The Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter has fired off the launch pad and is already off to a crazy phenomenal start. Thank you to everyone who’s pledged support to these two prairie heroes. You’re going to be in for one heck of a ride.
This Kickstarter supports not only Frozen Storm, but also The Adventures of Auroraman No. 1!
I co-wrote the mini comic at the back of Auroraman No. 1 that will lead into Frozen Storm, a superhero novel with action and suspense start to finish. Fans of The Axiom-man Saga won’t want to miss out on this adventure.
It’s been a pleasure working with Jeff Burton on this project and I can’t wait to share with you the story we concocted for Frozen Storm.
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story, Vol. 1
by Nobuhiro Watsuki 4 out of 5
A mysterious warrior named Hitokiri Battôsai arose in Kyoto 140 years ago. A fiercesome warrior, he slew countless men, his efforts helping bring to a close the Bakumatsu era and bringing in the age of the Meiji.
Then he disappeared.
In the 11th year of the Meiji, a rurouni—a vagabond—named Himura Kenshin surfaces in Tokyo and befriends the spunky Kaoru, the owner of a student-less dojo.
With the aid of young new friend Yahiko, a boy wanting to be a samurai himself, Kenshin and Kaoru must ward off those looking to kill them.
And so the story begins . . .
Despite its label being a “romantic comedy,” this is by far the most serious out of the manga I read. Nobuhiro Watsuki has crafted an incredible tale, an important story, one that had captured my full attention the second Kenshin showed up in Tokyo (which is pretty much the first page of the book).
His art is stellar. The detail is astounding (even after the first 22 pages when the art goes from ultra detailed to “just” super detailed). His rendering of Japan from 140 years ago is believable, each panel transporting you directly to the past.
The big deal about this book is the fight sequences, each chapter in this volume containing at least one battle. I’ve never seen action like this before—so huge, so intense, so detailed, so explosive, with speed-lines everywhere—AMAZING!
This volumes also includes a special bonus story that was originally published about a year before the now-complete-twenty-eight-volume series began.
This is a great opening story to what is sure to be a fantastic saga this reviewer looks forward to finishing. (I’m also now eager to check out the anime for this.)
Ninja Assassin (2009) Written by Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski Directed by James McTeigue Runtime 99 min. 5 out of 5
Raizo (played by Rain), an orphan, was taken to a secret ninja training camp run by the Ozunu Clan when he was just a boy. After years of harsh, even deadly, training, Raizo was brought up to be the greatest ninja of the clan, even one who would one day take it over as leader.
While a child and through his growing-up years, he befriends Kiriko (Anna Sawai) and she is just as strong-willed as he is except where he lacks feeling, she has a heart and doesn’t agree with all the clan teaches. When Kiriko tries to escape, Raizo sees what it truly means to be a member of the Ozunu Clan and from then on follows his own path to take the clan down.
Enlisting the help of a Europol agent, Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris), together they try and bring the clan to justice. However, not is all what it seems and the Ozunu Clan has plans of their own. Led by Raizo’s brother, Takeshi (Rick Yune), the two are hunted, and only after the swords stop slicing and the blood cools will a victor be decided.
This movie is hardcore, man. There’s really no other word for it. Total and utter blood-soaked craziness that reminded me of Mortal Kombat (the game). I was just waiting for a low, ominous voice to say “Fatality.” Awesome.
The kung fu in this flick is intense, especially the swordplay. Those bladed fights were among some of the best I’ve seen, right up there with the stuff in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Rain looked brilliant, his body and demeanor as hard as steel. More than once was I reminded of Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon with the way he moved. The flashback sequences also worked well and really added to Raizo’s back story and firmly cemented us in his psyche so we know why he fights the way he does, why he’s on the path he’s on, and what motivates him as a ninja. Well done.
What I especially liked in this movie was the ninjas’ mystique and their power, namely the part about them being one with the shadows and the paranoia those being hunted had with the dark. The idea of always keeping the lights on and bright was a great way to play this up. The ninja-morphing with the shadows was also cool, giving the impression that these guys, after all that training, have become something more than human.
This is just one crazy bloodbath of a movie. Non-stop action. Amazing sword battles. Cool enough story to string one fight scene to the next.
Ninja Assassin is the definition of a martial arts flick.
Resident Evil (2002) Written by Paul W.S. Anderson Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson Runtime 100 min. 4.5 out of 5
When Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up on a shower floor inside a mansion with no memory, she has little time to try and get herself together. Soon the place is infiltrated by commandos, who then take her down beneath the mansion to a secret train and into a place called the Hive, a hidden underground facility where the powerful Umbrella Corporation was conducting secret experiments.
The problem is something had gone wrong before the team got there.
And the dead are coming back to life.
Alice and the commandos dodge zombies, the Hive’s super sophisticated security system—called the Red Queen—and teammates who have secrets of their own.
It would be a miracle if anyone makes it out of the Hive . . . alive.
This movie is pure suspense. Every little sound, thump and bump make you wonder when a zombie’s going to pop out of nowhere and devour one of the living. Keeping things even creepier is the Hive itself. It’s location: a half mile below Raccoon City. Space is limited. Time is running out. You feel the tension all the way through, right from when Alice wakes up ’til the blood-soaked climax.
I loved this movie. The only reason I’m knocking off half a point is because the plot is super simple (though they make you feel otherwise). However, this flick serves as an awesome back story for what’s to come because there have been two sequels so far (Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction) and a fourth one to come in 2011, currently called Resident Evil: Afterlife.
This movie definitely served its purpose of setting things up for the saga to come, and wasted no time going through zombie origin stuff before getting hardcore into the action, mystery and carnage. Director/writer Paul W.S. Anderson nailed it with this film. Though—according to my Mrs—this flick was different than the game, I enjoyed it big time and have been a fan of the franchise since. Guess I owe my wife one for introducing it to me back when this film came out.
Zombie fans will love this movie and it’s easy to see why Resident Evil has the following it does.
Aeon Flux (2005) Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi Directed by Karyn Kusama Runtime 93 min. 4 out of 5
In the early twenty-first century, a deadly virus wiped out 99% of the Earth’s population. Now, four hundred years later, all of humanity lives in a walled-in city named Bregna and are led and monitored by a group of scientists. But not all are happy with this arrangement and a rebel group called Monicans have risen to oppose those in charge.
And Aeon is one of them.
At first glance, the main story of this movie is like many others that have come before it: a small band of rebels going up against an oppressive government. But this movie isn’t that simple and the aforementioned plot is just what gets us from Point A to B. There are other factors that play into the story, complicated ones, taking what could have just been a B-sci-fi movie all the way to A-level.
Charlize Theron stars as Aeon, the Monicans’s cold, stick-to-business top assassin. The intensity she brings to the role drags you in and makes you want to discover what makes her tick. Yet she also has a warm side, but one hidden and numbed by years of training and running top secret errands for her team. Theron put on a wonderful show in the lead.
The supporting cast, though they all did a good job and their characters were believable, were just that: a supporting cast. No one’s performance really stood out except maybe Sophie Okonedo as Sithandra (the girl with the hands for feet). She was just plain cold (in that good way).
The special effects are astonishing. There is not a single element in this film that is “everyday.” Everything was built for it, whether physically or via CGI. The action is astounding, part Matrix and part Underworld.
Action and sci-fi fans should really get into this movie.