Bunker Fever – 10 Cloverfield Lane Review (Non-Spoiler)

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J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield is a movie near and dear to my heart. A big kaiju fan since I was a kid, seeing a giant monster movie shot through the lens of a handheld camera is something else back in the day. And the day word of a ‘blood relative’ was being made entitled 10 Cloverfield Lane came on my feed, I was understandably excited. And now just having come back from it, I can say that while it wasn’t quite the thing I was expecting, it was still a damned great film regardless.

10 Cloverfield Lane tells the story of Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who got in a car crash and wakes up in a doomsday shelter maintained by conspiracy nut Howard (John Goodman), who apparently locked himself in there with handyman Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.) following some kind of attack. And that’s just about all I can tell you of the plot without giving too much away. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a movie best experienced cold. It’s best to not know a thing about the movie, save from maybe the trailers. One thing that I can say is that shit goes down.

Without giving too much away, Dan Trachtenberg’s directorial debut is a rollercoaster. Mood whiplash is the name of the game here. Completely innocent mundane scenes can turn ugly in the blink of an eye, or something ominous might turn out just to be a completely normal everyday thing. You’d be jerked back and forth and sideways so many times you’d think you were riding a mechanical bull. How things can change seemingly at the drop of the hat also adds to the overall feeling of uneasiness and dread oozing all over the 103 minutes of its runtime. Anything can happen in the cramped confines of the bunker, and almost everything really does happen.

With such a small cast, everyone’s performances will expectedly be scrutinized even more, and every single member of the cast shines through. Winstead’s Michelle, while ostensibly being the victim here, shows constant flashes of brilliance, genre savvy, and cunning most movie heroes would kill to have. John Goodman’s Howard, the standout performer here, goes from the 0-60 and back again as the kindly dad-type who quickly melts down into a great big puddle of rage when the right buttons are pressed. Gallagher, Jr.’s Emmett might look like a liability or a redshirt at best from the start, but he manages to hang with the other two cast members and eventually might grow on you.

If you’re planning to watch this movie, do yourself a favor and try not to see any review or anything beyond the trailers. Hell, avoid the latest poster if you want to go in the movie completely cold. You’ll thank yourself if you do.

All in all, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a worthy thriller, filled with moments that’ll make your heart race and an atmosphere that’ll make you feel uneasy. Great performances all around, and it’ll keep you guessing until the end.

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Cobra Rules – G.I. Joe Deviations Review

“G.I. Joe is the codename for America’s daring highly-trained special mission force. Its purpose: To defend human freedom from Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.”

We’ve all heard of it, I’m sure most of us know it by heart. And we all root for the Joes to kick Cobra ass time and time again. But what if they fail? That’s the question G.I. Joe Deviations is trying to answer.

G.I. Joe scribe Paul Allor and artist Corey Lewis answers this question the in the best way possible. Cobra somehow manages to successfully put their weather machine to good use and destroyed G.I. Joe, ushering in a planet that is COBRA.

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“And knowing is half the–BOOM”? I’m sure it doesn’t go like that.

So you’ve ruled the world, what next?

And that, is the next question. Cobra is an organization determined to /rule/ the world, not /run/ the world. Cobra Commander is even more so. The New Cobra Order has no place for harebrained schemes and ridonkulous doomsday weapons. What it has, however, is massive boredom for everyone in the Cobra inner circle. And so, Commander hatches the most ridiculous of ridiculous schemes: Give what’s left of G.I. Joe the means to rise up and fight the power.

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I’d wear a Cobra Commander design.

And this concept proves to be a winner. You’d think this concept would be played extremely seriously, but Allor plays this humorously, complete with some nods to the old eighties cartoon series. The action alternates between funny and awesome in a heartbeat, then back again. The Cobra inner circle, in particular, have their skills put to other uses like corporate espionage, IT support, and even restarting Cold Slither.

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Or going home and becoming a family man.

Walker’s art fits the whole vibe of the book well, being cartoony but with a slight edge reminiscent of Jim Mahfood. Besides the sprinkling of nice little visual gags throughout the comic, the action scenes are great, albeit short. My favourite would be Jinx and Snake Eyes (now sporting trainers and a Hawaiian shirt instead of full ninja gear) going up against Croc Master, but the other action sequences are highlights of their own. The real winner here are the redesigns Walker made to the cast, including aforementioned Snake Eyes and the almost Trigon-like Cobra Commander. And who knew Scarlett would look cute with a buzzcut?

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Maybe the shirt is in honor of Chuckles?

All in all, this is a Deviation I’d like to see more of. As it is, the book is a very fun ride from start to finish. You eagle-eyed Street Fighter fans might be in for a treat, too. Just saying.

Super Issue 2 Turbo HD Remix – Street Fighter X G.I. Joe #2 Review

Street Fighter X G.I. Joe #2, as before, provides one of the best fight-based stories outside of professional wrestling. On the card this time:

  • Major Guile, master of the Sonic Boom and renowned family man takes on Ragin’ Cajun Joe Gung-Ho
  • Butt of a thousand jokes and the only guy who can look good in a pink gi Dan Hibiki up against Interpol agent and owner of the best legs in the franchise Chun-Li
  • The Phoenix Master, Storm Shadow, wrestling Gator Master Croc Master and his alligator
  • Shadaloo head and not the boxer guy M. Bison will fight his own former puppet, Cammy
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So American you’d grow eagle feathers just by looking at it.

Sitterson doesn’t waste any time getting into the fights, establishing a little more of the plot as it goes. As it turns out, some of the Street Fighters are in league to take down Bison, and some fighters are not as innocent as they seem. And Bison? You thought he put himself in the tourney for kicks? Of course not.

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More like a No-douken, amirite?

Writing and art in this series is almost inseparable. With that in mind, Emilio Laiso and David Garcia Cruz’s art shines in making every fight look as great as possible. Yes, even the squash matches. My personal favourite out of this one was the Gung-Ho vs Guile fight. As short as it was, the idea of a knock-down drag-out brawl between these two bruisers is something I’d really like to see. Bonus points to the Storm Shadow vs Croc Master fight, because ninjas vs crocodiles.

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That’s one apex predator crossed off the list. Storm Shadow vs Randy Orton when?

While the whole thing feels a little more ‘thin’ than the previous issue, SF X Joe #2 still manages to be one of the most fun books out right now. It’s still the dream crossover no one saw coming, after all.