn’t figure out why they just hadn’t left what I considered well enough alone. When I saw early still shots from the set and the costume with the weird attachments, I just figured it would be a terrible movie.

The trailers made me think otherwise. Otherwise enough to take my son as he got excited over seeing Spider-Man in the theater as opposed to the TV with daddy’s DVDs of the previous films and the cartoons.

Now I won’t do any spoilers here, but I will touch on some elements, so depending on your level of sensitivity before seeing something, just be warned.

This was a surprisingly well done version of Peter Parker. Going back to his high school roots – and staying there throughout the film – was an excellent move on the people creating this. I had always felt that with Tobey’s first outing they could have kept him in school a bit longer, but forgave them for the sake of the movie. I don’t know how long they intend to keep the Andrew Garfield version in high school, but the fact he was still in there at the end of the film was a good sign.

Another surprise was the way both Martin Sheen and Sally Field were able to pull off Uncle Ben and Aunt May. I had thought I’d be distracted by their star status, and for a bit there I was, but they proved their acting ability and made a believer out of me. The final scene with Peter and Uncle Ben was very heart wrenching, and that’s from someone that has seen a few different ways this story has been told.

I liked seeing the evolution of the costume. It was very believable and quite funny at times.

The family of Gwen Stacy was a really nice touch as we had dealt with Mary Jane already in the previous movies. Denis Leary did a great job playing the cop dad of Gwen that was out to get Spider-Man.

The Lizard was one bad ass character to have to deal with. This was a tough character and done in a way that I think was better than whatever Raimi and crew could have given us, and considering how well they had done the previous films, that’s saying a lot. I did think he could have used a bit more snout, but otherwise it was a top notch rendering and Rhys Ifans did an outstanding job playing Dr. Conners and showing his battle with The Lizard persona.

Humorous bits between Peter Parker and Flash Thompson were nice, and I liked that they got Flash to be blond this time although I thought he could have used more hair on his head.

The cameo of Stan Lee was the best of his cameos I had seen yet! He never said a word and I was laughing the entire time. Excelsior, Stan the Man!

After having seen The Avengers, I was wondering just how well films such as The Amazing Spider-Man and the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises would fare. Completely different types of films. The Avengers was a kick butt team action film. The Amazing Spider-Man was a drama with action. Looking back at Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I’d say The Dark Knight Rises will be as well. The Avengers still holds the spot for best comicbook movie I’d seen in a long, long time, but The Amazing Spider-Man cannot be compared to it.

I have to look back at what we had before with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire. Great films for when they came out, and I got all three on DVD and will be watching them again soon. But this film The Amazing Spider-Man is a film for today, and to keep the Raimi look and feel at this point would not have worked as well as I believe this one did. There were a lot of great shots of Spider-Man in the air, especially near the end, and his use of the webbing in this film was extremely slick.

Overall, I believe this was a great idea for a reboot and I think we’ll be seeing a few more with this cast and crew in the coming years.

And before I go, remember, this is a Marvel Comics movie. When the credits start to roll, be a wise person and keep your butt in the seat until they are finished. When you get up at the beginning of the credits, you will always miss out on something at the end of a Marvel Comics movie. Just know that.

Today is Thanksgiving and I hope that you have been having a good one. As such I won’t take up too much space here and just post the prizes that will be offered to the winner of the new contest.

 – The first three Terminator movies starring Arnold himself, all off my own shelf and only been viewed by me.

 – Issues 1 through 7 of the limited series Identity Crisis by DC that came out in 2004

 – An unopened G.I.*JOE action figure that was a limited mail-in offer in 2007 for the 25th anniversary of the smaller figures for G.I.*JOE. The figure is of “Doc” and is still inside the original G.I.*JOE packaging which is still inside the original plastic sealing that includes two bubbles that each have a different insignia on it: a military star and the Cobra symbol. This is a reissuing of the “Doc” action figure and was ONLY available by mail-in order. This is being touted on e-Bay for starting prices that range from $9.99 to $19.99 and Buy Now prices on the level of $39.99, but if you win this contest, you will get the one that was sent to me personally and that has never been opened beyond the white box that it was mailed in to confirm the contents.

Those are the prizes I will send the winner of the contest and I’ll probably throw in some additional extras as I feel like it when I ship it off.

The contest will run through Christmas Day. I look forward to seeing who will win this one!

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts
http://www.beyondthecharts.com

From the beginning of Thanksgiving Day to the end of Christmas Day Beyond the Charts is holding a new contest.

Anyone who makes a purchase of $100.00 or more will be entered into the contest. Each additional purchase of $100.00 or more will grant another entry into the contest. Purchases of less than $100 for people purchasing Membership 2 memberships are as follows: Anyone purchasing two Membership 2 memberships that does not already have one (one for self and one for friend) will be entered one time for below the $100 amount. Any Members at Membership 2 level can purchase another Membership 2 for a friend along with $50 worth of merchandise and will also be entered one time for below the $100 amount. All other entries after that by Members must be at $100 or more.

The contest is simple: Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, anyone that has been entered into the contest is valid for winning. After the contest is over, a winner will be selected at random and will be contacted privately. On New Year’s Eve the winner will be announced and will be sent the prizes. If winner doesn’t contact Beyond the Charts back by Dec. 28th to confirm, an alternate winner will be selected.

When placing an order, make sure both your e-mail address and phone number are included so that if you win and can’t be reached by e-mail, you can hopefully be reached by phone.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I will post an update and list all the prizes that the winner will get.

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

Space, the final frontier!

Tonight the hit film Star Trek becomes available for sale and Beyond the Charts is the place for Star Trek this week!

Tonight you’ll find the feature film for sale along with all four seasons of Star Trek Enterprise, the prequel series to the original sixties series the film is based on, so it also acts as a prequel to the film itself. These will be available at midnight tonight eastern time on Beyond the Charts. But wait!

Throughout the night watch for other Star Trek DVDs, Blu-Rays, and collections show up including the original classic series, boxed sets of the three spin-offs, and other items.

Then through the rest of the week, keep your eyes on Beyond the Charts for more Star Trek items as they are posted.

This week is the week of Star Trek!

Live long and prosper,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

Hello,

It’s been a number of weeks now since I’ve seen this film and I meant to get this blog entry written much, much earlier than this, but with the movie having been released on DVD and Blu-Ray earlier today, I thought I’d whet the appetite of people who haven’t seen the film so that they would buy it now that it’s out. (Preferably from Beyond the Charts!)

In the heyday of G.I.JOE back in the late eighties/early nineties there was much talk about making a movie, but it was never done. By the mid-nineties the cartoon was found only in reruns on certain channels and the Marvel comicbook was getting canceled at the same time as the toyline was discontinued. It looked like the dreams of many had been lost.

In the intervening years following the end of the toyline, cartoon, and comicbook, the toyline was rebooted with an entirely different look to the figures and DarkHorse comics was brought on board to produce the comicbook and a new cartoon was created. Using totally different characters than the ones that had been around for over a decade, Hasbro was hoping to strike a fire twice. It didn’t happen. In just a little over a year’s time, the revamped G.I.JOE was gone and redone figures from the old line was issued, but without a cartoon or a comicbook, most of those got ignored.

Then at the turn of the century Image comics started publishing G.I.JOE the comicbook again using the same universe that Larry Hama had created in the Marvel comicbooks. Rather than just pick up where Larry left off, they jumped ahead to the modern days and created a back history for some of the major characters and revealed it in time during those issues as well as in the other comicbook they created that told various stories from the intervening years. After a lot of issues, G.I.JOE left Image and was published by the imprint that was using Image. That series ended too, but with the movie coming out this year, G.I.JOE came back strong at the beginning of the year.

The storyline of G.I.JOE The Rise of Cobra follows “Duke” Hauser and his teammate RipCord as they initially are helping transport a secure package for the U.S. that the government had gotten from M.A.R.S. a company owned by James McCullen Destro, but high tech flying craft swoop in and they wind up in a fight with Cobra. The Baroness gets the package, but they get it back with help from another team that comes in. And the movie goes from there.

Depending on if you were just a fan of the cartoon or both the cartoon and the comicbook, you’ll notice that the characters in a lot of cases are similar yet not like either interpretation that came before.

On the cartoon, Scarlett and Duke were an item, and in the comicbook it was her and Snake-Eyes; in the film she goes for another JOE.

On the cartoon and in the comicbook, the Baroness was an item with Destro. This doesn’t change in the movie, but the Baroness used to date one of the JOEs and had broken things with him when he couldn’t protect her brother from destruction in the war zone when they were both on duty in the war zone. This former relationship causes complications for her relationship with Cobra as the movie progresses. It also becomes apparent that Destro is quite jealous of anyone that gets close to the Baroness, even if she’s supposed to be posing as someone’s mistress, girlfriend, or even wife. He keeps Storm Shadow close to her and Storm Shadow is not against killing someone over even touching her.

Destro in both the comicbook and the cartoon wore a silver mask that was handed down from generation to generation in his family, but in the movie he doesn’t have anything like that until the end and the way his face is covered at the end is entirely different than anything we’ve seen before although the end result looks the same.

The relationship with Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow is still tumultuous as it was in the comicbook. The cartoon didn’t focus on their relationship until it was almost over with. In the movie, the way they meet is different than it’s ever been told before and they are much younger too. Whether Storm Shadow will ever come over to the side of good as he did in other incarnations will be revealed in future movies.

A character that wasn’t in either the cartoon or comicbooks is a doctor that apparently has been hired by Destro to help enhance the soldiers genetically. His backstory does tie in with a character from classic G.I.JOE: Dr. Mindbender, but he isn’t that character. Not only that, his history ties in with the history of a couple of other characters in the movie.

Also, Zartan makes a few appearances. It becomes apparent that the color changing and chameleon days from the old toy, comicbook and cartoon series are over with as the focus is on his ability to disguise himself as different people. There’s a nice twist at the end of the movie regarding him that I won’t ruin for you. Just be watching and listening very carefully is all I have to say. Who knows? Maybe in the next film we’ll see if he does any color changing acts.

The real surprise is at the end when the Cobra Commander is finally revealed. All through the movie you are left to wonder when he’s going to show up. Indeed, the entire time it seems as if Destro is running the whole show. The reveal at the end was both sudden and a terrific plot twist and very satisfying. On the cartoon, he was from an ancient race known as Cobra-La whose leader sent him out to conquer and control the world for the glory of Cobra-La. In the comicbook, he was a down on his luck man who left his wife and took his son with him and decided to get revenge on everyone that screwed him by setting up a bunch of dummy organizations that raked in money until he was able to build up his army and start on his plan for world domination. Here we have an entirely different take on the Commander than any we have seen before.

The events of this movie clearly shows that they are building up to a sequel and probably a nice series of films if they film them close enough together in the coming years. This one really feels like a prequel or “origin” film. If this was the beginning of the book, I’d say it was the prologue. A very action packed, story filled prologue. They might not be able to pump them out once a year like Saw does, but even once every year and a half or two years would be better than the long waits between other films I’ve seen. If I get four or five good films out of this franchise over the next decade (including the one I’ve seen), then I’ll be quite satisfied.

Tomorrow I’ll be putting G.I.JOE The Rise of Cobra on my website, both in DVD and Blu-Ray format, so if you haven’t gotten it yet, you’ll find it available from Beyond the Charts. I recommend it.

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

Wow!

That’s all I can think when I consider the weekend I had a few days ago. Never having gone to Dragon*Con before I only had vague notions of what to expect. The shear vastness of it was overwhelming.

I’ll have to go into further detail on a later blog or two, and once I can get the photos off my camera I’ll post some pics, but here’s how my time went for the sake of this blog entry:

Friday:

I left early in the morning to make it there in “plenty” of time to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Then not being familiar with driving in downtown Atlanta traffic (I could walk all over the place just fine as I used to live there), I wound up back on the highway once and then drove past the hotel I needed to sign in at. When I finally parked I was on the roof of the parking deck.

While signing in I found out that the William Shatner/Leonard Nimoy talk was going on right then to kick things off, so I missed that. There was a long zig-zagging line of people for Dragon*Con registration that counted in the hundreds I’m sure. We would first go to where we would pay, then we would go to where we were registered, then we went to pick up our badge. Next year, I’m going to pay online and avoid this line. Probably will have to go through a different line though.

Once that was over with, I made my way to the Hyatt where John Schneider and Catherine Bach of the original Dukes of Hazzard TV series were holding a panel and John was late while Catherine had some fun at his expense. John was also on the Smallville series as Johnathan Kent, Clark’s Earth dad. I got to ask a question of John about if he was going to do more sci-fi oriented stuff, and he said he was interested in that, and had thought after Smallville he would have gotten more, but as of yet nothing had come his way.

After that, I went up to where the free food was and scarfed down some grub at “Sisko’s” where a fellow dressed in a Starfleet uniform from Star Trek was looking like Captain Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space Nine and directing traffic into the room and once inside was making sure everything was going well. While I ate, a fellow sitting next to me did a caricature of me and we talked about the comicbook he was wanting to do.

Then I went around talking with people about Beyond the Charts for a while and then tracked down the 4PM reading that Kevin J. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta was doing that I had told them I would come to. Earlier this year I had been given an invitation by Kevin to join his fan forum and we had e-mailed quite a bit since then and I had posted on his forum, so I said I would come to some of his forums and check out his booth.

I’ll write more in a separate blog, but let me just say that Kevin J. Anderson is one of the nicest most gracious person I have met in a long time.

After the reading, we went back to his booth and hung for a while and then because there was a party at this restaurant/bar called Max Lager’s, we went over there early and sat eating and getting to know each other. Kevin insisted on paying for my meal. We had a great conversation and after that the party started and Chris Brown the guitarist from Kevin’s Roswell Six album (not to be confused with the Chris Brown who beat up Rihanna earlier this year) started playing some songs and the mood lightened even more. During the meal and the party, I enjoyed a Root Beer that they brewed right there for people that don’t drink. If it wasn’t for my medication, I would have had a Pina Colada with vodka – my favorite. As it was, that Root Beer wasn’t bad at all. I’ll have to eat there again when I go to Atlanta.

After the party, I helped Kevin move some things back to the hotel from the bar and then we parted ways for the night.

I spent some time talking with others about Beyond the Charts and then I turned in for the night myself.

That was Friday.

I think I’ll do separate blogs for the remaining days so that this one doesn’t get too long. For sure, Dragon*Con was quite an experience!

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

Okay folks, how does the following sound to you?

1) An unopened Limited Edition Widescreen 3-Disc DVD boxed set of the Ghost Rider movie that is near impossible to find.

2) All twelve individual issues of the Star Wars: Vector crossover that occurred last year in the Star Wars comicbooks put out by Dark Horse comics. This story starts a few thousand years before Anakin and his children Luke and Leia and then is brought to the time that Anakin is Darth Vader, then when Luke and Leia are fighting the Empire, to conclude over a hundred years after Luke and Leia where Luke’s descendant Cade Skywalker confronts and defeats the evil – or does he? Each has been read twice by myself, and no one else, and all are in Near Mint condition.

3) A signed copy of Field of Blood, Book 1 of the Jerusalem’s Undead trilogy by Eric Wilson. The second book Haunt of Jackals is out now, but if you win you can have this signed copy of the first book in this series about demons that inhabit the dead bodies of a family that was buried together in a household tomb centuries before in Jerusalem and now has a thirst for blood. Then they go searching for a girl of unique lineage who could stop their reign of terror and ultimate plans, but she doesn’t even know it as she just goes about her life staying away from her mother and the strange upbringing she had.

4) The first three X-Men movies, off of my own shelf and all in good condition and all in Widescreen.

5) A copy of Kevin J. Anderson’s Terra Incognita Book 1: The Edge of the World and the accompanying CD by Roswell Six, Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon produced by ProgRock Records and features the vocal talents of James LaBrie, Michael Sadler, Lana Lane, and John Payne.

Does any or all of that interest you?

If you want a chance to get all of that, and a few other random items maybe, then go to my website right now: http://www.beyondthecharts.com

Nope. Stop reading. Go back and click on that link.

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

 P.S. You still reading? Click here and enter the contest: http://www.beyondthecharts.com